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Win4Lin appwrapper for Windows 9x/2000/XP on the Linux OS


Win4Lin is a discontinued non-free application for Linux which allowed users to run a copy of Windows 9x, Windows 2000 or Windows XP applications on their Linux desktop. It is based on MERGE, developed circa 1985 by  Locus Computing Corporation to run DOS applications on UNIX operating systems. Locus eventually gained licensing access to the MS Windows source code. A significant benefit for MERGE is that is runs on the native UNIX filesystem, considered more stable and faster than the Microsoft FAT and VFAT filesystems. The Merge technology was owned by several companies (including IBM and SCO), but was finally discontinued in 2010, likely due to improvements in VMWare and VirtualBox as well as incompatibilities with subsequent version of MS Windows.

While MERGE/Win4lin ran the complete MS Windows 9x/2000/XP OS, many users in actuality only used it for one application, so  giving individual users access to the full Windows OS could be problematic. To this end, appwrapper.exe was developed, allowing Win4Lin to launch a single application rather than a full desktop. This is accomplished by replacing the default Windows shell, Explorer.exe with appwrapper.exe by modifying the C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM.INI file.

You can download a zip file containing appwrapper.exe and installation instructions from here. (You may need to use wget on the link.)

This has not been tested on more modern versions of MS Windows (it might work) and any feedback about that is welcomed.


Win4Lin - Wikipedia

Merge - Wikpedia


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