Wine is not an emulator like Qemu or a virtualization environment like Virtualbox, but a runtime environment that aims to emulate the Windows API on Linux. This API mapping is not complete, but it is comprehensive enough for many Windows programs to run on the Linux desktop.
Wine began as a hobby project 30 years ago at the time of Windows 3.1 with its 16-bit API. After a simple “Hello World” program, it quickly succeeded in getting Solitaire to run. With Windows 95, Wine had to support the new 32-bit API and soon showed impressive partial success, so Corel invested in further development of Wine from 1999 to 2000 to use it for the then popular Wordperfect.
In the meantime, further development disintegrated into commercial branches, which scared off many open-source developers and hindered progress. Wine was revived by Google in 2006, because at that time Wine served as a compatibility layer for the Linux version of Picasa. Google thus saved itself a complete porting of Picasa to Linux.
Today, the gaming scene and especially Valve with its Wine-based compatibility layer Proton is the driving force behind Wine. After all, Microsoft’s office package MS Office is no longer in focus now that a cloud variant, Office 365, runs in the browser — even under Linux. This does not apply to games — and that is why the development of Wine continues undaunted.
Progress of Wine 8
The now available version 8 of Wine marks a milestone in the development and supports more current programs and games again. This is made possible by the conversion of the Wine modules to the format of “portable executables,” which some games require. In addition, Wine can now run 32-bit programs in its 64-bit environment without having to install all the required libraries in 32-bit on the host system.
This article therefore shows how to set up a current Wine edition in Ubuntu 22.04/23.04 and the first steps to configure this environment for Windows programs. Today, Wine simulates all Windows versions from XP to 11, although the emulation of Windows 10/11 has not yet matured in all details.
Appdb: Does a Windows program work?
Simple applications run immediately and without problems after installation with little preparation, complex programs often need some manual configuration. For difficult candidates such as Adobe Photoshop, which in version CS6 also runs well under Linux with Wine 8, there are alternatives and installation aids. Even though the progress made by Wine developers is astonishing, in practice there are still a number of programs that require special rules for the libraries used.
Whether a Windows program runs in Wine does not have to be determined empirically by trial and error. It is always worth taking a look at the searchable application database http://appdb.winehq.org before installing and working with Wine.
It shows how good or bad the support is for certain programs. Applications are given a status according to the categories platinum, gold, silver, bronze, or rubbish, depending on the reports of Wine users who are keen to experiment and share their results. All applications categorized below Gold status usually run only after a few pull-ups or under Wine alternatives such as Crossover. After clicking on “Show,” many entries show a mini-guide with installation instructions, which can sometimes be demanding. It is always important to know the version number of Wine, because many programs will only run with newer versions such as 7 or 8.
Crossover: For difficult cases
A utility based on Wine, which major Wine developers are also working on, is the commercial Crossover from Codeweavers. This is not simply a fork of the original Wine source code, but an extension. It is always close to the current Wine, but has a few more libraries on board for improved compatibility with Windows programs.
Crossover specializes in typical office applications such as Microsoft Office. It offers a graphical interface for installing and managing Windows programs. Crossover is not open source, but a commercially distributed program that starts at $74 euros. A 14-day evaluation version allows a free test (after registration with a mail address).
Codeweavers provides a suitable binary package as RPM and DEB for the various Linux distributions. After the simple installation via the package manager, a graphical user interface takes over the further setup, for example for the required Truetype fonts. The search at www.codeweavers.com/compatibility shows which programs in particular really work with Crossover. The developers point out that Crossover 22.x is still based on Wine 7.7 (Wine 8 is the impetus for Crossover 23, which is to appear at the end of 2023).
Ubuntu: Install the latest Wine
In Ubuntu (and Linux Mint) of all places, Wine is only available in an outdated version in the standard package sources. We want to settle for nothing less than the latest Wine here, direct from the developers. The first step towards this is to include 32-bit package sources, because Wine 8 still requires a whole lot of libraries for best compatibility:
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
A directory for the signatures of the Wine packages is created by the command:
downloads the keychain for verifying the packages. The inclusion of the package sources in Ubuntu is done by specifying the codename of the Ubuntu version, “jammy” for Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and also for Linux Mint:
After installing Wine, the first step is to start the winecfg configuration program. The program creates an environment for Wine in the hidden folder “.wine” in the home directory. There it creates an image of the Windows registry in the form of text files as well as the application files of future installed programs in the subdirectory “~/.wine/drive_c”. In addition, winecfg checks the runtime environment for completeness and offers, for example, to install the .NET runtime Wine-Mono, which must be confirmed in a dialogue.
In this way, winecfg creates the first standard configuration on its own and then displays the further Windows-style settings dialogue. Here, the most important options for fine-tuning are available — for example, to adjust the display, to select an audio device for the sound output, or to add original Windows libraries. An important point is the assignment of virtual drive letters to directories, which is done under “Drive.” This point may be necessary if a Windows program asks for an inserted setup CD for installation or start-up.
Winetricks: Important settings
However, the winecfg tool only represents a small part of the settings and many options can only be edited directly in Wine’s configuration files. A handy script called “winetricks” relieves users of frequently needed tasks and adjustments via simple, graphic menus. The script is distribution-independent, but requires the packages “zenity” and “cabextract,” which are retrofitted in Ubuntu/Mint with:
sudo apt install zenity cabextract
It is best to install the script in its current version directly from the developers’ server. In the shell, enter
in the shell to download the script file “winetricks” into the current directory, where you can then start it by means of
to start it.
After asking whether actions for statistical evaluation should be sent to the Wine developers, the important options are available via the item Select default Wine prefix. The following menu allows the installation of frequently needed DLLs and fonts, as the installation instructions of the Appdb database state in each case. For a shortcut, however, “winetricks” can also be started with command line parameters.
Tips: Most Windows programs require the standard fonts, which are available for installation under Install font > corefonts. In addition, further Wine parameters can be edited via Change Wine settings. It is recommended to activate fontsmooth=gray here, because this significantly improves the display of fonts in Windows programs.
Own environments for programs
Windows programs that need many libraries and settings of their own can in turn be dangerous for other functioning applications in Wine. Wine therefore offers the possibility of several independent environments with their own directories (“prefix”). To create a new Wine environment, for example as “.wine-test”, use this call in the terminal window:
env WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-test winecfg
The directory “~/.wine-test” is automatically created and equipped with a standard configuration. To ensure that this alternative environment is also used for further configuration with winecfg or “winetricks,” it must be specified when calling up the tools:
env WINEPREFIX=~/.wine-test sh winetricks
The prefix is also important for executing setup programs or Windows applications:
In the case of automatically created program starters for an installed application, Wine automatically adds the appropriate prefix as a start parameter.
A prefix is also used to create separate environments for 32-bit under 64-bit systems. Winecfg creates a 64-bit environment for Wine by default, under which some 32-bit programs do not run — not even in the latest Wine 8. To specifically create a 32-bit environment in the folder “~/.wine32” for older Windows software, use the following command:
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 WINEARCH='win32' winecfg
Winetricks must also be started with the prefix in order to install fonts or DLLs here or to set options:
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 WINEARCH='win32' winecfg
Tips: For experimentation, it is always advisable to install programs in their own Wine prefixes so as not to interfere with other Windows applications. If a program refuses to work, simply delete the directory with the respective prefix from the data carrier. A directory can also be backed up as a whole or transferred to another Linux computer running Wine, because the Wine prefix always contains all settings and files.
Borrowings: Retrofitting original DLLs
For licensing reasons, Wine is not allowed to deliver Windows components. However, some Windows programs have special requirements that the API does not meet, even with Wine 8. They require original Windows libraries.
Winetricks offers a series of libraries via the submenu Install Windows DLL and in most cases downloads an update package from the Microsoft servers. If a program requires a very special DLL, the library can also be copied from an existing Windows system into the Wine directory “~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32”. Then go to the configuration of winecfg and select the desired library under Libraries > New override for. The item Set creates a new rule, which you can then change with Edit. The setting Native uses the existing, original Windows DLL in the subfolder system32 instead of the built-in library of Wine 8. The script “winetricks” creates these rules on its own when installing DLLs.
Playonlinux: Installation help
Another option for setting up a selection of particularly popular Windows programs in Wine is the front-end Playonlinux. It provides installation aids to persuade even difficult candidates with many adjustments to run. Playonlinux takes care of the necessary Wine settings on its own and installs individual applications in their own Wine environments (prefix). Unfortunately, the development of Playonlinux has been lying idle for a while. Only in Ubuntu and Linux Mint is it still included in the standard sources and can be installed via the software center or the command line with:
sudo apt install playonlinux
Virtual machines: Windows complete
If Wine or Crossover fail with Windows programs that are extremely important for your work, you can always use a virtual machine. A Windows installed there only has access to emulated hardware, but the loss of performance is hardly noticeable on modern computers. The simplest solution for virtualization under Linux is Oracle Virtualbox. In order not to have to constantly handle an additional window in which a virtualized Windows is running, the “seamless” mode can be used under Linux. This shows individual program windows from the VM on the Linux desktop.
Start tapping the Esc key BEFORE starting the PC and then press the start button. Keep tapping the Esc key until a popup menu shows. Then pick Set Up from that popup menu, F9. If the USB is bootable, it will show in the menu. Make the USB the first item and then save.
It should then boot from the Linux Mint Live. BTW: you are doing the best way I would recommend, when asked – just make sure there is media attached IE: external hard drive or BIG capacity USB drive to hold the files that are being saved from the failed hard drive.
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The Unique ID is, a unique set of numbers associated to each account. This ID is generated at the moment you begin playing the game and remains the same while the account is active, whether Facebook or other services are linked or not, serving as an identification of the user. This also helps us track any accounts, which will ultimately make sure we can more quickly and efficiently help you resolve your issues 🙂
In this article we’ll let you know how to find your ID through your mobile device.
Here’s how you find it through 8 Ball Pool:
1. Open your game and at the top right you will see your Nickname and avatar/profile picture.
Click on the Avatar as shown below. If you tap on your nickname, make sure to select Profile on the top right part of the screen.
2. Once you click on it, your Profile Page will pop-up, showing your currency, achievements, total amount of winnings and other details, including your Unique ID.
Tap on the icon right next to the ID to automatically copy it!
That’s it! Once you have it, always make sure to include it in your emails to the Player Experience team 😊 You should also make a note of your Unique ID, in case you lose access to the account or there is a technical outage.
You can be a seasoned Windows user, but you may still not know every shortcut available. For example, earlier this month I learned a new keyboard shortcut I hadn’t known before. It was so simple and obvious, yet felt like a complete secret until that moment.
I also discovered that there are a whole lot more I’ve been sleeping on.
The original tip came via Twitter (now known as X) courtesy of Jen Gentleman, a Windows engineering team member at Microsoft. But the help doesn’t stop there. She very generously has an entire list of such tricks pinned to the top of her feed, too. I eagerly jumped down that rabbit hole and came away with a solid list of new shortcuts to incorporate into daily use.
To save you time, I’ve shared my favorites below. They work in both Windows 10 and 11. If you like them, be sure to check out Gentleman’s Twitter account—not only do you get helpful Windows tips, she posts spot-on internal monologues about video games, too. (I feel this one pretty deep in my soul.)
1. Copy text from a Windows dialog window
Running up against an error message in Windows? No need to painstakingly transcribe the error code. Instead, when the pop-up is the active window, hit Ctrl + C on your keyboard, then paste the text into a document. The whole message is copied, so you can extract whatever parts of it you want from the text dump.
2. Switch to the correct app window fast
If you have more than one window open for an app, you can hover your mouse over the program’s icon in your taskbar, then choose the correct window—provided you can make out which one it is from the tiny preview.
An alternative that’s just as fast? Hold Ctrl and then click on the app’s icon. You’ll cycle through all its open windows. I now use this exclusively when flipping between two open windows. It’s as efficient as alt+tab, but app-specific.
3. Open a new instance of an app
Turns out if you hold Shift while clicking with your mouse on a taskbar icon, it opens a new instance of that app. That is, running the program a second time or more. It’s slightly different than opening a new window—for example, a second instance of Chrome lets you load a different profile while the first one is logged in. Or having two text files open at the same time in Notepad.
You can middle-click on your mouse to execute this same command, too—that’s probably your scroll wheel if you have a modern mouse.
4. Make Windows UWP apps fullscreen
While pressing Win + the up arrow key will maximize any window, it doesn’t make the application full screen. For apps you install through the Microsoft Store app (aka Windows UWP apps), you can make them full screen by tapping three keys: Win + Shift + Enter.
5. Run apps with elevated permissions
By default, apps don’t run with admin permissions, a security measure that restricts how a program can behave within Windows. For example, the KeePassXC password manager can’t access 2FA hardware keys (like a Yubikey) plugged into a PC when opened normally.
To quickly launch software with elevated permissions, just hold Ctrl + Shift while double-clicking the app to open it. No need to right-click on the program’s icon or shortcut and then choose to run as admin.
6. Open a new window for an app
Every app on your taskbar has a number assigned to its position—at least, for the first 10. You might already know this and make use of the keyboard shortcut that lets you open apps (or jump to them, if already open) pinned to your taskbar: the Windows key plus a number from 0 through 9.
But did you know if you hold Win + Shift and then the number you want, a new window for that app will open? This one isn’t universal (the software has to support this shortcut), but for those that do, it’s a fantastic time saver.
7. Quick access to emoji (and kaomoji!)
Want to insert an emoji (or more importantly, a kaomoji) into whatever you’re typing? Skip the online search and instead press Win + ; or Win + . on your keyboard. It brings up Windows’ on-screen emoji keyboard, which includes a kaomoji keyboard and special characters keyboard, too. Windows 11 also gets a GIF keyboard and direct access to the clipboard. ╰(*°▽°*)╯
8. Fix a black screen
Did your screen suddenly go blank, even though your PC was behaving normally beforehand and still continues to run? You don’t need to hard reboot immediately. Instead, first try pressing Win + Ctr + Shift + B on your keyboard. Windows will know you’ve encountered a black screen and will try to fix it for you.
9. Access your Command Prompt history
Turns out the Command Prompt (aka cmd) keeps a history, and you can call it up to see what commands you ran—and rerun them from that menu. All you do is tap F7 on your keyboard.
You could right-click on a file to access its properties, but why go through all that trouble? Instead, hold down Alt while double clicking on it. It’s lighting fast.
11. Reboot straight to Windows’ troubleshooting menu
Sometimes your PC acts up, and you need to use Windows’ heavy-hitting troubleshoot options like safe mode, startup repair, and system recovery. You can access them during boot by pressing F8 during startup—or more simply, holding Shift before choosing to restart your PC from the Windows power menu.
12. Reorder items in a list
Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat—it’s a Microsoft Word shortcut, though Google Docs also supports it. But as someone who uses bulleted lists in documents often, I couldn’t resist highlighting this one from Jen Gentleman’s list, too. To reorder items in a bulleted or numerical list, just highlight it, then hold Shift + Alt while using the Up or Down arrow key.
Bonus: 7 additional helpful Windows shortcuts
As mentioned, a whole slew of Windows shortcuts exist. You’ll see some of the keyboard variety get mentioned often in best Windows keyboard shortcut round-ups, but lots of people still don’t use them daily.
Several of these popped up among Jen Gentleman’s tips, and they’re worth calling attention to yet again—a lot of people I know don’t use them regularly. Memorize them too, and you’ll save even more time and hassle while navigating Windows.
Win + Shift + S:Opens the Windows Snipping Tool for easy screenshots
Win + I: Opens the Settings app
Win + X:Opens the Quick Link menu (same as right-clicking on Start button)
Win + E: Opens a File Explorer window
Win + Home: Minimizes all windows but the active one
Win + Tab: Shows all open windows per monitor
Win + H: Opens the Windows dictation menu
Hungry for yet more Windows keyboard shortcuts? You can make your own! Just install PowerToys, an set of advanced utilities you can use to supercharge Windows. It includes a module called Keyboard Manager that lets you remap keys and create custom shortcuts.
R-Drive Image has always been a favorite of ours—a low-resource-consuming product that was ultra-reliable in creating backup images of partitions and disks. But it didn’t have as much polish as Acronis’s backup program (below) and wasn’t as feature-rich. That has changed with this latest version, which now has a more modern, user-friendly interface and more versatility in the types of backups you can perform.
The latest 7.1 version adds WinPE boot-disc support and VHD compatibility to an already impressive arsenal of features. VHD compatibility, in particular, is a great new feature as R-Drive no longer entirely relies on its own proprietary images, but now allows users the option to keep backups in VHD (Virtual Hard Disk) format—which addresses one of the only previous complaints we had about the service.
There’s a reason Acronis is renowned in the world of backup software. Cyber Protect Home Office (previously named Acronis True Image) is capable, flexible, and rock-solid reliable. Indeed, it’s easily the most comprehensive data safety package on the planet.
Besides offering unparalleled backup functionality that’s both robust and easy to navigate, it integrates security apps as well, which protect against malware, malicious websites, and other threats using real-time monitoring.