CrossOver 17 lets you run Windows on your Mac or Linux system


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/12/13/crossover-17-lets-you-run-wind.html


#2

Is this really anything more than a wrapper around Wine?


#3

Yup, this has helped me stay 100% Windows free even at work since 2008.


#4

Yes, you’re correct. In general, it’s way easier than WINE, though. I use it on my work systems as it is the best to guarantee easy installation of MS Office. For most simple apps, WINE works great, but for large complex apps, Crossover helps.


#5

The real advantage is that it takes care of all of the configurations and tweaks that you have to make in general to get some things to work in WINE. It’s got a large list of offically supported programs that are pretty much guarenteed to install and run without any playing around with all kinds of WINE settings.


#6

Like everybody else said, not really but in my (somewhat out of date–I haven’t used the product in several years) opinion it’s worth it. You don’t have to worry about the time-consuming fiddly bullshit and can just use the Windows programs you want.

The CrossOver developers also contribute heavily to Wine.


#7

I had to bootcamp my laptop within the last year. I was pleasantly surprised to find out how easy it was to do and undo.

I have tried to get WINE going on both os x and macOS a few times with not so great results. Prolly pebkac so I might try again this holiday season.


#8

Virtualbox is free, and keeps Windows nicely segregated from your host OS.


#9

But, it takes up gigabytes of disk space on your SSD because you’ve got a full blown windows install going, which can be massive overkill if you just want to run a couple simple Windows apps.

Also, with a VM your windows apps are fully sandboxed away from the rest of the system, which may not be a desired feature if, for instance, you want to be able to click urls in a windows app and have them open in your mac’s standard browser.

ETA: and dont forget, a full blown windows install means you have to secure it against malware. With a Wine app, there’s no risk of windows malware because you aren’t actually running windows.


#10

Crossover is indeed a WINE based product and makes use of an expanded Wine compatibility layer. Just as with any WINE based product, you are introducing the instability and lack of security that comes with Windows in to your Linux/Mac world so you’ll want to treat it like a Windows system and make sure your AV and malware products are up to date.
As some people have pointed out, you can run a VM and keep your Linux/Mac world safe from those WIndows security and stability concerns.


#11

It’s a trade off, of course, but it is an option to consider.

it takes up gigabytes of disk space on your SSD

If you’ve got half a terabyte or more, it’s not an issue.

Also, with a VM your windows apps are fully sandboxed away from the rest of the system

Some, as I, consider that a feature. Virtualbox does allow shared clipboard, and shared folders. It integrates rather more simply than you suggest.

and dont forget, a full blown windows install means you have to secure it against malware. With a Wine app, there’s no risk of windows malware because you aren’t actually running windows.

Emulation actually opens up an attack vector not present in a VM, plus you can roll a VM back to a previous state, before the system was infected. (Malware analysis is often done in VMs for this exact reason.)


#12

I took advantage of the 14 day trial to play around with this. My host is running Mint 18.3, and I typically use VirtualBox for the corporate Windows apps that I need (mostly Office 2016). VirtualBox is very easy to use, and as others have said above, it is a full fledged Windows install, so Windows apps work properly.

I was unable to even get the Office 2016 installer to start when running under Crossover. I tried various versions, including offline 32 bit, offline 64bit, and the CTR version. So no go there.

I was able to get the 32bit Office 2010 installed, however, but the first thing I wanted to do, get my Outlook connected to my corporate Exchange server, was a no go. The Outlook configuration wizard just hung every time.

So while I appreciate what Crossover does for the Wine project (they commit virtually all of their work back to Wine, in case you didn’t know), for me it’s just not quite stable enough. I need these stupid Windows apps to just work, and for me they work great under VirtualBox. Yes there’s tradeoffs, RAM, disk space, but those are cheap these days.


#13

Yes, that’s what I use on my Linux desktop at work. But, while Virtualbox is free, Windows is not. If your site doesn’t have a volume license, you will spend substantially more to buy Windows than to buy CrossOver.


#14

…lets you run Windows on your Mac or Linux system…

What a perverse thing to want to do.


#15

Yes, you pay for Windows either way. (My employer had volume licensing, when it was necessary to run Windows, and I am thankful for that.)


#16

Recent versions of Office and other MS software is absolutely the worst possible case for testing Wine because it is so huge, complex, and uses the latest and most cutting edge APIs. Ditto something requiring the latest .net frameworks.


#17

Yes, I agree. However, Crossover 17 explicitly markets this release as compatible with Office 2016.


#18

I can do this with Fusion no problem.


#19

Jesus fucking christ! You can’t even get this headline right. This doesn’t let you run windows on your mac or linux system.

Deceiving asshats


#20

I can definitely see some cases where this product would be an ideal solution but I’m unclear why you’d want to run a Windows version of MS Office on your Mac rather than the native MS Office for Mac made by Microsoft (a product I’m happy to support).