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How To Make Windows Apps Work On Linux With CrossOver

Thanks to modern technologies like Wine, using Windows programs on Linux works pretty well. However, Wine isn’t exactly user-friendly, and often users have trouble understanding how to make Windows apps work on Linux.

One of the best ways to solve this problem is to avoid using traditional Wine in favor of CrossOver. It’s a tool that takes all the best parts of Wine and adds on a super user-friendly layer that can automatically set up dozens of Windows programs, games, and many types of apps with the click of a button.

Install CrossOver

CrossOver Office isn’t free software. As a result, installing it isn’t as easy as opening up the Ubuntu Software Center, searching for “CrossOver” and clicking the install button. Instead, if you want to use this software, you’ll need to purchase a license.

If you’d like to use CrossOver Office for free, there is a 14-day trial. To install the trial, follow the instructions below that correspond with your Linux distribution.

Ubuntu And Debian

The CrossOver software has excellent support for Ubuntu, Debian and Linux distributions that are derivatives of them.

To start the installation on your Ubuntu or Debian PC, head over to the official Linux download page. On the download page, click the “Linux Distribution” drop-down menu, and select “Ubuntu, Mint or Other Debian.”

After selecting your distro, enter your first name, email address, and click the box next to “I am not a robot” to start the DEB download process.

When the download is complete, open up a terminal window and use the CD command to move into the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

In the ~/Downloads folder, install CrossOver with the dpkg command.

sudo dpkg -i crossover_*.deb

Installing the CrossOver DEB package in the terminal can sometimes result in dependency errors. If a dependency error pops up for you, fix it with the apt install command.

sudo apt install -f

Arch Linux

Though there’s no official download page, Arch Linux users can access CrossOver Office via the AUR thanks to the Arch community. To start the AUR installation, open up a terminal, and enter the commands below.

Note: installing CrossOver in the AUR may cause problems, as it doesn’t have official support from the developers. If you run into issues getting the package working, it may be a good idea to follow the “Generic Linux” instructions instead.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/crossover.git

cd crossover

makepkg -si

Fedora And OpenSUSE

Those on Fedora, OpenSUSE, and other Redhat Linux distributions can install CrossOver Office by going to the official Linux download page, selecting “Red Hat, Fedora or other RPM-based Linux”.

Fill out the information on the page, and click the download button. When the CrossOver RPM file finishes downloading to your Linux PC, open up a terminal and use the CD command to move to the ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Install CrossOver by using either Fedora DNF or OpenSUSE Zypper.


sudo dnf install crossover-17.5.1-1.rpm


sudo zypper install crossover-17.5.1-1.rpm

Generic Linux

Need to install CrossOver Office and using a Linux distribution that isn’t using Arch, Debian or Redhat as a base? If so, you’ll need to download the generic BIN file to get CrossOver Office working. To download, visit the official download page, fill out the information it asks for and click the “download” button.

Now that the BIN file is done downloading to your Linux PC, it’s time to start working with the command-line. Open up a terminal and use it to move into your ~/Downloads folder.

cd ~/Downloads

In your ~/Downloads folder, update the CrossOver BIN file’s permissions so that it will execute as a program.

sudo chmod +x install-crossover-*.bin

Start the installation dialog with:


Running the command above will launch a CrossOver installation wizard. Follow the prompts, and read everything carefully, as this installation wizard will walk you through how to install the software on your Linux PC.

Use CrossOver

Open the application center on your Linux desktop, search for “CrossOver” and launch it. When the app opens, click the “install Windows software” button to get started.

Installing Windows software on CrossOver doesn’t mean downloading any old EXE file and loading it up. Instead, users utilize CrossOver’s fantastic database of configuration files to help load up programs.

To install a Windows program in CrossOver, type the name of the program in the search box. When you see the program you want, click on the result.

Start the installation by clicking “continue”, then “install”, CrossOver will then automatically download, configure and set up your Windows program to run on Linux.

When the process is complete, your CrossOver application is launchable via “Windows Applications” in your program menu.

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