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Running GRC Applications under WINE
A compendium of useful tips & tricks for WINE users.

The good news for Linux and Mac users, is that the WINE Windows emulation project (see note below about WINE not being an emulation project) has come so far that if you have a recently updated version of WINE (v1.1.44 at the time of this writing), GRC's applications — such as our DNS Benchmark — which mostly use only the original Windows APIs, work almost perfectly without any additional tuning or tweaking. And these newer applications are being developed under an active community-feedback model, where many of the participants are Linux/WINE users who work closely with GRC to make sure our applications work as well as possible under Linux & WINE.

So in other words, just to be clear, if you would rather not mess with your existing Linux/Mac/Unix setup just for the sake of running GRC's Windows-based applications, you probably don't need to (other than installing WINE, of course) — just try running the application and it will likely work well enough.

But, if you want our applications (and others too) to look and act more exactly like they do under Windows, you can “enhance” the base WINE emulation with a few additions. These additions will not only improve GRC's Windows applications, but very likely other Windows applications as well:

Before you do anything else, PLEASE update yourself to the latest
version of WINE. WINE development is ongoing (and really pretty amazing
overall), so having the latest release can often make a huge difference.
As you may know, “W.I.N.E.” is a recursive acronym standing for: Wine Is Not an Emulator. This name has always been somewhat puzzling to us since WINE emulates the Windows API (Application Programming Interface) under non-Windows operating systems so that Windows applications are able to run under operating systems like Linux, Unix, and Mac OS. That's what it does, and we are amazed by the fact that they have managed to do that as well as they have. It's frankly astounding. So they can call it anything they want, I'm just glad it exists . . . whatever they call it.

The “winetricks” script can be used to add a few redistributable Windows runtime libraries to your existing WINE installation. This “winetricks” link to the WineHQ site provides additional background and can show you where to find the most recent version of the script. (It's worth updating it too before using it.)

If you don't yet have the winetricks script installed, or if you haven't updated it recently, change to the directory where you'd like it to reside and use the WGET command to obtain the latest version:

> wget

Please note that not all distributions have the “wget” command pre-installed. So if “wget” is not recognized by your system you should use your distribution's package manager to first install the “wget” command.

In order for the “winetricks” script to install the additional Windows “corefonts,” your system must be able to extract files from a Microsoft-format CAB file. This requires the “cabextract” command to be available. If “cabextract” is not already on your system, you should use your system's package manager to add it to the system. Alternatively, “cabextract's” own home page contains the program in many different distribution flavors.

Next, with “cabextract” installed and available, use the winetricks script (you can find detailed instructions at the WineHQ winetricks page) to install additional Windows fonts (corefonts) and version 2.0 of the Windows RichEdit DLL (riched20) using the following command (executed from the directory containing the winetricks script):

> sh winetricks corefonts riched20

Enabling font smoothing, which is sometimes not enabled in Linux distributions by default, will tremendously improve the appearance of WINE's application display. To do so, the following registry settings are suggested:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

Finally, if you would like to have access to the ever-popular Windows “System Menu”, where some of GRC's applications place additional optional but useful “power-user” commands, you'll need to run WINE's “winecfg” program. Execute “winecfg” ...

> winecfg

Once the configuration window appears, select the “Graphics” tab then:

• Deselect:   “Allow the window manager to decorate the windows.”
• Select:   “Allow window manager to control the windows.”

When they are set that way, you should have access to the “System Menu” by clicking on the application's icon in the upper left hand corner of the application's window.

Trouble? Suggestions? Improvements?

If you have trouble with any of the content above, or if you figure out a better way to solve these problems, or you have any suggestions for improvements to this page, please do not hesitate to drop us a note. You may use our DNS Feedback page to send a note directly to me (Steve Gibson) and I'll see about making this page more complete, clear, or whatever you suggest!  And . . . thanks!

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Last Edit: Jun 17, 2010 at 09:29 (5,053.34 days ago)Viewed 6 times per day