The Wine project aims to allow a IBM PC compatible running a Unix-like operating system and the X Window System to execute programs originally written for Microsoft Windows. Alternately, those wishing to porting a Windows application to a Unix-like system can compile it against the Wine libraries.

The name 'Wine' derives from the recursive acronym "Wine Is Not an Emulator", although some have used the unofficial expansion "Windows Emulator". While the name sometimes appears in the forms "WINE" and "wine", the project developers have agreed to standardize on the form "Wine". The recursive acronym Wine resembles that of LAME (Lame Ain't an MP3 Encoder), and GNU (Gnu's Not Unix).

Wine is free software, released under the GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL). The Wine project originally released Wine under the same MIT License as the X Window System, but owing to concern about proprietary versions of Wine not contributing their changes back to the core project, work as of March 2002 has used the LGPL for its licensing.

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