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Can Linux Run Microsoft Windows Programs?

We at The GoNix Initiative have a large list of Linux Alternatives to Windows Software so you can find native Linux replacements to expensive, preparatory Windows titles; but if you insist on running Windows programs within Linux we recommend WINE

Wine is a free software application that aims to allow Unix-like computer operating systems on the x86 or x86-64 architecture to execute programs written for Microsoft Windows. Wine also provides a software library known as Winelib against which developers can compile Windows applications to help port them to Unix-like systems.

Wine implements the Windows API entirely in user-space, rather than as a kernel module at the time of writing. Services normally provided by the kernel in Windows are provided by a daemon known as wineserver. Wineserver implements basic Windows functionality, as well as providing extra functions such as X Window integration and translation of signals into native Windows exceptions.

Although Wine implements some aspects of the Windows kernel, it is not possible to use native Windows drivers with it, due to Wine's underlying architecture. This prevents certain applications from working, such as some copy-protected titles.

As of 2009, Wine runs some software packages with good stability and many others with minor issues. The developers of the Direct3D portions of Wine have continued to implement new features such as pixel shaders to increase game support. Wine can also use native DLLs directly, thus increasing functionality, but then a license for Windows is needed unless the DLLs were distributed with the application itself.
Posted on May 29th, 2014 - Updated on May 3rd, 2016
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