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OMG! 5! – Five ways to make Wine apps feel native in Ubuntu

Wine applications, love or loathe them, are a stable part of many users desktops.

By default programmes running via Wine don’t look, behave or work like a native application. This is expected. The result, however, is a awkward co-existence that makes your workflow feel subject to some class-system hierarchy.

This needn’t be the case. There are several things you can do to limit the disjointed feeling of running Wine apps in Ubuntu, and here are five of our suggestions.

1. Theme it

First up – theme it. Nothing screams ‘I am a hold over from your old OS’ like the battleship grey of Windows 95 that apps are coated in by default.

Make them look part of your desktop by applying a theme to them. If you use the default Ubuntu theme then installing this Ambiance theme is a must.

Theming can sometimes result in performance issues with Wine applications however using the above theme I’ve noticed none so far.

2. Font Smoothing

Sadly Wine doesn’t allow you to specify a ‘default’ font for use in Wine applications so we need to make the best of what is there – lets add some sub-pixel smoothing to make things look a little more presentable: -

  • Open a Terminal
  • Paste the following two commands separately
  • This command downloads the script needed.
    • wget http://files.polosatus.ru/winefontssmoothing_en.sh
  • This command runs the script.
    • bash winefontssmoothing_en.sh
  • You’ll now see a screen with 4 options – you’ll want to choose option 3.

3. Accessible icons

Nothing enhances the disjointed desktop feeling as the long trekk to the Wine sub-menu to launch an application. Doing so shouldn’t be any different to your regular workflow. Sort it out by adding launchers for your Wine applications to the relevant menu’s and/or on to your desktop, dock or other launcher.

4. Use Vineyard for better configuration

Best way to help wine feel native is for it to go native. Vineyard does this by providing tight integration between Wine and the GNOME desktop.

A GTK ‘Wine Preferences’ application is inserted in System > Preferences. It’s infinitely easier to use than the standard Wine tool, offers up many more options and, lets face it, looks nicer to boot!

Right-clicking on a Wine application with Vineyard installed and heading to the properties menu also gives you quick access to configuration options – set the application to run under a different compatibility mode, virtual desktop & more.

5. Install Play On Linux – it’s like a Software Centre for Windows Apps

“PlayOnLinux is a piece of software which allows you to easily install and use numerous games and apps designed to run with Microsoft® Windows.” states the official blurb and it’s every bit as useful as it sounds.

Not only can you easily install application via it but uninstall them too!

Download @ http://www.playonlinux.com/en/download.html