By: Juan Carlos Carvajal B. and reworked by WICE


GNU/Linux operating systems are getting better and user-friendlier all the time and they are becoming suitable too for Geographical Information Systems or GIS, which thus far have been dominated by extremely costly commercial products, like ArcGIS and ERDAS, both working in Windows. ILWIS has only been designed to work under Windows. For those who prefer working with a raster and vector GIS system under Linux has been quite problematic and Juan Carlos has developed a brief manual on how to make ILWIS work under Linux. Documentation on how to operate a windows programme under Linux rather hard to find and this manual is a great contribution, as it explains how most Windows software can be operated under Linux Wine. The manual is for ILWIS-GIS, but it should really work for most Windows programmes. On this page we usually give several graphical examples, because there are quite a few different systems and the all work and look a bit different.

Let's start with the heart of the operation: Install your operation system GNU/Linux. There are countless brands and the Debian "distributions" (the latest stable version is the Etch 4.0 R3) is for the experienced purists, while those who merely want an open source operating system that is as user-friendly as they come (like we in WICE) Ubuntu or Fedora or Xandros are all good options. To find out more about the many possibilities, we recommand that you take a look at
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The ILWIS versions that work in WINE are Ilwis 3.3 with the patch331.exe and ILWIS 3.4. ILWIS 3.5 and 3.6 do not yet work in WINE, because it has been reprogrammed into Visual Basic 2008. We recommend you use ILWIS 3.3 Academic, which you can get from Downloads; as it has the import/export module in it that allows you to work with a great variety of non-ILIWIS formats. That module had to be eliminated when ILWIS became open source. But if you insist you want to use the latest possible version of ILWIS, you can import ILWIS 3.4 and unzip it.
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Linux has a default option to decompress files that in some cases does not work with zip files. For those cases download a programme under linux like apt-get, aptitude, synaptic, yum, yumex, etc. This varies for every distribution. For installation click "Install program unzip"
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Also install WINE under Linux with which automatically certain required dependencies will be installed. This should be quite easy, at least in programmes with automatic installation of linux packages. Make sure to use a reasonably recent version. WINE is a re-implementation of the API Win16 and Win32 for operating systems based on Unix. With WINE it is possible to run programmes designed for MS-DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP y Windows Vista under Linux. En other words, it is a module to complement Linux to also run the majority of programmes designed for Windows. If you like to learn more about WINE, you can go to,,


The dependencies in ILWIS are Windows files without which it is impossible to make ILWIS function in Linux.
For ILWIS they are 2 small files in .dll format which we have put in a .zip file that you can download here: mfc42.dll y **msvcp60.dll**
In the same .zip file you will also find an ILWIS icon that we will need later, once the programme has been installed.
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Run the programme: Configure Wine. This programme automatically creates a hidden directory in the personal directory: /home/usuario/.wine
In the following examples you can see the hidden directory .wine.

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Create a directory with ILWIS

In the majority of the linux distributions, the decompression of the ILWIS file will take place automatically with the so-called file-roller or something similar, depending on the distribution. Right click on the file and click on decompress here of something of that nature. Make sure to select "all files", because you will need the operating files that make the programme run. The zip file will decompress its files in a directory named "ilwis3" or something of that nature. When finished we copy the entire directory (Ctrl+C or right click) and paste it in the directory /drive_c under /.wine. This is in the main directory of Linux. In Debian it is called the personal directory (/home/name_user/.wine/drive_c/).

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Paste the .dll and ILWIS icon files

In /home/name_user/.wine/drive_c/ we find the directory windows/system32 where we paste the decompressed files: mfc42.dll , msvcp60.dll y ilwis3.png

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Now ILWIS is installed and we only need to make it function under Linux.

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Connect ILWIS with Wine

Again run Configure WINE
Add the application 52n-ilwis-v3-04-02-win32.exe and unzip it or ILWIS.Academic.exe located in the directory ilwis3 and we select it to work under version WindowsXP. Make sure that XP is included, because sometimes under defalut it does not work well and then ILWIS does not show int he configuration list. Therefore we highlight de exe and below we select the XP version like in the following examples.

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This is how it should look like:

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We can run the programme in 2 different ways: by commands and by clicking an icon on the Desktop. The command line is for those who love playing with commands. The Icon is user-friendlier.

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Command line:

Write in the command terminal the following instruction: (NB: as user and not as ROOT)
user$ wine “C:\Ilwis3\Ilwis30.exe”.

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This helps test if everything works well, and if not it will tell what the problem is.

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ILWIS icon:

Click right on the desktop
The following images gif a grafic instruction of how to install an ILWIS button on your desktop.

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When finished you can double click on the icon to initiate your ILWIS under Linux.
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It is also possible include an icon into the start button, but we leave it to your own imagination.
For ILWIS 3.3 (Academic), you still need to activate the patch, file patch331.exe , which you can donwload from **here**
Copy paste the file in /home/name_user/.wine/drive_c/
When in the directory, find the newly pasted patch331.exe, click on it and it will ask: "Locate the system to update", while showing the ILWIS executable file. Chose "Open" and it will locate where the programme is installed in the /home/name_user/.wine/drive_c/ and you merely have to confirm; this will install automatically in ILWIS3.3 Academic, which you can observe by 2 red coloured bars racing across your screen for a second. Now your ILWIS3.3 Academic is complete and functioning.
To test the programme just download some programmes from the "teach yourself page"
Copy the decompressed files in a new file "ilwisexercizes" on disk Cfor Wine or on a disk or partition for data. Alternatively you can create it on disk Z which WINE created automatically.


I hope this little manual to configure ILWIS under Linux was useful for you and email me with you commments.
So long!
Juan Carlos Carvajal B.
WICE likes to thank Juan Carlos for working out such a splended and user-friendly solution for ILWIS under Linux. In reality, we no longer need a Linux version of ILWIS, since Linux with the WINE interface, Linux can run most Windows programmes.