Lots of Linux users already know about Wine. So do I, and I’ve known about it for a long time.

For the ones of you who don’t know, Wine is a compatibility layer for Unix-like operating systems (Wine is Not an Emulator), designed to run applications built for Windows in said Unix-like operating system.

As I said, I’ve known about Wine for a long time, but Wine is improving every day, and is really becoming a great piece of software.

I’ll take an example: I’m a gamer (well, was before I switched to Linux), and I like to play the latest and the greatest of games, especially Half-Life 2 and related games. Valve, the developers of Half-Life 2, recently launched The Orange Box, a bulk of games including Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, Team Fortress 2 and Portal. I’ve been looking forward to especially the latter two—I own the two former already.

At first I thought “aw hell”—these games were for Windows. While I have run HL2 successfully with Wine before, it had a few mildly annoying bugs. Not that annoying, but just enough to make me refuse to go out and pay $60 for a set of games I couldn’t run perfectly.

The last couple of days, however, I’ve heard so much about the games I felt I had to try, at least. I downloaded the latest version of Wine, 0.9.47, and gave it a whirl. It didn’t work. After grumbling a bit, I today decided to try installing Windows on my box—after all, I had paid $62.30 for these games, so I just had to try them.

They didn’t work. I kept getting errors about the main file, hl2.exe, so I rebooted into Ubuntu, installed Wine 0.9.46 and Steam—the application required to run all these games. And lo and behold:

It works. Steam works. And it actually looks kinda native. Also:

See, that’s cool. And games run flawlessly:

For more pics, see my flickr.

OK, so the above story isn’t the whole truth. I’ve had tons of problems with these games here—I tried for hours yesterday, looked through the Wine AppDB and a bunch of other things without getting it to work. Now it works flawlessly, and it took very, very little effort.

Anyway, the point I wanted forth here, is that the Wine team is doing an insanely good job, and getting far too little attention. If you ever run into a Wine dev, buy them a beer. They deserve it.

Lasse Havelund on October 21st, 2007

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “Wine”

  1. Jeremy responded on October 22nd, 2007 at 1:55 am | permalink

    I too have been simply blown away by Wine in the last year or so. Not only does it almost flawlessly run just about any OpenGL game, but it’s also started emulating some Direct3D games that are close to my heart, like Freelancer.

    You know, Freelancer doesn’t even run correctly on Vista, and Microsoft are shutting down the Freelancer global multiplayer server next year (rumour I heard). Microsoft is abandoning their customers. If Microsoft are going to abandon them, then Wine is going to support the software instead.

    Wine+Linux is starting to become a feasible upgrade alternative for Windows 2000/XP users, in both gaming and business.

  2. Matthias responded on October 22nd, 2007 at 11:40 am | permalink


    Being able to play the games from the Orange Box on Linux in Wine is exactly what I would like to do. Unfortunately, hacking around in Wine for hours scares me a little.
    It would be really cool if you could write a quick “How-To make TF2 & Portal working in Wine 0.9.4x”.
    (This could maybe be cross posted to ?)

  3. Lasse Havelund responded on October 23rd, 2007 at 3:15 pm | permalink

    Matthias, there isn’t much to it, but I suppose I could write an Ubuntu-specific guide on how to do so—I’ll e-mail you when it’s done.

  4. Freelance Programmer responded on August 29th, 2008 at 11:42 am | permalink

    Spot on with this article.Great info.Great blog hope you do well with articles like this:)

Trackback URI | Comments RSS

Leave a Reply