Why virtualize when I can run Wine?

Why virtualize when I can run Wine?

I'm a laptop user. I like and need both Linux and Windows. Why would I virtualize my machine when I can run Wine on Ubuntu and open Windows apps on top of it?

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You may not need to virtualize, if the combination of Ubuntu and Wine works for you.

Not withstanding the limitations of wine, it is an excellent way of running windows applications on a Linux platform (such as Ubuntu)

The converse is also common with cygwin or other Linux Emulators running on Windwos
(the former ofcourse requires the linux tool to be recompiled for cygwin, while the latter allows you to run unmodified linux binaries).

Full system virutalization with VMware, Xen, Hyper-V or similar will give you two benefits:
1- the complete OS experiance, not just the ability to run windows apps
2- Possible performance benefit

It boils down to a personal choice. It may be that you are uninterested in the full OS experiance, and with the more recent Intel cores (such as i7), you may not even detect a performance difference.

If you add the cost factor of obtaining licenses for a windows OS or a commercial hypervisor, then "Wine running on Ubuntu" might end up being a very sensible arrangement.

I found this link very informative about wine:Debunking Wine Myths

In the server space, the case for Virtualization is an exceptionally strong one, in the personal client space, it involves a lot of tradeoffs.

With virtualization, you're running the actual and full OS. This guarantees that the experience you have is as it was intended by the software developers. With Wine, you're running Windows apps on Linux so your experience will vary. And as the Wine project says on its "About" page: "Not every program works yet..."

Wine may be an OK solution if you just want to run one or two Windows apps but if you're like me and often need to run a two or more complete OS on a single machine then running virtual machines is the only way.I develop platform agnostic applications in Java and need to test (at least) in Windows and Linux at the same time. Being able to switch between each OS and run the application is a big time saver.The technology supporting VM and the software has improved to a point were partial solutions are no longer saving you time and effort setting things up or avoiding problems. As an example (albeit a more server oriented one): With a VT-d capablechip sethardwareconflictsany longer a problem. Simultaneous network access for multiple virtual machines can be done using a single high speed NIC instead of having to install and assign multiple slower dedicated cards. Saves time and effort and maintenance.

Compared to virtualization, emulation is childs play. Of course this
isnt exactly a fair comparison because one attempts to emulate an
environment and the other virtualizes the real environment. So it would
only make sense that virtualization is superior to emulation.

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Hi Roger,

It depends on your usage.

- Are you a gamer? Its very likely that windows games wont
run with wine

- Running applications built for 64 architecture? This is less likely to run with wine, if at all

- Software Developer? I cant advice about the behavior of wine
or a VM in debug-time and runtime, especially if your code is sensitive to a
specific OS system feature; ex. A typical windows process on 32-bit environment
has 2GB virtual space, how does wine and VM handle this?

- If you are testing or researching another OS such as Meego,
then you will have to use a VM regardless your host is Linux or windows.

- Network Administrator? Well, virtualization solves number
of issues and produce lots of benefits in this regard. Actually, Intel
Virtualization technology has a great deal of support for this purpose, beside
the clouding features (but this is for server machines rather than Laptop machines).

Wine is a better choice if you want to run a certain windows
application on Linux, and you know that wine can handle it.


Tamer Assad

One possible benefit of virtualization would be if you had different usage models for Windows and Linux and wanted to isolate one from the other.Other than that, if you think of Linux as the "real" machine and only need the occasional application from the Windows side, I don't think it makes much sense to virtualize. Save the licensing fees and the disk space and just run Wine.

hi, wine is a good option for "virtualizer" windows on linux.

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