Wine 6.0 update offers better support for running Windows games on Linux and Apple M1 Mac

Wine 6.0 HQ
Wine 6.0 is one of the biggest updates. Pic credit: WineHQ

Wine, the popular open-source compatibility layer that allows running Windows apps on Linux operating systems, has received a significant update. With more than 8000 individual changes, Wine 6.0 should also offer reliable functioning of Windows apps on the new ARM-based Apple M1 chipset.

Wine 6.0 is a stable release. The open-source Windows-Linux compatibility layer project has announced the availability of the latest release. Needless to add, this update is one of the biggest, and certainly a lot bigger than the previous stable release from mid-2020.

Wine 6.0 gets early support for ARM64 on macOS:

One of the biggest developments in the latest Wine 6.0 update is the inclusion of support for ARM64 on macOS. Simply put, this means the platform now offers near-native functionality of Windows apps on Apple Mac PCs.

Apple silicon-based Macs have the Apple M1 chipset, which is based on the ARM architecture. It varies from the x86 Architecture that powers Windows 10 operating system.

Surprisingly, the developers of Wine claim that Wine 6.0 has “exception handling and stack unwinding on ARM platforms (both 32-bit and 64-bit) should be on par with the x86 Architectures.” It basically means Apple M1 Mac PC users should expect a smooth and lag-free experience while running Windows 10 apps on their macOS-powered devices using Wine 6.0

Wine 6.0 new features and benefits:

The developers of Wine have offered details about the latest Wine 6.0 update. Some of the notable highlights include core modules in PE format, DirectShow and Media Foundation support, and a redesign of the text console. The core models in PE format include NTDLL, KERNEL32, GDI32, and USER32.

The platform now includes an experimental Vulkan renderer for WineD3D with reportedly better shader support. The update also brings support for several Direct3D 11 features, including per render-target blend states, dual-source blending, and multi-sample anti-aliasing sample masks.

Wine 6.0 is particularly interesting to gamers who use Linux but play games designed for Windows OS. Improvements on the input devices front include a basic USB kernel driver, mouse position history for games, and plug and play device notifications.

Interestingly, the latest Wine 6.0 release also has better support for anti-cheat systems for games that load kernel drivers, and better network support for copy protection drivers.

Does Microsoft promote the use of Wine?

It is important to note that Wine, contrary to popular belief, is not an emulator. Wine focuses on Windows Application Protocol Interface (API) calls. It translates these instructions to Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) calls.

Microsoft has traditionally opposed Wine. However, the Windows OS maker has recently warmed up to the platform. The company has used Wine to stress the importance of open APIs.

Incidentally, Microsoft has hinted that it used Wine, and basically created an “inverse” of the platform. The company was, of course, referring to the Windows Subsystem for Linux. Microsoft has received appreciation for the WLS platform within Windows 10 that allows Linux programs to run on the OS.

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