Improved Windows interoperability in Ubuntu

A proposal has been created by Scott Richie, an Ubuntu MOTU, that Wine be included in the Main repository of Ubuntu. This does not mean the Wine would be installed by default but instead that, on clicking an executable file, the user would be prompted if they want to install Wine. An automatic install would follow, similar to what is already done for codecs in Ubuntu.

The proposal comes after realising that only 37% of Ubuntu users had installed Wine with only a third of these using it according to PopCon. Having previously been too unstable in its beta versions, Scott Richie believes Wine is now mature enough for inclusion in the distribution.

Ubuntu is a mainstream distribution, touted for its user-friendliness and given to people trained by Windows and afraid of change. For this reason, it is perhaps necessary for it to provide an experience that comforts users in a move away from Windows. Hence, improved interoperability with Windows is the main focus of this proposal. One such example would be for Gnome to extract icons from Windows executables and use these icons as the file preview. New menus catering for Windows formats may also be provided.

Implementation of the proposal will follow similarly to how desktop effects entered Ubuntu. It will begin as an optional, prompted install when needed, acting as a demonstration for the technology. If the users accept the software, it may be shipped as default in future versions.

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why not create wine inside the kernel and forget the installation? this would require cooperation and coordination with the wine and ubuntu devs. I think they are more than capable of pulling that off!

I never even knew what Wine was.... then again I have only messed around eith kubuntu for a few days.

Does this mean that kubuntu will have the same thing - or is it different because of KDE ?

finally every time I install ubuntu the first thing I do is install wine...wait the first thing I do is remove the bloat lol then install wine

A good idea. Ubuntu has made lots of inroads to making Linux a simpler system, this would certainly help. What you really want is a Parallels (as in the Mac program) like solution.

Wine is cool but it gives you access to basic applications. Anything THINSTALLED doesnt work or needing Directx has limited capabilities. It is a good bridge to more apps for linux when somethings arent available or not good enough. Still best is VMware or Suns OS emulator (still lacks performance - tried it once and went back to VMWARE). Crossover is a better (not free) alternative.


It is most likely because wine is associated with closed-source Windows programs. Ubuntu has traditionally been very against closed-source programs for obvious reasons. Their user-friendliness competes with this ideal though.

The prompt that appears when you try to use a windows application for the first time will probably explain to you that you need Wine and Wine is used to run many non-free applications (in addition to free ones).

Sacha said,
It is most likely because wine is associated with closed-source Windows programs. Ubuntu has traditionally been very against closed-source programs for obvious reasons. Their user-friendliness competes with this ideal though.

The prompt that appears when you try to use a windows application for the first time will probably explain to you that you need Wine and Wine is used to run many non-free applications (in addition to free ones).

Nothing to do with the topic, but every time I see one of your posts, Sacha, for a moment I think "since when has my 22-month-old son been posting on Neowin?". You share the same name.

markjensen said,
So, 63% don't have wine installed?
27% have it installed, but don't use it?
And 10% actually use it (with the majority, 7% total) using it frequently.


Don't install by default (it would be pointless for a large majority), but allowing an easy recognition of .exe files and prompting for a wine install might be a good idea.

I wonder how much malware will run in wine...?

I think the point here would be that a lot of potential new users are lost because they are not aware of WINE, and if Ubuntu wishes to truly make it as a desktop for the masses then they have to let those users know that it is possible to install their favourite windows app, but they need an extra program to do it. Sort of like the first time you go to play an MP3 file in Ubuntu and it let's you know that you need the codec and asks if you would like to search for available codecs. This would be that same principle.

MetalHellsAngel said,
install their favourite windows app

This is what we need to eventually move away from. Linux has quite a ways to go yet. The goal, in my mind, is to not have to run any Windows apps at all. There will always be some holdovers who might be wedded to a certain app, but resources need to be put in to developing powerful, usable replacements.

Of course, this kimd of reality is still far off, but progress has been made over the last few years.

MetalHellsAngel said,
I think the point here would be that a lot of potential new users are lost because they are not aware of WINE, and if Ubuntu wishes to truly make it as a desktop for the masses then they have to let those users know that it is possible to install their favourite windows app, but they need an extra program to do it. Sort of like the first time you go to play an MP3 file in Ubuntu and it let's you know that you need the codec and asks if you would like to search for available codecs. This would be that same principle.

I didn't miss the point at all. Let me re-quote myself, and you will see that I am in agreement with you. :)
markjensen said,
but allowing an easy recognition of .exe files and prompting for a wine install might be a good idea.

The goal, in my mind, is to not have to run any Apple apps at all. There will always be some holdovers who might be wedded to a certain app, but resources need to be put in to developing powerful, usable replacements.

Of course, this kimd of reality is still far off, but progress has always surpassed Apple apps. Apple stuff is a great alternative for people that have tunnel vision.
FACT: 6 Macs found at Branch Davidians complex. Only PC's used was by the FBI/ATF - go figure

Most windows programs today are installed by using ".msi" instead of ".exe". They should start working on implementing .msi files as well.

So, 63% don't have wine installed?
27% have it installed, but don't use it?
And 10% actually use it (with the majority, 7% total) using it frequently.


Don't install by default (it would be pointless for a large majority), but allowing an easy recognition of .exe files and prompting for a wine install might be a good idea.

I wonder how much malware will run in wine...?

It would be nice if they used something like wine appdb to alert users when trying to install an application that is known to not work, rather than keep them guessing why nothing happens when they launch the exe file.

"Scott Richie believes Wine is now mature enough" Oh lets hope so, after all it's been developed for, hum, lets see 15 years. Btw no problem running cool games (heroes V, counter strike etc), MS office and piles of others programmes

Since Wine had mature enough, I think it's time for me to go test out *nix system again. I had not touch *nix for 10 years now. LOL don't laugh

Definitely a great idea. In my experience, many Windows users seek out .exe's as the way of installing their beloved programs.