[Wine] If Wine isn't am emulator how does it work

Martin Gregorie martin at gregorie.org
Wed Jul 15 06:03:10 CDT 2015

On Wed, 2015-07-15 at 05:49 +1000, John Smith wrote:
> Sorry about this noob question, but this is something that has been 
> boring me. So Wine is a compatibly layer that tricks windows based 
> apps into working on Linux.
Correct. Its a bit of code that translates Windows system calls into
Linux system calls. Some, such as 'open a file for reading' will be
pretty much a 1:1 correspondence and do little more than rearrange the
parameters and maybe change the code that means 'READ' from what
Windows uses to the code used by Linux, but others, such as 'start this
program' will need to do quite a bit because the set of service calls
used by the two OSen are very different.

>  But isn't that what an emulator does?
No. An emulator is a fairly large program that reads an executes binary
machine instructions used by the hardware that's being emulated. These
will be totally different from the machine instructions used by the
hardware that the emulator is running on.

Wine isn't an emulator and doesn't need to be because both Linux and
Windows run in the same Intel hardware. 

However, suppose I want to run a program written in assembled for a
Motorola 6809 chip: to do that under Linux I'd need an emulator because
(a) 6809 machine code is utterly different from Intel machine code
(b) 16 bit data is big-endian in the 6809 and little-endian on all
Intel chips
(c) the 6809 and any Intel chip have different numbers and types if
hardware registers.

> Another question I'd like to ask is if you could offer any help in
> install Wine to an offline system. Is there a download link to the 
> main .deb or the repository or something. I use Linux Mint.
Search for "Debian offline package installation" and for "apt-offline",
but putting the box online is probably faster and more convenient.


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