How to Run EXE Files on Ubuntu

by James Johnson

Linux Operating System user's often rave about how quickly their computers run thanks to streamlined software that isn't as "bogged down" as Microsoft Windows. However there is one big downside to Linux operating systems; they don't come with the ability out of the box to use .EXE files. Luckily there is a piece of software known as WineHQ which can be used when installed to run .EXE Files on Linux systems, including the Ubuntu OS.

Installing WineHQ

Visit the official WineHQ website and navigate to the downloads section. In this section you will see several different versions of Linux to choose from. For our purposes click on the "Ubuntu" option; this will lead you through the steps. You can also follow Step 2.

Click on the "System" option in Ubuntu; then go to "Administration," followed by the "Software Sources" choice. In software sources click on the "Third Party Software"; then click "Add."

In the resources section below you will find the link you need to type into the Apt Line: field. There are three different codes depending on the version of Ubuntu you are running.

Next you need to download the "Scott Ritchie Key" (see resources). In Ubuntu, right-click on that link and then choose the "Authentication" tab and click the "Import Key File." Once the file downloads and is installed, click on the "Close" option and then choose the option to reload the package information when asked to do so by the program. You are now ready to use Wine and install your .EXE file.

Running .EXE Files With WineHQ

From your Ubuntu command line type "$ wine application.exe" where "application" is replaced by the name of your .EXE file. This method will only work if your file is located in a path location. WineHQ gives these examples: Path="c:\windows;c:\windows\system;e:\;e:\test;f:\."

Type "$ wine c:\\myapps\\application.exe" to run the file from outside of the path. This will launch your program for use in Ubuntu.

Provide the full path to the executable in the Windows format of operation not using the Unix command lines.

Set up the program by following the steps for the .EXE file you are accessing if asked for additional information. The .EXE file will then launch and be ready for use.


  • check WineHQ supports a wide array of .EXE files, but the program does not guarantee compatibility with all files. Test your file to see if WineHQ will work for you.

About the Author

James Johnson is a writer and a professional blogger who spends his time writing about a variety of technology, health and finance subjects. He is also the founder and operator of Indyposted, an online newspaper and blog that focuses on the same subjects he writes about. He also serves as the associate editor for The Inquisitr.