Installing Windows Software With Wine (Linux Mint 11)

Version 1.0
Author: Christian Schmalfeld <c [dot] schmalfeld [at]  projektfarm[dot] de>

This tutorial is supposed to show you how to install .exe files on your Linux system.


1 Preliminary Note

I am using Linux Mint 11 as an operating system, however the steps should not differ greatly from other distributions. The software I am going to use as an example will be VLC Player. I am aware that there is a version of VLC for Linux, in some cases even preinstalled, but it serves well for the purpose of guiding through the steps of installation.

I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!


2 Install Wine

To use Windows software we are going to use Wine. Open the Package Manager and search for it. Click the checkbox next to it and select Mark for Installation.

You are asked if you are ok to install the dependencies. Click Mark in the appearing window.

Click Apply in the main window afterwards.

Confirm by clicking Apply on the new window. Wine is now being downloaded and installed.


3 Install Windows Software

After having installed Wine you can browse the internet for software you would like to use with it. As I said before, I will use Windows' version of VLC media player. Software you download from the internet is usually stored in your home directory's Downloads folder. I have put my VLC installer on my desktop:

To start working with it you first have to change permissions, otherwise following error will appear:

If you are not certain that you can trust the source you downloaded the software from, better let it be or download it from another source. If you are certain however, open a terminal, become root with


and grant permissions by entering the following (replace my document path with your file's path):

chmod 777 /home/ctest/Desktop/vlc-1.1.11-win32.exe

Afterwards you should be able to doubleclick it to open it. If not, rightclick and choose Open With Wine Windows Program Loader. This should open the installation setup:

Follow the steps of the setup. When you are asked for the installation directory do not be confused about the fact that you proposed a C:\ drive for installation, this is a virtual drive provided by Wine. You can leave it at that or install your software somewhere else.

After the installation is done, you can run your software by navigating to the installation path and opening the .exe file. If you were given the option to create a start menu link, your software will also be available on Menu > Wine.

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8 Comment(s)

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By: Anonymous

It's nice that it is possible to get things to work, albeit with a lot of hands-on intervention.

However, if an installer doesn't install without a simple double-click, then the Wine database should reflect this as a failure, requiring additional development.

The Wine developers do not share this opinion, however. Nor are they interested in feedback regarding installation difficulties.

Dig these two developer statements from the appdb section, regarding Adobe CS5, which is rated "Gold" with regard to functionality:

Do not report bugs to wine with an installation done this way ["this way" means installing it on a genuine copy of Windows and copying files over]. Wait until the installer bugs are fixed or have patches to workaround them!

Followed immediately by:

Posting a comment where you clearly haven't followed the HOWTO will be deleted without warning.  Follow the instructions before asking for help.  The instructions are there for a reason.

My reading of this is you can't file a bug report if you follow the HOWTO, and you can't file a bug report if you don't. What's the point of Wine if you must already have a legitimate copy of Windows to install an app?

By: JohnP

For some Windows software, using Winetricks is necessary too. While I haven't attempted any WINE efforts under Mint, I have gotten Quicken 2011 Premium and Quicken 2008 Home and Business working under LUbuntu 10.04. For the specific steps, Greg has been posting updates over at Today I received a new Quicken H&B 2012, so instructions on getting that loaded will be posted soon. There's nothing in the "system requirements" to make me think it will not work. I can confirm that MS-Office 2003 works under Wine too. Sadly, not all Windows software can run under WINE. More and more, there are Linux native options, which is very nice.

By: Spanky

I use Playonlinux, and put everything (not just games) in it's own container. This way, experiments don't mess-up good installs, and they can be summarily deleted. Plus, each can use it's own version of wine, and this is separate, from the base system install.

Separate from all that, and the base WINE install, is Picasa; with it's very own container automatically. You don't even have to think about it. However, I have moved it(very custom), and upgraded it to the beta 3.8, with face recognition.


I have to say that I was suprised with Wine's slickness last time I used it. I'd tried it years ago, when it was hard work, but now everything "just worked". Really handy if you're forced to use some small Windows app because a protocol, file type or device is closed, say. Much rather use Wine than be forced to use Windows.

By: Muhammad Asif


 i m very thankfull to you it realy and again thanks



By: Mr Weeman

HI.... I installed a program and wanted to create a file inside the program but it tells me its out of memory how do i fix it?


By: Steve D

I've tried a couple of times to do get it do much, but have been disappointed.  So far I've only managed to get Notepad to run.  If I have some time to spend sorting it out, I'll try again.   I seem to lack enough skills and patience.

By: William Schafer

This is an interesting site. I recently downloaded Linux Mint 18.1 with Cinnamon desktop. All I got was a list of files and NO Cinnamon desktop. I can't install the program. How do I get the Cinnamon desktop? Can you help me?