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WINE Unofficial FAQ, Tips & Tricks

Download WineWine (WINE Is Not an Emulator) is a compatibility layer for running Windows programs on Linux.

These are my hastily-written notes and they have been aging for a while. The official wine site, README, FAQ, wiki, etc. may have better, more complete suggestions.

It is preferable not to run wine as root or sudo. Don't do dumb things like adding the user to the disk group. Windows programs have whacked partitions even if run from LiveCD (some LiveCD run as root and mount drives). Keep backups of /home dir.

Icons aren't showing up when I install stuff: If wine was run as root or sudo, it probably installed icons into /root/Desktop and not /home/user/Desktop. It may have changed permissions of ~/.wine folder to root, preventing further changes. No problem, su to root, change ownership of ~/.wine folder back to normal:

#chown -R $USER.$USER .wine #fixme: make sure $USER resolves

Be patient with wine and icons: I noticed wineshelllink is gone in 1.1.15 so they are being worked on.

winecfg: The best command to run after installing wine.

WINEPREFIX environment variable: It may be prudent to bottle wine by seting WINEPREFIX to something other than .wine and then change it when installing a new application suite, such as MSOFFICE. That way, all the registry changes don't mess up other programs. Desktop icons and uninstaller will remember what WINEPREFIX to use. This can prevent some problems later. Each WINEPREFIX is like a new windows install, with its own directories, registry and settings.

export WINEPREFIX=/home/$USER/myWineBottles/MSOFFICE; winecfg

Wine Desktop: If the app fails to run, try running it in a fake desktop. It can work around errors, such as  "Error - Unable to set the video mode." The terminal will say something like "err:x11settings:X11DRV_ChangeDisplaySettingsEx No matching mode found 640x480x8 @0! (XRandR)" "no valid modes" or X Error of failed request BadPixmap | BadDrawable with games. See my nvidia page for setting up video drivers and modes. This can be set in winecfg for each app since 0.9.61 or from the command line:

wine explorer /desktop=foo,1024x768 somegame.exe

Install old web browser: Many non-linux games require a browser control to display status messages during login. The original embedded browser control embeds a defunct, buggy, and not very secure web browser that used to be a popular target for spyware. Wine can fix this situation since wine 1.1.12 by installing a more secure wine_gecko replacement. To do this, simply visit any web page:

wine iexplore http://thenerdshow.com

Install (fake) MIDI Card: Most computers don't have actual MIDI hardware. Instead, the operating system is expected to emulate it in software. Linux can run a synth, such as timidity++ or FluidSynth, at start-up by putting a script in the window manager's startup area or by adding it to user sessions. If not using alsa, then change this. See timidity manual, man timidity. Refer to the window manager's documentation for adding startup programs or sessions. In gnome, go to System->Preferences->Personal->Sessions.

su -c "yum install timidity++"
timidity -iA -Oe & #fixme: see man timidity for correct options

tweaks.reg: Let's add some tweaks from the Useful Registry Keys page. When done, export the keys and combine them into a file, e.g. tweaks.reg. Later on, if the .wine folder gets deleted (or when using another WINEPREFIX) these changes can be added back in again by running "regedit tweaks.reg"

Example tweaks: Use network or other weird printer through KDE (todo: add gnome-print)

"KDE:"="|kprinter --stdin"

Should I use Hacked Wine? Short answer: I wouldn't use it much, but it helps me learn how to fix bugs.

Take the blue pill. First time using git? See http://wiki.winehq.org/GitWine for in-depth coverage of this useful tool.

Back already? Why no blue pill? This hacked version of wine is not actively supported by the wine project. Of course everyone is free to try it out at their own risk so have fun. Once downloaded, the hacked branch can be examined with git commands (man git) or a gui tool like gitk. I think these patches are a good resource for learning tricks in C and wine. They contain a lot of cool hacks and useful code for enabling/disabling same using the registry and stuff.

Take the red pill: Start Terminal and cd to the Downloads directory and run:

git clone git://repo.or.cz/wine/hacks.git master:hacks

This sets up the basic hacked git repository on a machine. Later on down the road the following script might work to update it. Change ~/inst/wine to wherever wine resides. Make sure to have write access to the directory above it (or modify this script).

set -e
cd ~/inst/wine
git reset --hard origin
git pull -f git://repo.or.cz/wine/hacks.git master:hacks
git-rebase origin
echo `cat VERSION`
wver=`cat VERSION|cut -d " " -f 3`
echo Press ENTER to export hacked wine to $ble. Press CTRL-C to cancel.
read foo
git checkout-index --prefix=../$ble/ -a
echo Press ENTER to compile hacked wine. Press CTRL-C to cancel.
read foo
cd ../$ble

Instead of running wineinstall, Fedora users may want to roll the hacked wine into a custom RPM. We of course assume all the dependencies are installed, the box is set up to make rpms and has a current wine.spec file. Replace the last line of the above script with something similar to this (Please edit. This is for ideas only):

find ./ -name ".*" | xargs rm
cd ../
tar cjf $ble.tar.bz2 $ble
rm -rf $ble
mv $ble.tar.bz2 ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES
cd ~/rpmbuild/SPECS
# for 64 bit # export LDFLAGS=-L/usr/lib
rpmbuild -ba wine_hacks.spec --target=i386
# optionally install the finished wine RPMs
# sudo rpm -Uvh ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/i386/$ble*
echo Environment has changed. Please close this terminal.

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