Running Winlink and VARA on Linux

A quick and dirty summary of my Winlink installation on my linux laptop.

This article is about using VARA FM and/or VARA HF on a linux laptop—or computer.

Quick and dirty

sudo apt-get install wine-stable winetricks exe-thumbnailer

export WINEPREFIX=/home/dominic/.wine-winlink
export WINEARCH=win32

winetricks winxp
winetricks sound=alsa

winetricks -q dotnet35sp1
winetricks vb6run
winetricks vcrun2015

# now, as an update when my already working winlink express installation
# failed, i had to install also the following dotnet applications with winetricks
winetricks -q dotnet40
winetricks -q dotnet46

# Optional, if you want backups
tar -cJf wine-backup_$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S)_initial-setup.tar.xz .wine-winlink

wine Downloads/Winlink_Express_install.exe

# Optional, if you want backups after you installed Winlink
tar -cJf wine-backup_$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S)_winlink-installed.tar.xz .wine-winlink

wine Downloads/VARA\ setup\ \(Run\ as\ Administrator\).exe
wine Downloads/VARA\ FM\ setup\ \(Run\ as\ Administrator\).exe

# Optional, if you want backups, after you installed Winlink and VARA
tar -cJf wine-backup_$(date +%Y-%m-%d-%H-%M-%S)_vara-installed.tar.xz .wine-winlink

If your screen gets spilled with messages, you could try to kill running wine applications with wineserver -k—but make sure that you run this command in the same terminal window as you should export the WINEPREFIX environment variable otherwise!

If your VARA windows are empty after you start them via Winlink, just minimize them and re-open them and all should be fine.


This article is practically based on the instructions found over at

The following files have been re-uploaded on my website to create a duplicate resource for download, but primarily to prevent them going offline in the case the resource goes down for whatever reason.

I do not claim them to be my creation, I just want them to be online on a place that I find again.

Visit the website above if you want to know more details about Winlink on Linux.

Thanks to Steven K6ETA for his excellent explanations on his website, so I could narrow this down to the quick copy-and-paste-box above.