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Weening from Windows to Linux  RSS feed

 
David O'Meara
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I moved from a purely windows machine to a dual boot. Now for some reason I can't be bothered chasing, I can no longer install windows on my machine but Linux is fine.
Now I'm looking at hybrid solutions. Currently I'm favouring Wine, but I've heard that its natoriously difficult to configure. My preferred solution would be VMWare, but the cost is more than I'm prepared to part with.
Anyone have any Wine pointers or other options? I don't believe I'll ever be Windows free, but downgrading it to an application running within a virtual machine appeals to me...
Dave
 
Tim Holloway
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WINE isn't a VM, it's a re-creation of the Windows core services such that applications can install and run selected Windows apps. It's not a complete recreation of Windows, since A) That's a moving target, B) Windows is a big ugly complicated place these days, so a "clean room" recreation of it is a task that will likely takes years (and see A, above). Finally C) Some of what Windows does is interact directly via the hardware (in theory this is all done by the NT HAL and 9x VxDs, but I'm sure somebody cheated). It's possible to virtualize these interactions - as in fact Windows itself does for DOS emulation services. However Linux doesn't VMs, though it can run in a VM.
Bottom line is that WINE is OK for running popular apps where you want the convenience of running without the expense and/or overhead of a VM environment and would like to stay in Linux.
However, for better application support for Windows apps, you need either a VM or dual-boot environment. A true VM, BTW, requires that you have a copy of Windows. Unlike WINE, a VM merely provides a container for an OS, rather than the OS itself.
You do need to check your list of "must-have" apps before settling on WINE, though. For example, Quicken just recently has been made to run in WINE. The wine.org website has a list of compatible apps.
 
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