Solar Fire 8.0.3 generally works very well within Wine. All calculations seem to be accurate. I tested the software on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS 32-bit with the Unity desktop. The font solution below provides a comprehensive fix for the font difficulties that have led to a less than optimal installation of Solar Fire on Linux in the past. Implementing this font fix ensures that program is quite stable and most functions, including the planetarium and ephemeris generator work perfectly.
What does not
The main limitation of this installation of Solar Fire is that more recent versions of Wine (1.7.19) cause the program to crash when the Animate Chart function is used. This does not happen with Wine 1.4.1.
The other function that doesn't seem to work is the ability to export charts as jpgs or gifs. Charts and pages can be exported as pdfs however. The graphic ephemeris function only displayed in a small window that could not be resized. However, it was usable and displayed the ephemeris correctly. This is an aesthetic issue that may be related to the Unity desktop.
What was not tested
Please see the 'how-to' section below for the font fix for Solar Fire 8. This fix supersedes all other attempts to find a solution to the font problems in installing Solar Fire on Linux within Wine. This font fix has been tested in Wine 1.4.1 and Wine 1.7.19 and it works in both versions.
|Operating system||Test date||Wine version||Installs?||Runs?||Used|
|Current||Ubuntu 14.04 "Trusty" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)||May 29 2014||1.7.19||Yes||Yes||Gold||Ed|
|Show||Linux Mint 14 "Nadia"||May 11 2014||1.4.1||Yes||Yes||Gold||Ed|
One of the difficulties with running SF on Linux has been a long-standing problem with one of the fonts. You can see the history of attempts to deal with this difficulty on the Solar Fire page here. Unfortunately these solutions have only been partial. The complete solution is to use a progam called Font Forge (downloadable from your repository) to change the Windows font, Etsans3.fon in the case of SF8, to a font compatible with Linux. This is easily done by opening the .fon font in Font Forge and using the Generate Font command to convert the font using the Win Fon format.
Run Font forge. Open the font file Etsans3.fon. Within Font Forge you can then go to File->Open and from the file browser follow these steps: .wine->drive_c->windows->Fonts. Choose Etsans3.fon. When the .fon font is open in Font Forge go to File->Generate Fonts... and choose this option from the right-hand box below the font name - Win Fon. Click Save back to the Fonts folder.