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Android Wine Software Virtualization Windows Technology

Windows Software Coming To Android Via Wine 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the run-an-android-emulater dept.
SternisheFan sends this quote from ZDNet: "Software that allows Windows apps to run on Android devices was demoed at the Fosdem 2013 open source conference this weekend. The demo by Alexandre Julliard, one of the original developers of Wine, showed Wine running on an emulated Android environment. Phoronix reports the performance of Wine on Android to be 'horrendously slow' but says these problems were attributed to it running on an emulated environment rather than a native Android OS. ... The makers claim it bypasses many performance and memory penalties of other methods for simulating computing environments, such as running virtual machines, by translating Windows API calls into POSIX calls on the fly. The Android OS predominantly runs on ARM-based devices today, and a separate demo at the Fosdem conference showed Wine running on ARM-based hardware. There was no news on when support for ARM-based devices or Android will be added to a publicly available Wine release."
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Windows Software Coming To Android Via Wine

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  • TL;DR (Score:4, Funny)

    by YodasEvilTwin (2014446) on Monday February 04, 2013 @05:42PM (#42790589) Homepage
    Some guy speculates that horrendously slow Wine on Android might allow you to use all 3 WinRT apps that don't have Android versions.
    • Wine, bringing windows viruses to Android. Cheers guys.
      • by silviuc (676999) on Monday February 04, 2013 @06:37PM (#42791347) Homepage
        1) You clearly have no idea how Wine works
        2) Please provide a list of incidents where Wine helped to proliferate Windows viruses on Linux or Unix machines
        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          • In an older test (http://archive09.linux.com/articles/42031) the most succesful virus managed to go into an endless loop, actually having negative performance influence on Linux – until Ctrl-C was hit.
    • Re:TL;DR (Score:5, Informative)

      by Curate (783077) <craigbarkhouse@hotmail.com> on Monday February 04, 2013 @06:18PM (#42791117)
      The article is about WINE. WINE doesn't allow you to run WinRT apps. It allows you to run Win32 apps (which is quite a large catalog... but then your joke wouldn't work so well). However WINE still isn't compatible with every Win32 app. WINE is stuck at around the Windows 2000 era in terms of the APIs it offers, and even then it has numerous bugs and is relatively slow compared to Win32 on actual Windows. Still, although it sounds like I'm bashing WINE, I'm not; I'm just pointing out its limitations. WINE is still extremely useful for allowing quite a lot of software to run.
      • Re:TL;DR (Score:5, Informative)

        by powerlinekid (442532) on Monday February 04, 2013 @07:08PM (#42791707)

        The last time I ran WoW on Wine (around 2009) I had a higher FPS than Windows XP on the same machine.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          That's because graphic features like anti-aliasing, ambient occlusion, anisotropic filtering, and more are often not available or ignored when running under WINE. Couple that with the fact WoW, a hugely popular game among basement-dwelling faggots, has had the shit tweaked out of it.

        • by Smauler (915644)

          WoW is almost 10 years old. It's an MMO that some people play on the PC. However, it's far, far from cutting edge or decent graphics on the PC.

      • by robsku (1381635)

        Not bashing? "stuck at around the Windows 2000 era" - hmmm, I know it's behind windows, always will be (as long as windows will come with new versions), but it's not by any way that much behind.

      • by snadrus (930168)
        Starcraft 2 (around 2010) works well, and its upcoming expansions will most-likely continue to.
      • by Jorl17 (1716772)
        You were modded informative, IMO, for part of your post. Wine is not stuck in the Windows 2000 era for sure, as I have run many applications specifically designed for XP (and some made for Vista and Seven). You are right when you say that it "is relatively slow compared to Win32 on actual Windows", but you should add that this actually isn't for the majority of cases, or at least not in my experience. Anything DirectX related is bound to be slower in Wine, yes, but I've had better performance in Wine on mul
        • by 1u3hr (530656)

          Wine is not stuck in the Windows 2000 era for sure, as I have run many applications specifically designed for XP

          My desktop PC runs Win2k. There are very few Win32 apps it can't run. However, in the last year new releases are becoming incompatible. I can't update Flash from version 11, for instance. So, if it's "stuck in the Windows 2000 era" that actually means you can run just about any XP or Vista program up to 2012.

          • by Smauler (915644)

            My desktop PC runs Vista... but I _still_ have a win2k installation that boots when I want it, off an old drive.

            It's a good OS... as long as you don't want to run any modern applications, or games.

          • However, in the last year new releases are becoming incompatible.

            Perhaps it's just developers not taking the time to test their products on an operating system with known vulnerabilities that Microsoft will never patch.

            • by 1u3hr (530656)

              Perhaps it's just developers not taking the time to test their products on an operating system with known vulnerabilities that Microsoft will never patch.

              Actually, its Microsoft's new compilers that make it impossible to generate Win2k compatible versions. They don't have a choice.

              I hear people going on about "vulnerabilities" in the OS. You're a fool if you trust the OS, new or otherwise. I use third party security, the OS is never exposed. In any case, it's worked for over 10 years and I've never had a security problem. But compatibility will force me to upgrade in a year or so I think. Then I'll have the problem of making all my old software work in the

              • by tepples (727027)

                Actually, its Microsoft's new compilers that make it impossible to generate Win2k compatible versions. They don't have a choice.

                And MinGW has stopped working?

                I use third party security, the OS is never exposed.

                What sort of "third-party security" are you talking about? And what happens when an exploit is found that owns your machine even before the packet gets to the "third-party security" product?

      • by HJED (1304957)
        If you want MS Office on your phone though this would be great (for obviouse reason MS Office is extreamly stable on Wine)
        • by donaldm (919619)

          If you want MS Office on your phone though this would be great (for obviouse reason MS Office is extreamly stable on Wine)

          I thinks this begs the question Why?

          Having what normally is a application that is more suitable to reasonably sized screen, think say 10" and above (ok I would concede 7") as well as a keyboard and mouse (or touch-pad). IMHO It would be really only bragging rights to run any Office suite (not just Microsoft Office) on a mobile phone since you would not be very productive. Of course there would be many who would point out to me that they can be very much more productive to which I would reply. "Have you or

        • by petman (619526)
          No, MS Office is not extremely stable on Wine. For example, check out the AppDB for MS Word here:
          http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?appId=10 [winehq.org]
          • by HJED (1304957)
            Yep, 2010 and 2007 are rated Silver, which is very good. But I was talking from my personal experience (I use an Ubuntu - WINE - MS Office combo as my main computer) and I have found it too be extremely stable. (especially compared to the alternatives)
      • by DarkOx (621550)

        WINE is stuck at around the Windows 2000 era

        Totally false. Sure not everything is implemented and some stuff is stubbed but outside a few little used system level APIs thinks SQL need. If it works on XP it probably runs on WINE.

        • by Curate (783077)
          If it works on XP it probably runs on WINE.

          That pretty much sums up my point. You say it "probably" runs on WINE, which means WINE hasn't even achieved 100% XP compatibility yet. But let's assume for a moment that it's basically compatible with XP. Then I should have said stuck in the XP era rather than the 2000 era, but that's not much of a difference (Windows 2000: 2000, Windows XP: 2001). It's now 2013, and there have been four major Windows versions since XP (2003, Vista, 7, 8) and counting (anoth

    • Wine is a step in the right direction maybe eventually we will be able to run virtual phone os. Maybe virtualbox or vmware will make a product for the phone.
  • Yo Dawg, I heard you like Windows, so I decided to put Windows inside yo' Android being emulated on yo' Windows.
    • Re:Yo Dawg (Score:5, Interesting)

      by 0123456 (636235) on Monday February 04, 2013 @05:59PM (#42790845)

      Back before there were native Sinclair Spectrum emulators for unix, I used to run a DOS Spectrum emulator in a PC emulator on a Sparc. Worked OK, there were enough extra CPU cycles to handle all the translation from Z80 to 8086 to Sparc and still play the games at full speed.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Crysis, all settings on full, on my Galaxy Note 2?

  • Any practical use? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by tramp (68773)
    Of course it is nice to see it is possible to run wine on Android but does it have usefull IRL applications?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Microsoft Office and Photoshop 7. *ducks*

    • by zvar (158636)

      Plenty, possibly not so much on phones (although I can still see some use there,) but on tablets a great use would be running something like Photoshop. Also the ability to run those fancy enterprisy apps that require windows. Games can work, but mostly strategy for lack of input. I would like to use my tablet and put on something like PC Stitch [pcstitch.com] and be able to use my low cost Android tablet, instead of having to buy a $1000 tablet just to run a couple of apps.

      • by HJED (1304957)
        I can't imagine any computer experience worse, then using Photoshop without a mouse, it is far to fidely. Office on the other hand...
  • by vinn (4370) on Monday February 04, 2013 @06:25PM (#42791189) Homepage Journal

    Disclaimer - I haven't been actively involved in Wine development for quite a few years, but I used to be. Someone else will probably chime in and either correct me or give more details.

    Running Wine on ARM probably won't run native Windows binaries. That means you're not going to be running MS Office on your S3 any time soon. To make it really work you'll likely have to specifically recompile the Windows app using Wine in the form of Winelib or do some kind of magic like qemu to get the big-endian / little-endian differences solved. That's on ARM though.

    With Intel pushing their Atom platform, all of this would probably work out of the box, and it would probably actually work pretty good. Running the latest version of Photoshop or playing Diablo III might be a stretch on that platform, but realistically you could probably run a version of MS Office or enjoy tons of classic games.

    Processor speed will be an issue - Wine has decent performance, but there's a lot of libraries that need to be loaded to make even a simple Windows app run. The latest quad core processors in the mobile world might be enough.

    • by toejam13 (958243)

      So instead of WINE the environment emulator, the article is talking about WINE's less talked about feature, WinAPI emulation via a shared library (not unlike nt2unix [rwth-aachen.de], windu [freecode.com] or Willows Twin [fsf.org]).

      I've actually used products like this before. It isn't much different than using libC instead of the native OS API. It makes porting from Windows to Unix so much easier. The only performance cost is the thunk to the emulated API. But if you want to port your Windows app to a big iron server (POWER or Sparc), it is th

      • by Jorl17 (1716772)
        Just a little heads up. That library is called WineLib, and applications built with it also have to be run within Wine itself, I believe. (That is, they still need a wineserver, for instance)
      • by vinn (4370)

        The other reply is correct, that you still need all of the Wine libraries after you port the app using Winelib.

        However, there's a dirty little secret about Winelib... it doesn't necessarily work. Well, it could work, it should work, but it never gets tested. Wine has a fairly extensive toolchain itself, it has bits written in assembler and it requires other libraries, such as CUPS or until last week OpenSSL. Getting all of those pieces working nicely together requires maintenance and it really doesn't ge

        • by paugq (443696)

          The only advantage to actually porting an app using Winelib is to move to another architecture

          No, that's not the only advantage.

          By using winelib, you can mix the source code of the Windows version with Linux libraries, which means you can incrementally port your application. I. e:
          1. Start with a 100% winelib port
          2. All winelib port but the database library, which you start using the Linux version
          3. All winelib port but the database library and the DRM library ...

    • I actually looked into the possibility of running Windows programs for x86 on other processors. Read posts with my name "BrentNewland" http://www.reactos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=11078&sid=9213440b9627ba56a8beb204022e2bae#p91132 [reactos.org] Same method applies to both WINE and ReactOS. In essence, you run the program on an x86 emulator (like QEMU). Supposedly little of the actual program is x86-specific, the majority is resources and Windows API calls. QEMU takes care of the platform-specific code, and
  • > The performance problems though were attributed to running the Android environment emulated rather than showing off the Wine implementation from a bare metal device.

    The Androids Emulator is a pile of shit. It is really, really slow. So slow I would describe it as unusable. Google knows this and have promised to speed it up, but in typical Google fashion they haven't done anything for many, many years. They are full of shit. Really. Android is cool platform, but Google don't understand developers th
  • Not for users (Score:5, Insightful)

    by paugq (443696) <pgquiles@@@elpauer...org> on Monday February 04, 2013 @06:34PM (#42791307) Homepage

    I'd say Wine on Android is not intended for the end user but for developers. It's not about running Windows x86 applications on Android but about porting Windows applications to Andoroid:

    1. As the developer of a Windows application in C/C++, I'll take the source code of my application
    2. I'll take the Wine SDK for Android (which does not really exist yet, but wait and see, wait and see!)
    3. I'll compile the source code of my application using the Wine SDK for Android. Briefly explained, what this does is use winelib + bionic instead of bionic only.
    4. Result is I get a native Android application with a reduced effort

    I will of course need to take care about the UI, especially if my application uses Metro-styled custom widgets: those do not fit in Android, but it's a matter of porting the UI of that speficic widget.

    So in summary Wine on Android looks more like a cross-platform library (such as Qt or Mono) that implements the Win32 API instead of some other API.

    Windows RT apps on Android? I doubt it. Both of them are supposed to be ARM but "ARM" does not really mean anything: there are far too many variations of ARM, even amongst same-generation processors.

    • by Jorl17 (1716772)
      "Wine SDK" = Winelib. Just plug in the fact that Android has no X11, fix a couple of dependencies, and there you go. BTW, you still need Wine to run Winelib applications (those are compiled with the Win32 API implementation given by wine, that is, they are native, but still require, for instance, a wineserver). It's all native, though.
  • But why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by markdavis (642305) on Monday February 04, 2013 @06:41PM (#42791397)

    WINE is so hit or miss, and I don't think there is any MS-Windows app that would actually work in WINE that I would want to run on Android, anyway.

    I would much rather have:

    * OpenOffice/LibreOffice for Android. Far better chance of that happening (and actually working).

    * A *FULL* X11 implementation for Android, bringing all (or at least many of) the Linux desktop apps over. (Again, far better chance than getting WINE working on Android with any reasonable performance or stability).

    * Android apps running native (or at least semi-native) under a Linux desktop. (Really, this should be pretty darn easy, in theory anyway)

    • I'd rather have OpenOffice at least try to be competitive with Microsoft Office on x86 before they start looking at other platforms. If I wanted Office 98, I'd use office 98. I want something that can replace Office 2010

    • Virtualization?

      Wouldn't it be less work to
            - get kvm/xen working on your phone or tablet? The ARM v7a architecture defines virtualization extensions, paving the way to run Android AND Gnu/Linux simultaneously with minimal performance overhead (relative to one's 2GB quad core smart phone)
            - run android-x86 in a window via virtualbox? Less mucking around than porting desktop Linux to Android or Dalvik to Xorg?

    • by HJED (1304957)
      Um WINE is extreamly stable for MS Office, more stable then native LibreOffice in my experience.
      • by donaldm (919619)

        Um WINE is extreamly stable for MS Office, more stable then native LibreOffice in my experience.

        I have been running OpenOffice and recently LibreOffice for almost 5 years now and never have had a stability problem. Of course my principle OS is Linux (Fedora to be precise) and I rarely have issues. The last time I ran Wine was about 2 years ago so I have not missed it especially since I can run MS Widows under virtualization and even then I rarely use it.

        • by HJED (1304957)
          Really, does your usage include docx? My principle OS is Linux (Ubuntu) and both LibreOffice and OpenOffice would consistently crash when editing that format, (as well as at least once a fortnight when not editing that format) I waited through a number of major updates over quite a large amount of time, but eventually I gave up and started using MS Office on WINE instead which I found to be more stable and had a more modern UI as well as opening docx documents correctly.
    • by hweimer (709734)

      * Android apps running native (or at least semi-native) under a Linux desktop. (Really, this should be pretty darn easy, in theory anyway)

      Apparently, the WePad was doing just that [meegoexperts.com], no idea how well it worked though.

    • by donaldm (919619)

      I would much rather have:

      * OpenOffice/LibreOffice for Android. Far better chance of that happening (and actually working).

      You have not done an app search recently have you.

      A *FULL* X11 implementation for Android, bringing all (or at least many of) the Linux desktop apps over. (Again, far better chance than getting WINE working on Android with any reasonable performance or stability).

      Why? There are around about half a million Android apps now that are much more useful than trying to implement X11.

      * Android apps running native (or at least semi-native) under a Linux desktop

      Actually many Linux apps are already available for Android. That includes LibreOffice, The GIMP, VLC, MPlayer, vi/gvim, Firefox, Google Chrome, Image and PDF viewers including games just to name a few.

    • by TeknoHog (164938)
      In other words, why don't we just have a proper GNU/Linux distro on tablets and smartphones, like Nokia used to do with their N series years ago. Jolla seems to be the only sane alternative to my trusty but aging N900.
  • ..now I'll have to worry about viruses? And popups? And even more poorly written software?

  • While I don't expect this to kill the need for Windows - what I hope to get out of it (and I've done with this with WINE on a Mac, so I hope Android gets to this level) is the ability to run those annoying "Windows Only" management apps for virtualisation servers. It's "virtually" (some pun intended) impossible to properly manage VMWare, XenServer and Hyper-V without Windows. I managed to get XenCenter for XenServer running on OS-X with the Mac port of WINE, so if I could get it on Android and manage my VM
  • With WINE moving to an ARM architecture, it seems reasonable that it could be made to work on the Raspberry Pi as well. I understand that this wouldn't be able to run any resource intense programs, but being able to run some of the less hungry windows apps on a Pi could create some interesting possibilities! I would love to see more progress made in this direction!

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