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Wine Software Linux

No Wine for Dell Ubuntu Users, Says Shuttleworth 328

Posted by Zonk
from the make-sure-to-sip dept.
yuna49 writes "News from last week, but still worth noting: Mark Shuttleworth told eWeek in a May 3rd interview that Dell will not include open-source software such as Wine with the PCs it plans to bundle with Ubuntu Linux. Says Shuttleworth: 'I do not want to position Ubuntu and Linux as a cheap alternative to Windows ... While Linux is an alternative to Windows, it is not cheap Windows. Linux has its own strengths, and users should want it because of those strengths and not because it's a cheap copy of Windows ... Often we see proprietary software companies just completely fail to understand not only the motivations of the Linux community, but also the processes. It's very practical, there's a way to get things done, and it's different. The VMware guys have really engaged with us completely and worked to the agenda set by the Linux community, which is not an ideological agenda but a practical one.' Does that mean Wine won't even be listed in the package manager?"
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No Wine for Dell Ubuntu Users, Says Shuttleworth

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  • by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Friday May 11, 2007 @08:36AM (#19081819)
    It's built on wine, they feed back into wine, and it allows me to run the few remaining software apps I need to that are only available for Windows. I also still run Microsoft Office under Crossover but am almost always now using OpenOffice instead. Using Crossover, I hardly ever boot into Windows any more (yeah, I am set up dual boot still...).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @08:51AM (#19082041)

    apt-get install wine
    What's the problem?
    The problems are:
    1. You need to put "sudo" in front for it to work.
    2. You should be using "aptitude" instead of "apt-get" (aptitude stores extra information that makes uninstalls cleaner [psychocats.net]).

    All kidding aside, I agree with your post. The fact that it isn't installed by default isn't very big news. There are thousands of packages not being installed by default, and they are all trivially easy to add. A new user just needs to be told that "Wine" is the program they need to install. In fact, I noticed that Kubuntu Feisty even has a "wine" option in the default control panel!

    I guess Shuttleworth is simply trying to point out that they are not marketing it as "a cheap Windows knock-off." That's fair enough, but nor should we ignore the fact that Wine exists, and is a viable piece of software for many users.
  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:00AM (#19082167)
    "Does that mean Wine won't even be listed in the package manager?"
    Not by default (have not tried Ubuntu 7.04 yet). You have to visit http://www.winehq.com/ [winehq.com], browse to the download section and follow the directions to add the WineHQ APT Repository to your system's list of download sources.
    This is not exactly what a newbie might expect, but since WINE is still "early beta" quality, I would not recommend it anyway for people who dislike tinkering with the system. As WINE gets more mature, I expect that it will be officially included into the Ubuntu distribution at some point.

  • Re:Way to go, Mark (Score:3, Informative)

    by KingSkippus (799657) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:07AM (#19082255) Homepage Journal

    how would it be Microsoft's fault...

    Because some of the API's either aren't fully documented or don't work as they are documented. Also, they've patented some of the critical components that allow software written for Windows to run. The end result is that people working on the WINE project have to do a lot of reverse-engineering of what the APIs actually do (as opposed to what they say they do) and figure out alternatives to really basic things that are legally off-limits.

    And let's not kid ourselves. If WINE does manage to start making inroads towards running Windows software, I shudder at the FUD that will be cranked out my Microsoft telling people how inferior it is to the so-called "real" Windows. (When personal experience has shown that the things that WINE does successfully, it generally actually does better than Windows. I know that developers at Microsoft are smart, but frankly, a lot of open source developers are smarter.)

    Oh, and last but not least, some software is written to do nasty low-level stuff that bypasses the APIs entirely. Even if WINE were 100% successful in re-creating the Windows APIs, such software still wouldn't work.

    But really, that comment was mostly just a side note. The important point I was trying to make is that if Windows software doesn't work on machines that people buy thinking that it will run Windows software, they will get mad at Ubuntu and WINE, and that's a very, very bad thing.

  • by 0racle (667029) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:19AM (#19082481)
    What in the hell are you talking about? The Ubuntu that will ship not have Wine installed by default. The article does not say it will not have Wine available. You will still be able to launch Aptitude or whatever Ubuntu actually uses and install Wine from the Ubuntu repositories.
  • by MadJo (674225) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:25AM (#19082585) Homepage Journal
    But Wine is available in Ubuntu's repositories, so you CAN install it yourself. And adding repositories is easily done (even for a lesser-technical user). (there is even an Ubuntu repository for newer versions of Wine too)
  • by popejeremy (878903) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:28AM (#19082639) Homepage
    1. Click on "Applications"
    2. Click on "Add/Remove"
    3. Choose WINE from the list.

    It's not any harder than that. I don't see what you're raising a stink about.

    WINE isn't included in the main distribution Ubuntu by default, and there's a good reason. It's still a beta. The current version in Ubuntu is 0.9.36. But anyone who wants to have WINE can add it easily in three, easy-to-understand clicks. Why should Dell do anything differently than the main distribution?

  • Niche Applications (Score:2, Informative)

    by jrsjrsjrs (947704) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:51AM (#19083091)
    WINE isn't very good at running the latest and greatest (bloated) version of AutoCAD, but it runs most small applications very well. For example, I just installed a new version of a small concrete and masonry design app last week. Straight from the installer, everything worked, from the calculations, right down to the correct menu items being placed and all of the reports printing. I agree with Mark Shuttleworth about not making WINE part of the default install, but don't say the project is worthless. For people who need a to run small, packaged windows applications it's great.
  • by antoinjapan (450229) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:54AM (#19083159)
    Will they block this website too?

    http://www.winehq.org/site/download-deb [winehq.org]
  • by Jonner (189691) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:04AM (#19083347)
    I suspect that the only reason this is being commented on is that if Dell ships machines with an alternative to Windows, some will automatically expect the alternative to be a direct replacement and Wine is an obvious choice to try to replace Windows. Since Wine is available for installation on normal Ubuntu, it would be exceedingly strange if the same weren't true on the Dell machines.

    The eWeek article has a bunch of quotes, but it's somewhat difficult to interpret. I am listening to the interview, but it's got a huge amount of background noise and difficult to make out at points. I think the interviewer said something like "Do you plan to push Wine on Ubuntu?" which is a much different question from "Do you want allow Ubuntu users to install Wine if they want to use it?".
  • in other words... (Score:2, Informative)

    by catmistake (814204) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:14AM (#19083525) Journal

    While Linux is an alternative to Windows, it is not cheap Windows.
    Right. And Windows is the expensive alternative to a functional, stable, secure operating system.

    Pretty sure this is just Dell covering their ass, so as not to piss off Microsoft causing them to yank their licensing deals.

    I think this is sorta like saying, effectively, that the new Dells won't ship with memory maxed out.... This doesn't preclude the consumer from maxing out memory after purchase, but Dell won't put the extra memory in there.



    wget http://kent.dl.sourceforge.net/sourceforge/wine/wi ne_0.9.5-winehq-1_i386.deb [sourceforge.net]
    sudo dpkg -i wine*.deb
    sudo apt-get install libgtk1.2
    wget http://ds80-237-203-29.dedicated.hosteurope.de/wt/ winetools-0.9jo-III.tar.gz [hosteurope.de]
    tar -xf winetools*
    cd winetools*
    sudo ./install
    (crud... ignore the [ stuff in brackets ] )
  • by IamTheRealMike (537420) <mike@plan99.net> on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:16AM (#19083569) Homepage

    So the absolute worst case scenario here is that installing software in Ubuntu is as easy as installing software on Windows, but chances are it will be much much easier. Basically everything about your post was FUD, and not even intentional FUD, but ignorant FUD. From someone who claims to be a Linux developer (and a Wine developer too?), I can't fathom how you could not know this.

    This isn't a case of not knowing, it's a case of having experienced stuff you apparently haven't.

    Let me fill you in. What happens if you are not included in a distribution (or just as badly, included but packaged wrong or out of date)? As there's a lot of confusion around what this means, it means you aren't apt-gettable by end users. Not in the repositories.

    Well, firstly you have to provide your own packages. That's OK if it's only one distro, but it quickly becomes annoying if it's several. And actually it's one package for each version of each distro. A package for Feisty isn't good enough. You need the last couple of versions as well, because not everybody upgrades at the same time. To do that you need a separate install of each version, and you need to build the package on each install, using multi-boots, or VMware, or chroots, or just relying on volunteers to fill in the gaps for you. So if there are 3 distros you want to support, each with 3 versions in the wild, that's 9 packages you need (therefore 9 independent OS installs). You can try and cheat by reusing older packages on newer distros but sometimes that breaks.

    Then you have to tell your users how to install it. Look at the complexity of the page you linked to. This is a light year away from "just download and install it yourself". You have to copy and paste meaningless commands to add "keys" to your "apt list", whatever that is. You have to know which version of Ubuntu you have, although they all look pretty similar (yeah this stuff sounds real basic but people get stuck on simpler things). If you accidentally use the wrong one, you'll get a technical error message that isn't clearly related to your mistake. Or you'll get no error at all and it'll just crash or misbehave in some obscure way.

    Inevitably, some people will get this wrong, resulting in additional support load for you.

    If you don't have root (family machine?) then you're stuck, of course.

    This is the best case scenario. Wine is a big project, and Ubuntu is a big distro, so it works out OK here. Users don't have to wait long after they upgrade before they regain access to their programs. If you use Fedora the situation is worse [winehq.org]. If it's a smaller project, again, don't rely on getting a 3rd party repository (actually Wine is pretty rare in doing this).

    See, this is what I have problems with. It's the general design of the software distribution scheme that's bogus. It can never work reliably. It's like Microsoft announcing that Vista will only install software you got from Microsoft Download Center ... nobody would accept that: it doesn't scale, MS aren't trusted to be impartial, etc. It wouldn't work for Microsoft, so why would it work for anybody else

  • PC Decrapifyer (Score:3, Informative)

    by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:47AM (#19084147)
    Well, the PC Decrapifyer makes short shrift of it: http://www.yorkspace.com/2006/08/62 [yorkspace.com]
  • by kestasjk (933987) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:48AM (#19084173) Homepage
    The weird thing is WINE wasn't part of the last Ubuntu I installed anyway. Has it become part of the default install since then? If not then why is it a big deal if it won't be installed by default on Dell either?
  • by yahooadam (1068736) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:53AM (#19084247)
    sudo apt-get install wine

    seriously - whats so hard about that ?

    TBH i think this is a good idea, why should dell install a boatload of rubbish on your PC, the same goes for windows, you can install it yourself if you want, that's why its a PERSONAL computer

    also - although wine is good, it is no alternative to windows yet, its still not simple and easy to use, and its not 100% there, but if you are moving over its definitely a nice way to keep your favorite windows apps going (if they work)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:59AM (#19084381)
    I agree. What the developers have done so far is impressive, but there's still so much that doesn't work. And the stuff that does has decent equivalents in Linux already anyway.

    MS Office --> OpenOffice
    Dreamweaver--> Nvu
    Photoshop--> GIMP

    None of the good audio or video apps work yet, and there are countless smaller niche apps out there that will probably never work.

    What is cool about WINE is when a company takes it and releases a Linux version of an application using WINE as a base. Example: Picasa 2 from Google. Runs just as well in Linux as it does in Windows, and has installed easily on every distro I've tried it on (At least 4).
  • Re:Way to go, Mark (Score:4, Informative)

    by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:07AM (#19084533) Homepage

    if independent developers would test their stuff under WINE and label the retail boxes with "Runs under WINE"

    If they want to go that far, they can just compile the app with winelib and have a Linux binary. That way they don't need to worry about a new version of wine changing out from under them at all.

  • by Lunar_Lamp (976812) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:29AM (#19085007) Homepage
    I don't use WINE, but I'm 99.9% sure that none of the official Ubuntu release ship with WINE installed as part of the default install.
  • by robinjo (15698) on Friday May 11, 2007 @11:45AM (#19085341)
    Wine is one of the most important projects for Linux. The fact that a small project like Wine can run a big number of Windows software is just amazing. However, Wine has a bad reputation among Linux geeks who really don't understand how the world of the end user works.

    I have used Linux for more than 10 years. I have never used anything else as a server. I am working at a company that produces software for Windows. That's what we do because our clients have always used Windows. However, we've been also keeping our options open by trying to tie our software as little as possible to Windows. So, a Linux version is possible. It's hard work but it's possible. It could be made in a few months, when the time is ripe.

    We have 4000 clients who use Windows and only a few who ask for a Linux version. The demand is not high enough to warrant a native Linux version. Instead of porting, we concentrate on other features our clients want. There can't be more demand for a Linux version as our customers can't use Linux. They really DO need our software. There are NO alternatives whatsoever. There can't be other alternatives as it's not economically viable.

    Our situation is not unique. There are hundreds of thousands of small software companies who only have Windows versions of their products. And tens of millions of people who depend on them every day.

    What Wine brings is a possibility to even consider using Linux. We've started supporting Wine with our software. Thanks to that a few clients have started using LTSP. They are happy with the solution and that will slowly increate the usage of Linux among our customers. And when there are enough users, we'll have a possibility to start support a native Linux-version. But until then, Wine keeps our customers happy.

    Bottom line is: Native Linux-versions of software is important but they can only be done when there is enough demand for Linux software.
  • Not just for Windows (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:50PM (#19086873)
    I don't disagree with Dell/Shuttleworth's decision to not provide WINE by default.
    But WINE is not just for end users. Developer's also use it as a bridge to help port Windows applications to Linux.
    For example I have an AutoCAD replacement http://www.bricscad.com/download/B4L_certified.jsp [bricscad.com] installed in my Fedora box.
    You don't need to know how to configure WINE at all for it to work.
  • by yahooadam (1068736) on Friday May 11, 2007 @12:52PM (#19086921)
    so just use the synaptic package manager, its hardly rocket science

    the synaptic package manager is just a nice GUI to the apt-get command line - and people can pick and choose which they want

    >Figuring out how to install Wine is far easier than getting it configured properly to run your apps.
    sadly i have to agree, although cedega and crossover office do very nice jobs of the apps they support in my experience

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