Wine 8.0 released with better controller compatibility, experimental WoW64 support, and more

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Wine 8.0 is here, and it’s packing a lot of improvements over last year’s Wine 7.0.

If you’re looking to run Windows applications on Linux, then you’ve probably heard of Wine. Wine works as a layer translating Windows API calls to POSIX (Portable Operating System Interface) calls while also recreating a Windows directory structure and providing alternative implementations of system services. It doesn’t use any emulation or virtualization to execute Windows binaries, either. Now, Wine version 8.0 has just been released with a ton of improvements and changes.

One of the most notable changes is the completion of Portable Executable (PE) conversion, the Windows binary format. This is important, as it means that various copy protection schemes that check that the on-disk and in-memory contents of system modules are identical will now trust the system that they’re running on. Wine developers say that this will allow for “32-bit applications on 64-bit hosts, Windows debuggers, x86 applications on ARM,” and more.

Furthermore, WoW64 (Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit) support has been implemented for “essentially all” Unix libraries. This allows for 32-bit applications to be executed in a 64-bit environment, without the presence of the appropriate 32-bit libraries. Wind developers don’t recommend it for general use just yet, but it can be enabled by building with the ‘–enable-archs’ option.

Other improvements include:

  • New light theme enabled on default configuration
  • Many Direct3D optimizations and improvements
  • Controller hotplug support improved
  • Driving wheel detection
  • Sony DualShock and DualSense controllers are supported when hidraw backend is used
  • Windows Runtime (WinRT) module Windows.Gaming.Input has been introduced, a programming interface to access gamepads, joysticks, and driving wheels
  • Wine Gecko gets accessibility support

Be sure to check out the official Wine 8.0 announcement to learn more. While binaries aren’t available for download yet, you can build them yourself or wait for those binaries to be released. Once they are, you’ll be able to install it on Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, and macOS. Wine forms part of the Steam Deck’s Proton, so it’s possible that some of these improvements will make gaming on the Steam Deck even better in the future, too.

Source: Wine

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