Archive for the ‘Linux’ Category

Running Windows Programs On Linux

September 20, 2017

It is possible to install, launch and run a Windows-based PC program on a Linux desktop using Wine and…

PlayOnLinux banner and link

Both Wine and PlayOnLinux are available for free in your Linux distribution repositories.

If you have never used Wine before, you may need to configure Wine by going to:  Start Menu > Wine > Configure Wine and follow the on-screen prompts.  It doesn’t take long.

Next, insert the disc with the program you wish to install.  For this demonstration, I’ll be installing PopCap’s huge time-sucking vampire, Bejeweled 2.

Launch PlayOnLinux.

PlayOnLinux main screen

(Note:  The desktop theme has been changed temporarily to enhance these graphics.)

Click on “Install a program” and wait for PlayOnLinux to refresh.

PlayOnLinux selection dialog box

Click on “Install a non-listed program” or click the Refresh button if this option is not visible.

PlayOnLinux Wizard warning part 1

Click “Next.”

PlayOnLinux Wizard warning part 2

Click “Next.”

PlayOnLinux manual installation disclaimer

Click “Next.”

PlayOnLinux virtual drive selection dialog box

You should install each new program in its own virtual drive as a general rule.  Click “Next.”

PlayOnLinux virtual drive naming dialog box

You will need to give the virtual drive a name.  Usually the name of the program works best.  Click “Next.”

PlayOnLinux installation modification dialog box

You shouldn’t need to configure or modify anything.  You may need to hover over these selections before clicking “Next.”

PlayOnLinux 32 or 64 bit selection dialog box

You will need to know if the program you are installing is a 32 or 64 bit program, if you are using PlayOnLinux on a 64 bit operating system.  Bejeweled 2 is a 32 bit program.  Click “Next.”

PlayOnLinux virtual drive creation screen

PlayOnLinux will now create the virtual drive, which is nothing more than a folder in your Home directory.  When completed, click ‘Next.”

PlayOnLinux installation file location selection dialog box

You need to know the location of the installation files.  Click “Next” to launch the installer.

Bejeweled 2/Peggle Windows installer selection screen

Oh, isn’t that cool!  There are two games on this disc.  But for right now you just want Bejeweled 2.  Click “Install Now.”

PopCap installation dialog box

Here we go again!  Click “Next.”

PopCap license agreement

Click “I Agree.”

Bejeweled 2 Windows installer

Wait for the installation to finish.

PopCap opt-out dialog box

Opt out and click “Next.”

Program installation complete

Click “Done” and click the round red “Quit” on the Bejeweled 2/Peggle install selector.

(Note: Switching back to my original desktop theme for emphasis.)

PlayOnLinux launcher selection

The PlayOnLinux Wizard can create a desktop shortcut that will enable you to launch the program from a desktop icon.  The shortcut should link to an EXE file (as indicated above).  Click “Next.”

Naming dialog box for program launcher

Create a name for the new shortcut and click “Next.”

PlayOnLinux launcher completed

You can run the game from within PlayOnLinux or close the program and…

Linux desktop shortcut for Bejeweled 2

Launch the game directly from your desktop.

Bejeweled 2 running on Linux

Just like that!

Awesome.  Let’s do the same thing with Peggle by putting it in its own virtual drive.

Peggle installed by PlayOnLinux

It’s just that easy!

Peggle loading screen

Peggle welcome screen

Peggle running on Linux

The reason you want to place each program in its own virtual drive is in case you want to uninstall that program.  Launch PlayOnLinux and select the program you wish to remove.

Uninstall a program in PlayOnLinux

A new menu will appear with the option to uninstall the program.

Almost any Windows program can be installed using PlayOnLinux.  However, not every Windows program may be as fully compatible with Wine as Bejeweled 2 or Peggle.

PlayOnLinux is a free front-end program for utilizing Wine, but there is a similar commercial program by Codeweavers called CrossOver that is free to try before you buy.

Give PlayOnLinux a try.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a huge time-sucking vampire that requires my immediate attention.

Let’s play!

On Linux.



Porting Windows XP Screen Savers to Windows 7 and 10

June 22, 2017

An old friend of Computerforumz finally let go his aging Windows XP machine and purchased a refurbished computer running Windows 10 (1703) Creators Update…  Once he finished installing all the other updates.

His first question was, “Where are the screen savers?”

Okay, to get to the screen savers control panel go to:  All settings > Personalization > Lock Screen > Screen saver settings.

His second question was, “Where are my Windows XP screen savers?  I want my 3D Pipes back!”

Not a problem.

Screensaver files extracted from Windows XP

The default screen savers in Windows XP can be easily extracted by coping these files from the c:/WINDOWS/system32 folder.

There are, however, three screen saver files that you will not need.  One because it won’t run and the other two are already in newer versions of Windows.

Rejected screensavers

Note:  This same method can be employed for Windows 7 users as well.

Windows 7 personalization panel

Windows 7 main screensaver settings

Windows 7 Pipes settings

To install the extracted screen savers, simply reverse the process.  Drag and drop or copy the screen saver files to the c:/WINDOWS/system32 folder in Windows 10 (or Windows 7).


Windows 10 main screensaver settings

Windows 10 Pipes screensaver settings

The screen savers are restored just like they were in Windows XP.

Windows XP main screensaver settings

Windows XP Pipes screensaver settings

Can you take the screen savers out of Windows ME or earlier and do the same thing?

Windows Me main screensaver settings

Windows Me Pipes screensaver settings

Yes and no.  Yes, you could; no, it may not work.

The screen savers in earlier versions of Windows were coded for much slower CPUs.  Those screen savers might run but at a faster, indiscernible speed.

But if you really want the 3D Pipes screen saver, you could switch to Linux instead.

Linux XScreensavers

Just saying.

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

August 3, 2016
Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL

Windows 10 Anniversary Update Epic FAIL (Click to enlarge)

Several months ago, I cloned my Windows 7 installation to another hard drive and then upgraded that installation using the free Windows 10 upgrade offer.  That went fine.

The one-year anniversary update, however, was a monumental and epic failure.

Pressing the reset switch on my computer and rebooting three or four times after the failed upgrade finally managed to get Windows to roll back to its previous installation version.  I then went back to using the Windows 7 hard drive on that computer.

This is exactly why I use and recommend Linux.


Extract Program Files From Linux Mint 13/17 For Use In Mint 18

July 29, 2016

Linux Mint 18 isn’t perfect.

It’s not what’s in Mint 18, it’s what’s missing from the new release that makes it so frustrating.  The problem of missing dependencies and programs was first discovered in the Beta release.

The solution, however, can be a bit complex for newer users.  Extracting .deb files from either an installed copy of Linux Mint 13/17.x or from the Live DVD version takes a bit of time, but does not require any command line knowledge.

Picasa, which is no longer supported by Google, is still a fantastic program that is absent from the Linux Mint 18 repositories.  Despite that fact, Picasa will run on Linux Mint 18 if you have the .deb file.

Step 1:
Boot an Internet connected computer into Linux Mint 13 or 17.x.

Step 2:
Go to the Main Menu > Administration > Synaptic Package Manager.  If required, enter your password.

Step 3:
Click on the Search button at the top to locate Picasa.  Then click the other Search button.

Search for Picasa in Synaptic

Step 4:
Locate Picasa in the list.

Picasa listed in Synaptic

Step 5:
Right-click on the entry and select “Mark for Installation.”

Mark Picasa for installation

Step 6:
Don’t let this worry you!

116 dependencies required to install Picasa

Many Linux programs can require huge numbers of dependencies to be installed.  You only need one of these 117 files.

Click on the Mark button.

Step 7:
Click the Apply button at the top of the Synaptic screen.

Click Apply to download the file(s)

Step 8:
Place a check mark in the box next to “Download package files only” and click the Apply button.

Download package files only

Step 9:
Wait for the package files to download.

Downloading Package Files

Step 10:
Right-click again on the Picasa entry and select “Unmark” from the list.

Select Unmark to remove Picasa from the download list

Step 11:
If you receive an error message, click the Mark button and ignore it.

Warning dialog box

Step 12:
Close Synaptic.  If you get another error message, click the Quit button and ignore it as well.

Quit and discard marked changes conformation dialog box

Step 13:
Open the Home folder (usually located on the desktop) and select “File System” from the list on the left-hand side.

Select File System from within your Home folder

Step 14:
Navigate to the var > cache > apt folder.

Inside the var > cache > apt folder

Step 15:
Right-click on the archives folder and select “Open as administrator” from the list (unless you are using a Live DVD).

Right-click and select "Open as administrator"

Step 16:
Click and drag the .deb file called Picasa out of the folder and drop it on the desktop.

You can also right-click on the file and select “Copy” from the context menu and then right-click anywhere on the desktop and select “Paste” to access the file.

The Picasa deb file can be found in the archives folder.

You can now move this file to a flash drive or external hard drive or use NitroShare to transfer the file to your Linux Mint 18 computer for installation.

Close the Home folder.

Step 17:
If you are extracting files using a Live DVD, you’re done.

If you are extracting files using an installed version of Linux Mint 13/17.x, you can use Ubuntu Tweak to safely delete the 117 downloaded files still in the archives folder.

Clean cached files from your system using Ubuntu Tweak

I was able to easily install Picasa on Linux Mint 18 using this method.  All the dependencies that were required were in the Linux Mint 18 repositories.


Gnubiff is a wonder program that notifies users when new email arrives.  Unfortunately, the version currently included in the Linux Mint 18 repositories doesn’t work worth a flip!

I recommend you download and use version 2.2.15 under the heading of The Wily Werewolf.


PCLinuxOS 2016 Repository List

March 30, 2016

PCLinuxOS logo

The following is a list of current software repositories used by PCLinuxOS.

This list was extracted from PCLinuxOS KDE 2016.03 Live DVD through Synaptic > Settings > Repositories.  Not all repositories may be in use.  Some repositories may not be accessible from every country.  Each individual repository may contain different versions of the same software or contain different software packages.

It is recommended that users access only one repository at a time.

These links are provided for historical and research purposes only.