A dolmade is a Linux container prepared for installation and execution of windows applications. Once a user has prepared a recipe for a specific application it can be shared and reused by others.
As of now there are basically three well-known solutions to run Windows software under Linux. Have a look in the following table how they compare to each other in terms of making Windows software available for users running mainly Linux environments:
for some solutions: Virtualization license
|Integration with the host system||N/A||host file system/hardware is isolated and (partially) passed through shared mount protocols/abstraction layers||seamless|
|Performance||native||reduced, especially for 3D GFX||near native, also for 3D GFX|
|Requirements||separated installation||memory overhead, fixed resource allocations||many functionally complementary versions, many dependencies|
|Compatibility to installed application||as good as it gets||nearly as good as it gets||depends on windows software and wine version / configuration|
|Effort maintaining many applications||as good as it gets||low effort to make apps work, but resource-hungry and often bad usability, system updates may break VMs||high effort to make apps work, high effort to not break apps due to system updates or newly installed apps|
|Effort maintaining one application||ridiculously high||still too high||justifiable if the application is important|
Now how does a dolmade compare to that?
Wait? Didn't you miss something?
Yes indeed. There is still a high effort to install a particular app and make it work well in a dolmade. But when it is done, a recipe specific to that app can be made and published so that other users just need to download the ready-to-use container.
But what about PlayOnLinux - doesn't it try to achieve the same?
Well, yes. And I liked their idea of having recipes. Three things to say: