Linux gamers rejoice: Wine 4.0 is here

Gaming on Linux picked up some pace in recent years in large parts thanks to Valve Software’s investment in growing gaming on Linux.

Mike listed some AAA games on Linux that Steam users could run back in mid-2018; Steam improved Windows games support significantly in the same year on Linux, by introducing a modified version of Wine that Valve Software called Proton.

The team behind Wine released a new major version of the software that adds support for many Windows games and applications on non-Windows systems such as those running Linux or Mac OS.

Wine 4.0 includes more than 6000 individual changes according to the release announcement; since it is a major version, it introduces support for new features such as Vulkan, Direct3D 12, better Direct3D 10 and 11 support, and a lot more.

The Wine 4.0 source is already available; binary packages are being built and will be offered soon on the project’s download page and various Linux distributions.

Tip: if you don’t know if Wine supports a particular application or game, check out the Application Database on the Wine website. You find more than 26,000 applications and games listed in the database. It reveals how well various versions run. Note that games or apps that are not listed in the database may still run.

Interested users find the release notes here. Check out the short list of important changes below:

  • Initial support for Direct3D 12 (requires a Vulkan-capable video card).
  • Implementation of Direct3D 10 and 11 features such as multi-sample textures and views, depth bias clamping, or support for 1D textures.
  • Direct3D 11 and Direct2D interface updates.
  • Support for more graphics card in the Direct3D graphics cards database.
  • Implementation of a complete Vulkan driver using host Vulkan libraries under X11 and MoltenVK on Mac OS.
  • PNG format icons in 256×256 are supported.
  • Dos binaries can’t be run under Wine anymore. If the user wants to execute DOS binaries, a DOSBox instance is launched.
  • Infrastructure for setting DPI awareness is integrated.
  • File dialog improvements.
  • Support for HID game controllers in the XInput and Raw Input APIs.
  • Windows Media Player interfaces implemented.
  • Internationalization improvements.

Users who used Wine before will be able to upgrade to the new version when it comes out. Windows users who consider making the switch to Linux, e.g. when Windows 7 support runs out in January 2020, may also want to check out Wine as they may be able to run their favorite Windows programs and games on Linux machines.

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