I tried to open some .exe files with wine, like Minecraft team extreme. It ran, but it was lagging too much! How do I run an .exe file without Windows/DOS/Wine?

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    If wine doesn't work for you, then you are out of luck. Minecraft itself will run on Linux without wine. What does "minecraft team extrem" do? – MadMike Oct 27 '13 at 19:48
  • @MadMike It's a pirated ver. of Minecraft. – Shayan May 2 '18 at 7:12

Windows and Linux are built on very different backends, and run very different types of programs.

While there are equivalencies like .so objects and .dll files, .exe files are not the same as a shell file.

You could, under very controlled conditions with a highly customized OS named Windows with a Linux theme, run a .exe file. You will not be able to run Linux executables, however, without installing a compatibility layer like WSL and/or Cygwin. Note, though, that you'll still need an X server and a whole bunch of other things to make everything work right.

There are ways to run exe files on plain Linux, though:

  1. Take a Bash shell script named test. Rename it to test.exe. You are running an EXE!!
  2. Install Wine. As you mentioned, this is pretty laggy. You might be able to get around that by not playing games. You could try to tweak it for performance by changing the Wine settings, but you can only tweak it so much.
  3. Install PlayOnLinux. It is a specially designed version of Wine that reduces lag in a few ways. First off, each program has it's own instance of Wine. This slightly speeds up the PC. Also, PlayOnLinux will automatically optimize Wine (including choosing the right version!!) to make your game as good as possible.
  4. Run a VM. You can use VirtualBox (free) to run a licensed and registered copy of Windows. This can cause all sorts of problems though, as it'll be slower than Wine.
  5. Just Dual-Boot. This will give you the most performance, but you still need a licensed copy of Windows. It also requires you to reboot into Windows.

There are no real good ways to run Windows programs in Linux, but it is possible.

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    "You will not be able to run Linux executables without a VM or Cygwin, though." Scratch that. Now you can. – Nathan Osman Jun 3 '16 at 5:39
  • --^ you should update this KazWolfe – You'reAGitForNotUsingGit Mar 30 '17 at 1:41

.exe will not work on Ubuntu if you do not have Wine installed, there is no way around this as you are trying to install a Windows program into a Linux operating system.

I refer you to this site for further information.


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Linux does not understand .exe files this is a Microsoft format so It's not possible without some additional compatibility layer.

Options for this are Wine, PlayOnLinux neither of which is perfect.

The other option is to run Windows which you can either do by dual booting or installing visualisation software such as Virtualbox or VMware but these need a Windows licence and valid install media.

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  • wine isn't the best you see, but dual boot!!! ;-( I tried 2b (dual boot) when I had on dual boot edubuntu and PLEASE don't mention it AGAIN! It were stucking so much that I wanted to KILL myself! It's because I haven't a stong processor enough to do the work (Intel atom inside) I thing play on linux is the best choice! (might...) – Alexgomac Alex Oct 28 '13 at 19:03

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