Hack Attack : Run Linux Apps Natively On Windows, OSX

by Karthik on March 23, 2008 · 11 comments


Linux has always been the operating system of the geeks and nerds. For some reason Linux has never been able to capture the market like Windows and OS X have managed to do. The main reason for this has been the so called unfriendliness of the Linux OS. But things are changing now with distros like Ubuntu etc..

For over 15 years now Linux users have been using Wine to run Windows Applications and Softwares natively. With Wine 1.0 scheduled for a early June release things are looking better for users looking to run Windows apps on Linux. That solves one half of the problem. But the other half hasn’t been solved until now that is..

What about people who would probably want to run Linux apps natively on Windows or Mac OSX. I know the question sounds silly but I know many people who would like to have a taste of Linux and Open Source Softwares before venturing into the geeky world of Linux.


Well the answer for the other half of the problem is LINA!. Yes LINA does the opposite of what WINE does, run Linux apps on Windows , OSX etc.. LINA which means Linux Anwhere is a open source project geared at running Linux apps on Windows and other OS’es so that users can have a glimpse of the beauty of Linux.

What is LINA?

With LINA, a single executable written and compiled for Linux can be run with native look and feel on Windows, Mac OS X, and UNIX operating systems. LINA is a thin virtual layer that enables developers to write and compile code using ordinary Linux tools, then run that code on a variety of operating systems.

With LINA we can get more and more Windows users to try out Linux apps. The most interesting thing is that all apps run through LINA are run with the native look and feel of the base OS be it Windows or OSX. This is the deal breaker actually. By running Linux with the native look and feel of Windows many organizations can install Open Source softwares to cut costs while keeping the workers comfortable in their work environment.

Once the employees get accustomed to Linux apps, the organization can then migrate to Linux to further cut costs. The added benefit is the high level of security that we have come to see with Linux in the recent times.

For users, LINA runs invisibly in the background, enabling them to install and run these Linux applications as if they were native to that users’ operating system.

Have a look at the screenshots below. The screenshots show the same Linux application running on Windows XP and Mac OSX.

linux-image windows-image apple-image

If you are looking to test Linux apps natively on Windows and MacOSX look no further than LINA. Follow the links below to download LINA for your platform.

LINA surely does look like an interesting project. But of late development seems to have stalled. I hope that development of LINA goes on in full speed.

Visit the LINA Homepage

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Nikhil Dev March 23, 2008 at 9:35 pm

I think with the beta of hardy heron coming up, people will be interested. its easy to install. see my post http://nikhildev.com/ubuntu-804-released

Its crazy. give it a try. dual boot baby


ec01 March 23, 2008 at 11:27 pm

I’d try andlinux.


Taran Rampersad March 24, 2008 at 12:29 am

Dude. Thanks for pointing this out…


S A Brown March 24, 2008 at 7:15 am

There are some open source apps that run on Windows.


simpleboy March 24, 2008 at 11:30 am

I don’t use Windows anymore so no Windows no Lina plz. http://goodbutbad.blogspot.com/2008/03/thanx-god-i-dont-use-windows-anymore.html


manny March 24, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Openlina could also unite linux distros

compile once and run anywhere (including any distro)

this is not a java clone, is more like a wine clone (program basically in what ever language you want)

looking forward to it


Avinash March 24, 2008 at 9:17 pm

hi buddy thanx for info and for the download too.


tom March 25, 2008 at 4:21 am

yeah… yet another help for Microsoft to discaurage people from using alternative operating systems….


admin March 26, 2008 at 12:37 am

It would be much more interesting for to run mac os apps on windows…does anybody if this is possible?


simpleboy March 28, 2008 at 7:18 am

How about installing M$ Office 2007 in Linux. Look at this tutorial http://goodbutbad.blogspot.com/2008/03/install-m-office-2007-in-ubuntu.html


davemc March 29, 2008 at 1:05 am

I think the idea behind LINA is to show how much better and easy to use Open Source products are than their proprietary counterparts, thus a slick form of “do it yourself” advertising. Oh, and cutting costs for business too. Some of these apps have already been ported over like Open Office and Firefox, but still many haven’t. The ideal way to go is still to just make the leap into Ubuntu/Kubuntu and stick with that, rather than quibble over a less than ideal approach such as this one, which I am sure has a multitude of bugs which will in the end, just frustrate users who will think that the emulated app is buggy rather than LINA.


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