Life without Windows or OS X

GNU/Linux is quite possibly the most important free software achievement since the original Space War, or, more recently, Emacs. It has developed into an operating system for business, education, and personal productivity. GNU/Linux is no longer only for UNIX wizards who sit for hours in front of a glowing console. Are you thinking about switching to Linux and want to learn how to use it? Have you been using GNU/Linux for some time and want to learn even more? This is the place for you.

Monday, December 25, 2017

Install your favorite Windows productivity applications and plugins in Linux.

Hello all and welcome to my weblog. I hope everyone is having a good holiday season. Its true I have not posted as much as I once did in the past and not sure how many readers I even have. 

Today I'm going to talk about CrossOver 17.0.0. For who those who don't know it is the latest stable release of a compatibility layer. In other words, crossover basically is software that makes it possible to run SOME Windows software on CHROME OS, Mac or GNU/Linux computers. It is kind of like a premium version of an open-source program called WINE that enables Linux users to run Windows application on Linux. While WINE is a free and open source software, CrossOver is a proprietary software and it has an annual license fee. However, CrossOver is the biggest development contributor to the WINE project.

Unlike emulation, it is a re-implementation of the Win32 API, allowing applications to run as if natively on your system. The programs will display in their own windows just as if they were native Linux applications. CrossOver 17 includes support for programs such as Microsoft Office 2016 alongside including Outlook 2016, Quicken 2017, QuickBooks 2004, STEAM and the Adobe Photoshop CS2 & and CS4 product lines.

To see how well CrossOver Linux 17 does its job, I tested it on two systems. The first was a Custom Ryzen system powered by a R3 1200 4-Core CPU. The machine had 8GB of RAM, a 500GB SSD SATA drive, and a Radeon RX 560 graphics card. It was running the POP!_OS desktop Linux distribution. I also tried CrossOver 17 on an older HP ProDesk 400 G1 system with an Intel Core i7 (4th Gen) 4770 / 3.4 GHz CPU, 8GB of RAM, an AMD Radeon HD 8350 graphics card and a 750GB SATA drive. It was running Ubuntu 16.04.3

The first thing I went for was, of course, the "Install Windows Software" button. A few moments later, a window containing a list of a number of applications popped up. simply select what you wish, click next and CrossOver will ask you to insert the CD or, if the case, select other installer files. The first program I tried to install from the "Supported" list was a game I owned called Torchlight II. there was no manual config needed. the game just Launched after the install. Everything worked as expected.

Note: Make sure to create a Runic multiplayer account via your web browser, if you intend to play online. Do not try it via the game, as it might freeze up on you.

Microsoft Office 2007 was the next item I installed. On the way, CrossOver also installed several other components that were needed, such as .NET Framework and "Core Fonts". There were also a few errors during the process, but they didn't seem to affect the installation. 10 minutes later and I could run all the Office apps, from Word to Access.

Of course, you are not limited to only the "supported" applications on the list. You can try others. You can install any Windows-only software. Whether it works or not you will be a carp shoot. 

There's also a good free program, PlaysOnLinux, which duplicates some of CrossOver's functionality but doesn't have much support. So if you're really new to the Linux world, go with CrossOver. And you can try it out for free, you'll know before you buy whether it supports a Windows application you are trying to use.

CrossOver Linux

One Version
No support or upgrades
No phone support

One Year
One year of email support & upgrades
One free phone support incident

One Lifetime
Unlimited support & upgrades
Unlimited phone support
Free Swag

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