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Linux software for using windows software

  Date: Dec 26    Category: Unix / Linux / Ubuntu    Views: 551
  

I am using windows xp-pro and
all my software is windows compatible. I have been thinking about
using one of my extra hard drives to install Ubuntu linux and I like
the reviews about Version 8.04. Which software out there for linux
allows me to use my windows programs in linux? I would prefer someone
that has hands on usage with that program but any suggestions will do.

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12 Answers Found

 
Answer #1    Answered On: Dec 26    

I mean AT wikipedia.................

 
Answer #2    Answered On: Dec 26    

I have used wine and it seems to be hit and miss all the time. If you want to be
able to use something on WINE then it needs to be fairly standard software.
Anything a bit out of the ordinary seems to have severe problems. For example, I
got an ebook that was an exe and it couldnt open on wine. I found answers in the
wine community but it ended up as - get all these files put them in this
folder and then 'maybe' it will work.

 
Answer #3    Answered On: Dec 26    

Try Wine, see about it wikipedia......

 
Answer #4    Answered On: Dec 26    

I commend you for your openness to try Linux. However, I must point out that
Linux is a different environment. There is no way to be 100% Windows compatible
because Linux is meant to be an alternative to Windows. There are many open
source programs that are as good or in many cases better than commercial Windows
programs. The best approach therefore is to move 100% to Linux and leave Windows
and its programs behind.

This is possible, but in many cases people desire to have a foot in both worlds
for various reasons. The good news is that it is possible to reach a degree of
Windows compatibility in Linux. The bad news is that it is not 100% and it may
take more effort on your part than it would take to just learn to use open
source Linux programs.

There are a couple options. One is to install a program in Linux called Wine. It
allows you to run many Windows programs inside Linux, but it can get ugly at
times and it often leaves people unsatisfied, however it does work with many
programs such as Internet Explorer, MS Office and Photoshop. Other programs
including many games do not behave at all under Wine.

The second option is to use a virtual machine. You need a fairly recent computer
with lots of RAM and a good video card to make this a viable choice. In this
case you set up a virtual machine using a program such as VMWare Server or
VirtualBox to set up a virtual drive and you install Windows to that drive. This
is technically illegal since Microsoft does not want Windows installed on VMs.
You need a valid copy of Windows to install on the VM and it behaves and acts
just like Windows. You can install any program inside Windows and it behaves
just as it would normally.

This gives you 100% compatibility, sort of. Games and other programs that
require lots of resources may not work at all because they cannot use all of the
processor or memory. Sound can become choppy or video not work.
You can allot the amount of RAM and video RAM to the VM that you want, but you
need to remember that you have a computer working inside a computer. The host
will consume resources so you are limited to what you can do.

To decide what option works best for you depends on what equipment you have and
what compromises you are willing to make. As I said at the start the best option
may be you just do without Windows at all. Many Linux users come from Windows
backgrounds and we seldom see the need to boot into Windows at all. Which brings
me to the third option which is to dual boot, that is to share your drive with
Windows and Linux and re-booting as necessary into the OS that you need. This
too can be accomplished in more than one way. Linux is (if nothing else)
flexible.

 
Answer #5    Answered On: Dec 26    

Another option that I find satisfying is to use "rack mounts." These
are portable hard-drive holders that can be plugged in and out of the
front of your computer. You can use separate drives for Windows and
Linux thus giving you two computers (or as many as you would want).

 
Answer #6    Answered On: Dec 26    

I have been lurking here for some time in the early stages of planning
a move in the direction of Linux. Many of your posts have been
interesting and helpful to me.

When running Windows in a virtual box, how is the interface to
hardware devices handled? In other words, is everything done with
Windows drivers, or does the problem still remain with needing Linux
drivers?

I have been changing over slowly to programs that exist in both
Windows and Linux, e.g. Firefox, Thunderbird/Lightning, open office,
etc., but Quicken and shortwave/ham radio software will be something I
will probably need Windows for. The radio stuff in particular is why
I ask about drivers.

 
Answer #7    Answered On: Dec 26    

I can't answer the question of the drivers in virtual box, but there is
an awful lot of Ham Radio software in Linux.

 
Answer #8    Answered On: Dec 26    

Understood, but I am interested in software defined radio, and some of
these devices are quite restricted to the software provided. There
are Linux based programs in that arena as well, but may require
significant compromise on features and/or user interface. Not
insurmountable, but problematic...

 
Answer #9    Answered On: Dec 26    

That is an excellent question.On my new laptop, I am forced to
dual boot because I cannot get Hardy to work with my Broadcom wireless
chips. If I can get a small copy of XP or Vista running on a virtual
machine, I may be able to regain some level of wireless access from
within Ubuntu.

 
Answer #10    Answered On: Dec 26    

I use VirtualBox and VMServer, but prefer VirtualBox because it can
be run in seamless mode. This means that I have an Ubuntu bar at the
top (where Gnome, the desktop that Ubuntu uses puts it by default) and
a Windows bar at the bottom where XP puts it by default. The desktop is used by
both Ubuntu and Windows and you can share files, devices and cut and paste
between the two.
In Ubuntu, the hard drives are all visible and can be used. In
Windows, you only see the Windows virtual drive, but there is a common
folder that is shared between the two OSes and you can copy files to that folder
from either Linux or Windows.
My CD and DVD ROMs are usable from either, as are usb devices.
Sometimes you will have to unmount and remount them manually, but this
is easy to do, because they will appear to be in use and otherwise not
available.
My VirtualBox virtual machine is configured to have 512 MBs of RAM
reserved for Windows (out of my 3 GBs altogether) and I have reserved
64 MBs of my 512 MBs of video memory for windows, so my VM behaves just
as a Windows computer with 512 MBs of RAM and 64 MBs of video. My VM
has a C:\ drive which is 15 GBs so I can install lots of programs. I
have just about anything that I want in there.
You can copy the VM from one computer to another and even from VMWare to
VirtualBox.
Virtual machines are used by many network administrators to simplify
their job. They can even be viewed as disposable since you can save and
copy them. This way if your Windows drive gets a virus, you can just
delete it and use a fresh copy. They are quite useful.
As for drivers, you can use Windows drivers in Windows and Linux drivers in
Linux. However, due to the nature of VMs not everything may work. I have a iPod
wannabe (Philips) that is not recognized by Ubuntu, so it is not available to me
in Windows XP in my VM. However, as long as the host machine (Ubuntu) sees it
then it can be used in Windows and you can use use the Windows driver to
configure it.

 
Answer #11    Answered On: Dec 26    


What determines whether Ubuntu will recognize or see it? If I have a
special USB device that would work fine in XP, is there any way to
predict whether it would be seen enough by Ubuntu to allow it to use
its' Windows driver in an XP virtual box?

 
Answer #12    Answered On: Dec 26    

Most usb devices will be recognized. The reason why mine is not recognized is
that it was made to work with Media Player and is Windows specific. The Linux
kernel does not work with it so the host machine does not enable it. Windows can
enable it, but it appears not to be there because it does not exist on the host.

I also have a couple of usb webcams and a scanner that won't work in Linux. The
webcams are no names and old. The scanner is an advanced HP scanner, but it is
not in the list of the scanners supported by Linux and it has never worked in
any distro that I have used. I have a cheap Canon scanner that works, though. I
have never had a printer or usb storage device not work.

Device recognition is handled by the kernel. The next kernel is supposed to
include more devices than ever and open source developers are working hard to
write drivers by reverse engineering with little or no help from OEMs. I don't
want it to appear that I am complaining. I just accept that it is part of the
reality of working in open source until such time as OEMs get onside. That is
beginning to change with more OEMs releasing drivers for Linux. Some
manufacturers are better than others.


 
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