usability study: "30 days with Ubuntu" author had trouble with wine

Jerome Leclanche adys.wh at
Sat Jun 25 04:17:51 CDT 2011

(CC Scott)

About the packaging issues, I have to agree the current system seems a
bit counter-intuitive. I believe this was discussed before - something
about debian naming rules - but given the development cycle of wine,
wouldn't something like google-chrome's naming be better?
wine-stable (1.0, 1.2, 1.4...)
wine-unstable or wine-beta (minor releases)

J. Leclanche

On Sat, Jun 25, 2011 at 3:25 AM, Edward Savage <epssyis at> wrote:
> On 25/06/2011, at 11:38, Austin English <austinenglish at> wrote:
>> On Fri, Jun 24, 2011 at 18:58, Dan Kegel <dank at> wrote:
>>> First problem - ubuntu's package manager is unclear:
>>> "I opened up my handy-dandy Ubuntu Software Center and typed Wine in
>>> the search field, and...WTF? There are 14 matching items that show up.
>>> Many of them are variations on 'Microsoft Windows Compatibility
>>> Layer'. One has '(meta package)' at the end, another has '(dummy
>>> package)'. They each have a little sub-title like 'wine', or
>>> 'wine-gecko', or 'wine1.3-gecko'. Why isn't there just a single app
>>> clearly called 'Wine'?
>>> I didn't really have any clue which of these various software packages
>>> is the real Wine, but the one at the top--the 'meta package'--had the
>>> most ratings and ranked highly at 4.5 stars, so I decided to give that
>>> one a shot."
>>> Second problem - he expected to run a program called Wine, found
>>> wineconfig, did something with it, and then got back on track:
>>> "Once it completed installing, I went to the Applications lens on the
>>> Unity bar and typed in Wine. It claims I have three apps installed
>>> that fit that description: Configure Wine, Uninstall Wine Software,
>>> and Winetricks. I was hoping to actually run Wine, but given these
>>> three options it seems that Configure Wine is the logical first
>>> choice.
>>> I clicked Configure Wine and the Wine Configuration console popped up
>>> (go figure). At the bottom of the Applications tab, it specific which
>>> version of Windows to emulate...I mean be compatible with. It defaults
>>> to Windows XP, but I changed it to Windows 7...
>>> OK. Now, I am ready to run some Windows software, right?"
>>> Third problem: he expected Office 2010 to install and run
>>> Fourth problem: he couldn't even run the installer:
>>> " I opened up the folder from my Windows drive where I store
>>> downloaded software, right-clicked my Microsoft Office 2010
>>> installation executable and clicked 'Open With Wine Windows Program
>>> Loader', an error message. Something to the effect that this
>>> software is not marked as executable.
>>> Windows logoRunning Windows software in Wine proved convoluted and
>>> elusive.I checked with Google, and found a helpful walk-through from
>>> called Using Wine on Ubuntu. Apparently, the fact that
>>> the software is an EXE is not obvious enough, so I have to first
>>> right-click the file, go into the Properties, and click a checkbox
>>> designating the file as executable.
>>> Seems convoluted. The problem is, every time I click the checkbox my
>>> check disappears. It won't let me make my file executable. I tried
>>> looking for more help on Google to no avail. I tried a couple other
>>> executable installation files, but couldn't mark those as executable
>>> either. I assume it is a permissions thing--like I need to somehow
>>> access the file permissions with root privileges in order to be able
>>> to make those changes. That is just a theory, though.
>>> So, no Windows software running for me just yet."
>>> Ouch, ouch, ouch.
>> These all sound like packaging problems..
>> --
>> -Austin
> At least one is an issues that Wine could directly address.
> Wine should investigate and inform users why they can't run a program and where to look for help.
> It could detect execution permissions, filesystem type, run location outside Wine paths etc.  Then give helpful direction.
> Regards,

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