Wine (originally an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, Mac and BSD OS. Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on-the-fly.
It eliminates the performance and memory penalties of other methods. Also it allows you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.
This program does not require Microsoft Windows. As it is a completely free alternative implementation of the Windows API consisting of 100% non-Microsoft code, however Wine can optionally use native Windows DLLs if they are available.
Windows programs running in Wine act as native programs would, running without the performance or memory usage penalties of an emulator, with a similar look and feel to other applications on your desktop.
Wine began in 1993 under the initial coordination of Bob Amstadt as a way to support running Windows 3.1 programs on Linux. Very early on, leadership over Wine’s development passed to Alexandre Julliard, who has managed the project ever since.
- It is Open Source Software. Therefore you can extend it to suit your needs or have one of many companies do it for you.
- It can also be used to make existing Windows applications available on the Web by using VNC and its Java/HTML5 client.
- Makes it possible to take advantage of all the Unix strong points (stability, flexibility, remote administration) while still using the Windows applications you depend on.
- Unix has always made it possible to write powerful scripts. Wine makes it possible to call Windows applications from scripts. That can also leverage the Unix environment to its full extent.
- Makes it possible to access Windows applications remotely. Even if they are a few thousand miles away.
- Makes it economical to use thin clients. Simply install this app on a Linux server, and voila, you can access these Windows applications from any X terminal.