How to install Wine on Ubuntu to run Windows software

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When Windows users start using Linux, the major problem they face is the unavailability of some software. But with the help of a compatibility layer like Wine, you can easily use Windows apps on Linux.

In this article, we are going to talk about what Wine is and how you can install it on your Ubuntu system.

What is wine?

When Linux was first released, it did not support applications developed natively for other operating systems. Fast forward to now, Linux users can easily run Windows applications on their system using Wine, an open source compatibility layer for Linux. You can even use Microsoft Excel on Linux using Wine.

Wine (originally an acronym of Wine is not an emulator) supports Windows software and applications. The development of Wine has completely transformed the game for Linux users. Similar compatibility layers such as Proton and CrossOver have also been developed to allow users to take full advantage of their Linux systems.

How to install Wine on Ubuntu

There are several ways to install Wine on Ubuntu. You can download the package using the official Ubuntu package manager (Apt), get the package from the official WineHQ repository, or install it using the app managers.

Install Wine with Apt

Before you can install Wine using Apt, you need to check if you have an x86 or x64 flavor distribution. This is important because the packaging for these two flavors is different.

To check the flavor of your operating system, open the terminal and type:

lscpu

Your screen will show output that looks like this.

install wine on ubuntu

Look for the Architecture label in the output. If he says x86_32, your computer is running x86 flavored Ubuntu, and if it is x86_64, then you have Ubuntu x64 installed on your computer.

Now that you know which package you need to install, use the Apt Package Manager to get the package from the official Ubuntu repositories.

  1. Launch the terminal by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T

  2. Install the Wine package using Apt. The name of the package for the x86 flavor is wine32 and wine64 for x64

    sudo apt-get wine32
    sudo apt-get wine64
  3. Enter Yes Yes when the install prompt is displayed

Once the installation is complete, check if Wine is correctly installed on your computer by typing wine –version in your terminal. You will see an output on your screen.

wine-5.0 (Ubuntu 3.0-1ubuntu1)

Related: How To Use Vineyard To Run Windows Apps On Linux

Download Wine from the WineHQ repository

The WineHQ repository is the official repository of the Wine package.

  1. Enter the command to enable 32-bit support on your machine

    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
  2. Add the WineHQ signing key to your system

    wget -qO- https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key | sudo apt-key add -
  3. Run the following command to import a key from the Wine repository

    sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv F987672F
  4. Use add-apt-repository to add the official Wine repository to the list of repositories on your system

    sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ bionic main'
  5. Update your system’s package lists using Apt

    sudo apt-get update
  6. Download the stable version of Wine on Ubuntu

    sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-stable
  7. Enter Yes Yes when asked for the install prompt

Check if the latest version of Wine is installed on your system by typing wine –version in the terminal.

Running Windows Applications on Linux

Gone are the days when you had to use a virtual machine or dual boot Windows and Linux together just to run a few games or apps. With open source compatibility layers like Wine and Proton, users can now enjoy the benefits of Windows applications on their Linux systems.

Likewise, you can also install Linux on Windows using Windows Subsystem for Linux. The support for multiple distributions in the WSL clearly demonstrates that Microsoft is now paying attention to open source projects.


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