IE in FreeBSD?

Frank Jahnke jahnke at
Thu Sep 15 07:30:29 PDT 2005

> My opinion on WINE is that it merely harms people who are writing
> software
> for FreeBSD.  If I write a wordprocessor for Linux or FreeBSD and try
> sell it, why would a customer buy it when he can just use his
> Word under Wine?

> As a result the existence of these programs discourages interest in
> native
> FreeBSD programs, and encourages people not to wholeheartedly switch
> over to FreeBSD.  It also gives an excuse to software developers not
> bother
> writing software for open source development since "they can always
> it on wine"

> Ted

I often hear this said, but I don't think it is true.  As far as I can
tell, there is essentially no commercial software written for FreeBSD
(and very little for Linux) as it stands, and while the FOSS software
has improved a great deal, much of that targeted for the desktop is
either not good enough or simply does not exist at all.

Wine will always be a compromise: some (but with hope, an increasing
number of) important programs will work very well, some will perform
with limited functionality which may be OK for a few selected tasks, and
many or most will not work well enough if they work at all.  They will
also continue to be difficult to integrate with other desktop programs,
even more so than Linux programs which are bad enough already.  They
simply are not a replacement for native programs unless no alternative

Your early proposed solution of running a remote desktop to run the
"real" windows program also does not encourage writers to introduce a
FreeBSD program version.  Instead of saying "run it on Wine," one could
always say "run it on a remote desktop."  Old computers that may well be
good enough for such occasional use are very inexpensive.  Why then
would anyone run a native version?

I think that the best way to increase the number of native programs
written for or ported to FreeBSD is to increase its market share,
particularly on the desktop.  The rapid acceptance of desktop-oriented
versions of FreeBSD, such as PC-BSD and DesktopBSD, I find very
heartening.  But as long as the OS has such a small market share, we
will have to rely on such "non-optimal" solutions such as qemu, Wine,
CrossOver Office and the like.  Sadly, I think this will be the case for
the near-term future of a few years at least.  It will likely be longer.

In the short term, I have work to do that requires windows programs, or
at least the function of certain windows programs.  Not IE, as the
original poster of this thread, but others that are common in the
Windows world.  I'd like to use a single computer and its tools for this
purpose -- the workflow is so much more convenient.  As it stands, I
cannot turn "wholeheartedly" to FreeBSD until I can perform the sort of
tasks I need to -- I will always need a Windows box for too many things
otherwise.  And I certainly can't subject my employees to this
situation, unless they are "Unix heads" like me.

That's why I started the petition to CodeWeavers to port CrossOver
Office to BSD.  That product may not be the "perfect" solution, but it
would sure help me a lot with most of the needs I have now.

That petition is located at
and to date we have nearly 900 signatories.  If you have not signed, I
would encourage you to do so.


More information about the freebsd-questions mailing list