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Wine recursive backronym for Wine Is Not an Emulator is a free and open-source compatibility layer that aims to allow computer programs application software and computer games developed for Microsoft Windows to run on Unix-like operating systems.
Wine also provides a software library , known as Winelib, against which developers can compile Windows applications to help port them to Unix-like systems. Wine emulates the Windows runtime environment by translating Windows system calls into POSIX -compliant system calls ,  recreating the directory structure of Windows systems, and providing alternative implementations of Windows system libraries ,  system services through wineserver  and various other components such as Internet Explorer , the Windows Registry Editor ,  and msiexec .
Wine is predominantly written using black-box testing reverse-engineering, to avoid copyright issues. The name Wine initially was an abbreviation for Windows Emulator. While the name sometimes appears in the forms WINE and wine , the project developers have agreed to standardize on the form Wine. In a survey by desktoplinux. Bob Amstadt, the initial project leader, and Eric Youngdale started the Wine project in as a way to run Windows applications on Linux.
It was inspired by two Sun Microsystems ' products, the Wabi for the Solaris operating system, and the Public Windows Initiative ,  which was an attempt to get the Windows API fully reimplemented in the public domain as an ISO standard but rejected due to pressure from Microsoft in The project originated in discussions on Usenet in comp. The project has proven time-consuming and difficult for the developers, mostly because of incomplete and incorrect documentation of the Windows API.
While Microsoft extensively documents most Win32 functions , some areas such as file formats and protocols have no publicly available specification from Microsoft, it also includes undocumented low-level functions, undocumented behavior and obscure bugs that Wine must duplicate precisely in order to allow some applications to work properly.
The Wine project originally released Wine under the same MIT License as the X Window System, but owing to concern about proprietary versions of Wine not contributing their changes back to the core project,  work as of March has used the LGPL for its licensing.
Wine officially entered beta with version 0. CrossOver includes some application-specific tweaks not considered suitable for the WineHQ version, as well as some additional proprietary components. The involvement of Corel for a time assisted the project, chiefly by employing Julliard and others to work on it.
Corel later cancelled all Linux-related projects after Microsoft made major investments in Corel, stopping their Wine effort. Other corporate sponsors include Google , which hired CodeWeavers to fix Wine so Picasa ran well enough to be ported directly to Linux using the same binary as on Windows; Google later paid for improvements to Wine's support for Adobe Photoshop CS2.
Wine is also a regular beneficiary of Google's Summer of Code program. The goal of Wine is to implement the Windows APIs fully or partially that are required by programs that the users of Wine wish to run on top of a Unix-like system.
DirectX is a collection of APIs for rendering, audio and input. While most office software does not make use of these, computer games do. As of , Wine contains a DirectX 9. After some modification to Wine, it is now possible to use Direct3D 9 games without the requirement to translate Direct3D calls into OpenGL calls, thus gaining a huge performance boost.
On December 12, , Phoronix mentioned that a recent revision of Wine could run the video game Overwatch. The functions comprising the Linux API are simple, with few parameters and few places where there are multiple ways to perform the same operation. Win32 provides very comprehensive interfaces with many parameters, often with three or four ways of doing the same thing, without the programmer actually knowing the costs, as documentation of the involved system calls is not available outside Microsoft.
Additionally Win32 mixes low-level and high-level functions together. These contain a huge number of wrapper sub-routines for the system calls of the kernel, the NTOS kernel-mode program ntoskrnl. Only programmers at Microsoft write to the system-call layer, as documentation is not publicly available. The published user-mode interfaces all belong to operating system personalities that are implemented using subsystems that run on top of the NTOS layers.
As a result, a programmer never knows the cost of sub-routine. But Windows also includes a number of programming interfaces which are implemented as services that run as separate processes. Applications communicate with user-mode services through RPCs. Unlike Linux, Windows is case insensitive, meaning it does not generally distinguish between upper- and lowercase.
Wine implements the Windows application binary interface ABI entirely in user space , rather than as a kernel module. Services normally provided by the kernel in Windows  are provided by a daemon known as the wineserver, whose task is to implement basic Windows functionality, as well as integration with the X Window System , and translation of signals into native Windows exceptions.
Although Wine implements some aspects of the Windows kernel , it is not possible to use native Windows drivers with it, due to Wine's underlying architecture. This prevents certain applications and games from working, for example those using StarForce copy-protection which requires virtual device drivers to be installed.
Wine is usually invoked from the command-line interpreter: The developers of the Direct3D portions of Wine have continued to implement new features such as pixel shaders to increase game support. Winecfg makes configuring Wine easier by making it unnecessary to edit the registry directly, although, if needed, this can be done with the included registry editor similar to Windows regedit. Wine also includes its own open-source implementations of several other Windows programs, such as notepad , wordpad , control , iexplore , and explorer.
Wine ensures good backward compatibility with legacy Windows applications, including those written for Windows 3. Backward compatibility in Wine is superior to that of Windows, as newer versions of Windows can force users to upgrade legacy Windows applications. In many cases, Wine can offer better legacy support than newer versions of Windows with "Compatibility Mode". Wine can run bit Windows programs on a bit operating system, which uses an x bit CPU.
Wine partially supports Windows console applications , and the user can choose which backend to use to manage the console choices include  raw streams, curses , and user When using the raw streams or curses backends, Windows applications will run in a Unix terminal. Preliminary support for bit Windows applications was added to Wine 1. However, as almost all Windows applications are currently [update] available in bit versions, and the bit version of Wine can run on bit platforms, this is seen as a non-issue.
Some applications require more tweaking than simply installing the application in order to work properly, such as manually configuring Wine to use certain Windows DLLs.
The Wine project does not integrate such workarounds into the Wine codebase, instead preferring to focus solely on improving Wine's implementation of the Windows API. While this approach focuses Wine development on long-term compatibility, it makes it difficult for users to run applications that require workarounds. Consequently, many third-party applications have been created to ease the use of those applications that don't work out of the box within Wine itself.
The Wine wiki maintains a page of current and obsolete third-party applications. Wine will not run Windows CE programs. Internet Explorer can be installed directly on Wine. However, it is not recommended to do so, since there is an alternative with Wine and at least in the past it crashed or does not work well on recent versions of Wine which had poor support for Internet Explorer.
Internet Explorer 5 can be installed on Wine 1. However, It is not compatible with the latest versions of Wine,  and the development of IEs4Linux is inactive. The core Wine development aims at a correct implementation of the Windows API as a whole and has sometimes lagged in some areas of compatibility with certain applications.
Direct3D, for example, remained unimplemented until ,  although newer releases have had an increasingly complete implementation. CodeWeavers markets CrossOver specifically for running Microsoft Office and other major Windows applications, including some games.
CrossOver Games was optimized for running Windows video games. Unlike CrossOver, it didn't focus on providing the most stable version of Wine. Instead, experimental features are provided to support newer games. TransGaming Technologies produced the proprietary Cedega software. Instead of being an end-user product, Cider like Winelib is a wrapper allowing developers to adapt their games to run natively on Intel Mac without any changes in source code.
The Russian company Etersoft has been developing a proprietary version of Wine since Enterprise by 1C Company. All patches for x86 version were merged back into the main branch of Wine in Development on the PPC version was abandoned. Darwine now provides macOS compatible packages compiled from the Wine repository. The project provides an extensive set of patches against the upstream Wine project,  some of which occasionally get approved and added to upstream Wine.
The Wine project has received a number of technical and philosophical complaints and concerns over the years. Because of Wine's ability to run Windows binary code, concerns have been raised over native Windows viruses and malware affecting Unix-like operating systems. For this reason the developers of Wine recommend never running it as the superuser. Another security concern is when the implemented specifications are ill-designed and allow for security compromise.
Because Wine implements these specs, it will also implement any security vulnerabilities they contain. A common concern about Wine is that its existence means that vendors are less likely to write native Linux, macOS, and BSD applications. No, this is not an error. The Wine project itself responds to these complaints on one of its wiki pages:.
For most people there remain a handful of programs locking them in to Windows. It's obvious there will never be a Microsoft Office ported to Linux, however older versions of programs like TurboTax won't be ported either. Similarly, there are tens of thousands of games and internal corporate applications which will never be ported.
If you want to use Linux and rely on any legacy Windows application, something like Wine is essential Wine makes Linux more useful and allows for millions of users to switch who couldn't otherwise. This greatly raises Linux marketshare, drawing more commercial and community developers to Linux.
Also, the Wine Wiki page claims that Wine can help break the chicken-and-egg problem for Linux on the desktop: This brings us to the chicken and egg issue of Linux on the desktop. Until Linux can provide equivalents for the above applications, its market share on the desktop will stagnate.
But until the market share of Linux on the desktop rises, no vendor will develop applications for Linux. How does one break this vicious circle? Again, Wine can provide an answer. By letting users reuse the Windows applications they have invested time and money in, Wine dramatically lowers the barrier that prevents users from switching to Linux. This then makes it possible for Linux to take off on the desktop, which increases its market share in that segment.
In turn, this makes it viable for companies to produce Linux versions of their applications, and for new products to come out just for the Linux market. This reasoning could be dismissed easily if Wine was only capable of running Solitaire.