22 June 2009

Joy of progeCAD 2009 under Wine in Debian Linux

At CADDIT we are always trying new things, sometimes just for the sheer fascination. This article outlines some updated steps to running progeCAD without buying a Windows license (although some free libraries will be needed). Understand that progeCAD is at this time not officially supported on Linux, either using Parallels or WINE emulation layer. So don't try this at home unless you are really brave and have lots of time to waste (not to mention progeCAD licenses).

We were able to accomplish several things following these steps: install progeCAD, activate progeCAD (online method), load a file, etc. Our test involved using a stand-alone license key (although NLM client might also work). progeCAD runs stable but slow (depending on your core(s) speed and OpenGL acceleration). Here we go:

1) Update to the latest WineHQ (1.1.x). Debian users can add the following line to /etc/apt/sources.list:
deb http://wine.budgetdedica
ted.com/apt etch main
2) apt-get install libwine wine wine-dev
okay you really don't need wine-dev development packages, but like isn't that the whole point of Linux .. whatever .. okay next step...
3) Install IE6. No joke. A platform like progeCAD often connects to a lot of the same dependencies as the world's most favorite web browser ..okay ..whatever.. we use ies4linux for this. Please visit the site for download directions specific to your favorite distro and get lovely IE6 and friends rocking in your local .wine profile.
4) Install VBA. This is possible now because ies4linux already set up DCOM libs for us. Winetricks is probably the best trick for this:
wget http://www.kegel.com/wine/winetricks
and run the ./winetricks GUI and pick what you want, but at least pick the VBA6 runtime. Winetricks should do the rest for you.
5) Install progeCAD. You can download progeCAD HERE.
6) progeCAD install seems to go well right up to the VBA installation at the end it flops (so far - we are working on it). But no matter, you can always reinstall Windows VBA for progeCAD IntelliCAD by sorting into your local subdirectory:

~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/progeSOFT/progeCAD\ 2009\ Pro\ ENG/vba/
and installing VBA manually:
msiexec /i VBAOF11.MSI

WINE actually sets up a KDE icon on the desktop for you to launch progeCAD, we didn't try GNOME or XFCE. Otherwise you may have to create an action leading to the icad.exe executable in your .wine profile. So progeCAD should work now as so...

Some comments, progeCAD is a lot less demanding on system resources than AutoCAD, so it was actually possible for us to still work with progeCAD under this emulated environment. Real time pan and zoom function using the mouse buttons worked too but was so slow on the machine with on board graphics it could hardly be called real time anymore. The command interpreter disappeared once while minimizing / maximizing the progeCAD Window in KDE, but moving the window a bit around somehow brought it back again. Go figure..


Dan Kegel said...

Why not use winetricks to install ie6?

CADDIT CAD Software said...

ies4linux specializes in IE6 under Linux, with specific support for a large number of distributions and good track record for doing so.

Dan Kegel said...

Please try using winetricks to install ie6. It's much simpler, and should work just as well for this situation. Why use a sledgehammer when a screwdriver will do?

I wrote most of winetricks, and if it doesn't work for this, I'd like to know.

CADDIT CAD Software said...

Thanks for your comments Dan and I certainly do appreciate your overall effort with Winetricks.

Re. the "sledgehammer" from ies4linux web site:
"IEs4Linux is the simpler way to have Microsoft Internet Explorer running on Linux (or any OS running Wine)." Are you saying this is incorrect? Personally I am just a little curious about why we have two parallel projects to deliver the same thing instead of trying to work together (in this case). Maybe this would be a good chance for you to clarify your reasons.

Dan Kegel said...

That's right; ies4linux is a big
complicated script that has lots
of complicated stuff in it, and
winetricks is a trivial script
that does the smallest possible
workaround needed to install
various bits and pieces.

ies4linux is like a Cadillac SUV;
it's one huge beefy script that
does a single job (install IE).
winetricks is like a Mini swiss army knife; every part of it is
stripped down to the bone, and it
only does what you ask it to.

In fairness, ies4linux was written
back when Wine sucked more.
The section of winetricks that
lets you install ie6 is about
ten lines of code; it's so simple
because Wine has improved greatly.

As Wine improves, Winetricks will
become simpler and simpler, and
ideally go away entirely (since
Wine will be able to do what you
want without it).

CADDIT CAD Software said...

I see. Well, I guess readers would be free to try either one.

BTW, the front end for ies4linux isn't very hard to use either. They have their one window that allows you to pick which version of Internet Explorer that you want installed on Linux and it does the rest behind the scenes anyway.