What are dolmades?

A dolma 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. This can be achieved by providing the ready-to-use application container or by providing the recipe. In either case the user needs permissions to use the required ingredients.

Current solutions

Commonly virtual machines are used to run Windows software. As opposed to Dolmades this requires Windows licenses and plenty of resources.

Existing solutions such as PlayOnLinux and Lutris make Windows software available under Linux without virtualization. They use Wine, a compatibility layer to translate Windows API calls into POSIX calls, and add a GUI for convenience to allow end users to install their software. They do so by maintaining recipes - short scripts, that automate the setup procedure for certain software.

Why Dolmades?

Support for commercial non-open source software

Dolmades are designed to be used in conjunction with a repository, where users can manage recipes, ingredients and cooked dolmades. This way dolmades can be archived, reproduced, shared or distributed, and will be working for a long time. Prior to downloading users will undergo a check whether or not they are authorized to use the requested software.

Support for software vendors

Dolmades directly target software vendors who aim to bring their product to a Linux user base and do not want to invest into making a port and providing maintenance and support. The only thing needed is a deposit license agreement between the vendor and the party maintaining the repository.

Focus on software sustainability

Dolmades are an ideal solution for legacy software: once an working recipe for an application has been crafted it will keep working across systems and system updates. This is achieved by the use of software containerization, reproducibility and provisioning of required ingredients. Legacy applications are no longer bound by Microsofts support life spans of the underlying Windows OS simply because Wine is used instead.

Ease of Use

- Installation

Existing solutions require a GUI which offer recipes to install the software locally. This installation process is often tedious and error-prone especially for outdated recipes.

Dolmades are similar to Windows binary installers. They can be downloaded and installed straightaway, no GUI or additional downloads required. If satisfactory just keep them installed otherwise just remove them and delete the downloaded file.

- No Dependencies

With current solutions it is often necessary to install additional packages to make something work. Dolmades take care of their dependencies and will never require additional system packages.

- Simple Sharing

Certain things must be taken care of in order to transfer a successfully installed app from your computer to your friends' and expect it to still work there. Due to the containerization this is practical for Dolmades while current solutions do not support this.

- Extendability

This is mainly for developers: The containerization really offers nice possibilities for the future such as running complex dolmaded Linux setups and Windows apps or even a mixture of both. It would be also possible to add support for debugging and bug reporting to help wine developers.

- Open Source

Dolmades is and will remain Open Source.



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