[Wine] uninstalling something that didn't work

Martin Gregorie martin at gregorie.org
Wed Apr 2 12:31:29 CDT 2014

On Wed, 2014-04-02 at 12:16 -0400, Doug wrote:
> Martin, that's all very helpful for the future. For now, I didn't know 
> anything about wineprefix. Let me see if I understand:

> If I were to write a script, as you show, I assume that instead of 
> "myapp" I would put the name of the application--like, frinstance, AutoCADLT. I asume
> that would create a wineprefix just for this program.

> If I were to do that, then how would I install AutoCADLT?
> Right now, I just plug in the CD and run "setup" and Wine finds the
> files and puts them wherever it thinks they should go. So instead, I do 
> what?
You need to know the basics of Wine Prefixes. Here's a start:

Wine prefixes
If there isn't a WINEPREFIX shell variable when Wine is called, it sets
up the default prefix by creating the WINEPREFIX variable with a value
of '$HOME/.wine' and then does its thing. $HOME is a shell variable that
is created at login with the absolute name of your login directory as
its value, so '.wine' is, by default, created in your login directory.
Names starting with '.' are hidden by default. You can see them by
changing Konqueror preferences or running 'ls -a' from the command line.

A directory with the absolute name given in $WINEPREFIX is created when
wine is run if it doesn't exist.

If WINEPREFIX already exists but you've set it to use a different name,
then this is used exactly the same as I've described above.

It is a Wine convention to refer to the directory containing the
application, 'drives', etc as a Wine Prefix. It is also a convention
that this name starts with a '.' and so is a hidden directory, but it
doesn't have to do that. Similarly, a common convention is to use a name
starting with '.wine' for non-default prefixes v- the advantage if this
is that the command 'ls -a .wine*' lists all the prefixes in your login

Installing an application from a CD
There are two ways of installing an application from the CD, assuming
there isn't a default wine prefix in your login directory:

(1) do just as you did already and then rename .wine to something
    specific to the app you just loaded. Then do:

    export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.new_prefix_name

    before attempting to run the app.

(2) Start by running "export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.prefix_name" and then run
    the install. If your login name is 'myself', this should install the
    app in a directory called /home/myself/.prefix_name and attempting
    to run it. 

    This may not work if the installer is launched as a separate job,
    created when the CD is put into the drive, because the $WINEPREFIX
    is only accessable to the login session it was set up in and its
    child processes.  

Using simple shell scripts to run Wine apps
My four line script is just a way of:

    - saving you from remembering to recreate WINEPREFIX each time 
      you log in
    - Reflecting the fact that Windows Apps expect the directory
      they're installed in to be the current working directory when
      they are started (Linux programs don't make any such assumption)

Go visit the WineHQ website and read at least the introductory pages on
Wine. You're likely to progress much faster by doing that than by just
asking questions.

If, like me, you learn best from reading books, get a copy of 'Linux in
a Nutshell' if you're a Windows power user or are familiar with another
operating system. Otherwise (despite its title) 'Linux for Dummies' may
be a better bet.

Get to know the two commands 'man' and 'apropos'. Man lists manpages -
there's a manpage for almost every Linux program and library subroutine,
so 'man less' tells you about using the 'less' utility. 'apropos term'
lists all the manpages with 'term' in their title line, so 'apropos
wine' will list all the manpages about wine and its helper programs.
Most major programs have websites, which are your next port of call if
the manpage doesn't cover what you want to know.

> I guess if I want to do this, I will have to wipe whatever is now in WINE
> and start over, which is not really a big deal--I hope!

>  (This is a new setup for Windows files--I had some on my old XP laptop, which is now
> obsolete. By some good fortune the ones I had worked.)
Don't forget that you can import your old files into the prefix once its
up and running. Using ZIP is probably easiest though you can also use
ftp of burn them to a CD.


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