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I remember reading somewhere that since Wine's job is to pretty much emulate Windows so that you can run Windows programs, it puts a risk on your Linux machine since Windows Viruses can also run within Wine. Now I know the chances of Windows viruses running within Wine are pretty much a 0.1% of happening. However how much of a risk is this all to my computer?

marked as duplicate by Panther, Eliah Kagan, Warren Hill, Tim, Eric Carvalho Aug 15 '14 at 16:55

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  • See also wiki.winehq.org/SecuringWine – Panther Aug 14 '14 at 23:04
  • Keep in mind it doesn't give you the same attack vector that Windows systems have. Running a program without root privileges (sudo) means worst case it can ruin your home directory, but not the system itself. – ruscur Aug 14 '14 at 23:54
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This ultimately depends on your own computing habits. If you constantly download free screensavers and mouse pointers, you'll probably find a WINE-compatible virus in no time. However, if you stick to malware-free programs, you're pretty much safe. The best way to ensure that no malware is installed is by exclusively using Free Software or Open Source Software, as the temptation to add malware in such programs is much less than Proprietary Software, as there is less chance of being able to do so successfully.

Please note running a virus on WINE is much safer than running that same virus on Windows, since WINE prevents Windows programs from having Super User privileges, so critical Ubuntu files cannot be (easily) modified. If you want to remove a virus, you can erase the entire WINE prefix (which is the equivalent of wiping an entire Windows installation, except it can be removed and reinstalled from scratch much quicker), wiping the virus with it.

  • Awesome! And thanks for the help I appreciate it. – Tyler Aug 15 '14 at 3:51
  • I am not aware of any viruses that currently run on wine. – Panther Aug 15 '14 at 15:02
  • I've never had my WINE infected by viruses myself. However, I've never heard of someone attempting to test malicious programs for WINE compatibility, either. – TSJNachos117 Sep 16 '14 at 20:33

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