Running Windows apps under Linux

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While Bochs is commercial software, the source is available on the Bochs Website, as are complete instructions for downloading and installing it. Installation of Bochs itself will be moderately complex for most people, as you must build the software from sources. Also, installation of an operating system under Bochs appears to be much more difficult than any of the other alternatives mentioned.


Well, there you are. I found four alternative ways of running Windows programs under Linux. Wine, Win4Lin, and VMware are all very well advanced, and the one you choose will depend on your needs.

If you only occasionally run Windows programs, Wine is the perfect choice for you. However, if you need to run a large range of Windows programs and need a more faithful Windows environment but can live with Windows 9x, then Win4Lin is likely to be the choice for you, especially if your budget is tight. On the downside, Win4Lin is much more complicated to install.

If your needs include running Windows NT or Windows 2000, or you need Windows applications that require Microsoft Windows Networking, then you will want to use VMware. If you are a student or hobbyist, then the $99 is not too much of a jump over Win4Lin. The commercial use price of $299 seems somewhat steep, but then VMware provides much extra functionality.

If you run Windows on a platform such as Alpha, Power PC, or Sparc, your only choice is Bochs.

A word of warning is appropriate, though. Windows is licensed software, and you must ensure that you have the appropriate licenses before running it in most of the ways mentioned above.

In future articles, we will explore the issues around backing up files in a mixed environment as well as how to set up file sharing between Linux and Windows, Network troubleshooting from Windows and Linux, and so on. I welcome your input on new topics to explore since your experience is likely to be as varied as mine.

Oh, and by the way, I am now determined to transfer all that Eudora mail to a Linux-based mail client. Perhaps I'll write a future article on mail clients that run under Windows and Linux, and allow you to access mail from either environment.

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