Wine demoed on Android, runs Windows apps

Wine, the well known and loved software that allows you to run Windows apps on other platforms such as Linux and Mac OS X, has been demoed running on Android at the Free and Open source Software Developers' European Meeting (FOSDEM). Alexandre Julliard, the original developer of Wine, used his MacBook, running Linux, running an Android emulator, to quietly show off his latest project in action.

Unfortunately the performance of the app was noted as being "horrendously slow" by Phoronix, although this was attributed to the emulation of the Android environment needed for the demo, as Wine wasn't shown running on an actual Android device. The port is still in active development and definitely not ready for any sort of public use, but in the future it could form the backbone of some of CodeWeavers' (the guys who make CrossOver) commercial software.

Running Windows apps on non-Windows ARM-based hardware is definitely an interesting concept, but the performance constraints of the relatively low-powered ARM chipsets could hinder the actual usefulness of such a capability. Theoretically you could run the full version of apps such as Microsoft Office on an Android tablet, but who knows how it would perform or whether the effort would be worth it.

Source: Phoronix via: Android Central | Image via Android Central

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This is utterly pointless. Cross ISA emulation is dog slow (there is no way around this. it is slow. this is a fact. get used to it), and ARM hasn't got anywhere near the IPC to ease this pain. This is a ridiculous waste of time.

Whether WINE is actually loved may depend on interpretation. I hate it. If you want to run Windows apps, its best to run them in Windows non-virtualized. Even in Windows, i hate using VM's. I use VMware out of necessity.

WINE is terrible even when you can configure apps to work. Now trying it inside Android? Why? So you can like run Office on a GTab?

If you have a tablet and you need Windows apps, the remote applications that allow you to bring your Windows desktop to the tablet work better, as long as you are on a good connection. That way the powerof your device isnt killed from the remote session. Unless you have 4 cores you can dedicate to the VM with lots of RAM, it just isnt worth it to me.

But I am g;lad to see that someone is taking the time to explore possibilities. BUt from experience power is a huge issue with VM's and ARM wasn't designed for power. It was designed to provide capability, with low power consumption and VM's equire high power.

Windows apps or Windows legacy programs? (apps from Win8, legacy programs like install exe files and play around in Flash CS6)

It'd be interesting to start doing all my work on a tablet instead of the sittin here on the couch in front of the big screen with mouse and keyboard on lap.

If x86 emulation 'currently' had any viability, you would have seen Microsoft continue with their project.

Microsoft could have continued with their x86 CPU assisted technology, and that still may be appear if the focus on WinRT doesn't continue to take off and remove the architecture dependence Microsoft is trying to help create.

As for Running Wine under Android, ouch. Android's JVM apps with native assisted code is horrible slow in correlation to the hardware. I can't imagine a WINE implementation built on top of Android EVER running anything viable on ARM or even Android x86.

yes, on a x86 OS. On an ARM processor they must use emulation unless the source is compiled for ARM. Wine is not magic, it can't run x86 code on ARM without emulation.

bubbl3 said,
It's not actually x86 emulation, but a compatibility layer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_(software)

Ok buddy I think you're a bit out of your depth. You can't just magically make an application work on ARM without either recompiling or emulating. I know WINE is meant to stand for "Wine is not an emulator", for x86, yeah sure it mimics the NT kernel and libraries to find suitable replacements to make a program work half assed but since we are talking to an entirely different processor, you could imagine that it's not quite so simple.

This + Haswell, would be a goodcombination for Tablets, however it's more or less useless for Phones. For a phone, I would prefer a Windows Phone X device, which can be used for "Windows To Go", also with common/synced People,Mail, Messaging, Calendar Apps.

Or a device, powerful enough to handle complete Windows x86 (probably based on high-end Haswell) which can be plugged to a Monitor, Keyboard, Mouse, and you are good to go.

Xahid said,
that's the magic of wine

Ok, apparently they made a wine for arm a few months back. They should consider changing their name to wie

It will run like s*** though. It's why MS didn't have x86 compatibility on Windows RT. They certainly could have had it but because of emulation you'll take a big performance hit and it will drain the battery very fast. So it just ends up making your product look crap.

XerXis said,

Ok, apparently they made a wine for arm a few months back. They should consider changing their name to wie

Warm, not wie.

1Pixel said,
It will run like s*** though. It's why MS didn't have x86 compatibility on Windows RT. They certainly could have had it but because of emulation you'll take a big performance hit and it will drain the battery very fast. So it just ends up making your product look crap.

They could have allowed recompiled windows apps to run on the desktop and they wouldn't take performance hits. The decision to not support legacy apps was taken in order to push Metro towards customers and not in fear of performance issues.

You make it seem like there was some kind of conspiracy to push Metro on customers like some kind of drug pusher. It was entirely sensible - Windows apps on the desktop can run wild and go nuts with services, CPU usage, as well as potential for malware. Windows RT is analogous to the iPad - nobody bitches because Apple pushed crappy apps on them and didn't let them run the desktop. It was an eminently sensible decision for the sake of the platform. If you want x86, buy x86. It's not like there isn't plenty of choice.

MS Pandya said,
You make it seem like there was some kind of conspiracy to push Metro on customers like some kind of drug pusher.

You're exaggerating a bit with the drug dealer part but that's exactly what's happening. Microsoft IS trying to replace the legacy Windows experience with Metro. It's not really a bad thing. My only concern is that they're moving a bit too fast on this path. Metro isn't capable to replace the full functionality of the desktop ...yet.