[Wine] wine vs virtualbox

James Mckenzie jjmckenzie51 at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 30 08:58:14 CDT 2010

peter4444 <wineforum-user at winehq.org> wrote:

Hello back.
>what is the difference between wine and a virtualisation like virtualbox? 
Wine is an attempt to build the Windows32/64 APIs to allow running of Windows programs in a sort of Native way on UNIX/Linux.

Virtualbox is a virtual machine process.  You will need to purchase/own a copy of Windows in order to run it on your system.  

>what are advantages and disadvantages compared to each other? 
Well, Wine is FREE (basically) and does not require purchase of Windows.  However, not all of the API is complete and some programs, which use software security, will never run on it.  Also, Wine is a work in progress and is subject to sudden changes as it is updated.  Some programs that run in a specific version may not in others.

Virtualbox, itself is also FREE, but requires you to purchase a license and have a copy of each operating system you want to use.  The advantage is that it appears as real Windows, so any Windows program that is properly written to work in a virtual environment will run, even those with software security.  Once Windows is installed in a virtual environment, you only have to get updates from Microsoft to be current.

BOTH present the 'danger' in that malware designed for Windows will run.  The amount of damage is mitigated in a virtual environment as no actual contact with physical media should be allowed.

What you use is up to you.  If you are willing to contribute to Microsoft's bottom line, virtual machines are the way to go.  If you are not, or are willing to work with a in-progress system, then use Wine.

Great strides have been made in the last year to get major games and office productivity software to work in Wine.

James McKenzie

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