Wine is a free and open source compatibility layer that makes it possible to run some Windows applications on computers running Linux, FreeBSD, or some other operating systems. It’s also the foundation for the Proton software that Valve uses to allow Steam Deck users to play Windows games on the Linux-powered handheld.

Wine 8.0 is now available for download, and it represents the biggest update since version 7.0 was released just over a year ago.

One of the biggest changes is that all modules for Wine can now be built in the PE (portable executable) format which enables support for:

  • Running Windows apps with copy protection
  • Using 32-bit apps on host PCs with 64-bit chips
  • Using x86 apps on host PCs with ARM processors

The developers note that it took four years to make this move, and there are still some modules that “perform direct calls between the PE and the Unix part, instead of going through the NT call interface,” but that these will be removed in upcoming Wine 8.x builds

Other changes in Wine 8.0 include graphics improvements including an updated version of the Vulkan graphics driver and support for more graphics cards, improved game controller hotplug support (for removing and inserting controllers).

You can find more details in the Wine 8.0 release announcement.

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    1. Whoaaa…

      Will this make Windows games work with Apple Silicon?? (either in MacOS or in Asahi Linux??)

      1. macOS isn’t Linux
        most video games are 32 bit and macOS only runs 64 bit apps
        macOS doesn’t support discrete GPUs (and don’t believe their marketing on the prowess of their integrated GPUs, which are optimized for photo and video editing – and even there said editing that uses their ProRes codecs and not generally – but “average” otherwise)
        so you would be doing double translation: Windows to Linux software translation on top of x86 to ARM hardware translation

        Honestly, at the end of the day, you would have a better experience with a $400 Chromebook capable of running Steam like the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming Chromebook 16″ (yes, I would have chosen a different name) than trying to run Steam on Wine on macOS.

        1. Erm… You can run a bunch of games like Rocket League, Witcher 3, etc., on Apple Silicon, on MacOS, using CrossOver – which uses Wine.

          But CrossOver is commercial software, and it uses pre-upstream patches which are only added to Wine later.

          With this update we should now be able to play at least some Windows games directly with Wine, which you can pull into the system through nix – and possibly also homebrew(?).

          And that is a pretty cool thing to be able to do on a passively cooled laptop like the Air, no?

          1. that would be possible. Wine has a history of working with Mac. I used to use Wine “bottles” to play Skyrim on OSX 10 years ago. With the ARM support -you should get some Windows games on Silicon. I’ve played a few with Crossover already, but it’s expensive and very few games work with it.

        2. MacOS is UNIX not Linux. What’s the difference? UNIX is proprietary and requires licensing.

  1. Most people either use dual-boot or virtual machine Windows. I have not had a real purpose for Wine in years.

    1. Good for you! You’re not everyone.
      Not having to fuss around with copying and pasting from a VM, not wanting to split up your machine’s already limited resources, and wanting to be as independent from Microsoft and Apple as possible are plenty real purposes for WINE.

      1. It’s also sometimes easier to run older software with WINE than it is under a regular Windows install. I play my old Civ2 game under WINE with no issues, while I’ve never figured out how to get it working under any Windows after XP.

    2. I remember needing Wine to run MP3enc when I would rip CDs with cdparanoia. I had a dual P2 350 box with two software raid partitions. One raid 0 for the ripped CDDA and one raid 1 for the saved files. I had a Plextor ultra scsi cdrom, dual Maxtor drives and a Matrox graphics card.
      Wine was very important for my transition to Linux, but now that I have to dual-boot anyways, I don’t install it.

    3. Wine has greatly improved since I began using it 20 years ago. I haven’t needed to dual boot or otherwise use a genuine Windows OS since 2015.