How to install MS Money 2004 on 64-bit Linux

Do you run Linux? Do you miss MS Money, the personal-finance application? I can answer yes to both questions, but I’ve found a solution. It’s possible to run Windows software on Linux, but sometimes it’s tricky.

This is a guide to overcome those traps. Perhaps I’m the only one to ever benefit from this installation guide, but there’s a slim chance that others might benefit too, so I’ll publish this instead of keeping it for myself.

I am assuming that you use a modern computer, so you’ve installed Ubuntu (or some other Linux variant) in the 64-bit version. This is an important distinction because some things only work on 32-bit versions … unless you find a way to fool that software.

WINE is an ingenious piece of Linux software that makes it possible to run Windows applications directly in Linux. Of course you could install a virtual machine in Linux, and then have that virtual machine run WinXP, and then run MS Money on that WinXP virtual machine. But it’s tedious – especially when a much more elegant solution exists: run the Windows app directly in Linux, using WINE.

Enough introduction! Here is a step-by-step guide that is valid as per February 2014.

The only prerequisite is that you have a copy of MS Money 2004 UK or a similar version. I can’t give you this; that would be piracy. Note that other versions might have slightly different requirements, but I hope the following steps still work for you! The WineHQ website has a list of MS Money versions that work to a varying degree. “Gold” and “Platinum” ratings are obviously preferable.

  1. Fool wine to think this is a 32-bit system by running this command:
    • export WINEARCH=win32
  2. Install wine. On Ubuntu, this is as simple as starting the Software Center, searching for “wine”, and installing “Microsoft Windows Compatibility Layer (meta-package)“.
  3. Open a terminal window. By default, you will be in your home directory (for me, that would be “/home/torben/”). Be sure to replace “torben” with your Linux username! Then run these commands:
    • cd ~
    • wget http://winetricks.org/winetricks
    • mkdir /home/torben/.cache/winetricks/msxml3
    • cd /home/torben/.cache/winetricks/msxml3
    • wget http://download.cnet.com/Microsoft-XML-Parser-MSXML-3-0-Service-Pack-7-SP7/3000-7241_4-10731613.html
    • mkdir /home/torben/.cache/winetricks/ie6
  4. Visit this page on OldVersion.com and click the button to download IE6, and save the file to “/home/torben/.cache/winetricks/ie6″.
  5. Run winetricks using the command:
    sh winetricks
  6. Choose “Install a font” and click OK.
  7. Choose “corefonts” and click OK. The fonts will be now be installed.
    • (I can’t remember exactly how it went now: you might need to start “sh winetricks” again at this point, or it might stay open. It’s not hard, I’m sure you can figure it out.)
  8. Choose “Select the default wineprefix” and click OK.
  9. Choose “Install a Windows DDL or component” and click OK.
  10. Check thecheckboxes for “ie6″ and “msxml3″, then click OK. This software will now be installed.
    • Because you have already downloaded the components in step 3 above, this step should go smoothly. If winetricks can’t find these components, it will show you a message about how to download the components. Follow the instructions and then repeat from step 8 above.
    • Finally! Your system is now ready to install the actual application.
  11. Use a file manager to navigate to the path where your MS Money installation files are, and double-click on setup.exe. Because you’ve installed wine, Linux knows that an “EXE” file is a Windows program that can be run, and it will use wine to run it.
  12. Follow the installation steps just like you’re used to from Windows.
  13. Your Linux system should now be aware of MS Money. At least in Ubuntu’s Unity I can simply type “money” to filter the applications and I see MS Money listed. I can click on that — and Money starts!
  14. When starting MS Money for the first time, it will ask you a few things. When it asks, “do you have an Internet connection,” answer “no” to avoid online content that will be useless and outdated anyway. Also say “no” to using a password on your Money file.

4 Responses to “How to install MS Money 2004 on 64-bit Linux”


  • Hi, are you experiencing any bugs, even minor ones, running the application? I ask you this because I usually run money2k on wine with some drawbacks, and would like to know if the 2004 version would be better

    Cheers
    Andrea

  • Andrea, I can’t compare to Money2k but as far as I have used this 2004 UK version, everything is fine. Mind you, I’ve only just begun to use Money again so I probably haven’t tried all features yet, but the immediate impression is that “everything works.” What drawbacks are you experiencing?

    I’ve been using a native Linux application these last few months. I can’t remember its name (it’s not one of the “big ones”, GnuCash or KMyMoney) but will dig it up in the coming days.

    Even though it was pretty nice, it just didn’t feel as “right” as MS Money does. Especially budgeting and reporting is important to me, and that isn’t mature enough yet. This is why I’m returning to MS Money even though I wanted to fully move to Linux.

  • Hi Torben,
    Thanks v.muck for your post above. It does give me some hope for my plan to stay with MSmoney. I’m keen to migrate to Ubutu and my long familiarity with MSmoney is really the only thing holding me back. I’ve been try to migrate to GnuCash but my poor level of accounting knowledge and the big differences with MSmoney are putting me off.

    I may well get into trouble due to my poor knowledge on anything but windows, so not sure even how to handle your instructions under linux (but I guess this is a journey I need to start).

    Q: I thought that MSmoney is now free as no longer supported. I’m sure I’m using this version. So is this the 2004 version you describe and why do you mention “UK version”. Is the ‘open’ version of Msmoney different to this and if yes, is its efficacy under Wine still untested?
    Cheers, Trevor

  • Hi Trevor,
    Your journey is similar to mine; I spent a few years in a slow transition from Windows to Ubuntu but I am happy with the switch. Patience and perseverance pays off. And ask questinos over at http://askubuntu.com !

    If you don’t like GnuCash (I can’t wrap my mind around it either) then may I recommend “Skrooge”? It can import from MS Money and it tries to be equally simple to use. It’s not as mature as MS Money but if you can accept that then you might find it to be the closest alternative. I now use Skrooge because MS Money can’t import CSV files. http://skrooge.org/features

    As for the specific 2004 UK version, I mention this because there are many versions and many of them don’t work well — see http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&iId=79

    So I can’t say for sure whether the free sunset version works just as well, but you can try to use that with my instructions; with a little luck, it’ll work perfectly!

    I found that at least my specific version, plus my instructions, gave me a result with a “gold” rating. Somebody downgraded my report to “silver” but didn’t leave an explanation.

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