A little too much Wine?

There seems to be a problem when running Windows programs using Wine under Linux Mint 16 (Petra). I like to use HomeSite (now sadly discontinued) as my HTML editor, having used this program for a number of years. It installs and runs fine under Mint 13 (Maya), and it seems to install just fine under Mint 16, but running the program in the more recent distro is a different story.

Essentially, using the MintMenu program launcher (Menu – Other – Homesite 4.0) returns a “File not found” error. The message is not really that informative. The launcher command (produced automatically during the program installation process) is fairly complex as can be seen below:

env WINEPREFIX=”/home/toaster/.wine” wine C:\\windows\\command\\start.exe /Unix /home/toaster/.wine/dosdevices/c:/users/toaster/Start\ Menu/Programs/HomeSite\ 4.0/HomeSite\ 4.0.lnk

There are several files (and folders) being referenced and it is by no means clear which file is not being found.

However, the really weird thing is that if one copies this command from the program launcher into Terminal, HomeSite loads and runs just fine. But, try to run the launcher itself and “File not found”! (The other odd thing is that exactly the same command is used in the program launcher in Mint 13’s menu and there it runs correctly!)

Now, this isn’t a problem that is specific to HomeSite. There are many reports on the web of various Windows’ programs exhibiting the same behaviour under Wine/Mint. It would appear that there is a bug somewhere, but it is also evident that there are workarounds.

Since the command string worked in Terminal, one thing I tried was to create a program launcher on the desktop (Right-click – Create Launcher). This had the desired effect – HomeSite loaded, ran perfectly, and closed down gracefully – so this is clearly a viable option.

The question that remains is if there is an alternative command that can be used in the program launcher in the menu that will produce the same result.

One thing to consider is that running a program in Wine can normally be undertaken with a much simpler command format. For example, Wine’s Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page suggests running programs using a command in the form: wine start ‘C:\Games\Tron\tron.exe’

Our command is following this basic strategy, albeit with a lot of extra stuff pointing at various folders, calling up start.exe explicitly, and using a Unix-style pathname. However, in essence, we have:

wine /home/toaster/.wine/dosdevices/c:/users/toaster/Start\ Menu/Programs/HomeSite\ 4.0/HomeSite\ 4.0.lnk

or

wine {path} HomeSite 4.0.lnk

The command is trying to run HomeSite from a link buried deep in the home folder for the user toaster. (A friend says that computers should work just like telephones, refrigerators – and toasters! – clearly he was thinking about Wine and Mint 16.)

If we look at the home folder and, in particular, at the hidden folder .wine, we find that we can locate the executable file for HomeSite as: C:/Program Files/Allaire/HomeSite4/homesite4.exe. This means that we can simplify the command used in the program launcher to:

wine start “C:/Program Files/Allaire/HomeSite4/homesite4.exe”

Note the use of the quotes around the file descriptor. These are necessary because of the space in the “Program Files” folder.

The really good news is that, not only does the above, fairly simple command run HomeSite from the desktop program launcher, the same command works correctly when used in MintMenu’s program launcher. So, it would appear that simpler is better!

References:

Wine. File not found.
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=62120

Trouble with shortcuts in Wine
http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=47&t=128507

Error “File not found” in Linux Mint when using Ms. Office on Wine
http://blog.kusandriadi.com/error-file-not-found-in-linux-mint-when-using-ms-office-on-wine/

WineHQ FAQ
http://wiki.winehq.org/FAQ

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