I have created a new user on my Ubuntu Linux at which I am the root. My root account has access to Wine, I want to use Wine from my newly created account without having to install it again.

I have created this account because the program which I need Wine to run uses .NET 2.0 which works only on 32-bit systems, mine is 64-bit. From what I have read in this guide, I either have to run the command with a different prefix or delete my .wine directory, and since I don't know the meaning of prefix in that context and I don't want to delete my .wine directory because I use Wine to run other programs, I thought to create a new user and use it to run Wine on 32-bit architecture.

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    'root' has a very specific meaning in Unix-like operating systems, referring to the default user account with user ID 0. I assume that by "root account" here you actually refer to the administrator account created during Ubuntu installation, which is a regular user account with sudo rights. If not, you really shouldn't be running Wine under the actual root account. – Thomas Nyman Sep 23 '14 at 8:28
  • The user account window in Ubuntu settings show only two users, me (Administrator) and u32, for running wine with 32-bit environment. When I run Wine on my administrator account I don't give any passwords, so I guise I am not running it as root. Am I wrong? I have only mentioned the fact that I am root to illustrate the fact that I have the means to install software and manage users on that system. – Mohamed Ahmed Sep 23 '14 at 8:36
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    That's normal, Ubuntu does not show the actual root account in the graphical user management tools. In fact, by default, logins to the root account are disabled as well, but the root user still exists as evident if you do sudo su. You don't seem to be doing anything wrong, I'm justing pointing out the fact that the administrator account and root account are different things. – Thomas Nyman Sep 23 '14 at 8:41

The prefix the guide refers to is the WINEPREFIX environment variable. It is used to point wine to the configuration directory it should use. You can keep a separate 32-bit configuration for your main user by pointing WINEPREFIX to a directory other than $HOME/.wine, e.g.

export WINEPREFIX=$HOME/.wine-32/
export WINEARCH=win32

Note that this creates an entirely separate Wine environment, so any applications you want to use with the 32-bit environment need to be installed in it separately.

As long as you have the necessary permissions to access the configuration, there's no reason why you couldn't point WINEPREFIX to a configuration owned by another user. This way, you can run any applications installed in that environment.

  • Thank you for clarifying this out, I will try to work it. But I am more curious to find out how to get not-root users to use software without having to reinstall it from the net. – Mohamed Ahmed Sep 23 '14 at 8:30
  • Could you clarify if you're referring to software installed in Wine, or Wine itself in this case? If you installed Wine though Ubuntu package management (e.g. Software Center, Synaptic, aptitude etc.) it should already be available to all users. If you've installed Wine in some other way you'd need to specify how. – Thomas Nyman Sep 23 '14 at 9:11

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