ComTech: IT Support Stirling

How to run Windows programs on Linux

Today I will discuss how to run Windows programs on Linux.  You may think that you are Windows free but I guess every once in a while you will find a Windows program that you will want to run.  Below I will outline your options.

1. Use an open source alternative.

Yep that is right ditch the Windows program and run an open source one instead.  For example for your emails use Evolution or Thunderbird instead of Microsoft Outlook.  For word processing or spreadsheets use Libreoffice instead of Microsoft Office.  How about using GIMP instead of Photoshop for your picture editing?  Chances are that there are already open source alternatives to the program you were thinking of using.

2. Run Windows in a Virtual machine.

If you can’t find an open source alternative or you really want to use a specific Windows program then one option is to install Windows as a virtual machine inside your Linux system.  This tutorial will show you how to install and set up Oracle Virtualbox which will allow you to install Windows and run any programs you wish.

3. Use Wine

Wine is an open source program which allows you to run most (but not all) Windows programs on a Linux system.  It can be downloaded and installed through your distributions package manager.

4. Purchase a commercial product that was designed for Linux

If you can’t find an open source package that fits your requirements then why not purchase one that was designed for Linux.  For example you could purchase LinuxCAD instead of AutoCAD for all your technical drawing.

This list is not meant to be exhaustive and chances are that I have missed out some viable options but I hope it has given you enough information to show that it is possible to run Windows programs on Linux.

About the Author


Hi I’m Chris Wakefield the owner of ComTech IT Support. I provide Windows, Mac and Linux based IT Support to small businesses in Stirling, Alloa and Falkirk.

Follow @Comtech247 on Twitter




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