How to Replace Default WINE Accessories in Linux

WINE, which expands to WINE is Not an Emulator, is an application layer technology that allows the execution of binary code designed to run on the Microsoft Windows platform under Linux. This permits users who still rely on some Windows applications to do work in an open-source operating system without abandoning binaries that they need. In most circumstances it’s recommended that a user avoid using WINE if they’re able to find a Linux-compatible replacement, but most users who migrated from Microsoft’s popular operating system will find this technology helpful but unfortunately buggy and providing tools that are lacking when compared with Windows’ native ones.

Fortunately it’s possible to replace a few of WINE’s tools with native ones if a user has legitimate and legal access to an install of a Microsoft operating system. They might also want to Windows open-source software. Open-source Windows accessories can be installed in much the same way. In either case and in either method, you more than likely want to back the original files up to a different directory before you make any of these changes. Please keep that in mind before proceeding, since once a file is overwritten you can’t go back and correct a mistake.

Method 1: Replacing WINE Accessories with Microsoft Software

You will need to have access to a Microsoft Windows installation or install disc that you have the legal privilege to use. Let’s presume you had wanted to replace the default WordPad replacement from WINE, which is somewhat buggy compared to the original. Copy a WRITE.EXE or WORDPAD.EXE file from the installation, preferably of the Windows 2000 or Windows XP era to a USB drive using Windows’ tools. Unmount the drive and plug it into your Linux machine. If you wanted to replace the Notepad program included with WINE, you could also copy that file over.

Once in your Linux box, start your file manager by holding down the Windows key and pushing E or by navigating through the application menu. Select the NAND drive in the left-hand column, highlight the EXE file in question then right click and select cut.

Select the Home directory from the Places menu and then find the .wine directory. Double click on it if it’s visible; if it’s not then you’ll need to hold CTRL and push H to make hidden folders visible. Once you’re inside, double click on the drive_c folder and then double click on Program Files.

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From here navigate to the Windows NT folder, go to Accessories inside of it, then once inside delete the wordpad.exe file

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Paste the new file inside, and change the name to read wordpad.exe, which is necessary because the ext4 file system is case sensitive in this manner.

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You can now right click on this and select WINE Program Loader to start a genuine Windows WordPad session. If you were planning instead on replacing notepad.exe, then it would have been instead found in ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/notepad.exe, which would need changing.

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Method 2: Replacing WINE Accessories with Open-source Windows Software

While it’s always best to replace Windows programs with native Linux ones, there are several reasons why you’d want to run an open-source Windows program with the WINE application layer. Most notably if you’re using a Windows word processing program you might not be able to copy and paste into other applications from it until you copy and paste text into a different Windows-based text editor. We’ll use Metapad as an example program; if you like it, then you can download it from http://liquidninja.com/metapad/download.html to use. You could theoretically use another Notepad replacement as well.

Once you have the zip file downloaded, navigate to your Downloads folder and extract it by right clicking and then selecting Extract Here from the context menu. Right click on metapad.exe and rename it to notepad.exe then press enter, then right click again and cut the file.

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Paste the path  ~/.wine/drive_c/windows into your file manager’s address line and then press enter. Highlight the existing notepad.exe, delete it, approve the deletion and then right click to paste the new file in.

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This can now be started by right click and selecting WINE Program Loader just like before.

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Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

How to Replace Default WINE Accessories in Linux

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