I Tried Using Only Windows Exclusive Softwares In Linux For A Month…
I have Learned a Lot from this experiment… You could have a smooth experience running Epic Game Store, and every other utility…
While Looking For Another Way To Torcher Myself…
This is something which I have always wondered about. Can I live just using apps like edge(windows .exe), premier pro, epic game store, etc where all of them are using the .exe files rather than Linux file formats. Yeah… I ended up wasting a lot of time and proving that my brain cells are still dying. Turns out, The results I got were interesting and with some tweaks, I can do this!
Deleting all my Linux Apps
Starting right away, I found myself deleting all my Linux apps. From the web browsers to my video editor. Everything was deleted. This, As you might guess, was the easiest part of the journey I was about to face.
Which Linux Distro Did I Use?
I was very curious about the new beta release of Fedora 36, but at the same time, many new releases were also very good. Finally, I just decided to go with Fedora 36 for the one month of using non-Linux apps.
Which Tool Did I Use To Run Windows Apps In Linux?
A lot of you reading this might guess Wine64 or PlayOnLinux for this. But I did not use any of that.
Since I have to stick with this tool for the whole month. So, I searched for a while on some similar apps, and finally wandered around Bottles. It is a gtk app that is mostly found only as a flatpak. Fortunately, it’s a GUI beginner-friendly app that helps you run apps from Windows but with bugs.
The above screenshot was taken seconds before it crashes. So, That’s when I realized that I should probably use something else.
That’s when I decided to use the following:-
- Opera GX for my Web Browser
- Epic Game Store for playing games(I usually don’t play games at all, but I decided to get this anyway and attempt playing one)
- Visual Studio 2022 for coding(it did not work, so I went with VSCode)
- VSDC Video Editor for editing videos
- Adobe XD for web design(I just could not install this)
- FL Studio
- StreamLabs OBS For recording. (worked out but with some graphical glitches)
- File Explorer(Yes… I even uninstalled the file manager of Linux)
Well… This tool 3 days of all my energy with no break(during my work of course). Almost non of the above except epic Game Store worked properly.
Installing Opera GX was a bit too difficult… It’s filled with a maze of bugs, riddles of stuff which you have to go through so that you can enjoy the more bugs when you run it.
It turns out, I had to create a new custom bottle rather than an application bottle. I then have to use sys-wine. And finally, It worked.
Epic Game Store was simply me running a pre-configured option in bottles to run the Epic game store. That’s it!!! Now I’ve got Every windows game that is available through this game store.
Well… Epic Game Store also means Unreal Engine! Yep, It was all freely available in Linux.
VSDC was the same as Opera GX. I had configured some files manually and changed the source to caffe7.4(which took a whole day to figure out). This was way difficult since I had to go to some small files hidden in the dark and enable and uncomment some files to enable graphics for VSDC.
FL Studio was also very easy and simple to install, much like the epic game store… It’s nothing different. Just click on install and it was done.
By far, FL Studio and Epic game store had the best experience. While signing in, Epic Game Store was so integrated, that I clicked on sign in and it opened opera GX to sign in through Google.
File Explorer is something I, fortunately, don’t have to install. It came preinstalled with bottles. Although it was completely ripped from its “Windows theme” and looked like XP.
Stream Labs On the Other Hand worked… Yeah… It’s the only app that is not supported and It just worked like that without my suffering.
How Bottle Works
Because Windows is proprietary, Bottles cannot install just the part it needs. It installs the complete windows operating system and kind of emulates the whole app to seem like natively running on Linux. Some apps like the epic game store also come with some integrations like signing in through the actual web browser in Linux and so on.
Using The Softwares
I had to reinstall and reconfigure some of the software like Opera GX, which did irritate me by downloading all its files locally inside the fake Windows created by bottles(even after me configuring some stuff).
Epic Game Store was the best. It did all my work(I mean pLaying games and developing in Unreal Engine). So did FL Studio work smoothly. It’s fairly simple.
On the hand, VSDC got installed and worked pretty well, although I have to convert everything from Mkv(default in obs) to mp4, and still did not work in some situations.
Using File Explorer was like using Windows XP, with no features and an Ugly looking app… Trust me… It was not pleasant.
VSCode was… OK… I guess… It did not do all of the jobs you would expect, it again… acted as if it was installed in Windows XP or something like that. It did not react with the window options well, but it did work overall for editing files.
The Smoothest Part
Once I have installed all I want, it’s pretty much butter. I know what works and what does not and how to fix it, you know… I have installed it and tried it around. So most apps either work and do the job or just do not open up… So the journey was smooth because I had installed the apps which worked and using them was just like using it.
There were some differences like Opera GX installed everything in a confusing directory. Unreal Engine took a bit too much time and I was doubting if it’s gonna work, but it ended up working. While VSDC just stuck for the first time opening. But after changing the graphics card, it worked.
Streamlabs just broke, with some green glitches, while recording the screen, it did not work on the first attempt. Then, I changes the graphics card to integrated and it seemed to work.
So I was stuck in this situation, where… some apps like opera GX do not work with integrated and work only with discrete, but on the other hand Streamlabs was the perfect vise versa
What YOU Could Do
So if you are coming from Windows, it’s certainly worth trying this out… I mean you can go ahead and try if your Windows exclusive programs would work and what does not. This could help you do all of these without even using the operating system it needs.
What Does Not Work
The following kinds of apps do not work or need high configuration/customization:-
- Apps that come with standalone files
- which require high graphics or discrete cards
- Officially supported ones like epic game store(it requires a lot of graphics, yet it works like charm because it’s highly supported by bottles)
- simple apps which don't install a lot of dependencies,(for me it was VSCode, although it did have some glitches).
If you are using windows, maybe have a look at this. Maybe you could love Linux and end up turning to Linux completely, yet use your favorite apps available only in windows. And just slowly turn completely to Linux using all the Linux apps.
I’ll be making more YouTube videos on how you could do this, create more bottles, and more on developing, designing, and editing. It lets me say directly through a video that cannot be written in an article.
I hope you enjoyed the article, I’ll meet you in the next video/article.
You’re Awesome :)