Here comes the sticky bit. I don’t have windows installed on any of my machines, except in virtual encironments and as a rule I don’t boot it up if I can do the task in linux. Unfortunately, Winlink programs were coded for Windows only.
Wine seems the obvious answer, but unfortunately, the programs require .NET and probably a number of other Microsoft applications to work. After about 16 hours I finally managed to get it going. Here’s what I did. Much of the problems I faced were probably of my own making, so if you find a shorter easier method, by all means, please let me know and I’ll post a follow up with your contribution.
Wine .NET install for RMS Express and Paclink
My home PC runs Ubuntu 12.04 LTS 64 bit, laptop 13.10 64 bit and I also have an old server running my linux containers on 12.04 LTS 32 bit. Yes, containers with Centos, a couple of Ubuntus, Busybox and Gentoo all coexist in perfect harmony on an old AMD Athlon XP 2200+ with 512 MB RAM. It’s hostname is affectionately set to playground as I use it to test various configurations, scenarios and applications. As everything runs in containers they are created and destroyed as necessary without any changes ever being made to the host OS and as such it has now run for 160 days and counting without a reboot. It would’ve been longer but I had to move it to a better location. I digress, as you can see I like my little server quite a bit. My bigger and better systems just don’t have the same appeal.
To get RMS Express and Paclink to work the following steps were taken. The list below is a bit messy as I copied and pasted directly from my notes, and they weren’t really meant to be published.
You’ll notice I have a heading whenever I copied my .wine directory from one machine to the other to carry on with the installation.
Ubuntu 13.10 64 bit
Without .NET 1.1 the applications do not run at all and complain .NET 2.0 is required. However, that alone is not enough. It seems at the very least .NET 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 are required. In addition it looks like various VB calls are made so I ended up installing all C and VB dlls winetricks would allow me to. They’re probably not all necessary.
paulg@Media:~$ winetricks dotnet11
My home PC / Server is called Media, because its my media server… I could’ve been more imaginative I know, but it’s at least descriptive. It’s also my packet BBS, plex server, virtual server and plain old desktop.
ubuntu 12.04 32 bit
I could not for the life of me get .NET 2.0 to install on any 64 bit OS. It would just fail every time even with WINEARCH=win32 specified. Eventually out of desperation I decided to try on playgrouds 32 bit install inside a container spun up for this purpose.
ubuntu@ubuntu_test:~$ winetricks dotnet 20
I also installed the items below. I’m not sure what is and is not required, I just worked through the list and installed everything that looked like it might be related.
- dotnet 40
Up to this point I got RMS Link test.exe working which was very exciting to say the least. The rest followed.
Back to Ubuntu 13.10 64bit
RMS Express would still fail without any useful messages and I decided to try more .NET versions. So far 1.1, 2.0 and 4.0 were installed. I saw on Windows 3.0 and 3.5 was also installed so 3.5 was my next challenge. It would not install on the 32 bit machine so back to 64 bit.
$ winetricks dotnet35
At some point the wine installation just hung. No CPU usage and no prompts. I had to kill setup.exe) as it got stuck for some reason. What winetricks did install was .NET 2.0 SP1, .NET 3.0 finished, and 3.5 failed.
RMS Express opens, sends mail and generates noises. Looks good so far!
Paclink opens, but cannot bind to ports.
Note – looks like it binds fine if run as root.
Note2 – Paclink binds fine to not priviledged ports, i.e. 8025 and 8110.
It looks like both packages install and run fine. TNC Winmor audio sounds distorted / static.
I’m updating to a beta version of wine (apparently 1.4.1 has a problem with sound):
Add PPA ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa to the ubuntu repository
# apt-get update
# apt-get install wine1.6
It’s beautiful! Sound appears perfect, however, I have not yet got the HF sorted to test.
I believe the most important parts are the .NET installs. That is where the tricky bits come in. Dotnet20 does not want to install on my 64 bit Ubuntu 13.10 (or home PC with 12.04) but can install on 32 bit (I know, WINEARCH=win32 – doesn’t work)
Then once all the above works, update wine to 1.6 which solves audio issues.
Try to get RMS Trimode and other Sysop SW to work.They install but do not run yet. I haven’t really had a chance to experiment yet.
A side note, if you want to install any of the applications, the install file is easily installed with msiexec.
ubuntu@ubuntu_test:~$ msiexec RMS\ Express\ Setup.msi