Have you ever had the desire to develop Windows software or test it on your Linux system? Maybe because it is the most popular OS or due to the fact that your schools and institutions deploy only Windows OS in computer laboratories.
Well lucky you, there are two ways to actually develop or test Windows software on Linux system with the exception of dual booting (otherwise the article would have diverted away from the topic’s intention) Windows OS along with your existing system. Read on below to learn what are the two ways, moreover, I’ll also provide some additional insights from my experience for each option.
WINE used to be an acronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator but now we’d just call it wine (pronounced like a drink).WINE’s website has a database listing all the applications that work under it. You might not find your preferred software on the list but don’t hesitate to try it out on WINE. Some 6 months back when I was learning to code data structures and object-oriented programs, I tried installing CodeBlocks 16.04 (which was not on the database list) and was amazed that my development platform works. Then I didn’t have to worry about my Linux GCC program failing to compile Windows specific library files,
However, WINE tends to be buggy because there is some stuff that needs to be done alternatively in a quite bizarre way. For instance, though CodeBlocks 16.04 was successfully set up on my Linux system, there was no way I could make the cmd program launch to see my program’s output. Instead, what I had to do was launch CodeBlocks on command prompt first and then switch back to it when I run my program to see the output. Quirky and bizarre right?
Using virtualization software is another way for either developing or testing Windows software on your Linux computer.Use virtualization as your last approach if WINE doesn’t work for you. Because the former would demand more resources on your computer than the latter.
There are certain programs that won’t even work on WINE at all. An example includes the WinBGI libraries on CodeBlocks. Moreover, virtualization is the best approach if you really want to see your program running on an actual Windows environment.
You can use either one of the above two methods for developing or testing your Windows software, and hopefully, you might prefer one over the other. WINE runs Windows software natively on Linux while virtualization pretty much simulates physical hardware and therefore guarantees you get more realistic output for your programs. Liked the article? Share it with your buddies and please don’t hesitate to share your opinions too in the comment section below.
so! Totally ignoring all ideas of cross-compiling are we?