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Methods, Problems and Solutions

Wine for Crystallography - Running Crystallographic Windows programs under Linux using the Wine Emulator

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[Pre Summary - Why Bother?] | [Summary and Warnings of Wine] | [Installing Wine] | [Examples of MS Windows Crystallographic Programs running under Wine]

Pre Summary - Why Bother?

For the Linux freaks: if you hate Microsoft Windows Operating Systems - but are forced to use MS-Office software - using Wine Windows Emulator for Linux means (in theory!) you can have Office 95 or Office 97 running on Linux without having to touch the MS-Windows operating system. The following concentrates on getting MS-Windows based Crystallographic software running on Wine/Linux. Also, it may still be another few versions of Wine until Office 95 or Office 97 is fully functional running under this emulator.

Also, for software developers, making your Windows programs Wine friendly can possibly be a cheap way of getting your GUI/Graphical Windows software running under Linux without having to do a full port (a full port could be far more painful to implement). However, if robustness is your aim, it could be better going for the full port.

A third major reason to get interested in Wine is it can be used to serve Windows programs via Standard X serving to other UNIX machines, - irrespective of the UNIX flavour that is running. Potentially in a much cleaner way than many commercial Windows Servers can do(?).

(Note: Windows programs under wine may not be 100% functional but may give you the functionality you need to get the job done.)

Summary and Warnings of Wine

Wine (Website at: http://www.winehq.com/) is a Windows Emulator to run MS Windows programs under Linux.

It is under heavy development with pretty much daily versions. However, despite this, it presently seems to be at the state where it can run useful MS-Windows based Crystallographic programs unavailable for Linux (e.g., Powder Cell; LZON Powder Indexing program for DOS; parts of WinGX; ESPOIR, Fullprof/Winplotr for Windows; and LMGP Suite programs such as INDX and Chekcell). Effort has been made to create a robust future friendly tutorial for installing and configuring wine; though please note that a tutorial on installing Wine could become obsolete in a few days to weeks especially as the installer may get patched in the near future to fix errors that the following tutorial does a workaround on.

It can be a bit disorienting to first install Wine but the following seems to work. Please keep in mind that Wine is developing quite quickly so it may be much easier to install and configure in the future. Installation did not seem to be the big problem (after a week or so of going through permutations and combinations of installing).

for Redhat 6.2: It was found via various trial and error methods that the most convenient install method was to add "/usr/local/lib" into the "/etc/ld/so/conf" file; setup the windows directory systemc; "touch" relevant files; then compile and install Wine from the latest source code via the tools/wineinstall. Further configuration advice for Wine can be obtained from http://www.winehq.com/config.html which includes advice on Fonts and common problems experienced with Wine.

This was followed by manual editing of the resulting wine.conf got things going OK. It helps to have a Windows program like sol.exe (solitaire card game) to quickly test wine out after you have installed it.

Quickly Getting Crystallographic Windows Programs Running under Wine: Most of the problems found so far are mainly related to Linux being "case sensitive" on file names. Many initial problems can be fixed using the error messages as a guide to rename various files into the case that makes Linux happy. (this is normally not a problem with MS-Windows as Windows is not case sensitive with filenames)

A problem some Windows programs may encounter is strange displays due to it not being able to find the fonts it expects. Check out the information on Wine and Fonts at http://www.winehq.com/config.html and http://www.winehq.com/tools.html#Fonts

Also, if a program requires some system based DLLs to run, just put them in aliased c:\windows\system directory (in the case of the following tutorial) in /c/windows/system. Again the above help guides and assist you with this.

As list of general Windows programs that people have tried to get running under Wine and their "ratings" is viewable at http://www.winehq.com/Apps/query.cgi.

Also, you may require the Windows program files to be in lowercase, where the ZIP/installer file contains Uppercase. The chcase perl script is the best option to get files names into lowercase easily. Also, as mentioned in other parts of this webpage, installing/converting True Type Fonts may be an issue.

Installing Wine

Examples of MS Windows Crystallographic Programs running under Wine

(Note: Newer/different versions of Wine may have improved behaviour or different nuances. Just in case you do some of this and you get different strange things occur)

[Pre Summary - Why Bother?] | [Summary and Warnings of Wine] | [Installing Wine] | [Examples of MS Windows Crystallographic Programs running under Wine]

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