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Risks/Disadvantages associated with Wine

According to many articles like this one, it says that windows is more vulnerable to virus.
I recently installed wine on my Ubuntu to run some windows programs by
sudo apt-get install wine
It when I looked into the directory structure I got to know that the windows program regedit.exe has been installed along with other simple windows programs.
As per my knowledge some of the windows viruses give network access to registry making windows vulnerable for attacks.
I am worried that installing wine would make the system vulnerable. Is it so? Are there any solutions to this problem?

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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, izx, James Henstridge, jokerdino, RolandiXor Aug 17 '12 at 4:57

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
@JorgeCastro I wasn't sure if anybody asked the question, but I agree that it might be a duplicate. BTW thank you for the link, it helped! –  Ajit S Aug 13 '12 at 14:13
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As an anecdote, a few years ago someone got curious and downloaded a couple of common Windows viruses, so he could (try to) run them in wine. Most of them wouldn't even start. But don't take that as secure - do as the answers say and don't use sudo/etc. (And newer versions of wine and/or the viruses are probably more capable, anyway) –  Izkata Aug 13 '12 at 16:51

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

From Wine wiki

Security

Because of Wine's ability to run Windows binary code, concerns have been raised over native Windows viruses and malware affecting Unix-like operating systems Wine can run much malware, but programs running in Wine are confined to the Current user's Privileges, restricting some undesirable consequences. This is one reason Wine should never be run as the superuser.

Which basically means , you should never run wine with su or Sudo privileges . And rest assured , you are safe from Windows Malware , since it mostly runs as Compatibility layer more or less like emulator but not entirely i guess.

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thank you very much :-) –  Ajit S Aug 13 '12 at 14:11

Yes, installing Wine itself is safe; it's installing/running Windows programs with Wine that you have to be careful of.

regedit.exe is a valid utility and it's not going to make Wine or Ubuntu vulnerable on its own.

Just like Windows, you should only download/run legitimate programs, etc., never run Wine with sudo privileges, make sure Wine doesn't have write access to any other important data like your home, Windows drives, etc.

Also try installing the ClamAV antivirus which is available in Ubuntu.

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thank you very much :-) –  Ajit S Aug 13 '12 at 14:10

Install wine is totally safe. About the possibility of being infected while running some program in Wine, it depends. But the chances are very, very small.

A lot of viruses works using some kernel or Windows API vulnerability. But Wine doesn't implement a kernel and doesn't use the Windows API, but reimplements it. The viruses that works this way can't infect a Linux computer with Wine installed.

The only concern are some Windows programs that access the Internet and can have some vulnerability. If a virus works infecting this kind of program, then perhaps it can infect them when running under Wine.

But even if you run this kind of program, the virus wouldn't be able to spread to your Linux installation. And it would run only during the infected app execution, wouldn't be able to autorun automaticly in your system and could be easily wiped out cleaning the .wine directory. This kind of infection is very unlikely.

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thank you very much :-) –  Ajit S Aug 13 '12 at 14:10

Yes wine is tottally safe to install. Even if you (somehow) managed to get a virus on a wine drive it is trivial to wipe it and start again. Furthermore few viruses work on wine.

On a related not I would recommend using PlayOnLinux if you want to use wine. It makes it so much easier to manage everything.

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thank you very much :-) –  Ajit S Aug 13 '12 at 14:11

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