Run your Windows applications in Linux with Wine

Sometimes I need to try Windows applications for several reasons, one of them is that friends want some clarification about how a feature of a Windows application works and I try to help them using the application by myself first, installing it using Wine on my Linux PC… and here is what I do.

INTRODUCTION

  • Wine is a software capable of running Windows Applications on Linux and on other several POSIX-compliant operating systems (such as Mac OSX and BSD).
  • Winetricks is an application that let the user to easily configure and work around problems in Wine.
  • Wine prefix is a folder where Wine stores its configuration files and installed Windows programs. It’s a system profile used by Wine to execute the environment and the windows applications. The default wine prefix is usually the folder ‘.wine’ under your home folder.

Before starting, you must have the Wine and Winetricks programs installed on your linux distribution. Install them using your package manager, e.g. apt-get in Ubuntu and Debian Linux, pacman in Arch and Manjaro Linux or GUI package manager alternatives.

CREATION OF WINE PREFIXES

It’s possible to install and run Windows application that are made for 32 bit or 64 bit CPUs, it depends on your system architecture. In case you have a 64 bit linux system, it’s possible to create both 64 bit and 32 bit Wine prefixes. If you have a 32 bit system, it’s possible to create 32 bit prefixes only.

Open a Terminal/Console and give these commands:

  1. Clear your home folder from residual (dirty) wine prefixes:
    rm -fr ~/.wine
  2. Define two environment variables (WINEARCH and WINEPREFIX) used to set the system architecture and the containing folder for the Wine prefix. Then, configure the prefix. Here, we are creating two prefixes in the <userid> home:
    export WINEARCH=win32
    export WINEPREFIX="/home/<userid>/.wine32"
    winecfg
    
    export WINEARCH=win64
    export WINEPREFIX="/home/<userid>/.wine64"
    winecfg
    

    Each time you want to switch from one prefix to another, You have to set the environment variables with the related prefix values.
    After giving winecfg, a configuration window for the Wine prefix appears. Here you can change several prefix parameters, for example the Windows version that must be used:

    winecfg-shot

  3. Run winetricks then install any required dll or other library used to correctly run your Windows application:
    winetricks

    winetricks-shot

EXECUTING A WINDOW PROGRAM

To execute the Windows application (.exe file), give this command into the Terminal:

wine windows_program.exe

In case of errors, it’s necessary to investigate on the error massage or related log. Anyway, common errors are caused by missing libraries in the prefix folder. You can install them always using winetricks.

REFERENCES

To verify if a software is supported by Wine, you can check the Wine Application Database (AppDB) on the web page: https://appdb.winehq.org

Hoping this procedure can be useful for you dear friends and blog readers, have a nice day! /Saverio

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Installing Oracle RDBMS on Arch Linux

I updated the Arch Linux Oracle wiki page (preliminary) because the page was out of date and some information was incomplete. I gave the contribute because I freshly installed Oracle on my Arch system and noticed all those details.

archwiki-oracle-shot

In the next days, as described in the ArchWiki:Contributing rules, I’ll ‘gently’ report the updates on the official page and hoping those information (useful for me) will also be useful for colleagues and friends who want to install Oracle on Arch Linux, I wish you a nice day! /Saverio

Ubuntu Unity – How to replace the functions of Alt with Super key, for window move and resize.

Replacing windows movement functions (move, resize) in Ubuntu Unity (from Alt+mouse_click to Super+mouse_click) is useful for me because when using Blender I need the Alt key to be dedicated for the specific blender functions and I don’t want any overlap of functionalities between Blender and Unity.

To perform this key replacement, you need to install the dconf-editor package first, then change the settings from it.

sudo apt-get install dconf-editor

Next, run dconf editor (find it in the Unity search bar). When it opens, go to the items tree: org►gnome►desktop►wm►preferences and change the value of the field mouse-button-modifier from <Alt> to <Super>

screenshot of dconf editorThat’s it! 🙂   /Saverio

Useful PPAs that I frequently use on Ubuntu linux (or its derivative).

Web links to the PPAs. Check their description, then you can add them to the system using (sudo) apt-add-repository command:

  1. Audio apps (LMMS ecc.), latest – KXStudio-Debian Applications PPA
  2. Blender, latest and edge – Thomas Schiex ppa
  3. Gimp and Gmic, latest – otto06217 ppa
  4. Grub Customizer, latest – Daniel Richter ppa
  5. Inkscape stable, latest – “Inkscape Developers” team ppa
  6. Krita, latest – Krita Lime by Dmitry Kazakov ppa
  7. Nvidia drivers, latest – xorg-edgers ppa
  8. Nvidia drivers, stable – “Ubuntu-X” team ppa

Installing Nvidia drivers and CUDA in Linux – Ubuntu and its derivatives

After a fresh install of Ubuntu – or one of its derivatives, I use a quick way to install Nvidia drivers and CUDA (used for GPU computing like blender cycles, etc.). It consists of two simple steps, open a terminal and…

  1. Add a PPA that contains latest stable drivers and install them:
    sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings
  2. Install binary packages of CUDA:
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-cuda-toolkit

Now it’s possible to benefit of the Nvidia computing performance in your Linux! 🙂

Anyway, if you just need to let Blender to work with GPU computing, I advice to just install nvidia proprietary drivers and the package nvidia-modprobe:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:ubuntu-x-swat/x-updates
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install nvidia-current nvidia-settings nvidia-modprobe

An easy way to upgrade or install new software on an offline Linux PC

This is a procedure I sometime use to update several offline desktop computers with Linux Ubuntu (and derivatives).

OVERVIEW:

  1. With the offline PC, you must have the possibility to periodically connect to the internet with a low-speed connection, using for example an EDGE/UMTS cell phone, 56k modem or other. This is needed just to download a small amount of data like the list of packages to update/install.
  2. You must also have the possibility to periodically use an online PC with a high-speed internet connection (DSL, wi-fi or other) to download all packages needed to update the offline PC.
  3. A mobile storage unit like a USB pen drive or a USB hard disk drive, used to move packages between online/offline PCs.
  4. Availability of the Firefox web browser with DownThemAll addon on the online PC. It’s easy to install Firefox from its web page then the addon can be easily installed after launching Firefox and searching for DownThemAll in “Add-ons” menu item.

1-firefox add-on menu2-ricerca downthemall

GUIDE:

  1. Connect offline PC to the internet with the low-speed connection.
  2. Open a shell (bash terminal), go to your home folder and give these two commands to update the system and generate a text file containing the list of packages to update / install:
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get -qq --print-uris dist-upgrade > uris
  3. Next, give this command to create a list of packages to download (wget-script.txt):
    sudo awk '{print "wget -O " $2 " " $1}' < uris > wget-script.txt
  4. Now, save wget-script.txt on your USB pen drive and let’s go on the online PC where you can download the packages.
  5. On online PC insert your pen drive containing wget-script.txt
  6. Open Firefox and DownThemAll! plugin (dTA! manager), right-click with mouse in dTA! manager window and choose the menu “Advanced”->”Import from file…”. Here select the wget-script.txt previously created.DTA Manager context menu
  7. The download links will be imported in DownThemAll!… Now, filter *.deb files and give a target folder where the packages will be downloaded. Start the download.4-bis_donloading_path_n_filter5-aggiornamento
  8. At the end of download, you can copy this folder of new packages on your USB pen drive and put them on the offline PC.
  9. On offline PC insert the USB pen drive and copy the new packages folder to your home.
  10. Now give the following command to install these updates on your offline PC:
    sudo apt-get -o dir::cache::archives="/home-folder-path/package-folder" dist-upgrade
    

That’s all folks!

Don’t hesitate to send me feedbacks, I can improve the guide with your suggestions.
Thanks a lot. /Saverio

How to change windows scroll bar width (and other settings) in KDE

For the happiness of some colleague, the KDE window scroll bar settings are located in System Settings -> Application Appearance -> Style (see screenshots below for a step by step guide). Further, in this Style settings window it’s possible to configure a lot of other properties related to KDE windows.

1) Search for “System Settings” in the KDE Application Launcher:
Image

2) Then click on “Application Appearance”:
Image

3) In Style -> “Applications” tab, press the configure button:
Image

4) Here we are! Scroll bar width and a lot of other settings :):
Image

That’s all /Saverio