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August 1, 2020

Linuxfx 10.4 screen shot

How to Install Wine on Linuxfx 10.4

aka Windowsfx 10.4

As of August 1, 2020, the Linuxfx Software app offers to install Wine 5.0 Stable and Wine 5.5 Development. The procedure on this page installs the most recent versions of Wine Stable, Wine Development, or Wine Staging. Currently (October 2020), Wine Development and Wine Staging are version 5.19.

Linuxfx and Wine

Linuxfx is configured to be a near-clone of Windows 10, both in appearance and in functionality. In addition to appearance, a key feature of Linuxfx is that it executes supported Windows apps (that is, any Windows app that runs under Wine) by double-clicking, or by right-clicking and selecting "Open with Wine" from the pop-up menu. Except for initialization messages, Wine invisibly handles everything in the background. As Wine matures, one can imagine Linuxfx having the ability to be a serious competitor to Windows.

Linuxfx is a near-clone of Windows 10, and I noted two significant differences. First, the underlying OS is Linux, and the directory structure is according to the Linux standard, which would be disconcerting to anyone with only a Windows background. Second, when the first Windows app is installed, Wine displays a message to the effect that it is updating, and then it asks permission to download and install Mono (once) and Wine Gecko (twice). This takes time, and patience is required.

Upgrading Linuxfx's Wine

I ran tests to see if upgrading Linuxfx's pre-installed version of Wine (Wine 5.0) to the current development version of Wine (Wine 5.13) affected the ability of Linuxfx to run Windows apps. In one test, I started with a fresh install of Linuxfx, downloaded the Notepad++ .exe installer, installed Notepad++, and verified that it executed normally. Then, following the procedure on this page, I upgraded Wine from Wine 5.0 to Wine 5.13, and installed another Windows app. The new Windows app executed normally, but Notepad++ would not run. So I reinstalled Notepad++, and it was fine. Other than re-installation of the previously installed Notepad++, everything worked as it had before upgrading Wine.

Are there other ways in which upgrading Linuxfx's pre-installed Wine might cause trouble at some later date? I do not know. The procedure for upgrading Wine is standard for Ubuntu 20.04, and the tests I ran are encouraging, but there is no guarantee. If the Windows apps I wanted to use ran without error under Linuxfx's native Wine options, I would not upgrade. However, if a Windows app required a more recent version of Wine, upgrading Linuxfx's Wine seems a reasonable – and perhaps necessary – option.

What should I do?

If Linuxfx's preinstalled Wine Stable or its installable Wine Development suffice for your needs, leave well enough alone, but if you have decided that a Wine upgrade is appropriate to your circumstance, proceed to download the WineHQ repository key.

Download the WineHQ Ubuntu repository key.

Open a Terminal window, ensure you are in your home directory, and download the repository key. The key file, winehq.key, will be deposited in your home directory.

$ cd ~
$ wget -nc https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/winehq.key

If you like, close the Terminal window.

Usually, one uses $ sudo apt-key add to add the repository key and $ sudo add-apt-repository to add the repository, but those do not work in Linuxfx. Instead, Synaptic Package Manager will add the repository. Proceed as follows.

Open Synaptic Package Manager.

Install the WineHQ Ubuntu repository key

Install the WineHQ Ubuntu repository

Install Wine

Open a Terminal window (unless it is still open).

The next command will install Wine Stable. If you prefer Wine Development or Wine Staging, replace winehq-stable with either winehq-devel or with winehq-staging.

$ sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-stable

Verify the installation succeeded.

$ wine --version


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W.B. August 1, 2020

… I then followed your instructions for updating WINE, and everything went OK until it came time to reload the Repositories. At that point I got several error messages such as this from Synaptic Package Manager:

E: Malformed entry 57 in list file /etc/apt/source.list (component)
E: The list of sources could not be read
E: -cache->open() failed, please report

Now I get messages such as this whenever I try to open Synaptic Package Manager and it immediately terminates.

davidb August 1, 2020

This will result from a typo when filling in the APT line input field. Using copy/paste from the instructions into the APT line input field is safest.