back to article Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

Wine, the open source tool that translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls, and therefore lets Windows apps run on Linux, Mac OS and BSD, has reached version 2.0. The tool's developers rate the ability to run Microsoft Office 2013 and 64-bit support on Mac OS as the most significant of the 6,000-plus changes. Support for …

  1. bazza Silver badge

    All is Strange in MS Land

    I think that the excellent endeavour that is Wine illustrates the problems over in Windows land itself.

    I mean, there's .NET, WPF, and a lot of encouragement from MS to come that way. And yet, MS's major app suite isn't written that way, nor is Visual Studio, and no one is quite sure how keen MS are in WPF, and then there was the whole Metro debacle. I may be a touch out of date on the topic, but it certainly wasn't clear what the hell devs were supposed to be using to be on MS's main stream.

    And so here we are with MS these days officially not seeking massive profits from selling OSes, it's all about services, so they should be OS neutral. They support (ish) endeavours like Mono, but not Wine (afaik), and now we have the Linux runtime on Win10. All very confusing.

    As for Wine 2.0, if it works for the few select apps that keep me on Windows then it may be the year of the Linux desktop for me. Possibly. Worth a go. Or maybe a Mac.

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: All is Strange in MS Land

      Though I may settle for Solaris...

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Devil

        Bozo the coding clown and his merry management men

        Well, you know....

        This is the company where you need third-party tools to repair their flagship mail client program. (Still not as bad as kmail which just whales on your settings so much that a reinstall is Help Me Obi-Wan Kenobi, but ..)

        So what does it mean when one of the "most valuable companies in the history of humanity" pulling in gigabucks via extortionwell-policed licensing can't even manage to get a functional mail reader (that is running on a system that they themselves designed) out of the door?

        Yes.

    2. Ilmarinen
      Go

      Re: All is Strange in MS Land

      I already went Linux, currently using Wine 1.6.2 and Mint 18. Works for me (& certainly better than the Win 7 / 10 that we've got at work).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: All is Strange in MS Land

        before i run down a rabbit hole - no, in case I go exploring a rabbit hole - does anyone know have practical experience / know how Wine stacks up with applications written for older Windows (stuff that works on 95, 98, Win2k) ?

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: All is Strange in MS Land

          "does anyone know have practical experience / know how Wine stacks up with applications written for older Windows (stuff that works on 95, 98, Win2k) ?"

          It varies. There's a compatibility database at https://appdb.winehq.org/

          On the face of it the compatibility varies from release to release of both Wine and application. I suspect the real reason is that it varies, at least in part, with who reported a particular combination of Wine, application and hardware. The latter mattered - and maybe still does - because for a long time they refused to believe that a graphic system could legitimately report itself as 24-bit (Intel in millions of non-gaming laptops) and overrode that to 32 bit in the interests of performance and reported such to the application.

          As a Wine user, with an application that would then send a 32-bit splash screen, I took advantage that it was open source. I undid that stupidity and didn't bother upgrading. Eventually I got a later version of the application that didn't break it and just accepted the distro's (Debian LTS) version of Wine.

          However, there was one application that wouldn't even install in Wine and whose devs showed no interest in fixing it. It did eventually install and start but wouldn't run properly. I just ran it, when I needed to, in W2K in a VM - no connection to the net, no updates to break things and they were pretty well of the same age.

        2. Stuart 22

          Re: All is Strange in MS Land

          If you are looking at running old applications then we found the best way is in a Virtualbox Win2k VM. It doesn't have to load (if you save in state) is lean on RAM and the old apps run faster than they ever did. Compatibility on business applications is excellent. Stuff that cheated to address real hardware (games?) may be a different story.

          Its all free and no activation issues to circumnavigate. It even networks nicely with your Linux filesystems.

          More modern stuff that won't run under even real Win2k we have used Wine. The reason is they may be pushing even the Win API envelope and hence there is a good reason why some will crash under Wine which won't handle all the ambiguities that exist in native Windows. That's what we found. An application like Evernote would work but later updates would not. Wine 2.0 may fix some of those issues but we treat an application with Wine as an opportunistic and potentially unstable platform. Not really for mission critical work.

          I see Wine as a transition aid to smooth the migration to Linux. To give people time to acclimatise to Linux and adopt Linux/Cross OS solutions as replacements over time.

          Worked for us and thanks to the Wine team though we no longer need it. That's success.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: All is Strange in MS Land

            Thank you Doctor Syntax, Stuart 22 :)

          2. Barry Rueger

            Re: All is Strange in MS Land

            I'll second the VirtualBox suggestion. Mine runs Vista so we can access our QuickBooks accounting software. On any reasonably up to date machine it's an easy install, and best of all if you change machines you don't need to re-install Windows and the apps - just copy over the directory.

            In my experience the success of WINE depends entirely on there being someone knowledgeable who needed a specific app bad enough to keep at it until it actually worked reliably. The WINE database is full of entries that more or less say "THIS version works sometimes with THIS version of WINE, but not necessarily with YOUR hardware."

            With notable exceptions like MS Office and popular games it's really a case of trial and error - try to install it and see if it works.

          3. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

            Re: All is Strange in MS Land

            'Its all free and no activation issues to circumnavigate'

            Apart from the Windows 2000 license, which you legally own, yes?

            VirtualBox is ok, but if you're using 3D graphics it may have worse performance/stability than running the app under Wine (depending on the host platform hardware).

  2. jake Silver badge

    "get a guernsey"?

    New one on me ... Not even sure of the etymology. Drunken mis-remembering of the island of Jersey somehow got translated to the shirt, which in turn was over-loaded into approval? Only in Oz, I guess ...

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: "get a guernsey"?

      It's Australian slang. We're entertaining and educational.

      C.

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: "get a guernsey"?

        Yes, I know. I looked it up (teh intraweb tubes is useful that way). The rest of mine was musing on the etymology, which I couldn't find. Any pointers to that? I collect such trivia (you should see my personal "fortune" file ... ).

        1. dbannon

          Re: "get a guernsey"?

          A "guernsey" is the knitted garment you might wear playing football or similar. In club colours so joining the club, and perhaps being selected to play means you "get a guernsey". But I don't know why we call it a guernsey .....

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "get a guernsey"?

            "But I don't know why we call it a guernsey"

            It was originally a knitted product from the Channel Island of Guernsey. My grandfather born in the late 19th century used the term and it was considered part of the Potteries dialect of Biddulph Moor. As someone else has pointed out the word was also corrupted into "ganzie".

            A more common name for that item of clothing in England is a jersey - from another Channel Island, Jersey.

            Jersey wool, now supplanted by other fibres, produced a fine stretchy material ideal for things like shirts etc.

          2. David Thorn

            Re: "get a guernsey"?

            Because it's close to a Jersey?

            Sorry - that will come across a bit Sarky, I will look for an Aldernytive way to put it.

            1. BugabooSue
              Pint

              Re: "get a guernsey"?

              @David Thorn

              "Sorry - that will come across a bit Sarky, I will look for an Aldernytive way to put it."

              Nice. Really nice! :)

          3. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

            Re: "get a guernsey"?

            > A "guernsey" is the knitted garment you might wear playing football

            Hmm. That's news to me. A "geansaí" (pronounced ganzi) in Irish is a sweater/jumper/pullover/shirt (sport). I'm not sure of the etymology but it looks more like it got borrowed into English than the other way around. At least it seems like a native Irish word to me.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: "get a guernsey"?

              The BBC R4 current "book of the week" is a biography of Victor Hugo's writing of "Les Miserables". Last night's episode dealt with his exile on the Channel Island of Guernsey in 1855. The opening 35 seconds on iPlayer mentions the knitting products with the corrupted verbal form of the island's name.

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08bqx38

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "get a guernsey"?

        >It's Australian slang. We're entertaining and educational.

        I'm lost and try trying to get to Tasmania, please could you point it out on the map for me ?

        ;)

      3. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

        Re: "get a guernsey"?

        A bit too close to "gurney" for my taste in phraseology,

        Tip: Be careful what you do with your right arm if you ever find yourself on a gurney... (Thanks Wikipedia for the insight)

      4. Mike Moyle Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: "get a guernsey"?

        Well, there's me, silly American, assuming that it was one of those rhyming slang things that you folks seem to like so much: Guernsey cow --> bow. I.e. "Get a Guernsey" = "Get a bow (or a nod)". (Is there a term similar to "backronym" for back-rationalizing an etymology?)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Thanks, all'yall

          Nice to see everybody channel their thoughts. Good thing no man is an island!

        2. Agincourt and Crecy!
          Mushroom

          Re: "get a guernsey"?

          @Mike Moyle

          "Well, there's me, silly American, assuming that it was one of those rhyming slang things that you folks seem to like so much"

          Stop it! Rhyming slang is something Londoners use, not everyone in Britain.

          I can't see why y'all keep generalising.

          1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

            Re: "get a guernsey"?

            "I can't see why y'all keep generalising."

            I assume that that was intended ironically, since "y'all" is predominantly a southern USian thing and most of us will have none of it.

    2. Warm Braw Silver badge

      Re: "get a guernsey"?

      Sometimes also known as a "ganzie", originally one of many examples of British regional knitwear but now a generic term for a sweater. Don't spill your Wine on it, though.

  3. Tinslave_the_Barelegged

    Definition of "mature"

    For me, Wine matured around 1997/8. At that time, the only Windows program that really made life easier was the Windows-only Ameol reader for the sainted CIX service. My machine started behaving oddly, and a quick "ps ax" showed that Wine was, indeed, capable of running a windows virus of the era, I forget which, caught courtesy of something downloaded via Ameol, and duly executed as a windows binary. A sort of reverse "DOS ain't done 'til Lotus won't run" moment.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    OK, let me get this straight..

    .. I don't run Windows to avoid the problems that it has, and now I'm going to install a product that STILL makes it possible to, for instance, execute .exe files?

    That's about as useful as a car door lock defroster that you have to power from the cigarette lighter socket. Functional, but pointless.

    :)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: OK, let me get this straight..

      In a perfect world yes. Only it's not a perfect world. You might have everything running well in Linux bar one bit of closed abandoned horror. Wine gives you a possible get out jail free card.

      The other thing Wine excels at is being great reference source when MSDN leaves you scratching your head. The C source is well written and much clearer than the pirate Windows 2000 C/C++ (as in neither language) source you can find on the internet.

      The problem is that people think Wine means you can just run all Windows software, and that is just too much to ask. Windows can't do that either. There was an interesting project a few years ago, Wine on Windows, as Wine is better for running old Windows software than Windows, but it seams abandoned now.

      But ideally, yes, you don't need Wine.

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: OK, let me get this straight..

        "The problem is that people think Wine means you can just run all Windows software, and that is just too much to ask. Windows can't do that either. There was an interesting project a few years ago, Wine on Windows, as Wine is better for running old Windows software than Windows, but it seams abandoned now.

        But ideally, yes, you don't need Wine."

        Wine on Windows was abandoned when x86 CPUs got proper virtualization support. Now it's just so much easier to run older Windows stuff on a VM or (if we're walking Win3 stuff) with DOSBox.

        As for Wine, that depends. The main reason I'm still with Windows is that it's still the best OS for games PC-wise. The lineups can't even compare, especially at the top end where not even Valve can convince the headliners to go multi-OS, in spite of a plethora of multi-OS-supporting toolkits. Consider that.

        1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

          Re: OK, let me get this straight..

          > so much easier to run older Windows stuff on a VM

          But that requires an actual copy of, and valid license for, the appropriate version of Windows. Some prefer to not pay Microsoft for the privilege.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: OK, let me get this straight..

            You'd need it anyway for Wine on Windows, so it's a wash. And then there's the really old (Windows 3) stuff.

    2. Richard Plinston Silver badge

      Re: OK, let me get this straight..

      > and now I'm going to install a product ... That's about as useful as ...

      Well, no, it seems that you not going to install it, because it is not useful to you. It is optional and some will because they do find it useful.

      It is called 'choice', do you think it shouldn't occur?

  5. Alistair Silver badge
    Pint

    I'll have a copy running tonight on personal machine. Will test it against the primary reason I have it. As I've been given to understand, Direct3D has had a fair bit of uplift, but Dx10 and Dx11 aren't anywhere near done. WoW will be able to test that bit. And if I can get my SO's copy of Overwatch to install and run I'll have another bit to install.

    Wine will happily run quite a fair number of things up to and including Office 2010 Visio without issues in my case. There *is* some witchcraft around DLLs that lie outside of the standard windows install, but overall I've found in the last 5 years many of the apps I've "just tried" worked quite well out of the box.

    Look up winetricks if you're going to give it a spin, but *READ* before you stuff all sorts of crap in.

    Beer to the winedevs for accomplishment.

    1. Alistair Silver badge

      And in reply to myself:

      Wine 2.0 - WoW runs under DX11 (-d3d11 on the command line) but without some digging into interesting tweaks the framerate is atrocious compared to DX9. Opengl is not usable as Blizzard has abandoned work on that apparently. < have not done any of a list of optimizations for this and there are about 6 different things, depending on Video Driver that are all noted on various app DB pages at winehq already >

      Visio (2010) runs *much* better in 2.0 that in 1.9.21 - cursor hesitation is gone and the object grouping functions in visio behave more like when its running on Win7.

      Office 2013/2015 all work well on essential tests and basic functionality.

      All in all I'd say 2.0 is a nice improvement over 1.9x series - (I've a few more apps to test but haven't had time to play with them yet -- there's a stream capture application I need to benchmark for a *cough* kordkutting group I'm part of that *looks* like it has improved immensely in 2.0)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    just some win apps, mainly utuls are working

    no matter they update this shit, still apps like eg. excel 2007 does not working (bugs left abandoned).

    1. John Sanders
      Linux

      Re: just some win apps, mainly utuls are working

      Office 2003/2007/2010

      Almost work perfectly

      Office 2013 works but not as well as previous versions.

      The only piece of the puzzle is Outlook this is due to the complex Internet Explorer shenanigans, I mean system integration.

      But eventually it will work.

      Wine is great for Applications frozen in time, for example Visio 2003 or Photoshop CS2/3/4/5/6

      Many, many games also work.

      Wine is very hit and miss, and you need to learn a lot of black arts (IE copying DLL files from Windows XP) using winetricks (use always the very latest version!)

      Wine is an achievement, like everything in Linux it moves slow at times, and others it moves fas and snowballs with functionality.

      When it solves a problem for you it feels uncanny in a good way, picture me with a "pepe the frog" smug expression when I run Photoshop CS6 in Linux.

  7. Bucky 2
    Meh

    Mostly just games

    Their sponsors (people who actually give them money to develop) seem mostly to be interested in games, so that's where the attention goes.

    Things that you might actually use for something other than wasting time (e.g.: TurboTax, a version of Photoshop released this decade) don't get a lot of love. It's not really their fault -- a person has to eat -- but it limits the utility of the project from an end-user perspective. If you want that to change, you have to pony up.

    I'm betting that most people's Office needs are satisfied by Libre Office, so MS Office support -- a delightful technical achievement -- doesn't actually open any productivity doors.

    Note also that it's important to actually read through the ratings. Things are sometimes rated "Silver" or "Bronze" if the applications launch, but are otherwise unable to do what they were designed for.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Mostly just games

      "Things that you might actually use for something other than wasting time (e.g.: TurboTax, a version of Photoshop released this decade) don't get a lot of love"

      Wine is also, AFAIK, supported by Crossover. That's a paid for package and the promotional blurb ("CrossOver Linux runs Windows productivity software, utility programs, and games all in one application") puts productivity first. People purchasing that should expect to get some love.

      It's ironic that one of Crossover's Top WIndows Software packages, Enterprise Architect, is the one that I couldn't get running in earlier versions of Wine (or Crossover) without hacking it to remove the assumption that a 24 bit colour graphic driver could actually support 32 bit colour. Only when Sparx Sytems changed their splash screen could it be run on an unhacked Wine.

      1. BinkyTheMagicPaperclip Silver badge

        Re: Mostly just games

        'without hacking it to remove the assumption that a 24 bit colour graphic driver could actually support 32 bit colour'

        24 bit? I remember elderly Windows systems running 15 bit graphics (although to be fair, I think even some genuine Windows apps running on real Windows didn't like that either)

    2. John Sanders
      Holmes

      Re: Mostly just games

      """Things that you might actually use for something other than wasting time (e.g.: TurboTax, a version of Photoshop released this decade) don't get a lot of love. It's not really their fault -- a person has to eat -- but it limits the utility of the project from an end-user perspective. If you want that to change, you have to pony up."""

      That is not true, not at all.

      There are two aspects of Wine that people do not understand.

      One is the fact that sometimes functionality is missing in several areas, this includes bugs in Windows that need to be reproduced.

      The second fact is that some applications do not run out of the box on Wine's version of its components yet, but do run just fine if you configure Wine to use a DLL directly from a version of Windows (Windows XP ones are great most of the time)

      Office 2003 for example will not work well unless you do several DLL overrides.

      Wine can't just say hey!, copy these files from windows because you need a license for windows, so sometimes applications do not run for years because wine's DLL is missing functionality, which sometimes depends on other functionality of another component and so on.

      1. Bucky 2

        Re: Mostly just games

        sometimes applications do not run for years because wine's DLL is missing functionality, which sometimes depends on other functionality of another component and so on.

        Ta da! So when you say "that's not true at all," what you mean is that it's true in every respect that matters.

        If wine needs a file from Windows to run an application, then that means wine doesn't provide a feature that's built in to Windows. I don't see how it would be incorrect to state otherwise.

        Saying that wine will run a program if you replace all of its innards with licensed Windows components is ridiculous.

  8. ecofeco Silver badge

    Great comments. I'm learning some new things. Thanks to all.

    Cheers.

  9. Norman Nescio

    EPOC emulator on Linux

    WINE is brilliant for me, as it allows me to run PSION's EPOC emulator on Linux.

    I'm hoping, eventually, to be able to run it on a mobile phone, and with a plug-in USB keyboard, finally have a functional replacement for my trusty Psion 5mx.

    The other potential route is to use a Pyra.

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