Using Wine on Ubuntu
Note: the screenshots are for Ubuntu 10.04, but the same procedure applies for Ubuntu 10.10 and 11.04
What is Wine?
Wine is a program that offers a compatibility layer allowing Linux users to run some Windows-native applications inside of Linux. Wine is not the ideal. Ideally, you should find native Linux applications. You can use Ubuntu's software package manager to search for easily installable native Linux apps, or you can explore OSalt or Linux App Finder to find alternatives for specific Windows programs.
Not all Windows applications run in Wine. And some that do require extra configuration in order to work. You may want to consult the Wine HQ app database to see if the Windows application you're thinking of installing through Wine will work well with Wine or not. Platinum-rated applications will work with no extra configuration. The example on this page is a platinum-rated application.
The installation of Wine is the same as for most software. If you don't know how to install Linux-native software in Ubuntu, you should find out first. The package you want to install is called simply wine.
Right-click on the installer and, in the context menu that appears, select Properties.
If you try to open it directly with Wine right now, you'll get a warning about how the file is not set to be executable yet.
Then click Close
I purposely used Sumatra PDF as an example, because it is a platinum-rated Windows application, and this is just an orientation to the basics of how to use Wine. If you are planning to install a Windows program that is gold-rated, silver-rated, or bronze-rated, be prepared to do some extra configuration, and try to look for a Wine tutorial specific to that application. Or, better yet, find a native Linux alternative instead of using a Windows program.