|Linux||July 4, 1993|
|macOS (OS X)||2008|
Wine is a free and open source compatibility layer that aims to allow computer programs written for Windows to run on Linux and OS X by translating Windows system calls into POSIX-compliant system calls, recreating the directory structure of Windows systems, and providing alternative implementations of Windows system libraries, system services through
wineserver and various other components (such as Internet Explorer, the Windows Registry Editor, and msiexec).
The software is not an emulator, hence its original acronym Wine Is Not an Emulator. The main advantage it gives is the ability to run any software regardless of the Windows system was made for, so if an older Windows 95 game does not work in a native OS such as Windows 10 or has compatibility issues which renders the game broken, it will most likely work on Wine. A full DirectX 10 and 11 support has been added since version 3.0 along with it's own CSMT.
- It is recommended to have at least basic knowledge of the Terminal/shell before using Wine, otherwise using one of the available front ends is recommended.
- Be aware that some games may not work or have issues in Wine as well, especially older ones, either due to the missing DLL library which requires manual installation or just compatibility issues.
- Due to the lack of OpenGL updates on MacOS, which is still using 4.1 version from 2010, there may be issues with running DirectX 11 games or worse, no support at all.
Versions and Editions
There are two main versions of Wine: Stable and Development. The Development version is more often updated as the improvements and bugfixes are released in small packages, while the Stable's update process is slow as it relies on releasing the update as one large package containing the features from previous Development versions. Do not be confused with the version numbers though as for example the Stable 2.0.2 version contains a wide range of features from Development 2.17 version and below.
The Staging one contains community-made patches to make sure the game works properly, but be aware that sometimes a software may not work in Staging, but it'll work in normal one. It always uses the Development version of Wine.
Gallium Nine is a special one, besides being based on Wine Staging it is very beneficial for AMD and Nouveau as it uses the Gallium 3D API, which is a part of the Mesa library and gives a greater performance for games using DirectX 9, as compared to the other versions, it doesn’t translate Direct3D signals into OpenGL. It won't bring any improvements for NVIDIA users that rely on proprietary drivers, as the manufacturer uses their own driver library. Be aware that depending on Linux distribution, you might need to compile Mesa with ```enable_nine``` variable to use Gallium3D Nine.
Other versions also exists, some contain additional features such as Wine Rt which runs programs in real-time, or the ones that are made specifically for one game, for example wine-starcraft allows you to run Starcraft Anniversary 1.16 without any issues, compared to the official build.
Before installing make sure to enable the multilib support, if you are on a 64-bit system and always install WINE Gecko and WINE Mono for applications that need support for Internet Explorer and .NET Frameworks. They may not be required, but it will prevent downloading them each time you create a new Wineprefix.
To install Wine on your Linux distribution, check your package manager. Some Linux distros DON'T come with Wine pre-installed, but it can be installed just with a single command or a few clicks depending on the distro.
On a 32-bit system run
sudo apt install wine or
sudo apt install wine-development if you want the development version.
If you are on a 64-bit system you need to use this command before installing Wine:
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 && sudo apt update
SteamOS Tools is required in order to get Debian's repositories and sources. Follow the documentation to learn how to add and install a software from Debian.
Debian-based system such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint etc.
sudo apt-get install wine
To get the latest Wine release, use these commands in this order:
wget https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key sudo apt-key add Release.key sudo apt-add-repository 'https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/
sudo dnf install wine or
sudo dnf install wine-devel if you want the development version.
Please follow these instructions if you want the latest version.
ArchLinux and distributions based on it such as Antergos, Manjaro etc.
If running a 64-bit system, make sure you have enabled the multilib repository. Then run:
sudo pacman -S <wine edition>.
<wine edition> with:
wine- Standard version
wine-staging- For Wine Staging
wine-staging-nine- For Wine Staging with Gallium Nine patches.
Other versions of Wine are available in the AUR.
sudo eopkg install wine
sudo zypper install wine
For other distros, please follow the documentation/wiki of the distribution or compile the software from the source code.
- It is recommended to have both Homebrew and MacPort installed
- Gatekeeper must be set to accept unsigned packages and XQuartz version 2.7.7 or higher must be installed.
- Due to Apple's decision to drop the support for 32-bit applications after Mojave, there is a chance that Wine may not work.
To install Wine on Mac OS, you can either download the PKG file (Recommended) or the TAR archive, they can be found here.
After installing it from the PKG file, the Wine shortcut will appear in the Launchpad. Upon running it, it will display terminal with a short introduction to important commands.
If using Homebrew:
brew rm wine && brew rm $(join <(brew leaves) <(brew deps wine))
If using MacPorts:
sudo port uninstall --follow-dependencies wine
If compiled from the source code:
sudo make install at the directory with Makefile and then delete the local Wine source code.
Aftere one of these steps remove any WINEPREFIX and remove the
.local from your Home folder
Compile from source code
If you are on a 64-bit Linux system and depending on the distro, make sure you have 32 bit drivers installed. WIthout it you will receive the “Direct rendering is disabled, most likely your OpenGL drivers have not been installed correctly” message.
If installed, make sure to reset the display server.
Currently, Wine best supports ALSA if you are on Linux, but on a 64-bit system you must install the 32-bit versions, this also counts for PulseAudio and OSS (In this case, all you need is the ALSA-OSS package, as the OSS kernel will not suffice).
Keep in mind that for some games, such as Skyrim, will use an advanced sound system. For this case you need the 32 bit version of OpenAL as well.
In MIDI’s case, Wine has an excellent support for it. You should either use Timidity or Fluidsynth and set one of them up.
As for audio in Mac OS, CoreAudio works out of the box with the software.
Command Stream Multi-Threading (CSMT)
Since 2013, Wine developers have been experimenting with the stream/worker thread optimization, which is exclusive to both Wine Staging and Wine Staging Gallium Nine. Depending on the game, enabling it from the
winecfg will give a performance boost (for some even bigger than running it natively on Windows!) and fixes graphical issues, if present. Wine Team officially added their own CSMT since the release of 3.0 version.
By default, Wine will be already set to handle Windows files such as
.msi etc. Running one of them will invoke the software and handle the rest in it's default
WINEPREFIX folder located at
~/.wine. If you are required to run the program in Terminal however, this can be done by using the
Wineprefix is the directory used for managing your Windows files, by default it will use the .wine folder in your Home directory, if using Linux, and depending on the architecture of your system, it will be made for 64-bit applications or 32-bit. If the game you currently wish to run works only on 16-bit system, you may wish to create a 32-bit Wineprefix folder. This can be done with this command line:
WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/<new folder name>
WINEARCH is responsible for changing the environment, there are only two options to choose from:
- win32 - Create a 32-bit environment
- win64 - Create a 64-bit environment.
WINEPREFIX command is used to create a new folder or use one which will store Windows program.
Wine AppDB Rating System
While checking WineHQ's Application Database you may encounter these ratings and here are their meanings.
The program installs and works flawlessly out of the box, without any changes in
The application works without any problem once you make some DLL override or change some settings in
winecfg or installing a third-party software.
The program works great for "normal" use with some of the exceptions such as issues with handling the DRM, the game works in singleplayer but not in multiplayer etc.
The software works, but has some issues for normal use such as graphical glitches/issues, run slower than it should, font issues etc.
The application does not work, cannot be installed or it will run but will show many errors that will make it unusable regardless of used settings.
It's best to check the information, comments or the bug list for the current software to learn how to get it to work or even check if it's fixed when it comes to Gold, Silver or even Bronze rating.
Winecfg is a GUI (graphical user interface) configuration tool for Wine. It allows you to change options for both the default setting and for specific applications. These options include the way Wine loads DLLs, graphical settings (including Window settings, screen resolution/DPI), desktop integration, drives and audio). It can be accessed with
winecfg command, you can use it with
WINEPREFIX to specify which Wine folder you wish to configure.
A run down on the different tabs of Winecfg is available on the Wine Wiki.
Winetricks is a script which allows you to install base requirements for running Windows applications. It is mainly used to install additional DLL libraries to make the program work, in case if it doesn’t. Besides that it also contains other stuff such as launching the Winecfg, installing the benchmark, install the game using pre-compiled script etc. from the default Wine folder. The program can be run with the
winetricks command to launch the GUI version by default (Using
-h argument will show additional options), you can combine with other Wine commands to be more specific.
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetrickswill launch Winetricks, but all the changes or installations are done in the .wine32 folder. If an additional library or program is required, specify them after the command to not have to constantly go through menus to install them.
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks steamwill let Winetricks to install Steam on a .wine32 folder. Of course you can specify multiple libraries you wish to install and combine it with some arguments available for this software.
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 winetricks -q steam dotnet40will let Winetricks not only to install Steam, but .NET Framework 4.0 as well and the
-qargument will make sure not to ask any questions for each application/library.
If you do not wish to use the Terminal, there are some front-ends which will make your Wine experience much easier.
This Python-based program allows you to install any Windows program using the pre-made scripts which makes the process automatic or perform it manually in case if the script does not exist. The main advantage of it is the ability to download and use multiple Wine version and ease of managing and configuring the prefixes. The main drawback however, is in it’s slow development time and outdated libraries that are available in the Additional Libraries. This program was made for simplicity in mind.
A commercial version of Wine which includes scripts, patches, GUI and third-party softwares (Which are never accepted by Wine Project). It is available for both Mac and Linux. Despite being a paid product, the patches are later added to the Wine Staging and buying the software will support the Wine developers. Version 19 allows for running 32 bit Windows programs, including games, on macOS Catalina.
A Mac exclusive tool used to make wrappers to run Windows software in Mac OS X. Which converts it into an .app file which allows you to run the converted program into a native system.
Front-end made in Qt4 environment for Linux system. It’s main advantage is the ability to use libraries from the Winetricks, built in WineApp Database, additional options such as mounting the ISO and it’s simplicity. The drawback of it however are no pre-compiled scripts which will automatically install the game along with required libraries and in some cases, specific Wine version which the game works without any major issues and requiring you to compile/install the specific Wine version of your choice if you want to use multiple Wine versions.
Run the game in OpenGL/Vulkan mode
|Run the game in OpenGL/Vulkan mode|
If the game supports OpenGL/Vulkan, it is recommended to run it to avoid any performance issue. Many games accept the
Show FPS overlay in games
|Show FPS overlay in games|
Wine features an embedded FPS monitor which works for all graphical applications once you use
- Depending on the game it may improve the performance when enabled.
- Command Stream Multi-Threading has been officially added since Wine 2.6, in case of Staging since 1.7.33
|Official Wine 2.6 or higher|
|Wine Staging/Wine Staging Gallium Nine|
Some Windows applications require the .NET software framework to run (Wine will instruct you to install if an application you try to run requires it), which is not compatible with Wine. However, an open source piece of software called Mono was made to replace it. You can install it via installing winetricks and entering this line into the Terminal/shell:
wine-mono is already installed from the distribution's repository, then it is not required.
D-Bus (OS X)
|D-Bus Issue (Mac OS)|
Some Windows applications require the D-bus process to run, in order to communicate with certain other applications. While it is installed alongside Macports, it will not run unless you tell it to. You only need to do this once, and then the process will run every time on startup:
Fonts do not show properly
|Fonts do not show properly|
"16-bit LDT support may be missing." error
|"16-bit LDT support may be missing." error|
Dual Head Setup/ Different Resolution Issue on a 64 bit Linux system
|Dual Head Setup/ Different Resolution Issue on a 64 bit Linux system|
Install the 32 bit package of XRandR, if the dual-head issue still persists, install 32 bit LibXinerama as well.
Nothing appears after running a game patch/patched game
|Nothing appears after running a game patch/patched game|
Winecfg fails to detect the audio driver despite being installed (Linux)
|Winecfg fails to detect the audio driver despite being installed (Linux)|
On a 32-bit architecture of the Wineprefix in a 64-bit system:
If the Wineprefix is in 64-bit architecture, you may have to recreate the prefix.
|macOS (OS X)||This 32-bit-only macOS game does not work on macOS Catalina (10.15) or later.|
|Linux||The ARM version can only run ARM Windows apps.|