Winlink Express, WINE, and Crossover

Update 12/6/22: All still working well. Crossover automatically updated, and Winlink/VARA have updated several times, without a hitch. I did have to write a small script to change my serial port links, because Winlink would only let me select from a specific list. The script reads like this:

# correct device links for Winlink crossover

if [ "$1" = "" ]
  echo "Please provide a starting port number"
  exit 1


echo Removing com3 and com4 symlinks
rm /home/jlyman/.cxoffice/Winlink_VARA/dosdevices/com3
rm /home/jlyman/.cxoffice/Winlink_VARA/dosdevices/com4

echo Relinking
ln -sf /dev/ttyUSB$port1 /home/jlyman/.cxoffice/Winlink_VARA/dosdevices/com3
ln -sf /dev/ttyUSB$port2 /home/jlyman/.cxoffice/Winlink_VARA/dosdevices/com

In 2021 I attemped to get Winlink Express working via WINE, using some instructions that I found online. Every computer in the house runs Linux, with the exception of a ham radio laptop, and so I thought it might be nice to have. I've used Linux since Slackware 3, and WINE since it was released.

After a lot of frustration, I threw in the towel. I don't have as much time to fiddle with software these days, not without feeling the waste.

Recently, I noted that back in 2021 K6ETA posted instructions on getting Winlink working via Crossover, and he even posted a link to a backup of a Crossover "bottle" that one could simply import. I hadn't seen that, and have never tried Crossover (though I was aware of it.) So, I decided to give Crossover a go.

The bottle restore didn't work (I think you have to have the prereqs first), but I was surprised at how easy it was to set everything up myself from scratch. No hassling or haggling, just purchased Crossover, installed it, and worked through setting up the various prerequisites and missing files. Everything was pretty straight-forward. Not a one-click install, but it worked with some small effort. VARA HF and Winlink Express are now working perfectly for me in Crossover/WINE under Linux for the first time. Even updating both VARA and Winlink weren't a hassle.

If you're experienced with Linux and WINE, but don't want to hassle, I'd strongly recommend buying Crossover.

Current Version

For reference, I'll try to keep this page updated with the current versions I'm running. If I run into any trouble with upgrades or if anything ceases to work, I'll note that here as well.

  • As of 12/6/22, running Winlink Express v1.7.3.0 and VARA HF v4.6.7

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