My Windows readers will be perplexed by this post, so as a brief preface, let me just say feel more than free to skip this one (and any other “Linux how to” posts that might pop-up in the future). I spend most of my computer time in Linux, but there are a couple of Windows applications that I use regularly. Bibleworks is one of them. This post explains how I got Bibleworks to run in Linux (Ubuntu 8.04 and Ubuntu 8.10) using Wine. This guide is confirmed to work with Bibleworks 7 and Bibleworks 8 using any Wine version 1.0 and up (Bibleworks 6 has worked fine for years).
Here are the steps I used to run Bibleworks in Ubuntu 8.04 and 8.10 (though the instructions should also work in any Linux distro, like Fedora or OpenSUSE, that includes Wine 1.0 and later).
Step 1: Install Wine
You will need to most recent version (1.0 or higher). Use your distribution’s package-manager or follow the instructions for your distribution here (for Ubuntu, use this guide.
Step 2: Tell Wine to Play Nice
There are a few modifications that you will want to make to ensure that Wine plays well with Bibleworks. First, and most important, make certain that you are emulating XP. To do this, type “winecfg” in the command line, and make sure XP is the selected version.
Second, the default settings for Internet Explorer will not work with Bibleworks. We will need to change it. Do the following in a terminal to backup the default setup:
mv ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Internet\ Explorer ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/IE6BACKUP
Now we need to use the winetricks script to set up a fake Internet Explorer. In the command line:
chmod +x winetricks
This will bring up the following window. There are a lot of great options here. The only one that you need to worry about at the moment is fakeie6. Select it and let winetricks do its work.
Step 3: Install Bibleworks 7
Now the fun part. Pop in your first Bibleworks disc. Open you favorite file manager and explore the CD. The application you want is “autorun.exe,” and it is best not to run it from the command line (since you will have to switch discs several times). Select the modules you want and start installing.
The only difficulty I ran into here is being a little trigger happy on the disc switching. When the window for exchanging disc opens, go ahead an put in the requested disc. Do not click OK until the disc is fully loaded. Once the disc icon shows up on your desktop (or “Computer” folder), it’s ready to go, and only then should you click OK. Jumping the gun here could result in Bibleworks never recognizing the disc, and you will have to start over. (If this does not work, you can copy the contents of each disc into a folder in your home directory, then use the command line and run wine /path/to/folder/setup.exe).
Once it’s installed, you will have a Bibleworks icon on your desktop. Drag and drop this to whatever launcher or menu you want, or just doubleclick to launch Bibleworks.
Step 4: Updates.
Shutdown Bibleworks and then start it up again. This saves your settings, which is necessary if you have a crash. You should do this anytime you make changes to Bibleworks, such as setting options or default versions.
Before tailoring Bibleworks to your personal needs, it’s a good idea to download all the updates. Sometimes an update can reset your settings, so update before your tweek.
You should be able to check for automatic online updates (this is why we ran the winetricks script). Do not use the dialog for this in the Options menu. Instead, go to Help – Bibleworks on the Internet – Check for updates. This should bring up the window to the left. Check all that you want (I recommend everything), and then click “Apply.”
It should work, and will eventually restart Bibleworks on its own.
Step 5: Getting Pretty
Check out this screenshot. Not pretty, right? That’s because the standard fonts are not really good in Wine. Go to Tools – Options. Select the Font Tab. Adjust as necessary. I used the default font for my Ubuntu theme, which looks very nice. You may also want to change your Greek and Hebrew fonts. For recommendations, check out this post.
Also, while you are in this dialog, set up the “Export” fonts for Unicode support. Use the screenshot to the left as a guide.
You can “pretty up” the rest of the interface by using the aforementioned winetricks script to install the “Core Fonts” package and “Tahoma.”
Step 6: Fixing Smaller Bugs
One minor annoyance occurs when Bibleworks starts and the Welcome Screen appears. In the bottom right hand corner of this dialog box you can uncheck the “Appear at Startup” button, but it won’t do any good. To keep this screen from appearing you need to manually change a line in the bw700.ini file. Located this file in your Wine/BibleWorks 7/ directory and change the following line:
Change the value to 0.
Step 7: Enduring Problems
There are several issues, but only one of them is major. The most obvious is the lack of any icons on the toolbar. This is really not a problem, however, since Bibleworks gives you many ways to get to the dialogs you need.
Update: Some of what follows is not an issue in Bibleworks 8, but help files do still crash Bibleworks.
The biggest issue is that modules that require Windows Help files (.chm) will crash Bibleworks when you close them. This includes many of the various “books” that Bibleworks provides, such a Gesenius’s Hebrew Grammar. There is a work around, however: don’t close the window after you open it. As long as you do not close the window, you can browse, read, copy/paste to your heart’s content. Bibleworks lets you have as many of these windows open as you want, so when you are done with them, just minimize them.
Work Around: You can always view the resource in a native Linux CHM viewer, such as gnochm. I have linked all the .chm files in the Bibleworks “databases” directory into a separate folder to make accessing these resources easier.
Finally, if you do have a crash, you will see the screen to your right. Make sure you select the last option. Bibleworks is a little over-protective. Do not allow it to delete your .ini file, as you will have to reset all your settings. Instead, select “Let the operating system handle the error” and just restart.
I very much recommend backing up your settings file, particularly if you make heavy modifications to the default options (such as specialized search versions, font choices, etc). Despite Bibleworks’s claim to the contrary, the bw700.ini file in the Bibleworks directory is not the file to backup. Bibleworks creates an .ini file in the Windows directory, and that is the one you need (this has been fixed in a recent update). To backup, simply browse to that directory and copy the bw700.ini file, or use the terminal:
cp ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/bw700.ini ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/bw700.ini_BAK
Do the same for the file in the Bibleworks directory, since the most recent version does use that file:
cp ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Bibleworks\ 7/bw700.ini ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Bibleworks\ 7/bw700.ini_BAK
Should you have any problems in the future, just restore your backup file. Windows users will benefit from this as well (I get the occasional crash there too).
I have not had too many crashes. It is pretty stable, for a Wine app, and you can always use something like VirtualBox if you need more stability. Also, whenever you spend a good amount of time changing your settings (such as default search versions, etc.), shutdown and restart to save your settings.
I hope this helps Linux users use this wonderful software. Please post problems (and solutions) in the comments. Here is one last screenshot, with everything running: