Well, I have installed my first Windows application using Wine. Wine is a sort of Windows emulation layer for Linux distributions. It allows one to run Windows applications within Linux (there is a version for the Mac OS also).
To install Wine in Ubuntu 8.04 pull up Synaptic (System —> Administration —> Synaptic Package Manager) and search for Wine. Mark it for installation by right-clicking on the box before the name and then click the “Apply” button.
I chose to work with the one application for Windows I actually enjoy and would not like to be long without: Trillian Pro. (It’s a multi-protocol chat client which the right combination of bells and whistles.)
I downloaded the Trillian installer onto my Ubuntu desktop and, giving it a right-click, I chose Open with “Wine Windows Program Loader”. Wine started up the installer and, for all practical intents and purposes, the installer ran seamlessly as it would have running on Windows. There were some issues with it being a little on the slow side but I attributed that to the Wine layer (latency perhaps?).
Once installed, you are taken directly into the setup area. This too ran through without issues (excluding the aforementioned sluggishness). I was able to enter account information for Yahoo, MSN, AOL, and ICQ. Once the program started I was able to begin configuring the application to my liking.
Here is where the small troubles began. There are certain areas within the Preferences dialog for Trillian which will crash the application if an attempt is made to enter them. The Message Windows area and the File Transfers area will certainly crash Trillian if one should click on their icons in the Preferences dialog. Avoid doing so except to test my claim.
You will want to ensure that you close out of the application and restart it after setting your passwords and preferences. If Trillian should crash before you have done so all these changes will be lost. So, make your preferences changes and then immediately close Trillian. When you re-open Trillian you may feel free to test my claims above without fear that your passwords or preferences will revert to the defaults (or whatever was saved at the last clean close).
Finally, the menus behave a little sadly running this way. The Trillian menu, for instance, opens as expected; however, as you mouse around it will vanish if a reset to the menu display is called upon. For example, if you mouse over Set Status (which flies out) and then move to Connections the entire menu will go home and need to be called again. Same thing will happen if you click on Trillian and then mouse over View. Annoying but not a disaster.
Mostly it works but there are some issues. There are a number of issues which were reported over at Wine’s site. I am happy to continue testing where possible.
I hope this helps.