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I'm having to get a copy of Windows XP from the nether regions of the net and want to run it through a virtualbox. Would that be safer as to a WINE installation? Safer as in "not possible to get any infections?"

Any help is appreciated.

(The only reason I'm getting a copy off the net is because I can't find my old copy of the XP disc - that's why I'm going this route)

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Depending on how you got your copy of XP, you might be able to purchase an install disc for a reasonable amount of money. For example, I needed to re-install Vista on a laptop for a family friend, and I was able to get an install CD from Dell. (Likely only works for OEM from the manufacturer. Either way, you must have a valid key already) – David Oneill Feb 6 '12 at 3:56
up vote 10 down vote accepted

Just to clarify, WINE is not actually used to install Windows. You don't need a windows installation to use WINE and windows programs under WINE. It can be considered to be an independent compatibility layer for windows programs.

If for any reason WINE won't do what you need it to, and you need to install windows, then Virtualbox is absolutely the best option for you. Windows will be completely separated from Ubuntu, so even if you pick up a virus or other threat while running Windows, it won't have any impact on your Ubuntu install.

Also as an aside, technically speaking it's very very difficult for windows malware to work under WINE but under certain circumstances it might be possible.

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Thanks for the clarification mate, very informative and helpful. I appreciate you taking the time out to respond! – Alex Poulos Feb 6 '12 at 2:14
Last I heard, only one reported virus capable of WINE. It was found somewhere in the wild, and was cross platform... if you consider WINE a platform. On the bright side, its damage was local to the WINE install only. – TechZilla Feb 6 '12 at 4:25
@AlexPoulos - No problem! – zookalicious Feb 9 '12 at 19:08
@TechZilla - Yeah like I said, very very difficult ;) – zookalicious Feb 9 '12 at 19:09

I think that Windows malware will not work under Wine , it must be specially designed for Wine because Linux dont have same comands as Windows but still if there will be some Wine malware it will not mess with your system only with your files in user home folder.

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Malware just uses Windows (Win32) libraries. The whole purpose of WINE is to provide those in Linux. Yes, these are not identical, so malware is likely to crash or simply not work like any other application you're trying to run in WINE. – gertvdijk Feb 2 '13 at 14:15

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