Chapter 6. Using CrossOver Linux

Running Windows applications

Running Windows Applications via desktop integration

CrossOver integrates your Windows applications with your native desktop environment. Of course, exactly how this integration works depends on what environment you use.

In desktop environments with a hierarchical menu system, CrossOver will create shortcuts to your Windows applications in a menu called Windows Applications.

In environments like Unity or GNOME 3, CrossOver will create shortcuts which you can search for using your desktop environment's search function.

If no menu entries are created, you will still have the option of running applications from CrossOver's main menu, or from the command line. You may also be able create menu entries for these command lines yourself using the menu-editing tools provided by your system.

Running Windows Applications from CrossOver

You can launch your Windows applications in CrossOver's main menu.

To launch a Windows application installed via CrossOver, simply click on its button in the main menu.

You can customize CrossOver's main menu to control which applications appear there. To remove an entry from the main menu, simply right-click on that entry and select the option to remove it.

Removing an entry from the main menu does not delete it from your disk, nor does it impact desktop integration.

If you remove an entry from the main menu and later want to put it back, you can do so by clicking the See All Windows Applications button.

Running Windows applications with the Run Command dialog

You can also use this dialog to run a bottle's existing Windows shortcut by picking it in the Launchers tree.

If you need to run the same command regularly you can create a shortcut for it by clicking on the Create Launcher… button. You will then get to choose the name of the shortcut to add to your desktop's environment, as well as its location in the menu hierarchy.

This tool is also available from the bottle manager and from the command line:

$ ~/cxoffice/bin/cxrun

or, for multi-user installs:

$ /opt/cxoffice/bin/cxrun

This feature is especially important when there are multiple bottles present. When run from the command-line Wine generally operates on the default bottle. Cxrun provides a simple way to specify an alternative bottle.

This dialog provides several logging and debugging functions as well. These options may be useful if you talk to CodeWeavers tech support or if you are trying to make an unsupported application behave. To display these options, click on the Debug Options reveal control.

Create log file.  If this option is turned on, CrossOver will prompt you for the name and location of a log file before the command is run. This log file will contain a variety of debugging information about the run.

Turning on specific logging channels will determine what information is written to the log file. Many of these channels include a large volume of information, so generally they should be used singly or in pairs.

Running Windows applications from the command line

Using command line shortcuts

For some Windows applications CrossOver can create simple command-line shortcuts to start the application. If CrossOver is installed in your account you will find them in ~/cxoffice/bin. So for instance if you installed Microsoft Word you would be able to start it by running:

$ ~/cxoffice/bin/winword

For private bottles you will also find these shortcuts in the directories specified in the PrivateShortcutDirs configuration setting, which typically includes $HOME/bin. For published bottles check out the ManagedShortcutDirs configuration setting. It will usually include /usr/bin.

If the Windows application allows it, you will also be able to open documents using these shortcuts by specifying the document path as an argument. For instance:

$ ~/cxoffice/bin/winword letter.doc

For a complete list of the shortcuts available, type the command

$ grep -l desktopdata/cxmenu ~/cxoffice/bin/*

If you install the same application in more than one bottle, the resulting script will point to the most recent installation. So if you install Word 2003 in a bottle and then Word 2007 in another, the winword shortcut will start Word 2007.

Using "wine --cx-app"

You can also start Windows applications by using the wine script with the --cx-app option and specifying the name of the application's executable. So, for instance, Microsoft Word's executable is called winword.exe so you could start it by running:

$ /opt/cxoffice/bin/wine --cx-app winword.exe

Or, if CrossOver is installed for a single user:

$ ~/cxoffice/bin/wine --cx-app winword.exe

Similarly, to open a document in Word you would run:

$ ~/cxoffice/bin/wine --cx-app winword.exe letter.doc

For a complete list of applications that will work with the --cx-app option, try this:

$ find "~/.cxoffice" -iname "*.exe"

There will be many .exe files on your system that are either system tools or subcomponents of other applications. Running some of these programs could cause unpredictable or destructive things to happen. It's never a good idea to run a Windows applications unless you have a good understanding of where it came from and what it does.


Note that wine will search and run the command in the default bottle unless told otherwise. To run a Wine command in a different bottle, specify the bottle like this:

$ ~/cxoffice/bin/wine --bottle bottle-name --cx-app winword.exe
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