Installing and Using Wine

Installing and Working with Wine

Tutorial Level: Beginner

One of the most noticeable differences between Linux and Windows is working with “Windows only” programs such as games. One of the best tools that installs and runs these programs is an application called “Wine.” Wine does not run every program and application the same way it would run on Windows, but by far, it has one of the largest database of working Windows programs.

Installing Wine

Downloading and installing Wine on OpenSUSE is very easy thanks to YaST’s software database. Before we download Wine, we need to log into YaST. To install software in YaST, click on Computer button on the bottom-left of the screen and then click Install Software on the right column. Once you enter your password and all the RMPs and repositories load, we’ll be presented with a list of software available for installation (left) and software already installed on your machine (right). In the search field, type “wine.” When you find the program, click the Install button in the center of the two columns, and then click Accept. Wine will now be downloaded and install automatically.

Installing Programs with Wine

Now that Wine is installed, let’s put it to good use. As an example, I’ll use the popular program Steam. First, we need to download the program from Steam’s website, found here (center-right of the page). Download the file to your desktop and open up a new terminal window (Applications -> Gnome Terminal). Next, we need to enter the desktop directory using the following command…

cd Desktop

Now that we are in the desktop directory, we need to initiate the installer for Steam. To do this, we need to use the wine start command in the terminal window. Try it with…

wine start SteamInstaller.msi

With that, the Steam installer will guide you to installing Steam on your Linux machine. Use all the default settings until the installation is complete. Because Wine emulates Windows, the program has now be saved to C:/Program Files/Steam/, the same way it would had you installed it on a Windows desktop. Because we have no more use for the installer, let’s remove it from the desktop…

rm -r SteamInstall.msi

Running Programs Through Wine

Now that we know the program has been installed with Wine to the Program Files, we need to use the wine command to start the program. There are actually two ways to do this. The proper folder for Program Files is really ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files. This may be confusing at first, but it will make more sense when we run the command in the terminal. First, open a terminal window. Now, use either of the following to start the program you installed (in this case, Steam)…

wine C:/Program\ Files/Steam/Steam.exe


wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Steam/Steam.exe

Always remember to all the add the backslash before any space in the file path because the terminal will only read the path before the space if the slash is missing. Although there are two ways to initiate the program, I would suggest using the first method. It is shorter and has a smaller chance of causing problems when starting the program. Please note that if you close the terminal window at any time while Steam or any Wine program is running, the program will close as well.

Uninstalling Wine Programs

Uninstalling a program on Wine is actually very simple. Open a new terminal window. To bring up the uninstaller window, type the following…


This will bring up a window with all the programs that have been installed using Wine. Click on a application from the list, and then click the Uninstall button to remove the program from Wine and your Linux machine.

Configuring Wine

This is the more advanced part of working with Steam. There will be times when working with different programs that you might need to change some settings or access your registry keys for Wine. To view your configuration window for Wine, simply type the following into a terminal…


That will bring up a window with different tabs ranging from the graphics settings to the Libraries for Wine. The other more advanced aspect of Wine is the registry keys. You may recognize them from Windows if your have every manually uninstalled a program modified a key to change desktop affects. It is made of a tree-system, comprised of six different directories…


These are the same categories as Windows because most, if not all Windows program require access to these registry keys, so Wine creates them itself. To view or edit these keys, it is the same command as in Windows: type into a terminal…


And a new window will appear with the registry keys.

One of the best parts of Wine is the immense amount of information found on their website at WineHQ. There, you can find documentation, including the User Guide, and one of the most important areas to look at when installing a Windows program on Linux: the Application Database. Here, you can find information, such as HowTOs and patches for different programs and games that run on Steam. It is a good habit to check a program out in the AppDB before you install it to see if it will run properly in Wine and if the program requires any patches or documentation to run.

Running Wine as Root

Please note that Wine should not be run as a root user. Running Wine as root can cause errors or other problems when using and installing pograms in software. I personally have had problems when using Wine as root, so, from experience, it can cause problems.


~ by unseenghost on 24 May 2008.

2 Responses to “Installing and Using Wine”

  1. […] I searched Zuma for you, and this is the Wine page for Zuma. As for installing a program on Wine, here’s a basic tutorial on it (I do not mean to advertise by posting this, but it is much easier than […]

  2. […] to assume you have already installed Wine, knowing how to start a Wine program, or have seen the Installing and Using Wine tutorial. Because the wine command needs the path for the program or game to start it. This […]

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