Running Windows Programs in Linux

Linux is a mature OS that provides programs in all common, and many uncommon, desktop software categories. Nonetheless, sometimes native Linux programs just aren’t adequate. Perhaps you need a specific program to read existing data files or to exchange data with colleagues, customers, or clients off-site. Perhaps you need a program with specific features that aren’t available in Linux; or perhaps you need to run an exotic program for which no Linux counterpart is available. Sometimes, you can work around the limitation by running Windows programs from Linux. This approach has advantages and disadvantages compared to running the programs on a computer that runs Windows, so understanding why you might want to run Windows programs in Linux is critical. You should also know a bit about some of the options for doing the job; several tools are available, each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages.

Why Run Windows Programs in Linux?

Ordinarily, the best way to run a program is to run it on the OS for which it was designed. Any other OS will, at best, be emulating the target OS or placing an additional layer of software or protocols between you and the program you want to run. Such procedures are inevitably imperfect and often slow down operation. However, these drawbacks can be overwhelmed by certain advantages of running Windows programs in Linux:

Reduced hardware costs

Running Linux and Windows programs on one computer can reduce hardware costs ...

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