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Wine on Windows lets you run Windows apps… on Windows (through Windows Subsystem for Linux)

Wine is a compatibility layer that makes it possible to run some Windows applications on non-Windows operating systems including Linux and macOS.

So naturally some folks have been trying for years to see if they could run Wine on Windows for no particularly good reason.

Up until recently it hasn’t really been possible. Now it is.

To repeat — there’s no particularly good reason to do this. But that didn’t stop David Gerard from figuring out the steps and posting them online.

So here’s the deal: Windows 10 includes an optional Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL). It’s aimed at developers who want to use native GNU/Linux command-line tools without switching computers or booting into a different OS.

But folks have been finding ways to push the limits of WSL for just about as long as it’s been around.

Getting Wine up basically involves enabling the Windows Subsystem for Linux, installing Ubuntu from the Microsoft Store, setting the display environment variable by hand, and then installing VcXsrv in order to get an X.org display server (so you can run Linux programs with a graphical user interface).

You can find step-by-step instructions at Gerard’s blog.

So now you can run some (but not all) Windows apps in Windows… by routing them through a Linux-based Windows compatibility layer.

Or, you know… you could just run them using Windows.

Theoretically this could open the door to running outdated 16-bit Windows apps that may no longer be supported by modern versions of the operating system. But at this point WSL only support 64-bit binaries (although the upcoming WSL 2 will support 32-bit).

Update: Gerard has figured out how to run 32-bit binaries using qemu to emulate 32-bit architecture. You can find instructions at the bottom of his blog post.

via Hacker News


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