wine autorun utility

Vincent Povirk madewokherd+d41d at
Thu Jun 29 23:59:23 CDT 2006

On 6/29/06, Chris <chris.kcat at> wrote:
> If you notice, Sony got into a lot of trouble over that. And the problem
> wasn't autorun. The problem was that the disc installed the rootkit
> anyway /even if the user said no/. The same exact thing would've happened if
> the user had to browse the CD and double-click setup.exe, or whatever the
> file was called. Should Wine disable running .exe files because they may
> install rootkits on users' machines? Of course not, because that would be
> couter-productive to what Wine is trying to achieve. It's the same thing with
> autorun. It may or may not cause problems, but it's the user's responsibility
> to take proper care of their machine. It's just as true in Windows as it is
> in Linux, or any other OS.

[skip to the last paragraph to get to the point; I thought this other
stuff was necessary and now I don't, but I also don't feel like
deleting it having already written it]

I'm not sure we should install programs in that way on Linux.

I think one of the most noticeable differences between Linux and
Windows for most people is how you install software.

In Windows, you get an exe file from somewhere (hopefully from someone
you can trust), and you run it. You then follow the instructions,
possibly reboot the computer, and then when you're done you expect the
program to be installed and working. If it doesn't work, you complain
to the authors of the software.

In Linux, most of the software you need will be provided by your
distribution. If you're on, say, gentoo, you type "emerge software",
and when it's done you expect the program will be installed and
working (in this case, you don't have to do anything; you just wait).
If it doesn't work, you don't complain to the authors, you complain to
gentoo. If it turns out to be an upstream bug, it gets passed along to
the authors. If it turns out to be a bug in gentoo, then hopefully
they fix it.

Of course, Linux users can also do something similar to what the
Windows users do and handle the whole process themselves. Then they'll
report problems directly to the authors.

Now, here's the part where I reward you for reading this far and tell
you what this has to do with Wine. Wine users get software from the
authors, try to install it themselves, and expect it to work. Then
when it doesn't work they complain to Wine. That's backwards. Unless
they checked the appdb first, probably no one from Wine claimed it
would work to begin with. Yes, most people aren't like that, and yes,
people should report bugs. But they shouldn't act like someone said it
would probably work if no one has.

I think this is a good reason to have something like Wine Doors. For
applications that are known to work, possibly with some override or
hack, someone could write an installer and vouch for the workingness
of at least some apps. People who don't know how to do things like
overrides can use the installer. If something doesn't work (and you
should expect it to work if there's an installer that's supposed to
work on that wine version) then those users have somewhere to complain
to. Conversely, applications without installers would be hit-and-miss.
You'll have to do a bit more work for those, and you may be paving the
way for others by submitting testing data, writing howtos, bug
reports, an installer, maybe even fixing something in wine. So it's
clear that they might not work.

Now, when you make someone's environment say "This CD has a program on
it, shall I run it?", you're making the claim that this will probably
work. That's just not true. It probably will not work as well as it's
supposed to. I'd much rather have people go to a package manager, the
applications database, the documentation, ANYWHERE where they will not
be promised something that isn't true, even if it makes Wine seem
harder to use.

Vincent Povirk

More information about the wine-devel mailing list