Buying a Chromebook laptop is now a new trend to cruise with Google’s Chrome OS powering the opensource laptops project. But, the only ugly side of Chromebooks is that you can’t directly run Windows apps on them, this means you have to depend on Linux repositories to get viable alternatives
Interestingly you don’t have to run Windows apps as a must since various alternatives are optimized for Chromebooks. For Instance, Apps like Firefox can be run directly since they support Chrome OS, while other developers limited their app’s usage to the Windows shell
It’s through this fashion that you need to Install WINE as the best solution to help you install almost all Windows apps/software on your Chromebook and here is how you can run the fully installed Windows apps.
What you need to know about WINE
WINE is a 3rd party Linux application that was built by the open-source community to allow users continue to have a taste of the Windows shell without dual-booting. The application runs virtual Windows drives on your Linux computer without any fatal changes on your hard drive
You can think of WINE as a convenient version of emulators like Virtual Box except that it only allows you to install the Windows apps and not the full operating system. To Install the App you need to have root (super user) permissions through the ChromeOS terminal.
How to Install WINE
- First, refresh the computer by running the update command to fetch new repositories and ensure update of existing packages
Sudo apt-get update
- Then, Open Terminal (Command-line Interface, shortcut Ctrl + Alt + T), type Sudo su (for root permissions), type your password, then type apt-get install wine to begin the installation process or simply use the keyword Sudo in front of your command
apt-get Install Wine OR sudo apt-get install Wine
- Now that Wine is Installed, you might want to add 32bit support in order to support both legacy and modern Windows apps. To do this, simply run:
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 Then sudo apt-get install wine32
DONE: You just Installed Wine on your Chromebook, next up is to install and run windows applications on your Chromebook pc
Installing and using Windows apps on your Chromebook
Now that you just Installed Wine, what you need to do is download Windows Apps for installation on your Chromebook. You could start with a download manager like IDM or Microsoft’s Paint App.
Better way, if you already have setup files .exe from a Windows computers, then all you have to do is open your .exe files with Wine to Install the software to be run on your Chromebook. Nonetheless, here is how you can open your Windows installation files with Wine.
- Right click your Windows .exe file and choose open with Wine or simply open the file to be grabbed automatically by Wine
- Once opened, Install your software the same way you would on a Windows computer
- Incase you have trouble on how to Install Windows software and Apps, then read our quick guide on Windows installation
- DONE: Your Installed Windows program will now work on your Chromebook each time you open it
By default, Wine creates shortcuts of Installed Windows applications on your Chromebook or Linux pc. But if it doesn’t then you need to locate the Wine directory from the directory below and create a manual shortcut from the program files
Method 1: home/your username(Computer Username)/.wine/drive c/program files/ SOFTWARE NAME
Method 2: Through the File Manager, click Files, Then Home, Toggle view hidden files, then choose the folder .Wine where you can locate the C drive and program files -> The dot standarding for its hidden status.
That’s all you will enjoy almost all Windows Apps on your Chromebook or Linux computer with ease. We’ve tested the methods before by using Kali Linux and all popular applications could run with the emulator. Another tool you may choose to play with apart from Wine would be ” Play with Linux)
Otherwise, we shall be publishing Linux tech guides on how you can run various applications and tweaks on your Chromebook or Linux computer in our next series of guides.