Run Windows 10 Apps on Chromebook Using Wine 5.0: Detailed Guide

In this tutorial, we will show you how to run your favorite Windows 10 apps on your Chromebook using Wine 5.0. There is no denying the fact that the Linux-based Chrome OS laptops are definitely among the most talked-about gadgets in recent years. If you have been a fan of the Google ecosystem, then this should be your preferred device. However, many users are still reluctant to make the jump from Windows to Chrome OS. And we can’t really blame them either. With a lack of support for Windows apps, the decision to make a switch causes loads of trouble for the users.

However, there is some good news in this regard. By making use of the Wine software, you could run your Windows apps in a Linux environment on a Chromebook. Well, it isn’t an emulator, rather it creates a bridge or a layer between both these OS and makes it quite easy for your Chromebook to try out your favorite Windows apps. If you are interested in knowing how this could be achieved, then here are the required instructions. Follow along.

Windows 10 Apps chromebook

Run Windows 10 Apps on Chromebook Using Wine 5.0

Before beginning with the steps, make sure that you have Linux installed on your system. If that is not the case, then head over to Settings > Linux (Beta) > Click on the Turn On button. Then follow the on-screen instructions to install Linux on your Chromebook. Once that is done, you may proceed with the below steps, which has been broken down into three separate sections.

install linux chromebook

The first one deals with the installation of Wine 5.0 This will then be followed by steps to install Windows apps on your Chromebook. The final section holds down the information related to creating a shortcut of your recently installed Windows app. Here are all the required instructions that you need to follow in this regard.

STEP 1: Install Wine 5.0

  1. To begin with, you will have to install the Wine 5.0 on your Chromebook. For that, launch the Linux Terminal and execute the below command. This will add support for 32-bit apps.
    sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
  2. Next up, you will have to download and add some additional repositories. For that execute the below commands:
    wget -nc
    sudo apt-key add winehq.key

    windows 10 install key

  3. Then you will have to install the Nano Editor and then subsequently edit the source list. For that, the below two commands will come in handy:
    sudo apt install nano
    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list

    install nano

  4. Next, paste the below two lines of commands in the Nano editor. For that, simply right-click on the editor and the commands will be pasted. or you could also make use of the Ctrl+Shift+V keyboard shortcuts.
    deb buster main
    deb ./
  5. You will now have to save the modified buffer. For that, hit the Ctrl+X shortcut key and then press Y to reply in affirmative. This will save the file and close the Editor as well.
  6. Then use the below command to add the Ubuntu keyserver:
    sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys DFA175A75104960E
  7. Finally, execute the below commands to install Wine 5.0. If it asks for the confirmation, use the Y key to reply Yes.
    sudo apt update
    sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-stable

    windows 10 apt update

  8. If you wish to check the same, then type in the below command and head over to the About section. There you should see the Wine 5.0 information page:

    windows 10 apt update

Apart from that, you could also tweak some other settings from the Audio and Graphics section as per the need. With that said, you could now proceed with the steps to install your preferred Windows 10 apps on your Chromebook.

STEP 2: Installing Windows 10 Apps on your Chromebook

  1. With the installation of Wine now done, you may now download the desired Windows 10 app. Since we would be using the name of this app in the command window, it is recommended to name it something shorter, preferably without spaces.
  2. Once that is done, move the app to the Linux Files folder under My Files. As an example, let us assume the name of the app to be Test.
    linux files windows 10
  3. Launch the Terminal window and type in the below command. Make sure to replace the app name with the one that you have downloaded:
    wine test.exe

With that, you have successfully installed the desired Windows 10 app on your Chromebook. Let’s now turn our attention towards creating a shortcut for the said app and then accessing it.

STEP 3: Creating the Shortcut for the Installed Windows 10 App

So here is the thing. As soon as you install the app via the instructions given in STEP 2, a shortcut would be created under the Linux folder. But that wouldn’t be of any help as it would be pointing to an incorrect location. So we will have to modify and correct the file path first before launching it. Here is how it could be done:

  1. Launch the File Manager app on your Chromebook. Head over to the Linux files section from the left menu bar.
  2. Within that, click on the overflow icon situated at the top-right and select the Show Hidden Files option.
  3. The .wine folder will now be visible. Launch it and go to the drive_c folder. Within that, you will have to locate where you have installed the application. It might either be under Program Files or Program Files (x86).
  4. In our case, the app will be Test. So head over to the app’s folder and find its executable file, which for us will be test.exe.
  5. Now make a note of the file location. There will be a “yourusername” tag in the location. This needs to be replaced with your Linux username.
    /home/yourusername/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Test/test.exe
  6. Along the same lines, the next part of the location, in our case is, “Program Files/Test/test.exe”. Make sure to replace it with the app that you have installed. All in all, the text in bold in the above command needs to be changed accordingly.
  7. Finally, you will have to add the wine keyboard, give a space, and then quote the entire address in double inverted commas. Once you have done all that, this is how the above command will be modified (the changes have been shown in bold)
    wine “/home/sadique987/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Test/test.exe
  8. Now launch the File Explorer and head over to the .local folder -> share -> applications -> wine -> Programs.
  9. Under the Programs folder, you would find the installed Windows application’s folder. Open that folder and you should see the file having the desktop extension
  10. Right-click on that file and from the menu that appears, select the Open with text option.
  11. You will now see the following lines of texts:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=<the app name>
    Exec= <the app's location>
    Type= Application
    StartupNotify= true
    Icon= <app's icon name>
    StartupWMCLass= <app's name exe file>
  12. What you have to do is change the Exec= with the address that you have created int he above step. In our case, this will transform to:
    [Desktop Entry]
    Name=<the app name>
    Exec= wine "/home/sadique987/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Test/test.exe"
    Type= Application
    StartupNotify= true
    Icon= <app's icon name>
    StartupWMCLass= <app's name exe file>
  13. Once you have made the changes, use the Ctrl+S shortcut keys to save the file and then hit the Close button to close the Editor.
  14. You could now launch your preferred app from the App Library section without any fuss.

With this, we conclude the guide on how to run your favorite Windows 10 apps on your Chromebook using Wine 5.0. While the steps might seem daunting at first, but the efforts are definitely rewarding. On that note, if you have any issues with respect to any of the above steps, do let us know in the comments section below. Rounding off, here are some iPhone Tips and TricksPC tips and tricks, and Android Tips and Trick that you should check out as well.

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