Difference between revisions of "Wine"

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(Using WINEARCH: Extra note: See 'Architecture Differences')
m (Configuration: "Generally speaking"? Unnecessary/excessive wording.)
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  $ env WINEPREFIX=~/.customprefix wineboot -u
  $ env WINEPREFIX=~/.customprefix wineboot -u
{{Note|Wine prefixes should not be confused with the same kind of containment found with other virtual environments. Generally speaking, if you can access a file or resource with your user account, programs running with Wine can too. Wine is not a [[wikipedia:Sandbox_%28computer_security%29 | sandbox]].}}
{{Note|Wine prefixes should not be confused with the same kind of containment found with other virtual environments. If you can access a file or resource with your user account, programs running with Wine can too. Wine is not a [[wikipedia:Sandbox_%28computer_security%29 | sandbox]].}}
Configuring Wine is typically accomplished using:
Configuring Wine is typically accomplished using:

Revision as of 09:05, 31 July 2012

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See the official project home and wiki pages for longer introduction. Also see [1] for the current features of the project.


Wine is constantly updated and available in the [community] repository for i686 and in [multilib] for x86_64:

# pacman -S wine

You may also require wine_gecko, if your applications make use of Internet Explorer:

# pacman -S wine_gecko

Architectural differences

The default Wine is 32-bit, as is the i686 Arch package. As such, it is unable to execute any 64-bit Windows applications (which are rare anyway).

The Wine package for x86_64, however, is currently built with --enable-win64. This activates the Wine version of WoW64.

  • In Windows, this complicated subsystem allows the user to use 32-bit and 64-bit Windows programs concurrently and even in the same directory.
  • In Wine, the user will have to make separate directories/prefixes. The support for this feature in Wine is currently experimental and users are recommended to use a win32 WINEPREFIX. See Wine64 for specific information on this.

To summarize, using the Arch 64-bit Wine package with WINEARCH=win32 should have the same behaviour as using the i686 Wine package.


By default, Wine stores its configuration files and installed Windows programs in ~/.wine. This directory is commonly called a "Wine prefix" or "Wine bottle" It is created/updated automatically whenever you run a Windows program or one of Wine's bundled programs such as winecfg. The prefix directory also contains a tree which your Windows programs will see as C:\ (C-drive)

You can override the location Wine uses for a prefix with the WINEPREFIX environment variable. This is useful if you want to use separate configurations for different Windows programs.

For example, if you run one program with: $ env WINEPREFIX=~/.win-a wine program-a.exe, and another with $ env WINEPREFIX=~/.win-b wine program-b.exe, the two programs will each have separate "C:\" and registries.

To create a default prefix without running a Windows program or other GUI tool you can use:

$ env WINEPREFIX=~/.customprefix wineboot -u
Note: Wine prefixes should not be confused with the same kind of containment found with other virtual environments. If you can access a file or resource with your user account, programs running with Wine can too. Wine is not a sandbox.

Configuring Wine is typically accomplished using:

  • winecfg is a GUI configuration tool for Wine. You can run it from a console window with:
    $ winecfg
    $ WINEPREFIX=~/.some_prefix winecfg
  • control.exe is Wine's implementation of Windows' Control Panel which can be accessed with:
    $ wine control
  • regedit is Wine's registry editing tool. If winecfg and the Control Panel were not enough, see WineHQ's article on Useful Registry Keys


If you are using wine from [multilib], you will notice that winecfg will get you a 64-bit wine environment by default. You can change this behavior using the WINEARCH environment variable. Rename your ~/.wine directory and create a new wine environment by running:

$ WINEARCH=win32 winecfg 

This will get you a 32-bit wine environment. Not setting WINEARCH will get you a 64-bit one.

You can combine this with WINEPREFIX to make a separate win32 and win64 environment:

$ WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/win32 winecfg 
$ WINEPREFIX=~/win64 winecfg
Note: During prefix creation, the 64-bit version of wine treats all folders as 64-bit prefixs and will not create a 32-bit in any existing folder. To create a 32-bit prefix you have to let wine create the folder specified in WINEPREFIX.

You can also use winetricks and WINEARCH in one command for installing something from winetricks like this (using Steam as an example):

env WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=~/.local/share/wineprefixes/steam winetricks steam
Note: You do not have create the steam subdirectory in the wineprefixes directory, it will create for you. See the Bottles section below for more information.

Graphics Drivers

For most games, Wine requires high performance accelerated graphics drivers. This likely means using proprietary binary drivers from Nvidia or Amd/ATI. Intel drivers should mostly work as well as they are going to out of the box.

A good sign that your drivers are inadequate or not properly configured is when Wine reports the following in your terminal window:

Direct rendering is disabled, most likely your OpenGL drivers have not been installed correctly

For x86-64 systems, additional 32-bit [multilib] or AUR packages are required:

    # pacman -S lib32-nvidia-utils

For older cards search the AUR for lib32-nvidia-utils (e.g. -173xx).

  • Intel:
    # pacman -S lib32-intel-dri
    Run Wine with:
  • AMD/ATI:
    # pacman -S lib32-ati-dri
    For ATI's proprietary drivers, install lib32-catalyst-utilsAUR from the AUR.
Note: You might need to restart X after having installed the correct library.


By default sound issues may arise when running Wine applications. Ensure only one sound device is selected in winecfg. Currently, the Alsa driver is the most supported.

If you want to use Alsa driver in Wine, and are using x86_64, you'll need to install the lib32-alsa-lib. If you are also using PulseAudio, you will need to install lib32-libpulse.

If you want to use OSS driver in Wine, you will need to install the lib32-alsa-oss package. The OSS driver in the kernel will not suffice.

If winecfg still fails to detect the audio driver (Selected driver: (none)), configure it via the registry.

Games that use advanced sound systems may require installations of lib32-openal.

Other libraries

Some applications require ability to parse HTML or XML (they use MSXML library), in such case you need to install lib32-libxml2.

Applications that play music may require lib32-mpg123.

For application that use native image manipulation libraries installation of lib32-giflib and lib32-libpng may be required.

For encryption support on x86_64 you need to install lib32-gnutls.


If Wine applications are not showing easily readable fonts, you may not have Microsoft's Truetype fonts installed. See MS Fonts. If this does not help, try running winetricks allfonts.

After running such programs, kill all wine servers and run winecfg. Fonts should be legible now.

If the fonts look somehow smeared, import the following text file into the Wine registry with regedit:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\X11 Driver]

Desktop Launcher Menus

By default, installation of Wine does not create desktop menus/icons for the software which comes with Wine (e.g. for winecfg, winebrowser, etc). However, installing Windows programs with Wine, in most cases, should result in the appropriate menu/desktop icons being created. For example, if the installation program (e.g. setup.exe) would normally add an icon to your Desktop or "Start Menu" on Windows, then Wine should create corresponding freedesktop.org style .desktop files for launching your programs with Wine.

Tip: If menu items were not created while installing software or have been lost, winemenubuilder may be of some use.

If you wish to add on to the menu to create an Ubuntu-like Wine sub-menu, then follow these instructions:

Creating Menu Entries

First, install a Windows program using Wine to create the base menu. After the base menu is created, you can start to add the menu entries. In GNOME, right-click on the desktop and select "Create Launcher...". The steps might be different for KDE/Xfce. Make three launchers using these settings:

Type: Application
Name: Configuration
Command: winecfg
Comment: Configure the general settings for Wine
Type: Application
Name: Uninstall Programs
Command: wine uninstaller
Comment: Uninstall Windows programs under Wine properly
Type: Application
Name: Browse C:\
Command: wine winebrowser c:\\
Comment: Browse the files in the virtual Wine C:\ drive

Now that you have these three launchers on your desktop, it is time to put them into the menu. But, first you should change the launchers to dynamically change icons when a new icon set is installed. To do this, open the launchers that you just made in your favorite text editor. Change the following settings to these new values:

Configuration launcher:


Uninstall Programs launcher:


Browse C:\ launcher:


If these settings produce a ugly/non-existent icon, it means that there are no icons for these launchers in the icon set that you have enabled. You should replace the icon settings with the explicit location of the icon that you want. Clicking the icon in the launcher's properties menu will have the same effect. A great icon set that supports these shortcuts is GNOME-colors.

Now that you have the launchers fully configured, now it is time to put them in the menu. Copy them into ~/.local/share/applications/wine/.

Wait a second, they are not in the menu yet! There is one last step. Create the following text file:
 <!DOCTYPE Menu PUBLIC "-//freedesktop//DTD Menu 1.0//EN"
 	<Filename>wine-Browse C:\.desktop</Filename>
 	<Filename>wine-Uninstall Programs.desktop</Filename>

Go check in the menu and there should be the minty fresh options waiting to be used!

KDE 4 Menu Fix[2]

The Wine menu items may appear in "Lost & Found" instead of the Wine menu in KDE 4. This is because kde-applications.menu is missing the MergeDir option.

Edit /etc/xdg/menus/kde-applications.menu

At the end of the file add <MergeDir>applications-merged</MergeDir> after <DefaultMergeDirs/>, it should look like this:


Alternatively you can create a symlink to a folder that KDE does see:

ln -s ~/.config/menus/applications-merged ~/.config/menus/kde-applications-merged

This has the added bonus that an update to KDE won't change it, but is per user instead of system wide.

Running Windows Applications

Warning: Do not run or install Wine applications as root! See http://wiki.winehq.org/FAQ#run_as_root for more details.

To run a windows application:

$ wine <path to exe>

To install using an MSI installer, use the included msiexec utility:

$ msiexec installername.msi

Tips and Tricks

Tip: In addition to the links provided in the beginning of the article the following may be of interest:

These tools will assist in the installation of typical Windows components. In most cases they should be used as a last effort, as it may severely alter your wine configuration.

Installing Microsoft Office

A small tweak is needed to install the office suite. Follow these steps to accomplish it:

$ WINEARCH=win32 WINEPREFIX=/path/to/wineprefix winecfg
# pacman -S winetricks
$ winetricks msxml3 # For MS Office 2007
$ winetricks msxml3 msxml6 # For MS Office 2010
$ wine /path/to/office_cd/setup.exe

For additional info, see the WineHQ article.

OpenGL Modes

Many games have an OpenGL mode which may preform better than their default DirectX mode. While the steps to enable OpenGL rendering is application specific, many games accept the -opengl parameter.

$ wine /path/to/3d_game.exe -opengl

You should of course refer to your application's documentation and Wine's AppDB for such application specific information.


PlayOnLinux is a graphical Windows and DOS program manager. It contains scripts to assist the configuration and running of programs, it can manage multiple Wine versions and even use a specific version for each executable (eg. because of regressions). If you need to know which Wine version works best for a certain game, try the Wine Application Database. You can find the playonlinuxAUR package in the AUR.


PyWinery is a graphical and simple wine-prefix manager which allows you to launch apps and manage configuration of separate prefixes, also have a button to open winetricks in the same prefix, to open prefix dir, winecfg, application uninstaller and wineDOS. You can install PyWinery from AUR. It is especially useful for having differents settings like DirectX games, office, programming, etc, and choose which prefix to use before you open an application or file.

It's recommended using winetricks by default to open .exe files, so you can choose between any wine configuration you have.

Using Wine as an interpreter for Win16/Win32 binaries

It is also possible to tell the kernel to use wine as an interpreter for all Win16/Win32 binaries. First mount the binfmt_misc filesystem:

# mount -t binfmt_misc none /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc

Or you can add this line to your /etc/fstab:

none /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc binfmt_misc defaults 0 0

Then, tell the kernel how to interpret Win16 and Win32 binaries:

echo ':DOSWin:M::MZ::/usr/bin/wine:' > /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/register

You can add this line to /etc/rc.local to make this setting permanent. In this case you may want to ignore stderr to avoid error messages when changing runlevels:

{ echo ':DOSWin:M::MZ::/usr/bin/wine:' > /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc/register; } 2>/dev/null

Now try to run a Windows program:

chmod 755 exefile.exe


Often you may need to run .exes to patch game files, for example a widescreen mod for an old game, and running the .exe normally through wine might yield nothing happening. In this case, you can open a terminal and run the following command:

$ wineconsole cmd

Then navigate to the directory and run the .exe file from there.


Winetricks is a script to allow one to install base requirements needed to run Windows programs. Installable components include DirectX 9.x, MSXML (required by Microsoft Office 2007 and Internet Explorer), Visual Runtime libraries and many more.

You can install winetricks via pacman or use the winetricks-svnAUR package available in the AUR. Then run it with:

$ winetricks

Alternatives to Win16 / Win32 binaries

  • Codeweavers - Codeweavers' Crossover Office; Aimed at Office Users

External Resources