[Wine] Exploration of Wine as a desktop shell

Gullible Jones wineforum-user at winehq.org
Sat Mar 6 16:57:39 CST 2010

So, not content with merely having the idea of a Wine-based Linux distro, I decided to try setting up Wine as a desktop shell on top of Arch Linux, with the help of the alternative Windows shell BBLean. Basically I just installed BBLean in Wine and put


exec wine "c:\bbLean\blackbox.exe"

in my .xinitrc.

First impression: It's darn slow. Really darn slow. And crashes a lot. [Laughing] 

Nonetheless, it works... and pretty well considering that's not what it's designed for.

Some things I'm noticing:

- Lots of "fixme" messages in the console. LOTS. Hundreds of them. Never seen so many. I'm thinking maybe it has to do with Arch Linux compiling everything -O2? Or maybe it's just because nobody ever tried BBLean on Wine before. :? 

- Despite the sluggishness of the desktop shell, K-Meleon (once it launches, which takes about 10 seconds) is very very fast. Faster than Chrome running natively on Linux, and leaves Firefox on Linux completely in the dust. More proof IMO that browsing on Linux is in a bad way.

(Then again, last I tried Windows 7, browsing was also slow as heck. I seem to be mentally comparing everything to the speed of Windows XP.)

- More on the sluggishness: applications are slow to launch, but what's particularly annoying is that their GUIs refresh slowly, taking about a second to redraw after anything is dragged over them. Could be a hardware or driver issue though.

- Likewise, lots of cursor freezes. This though I know is not Wine's fault; rather it's the interaction between Wine and the new KMS-capable Intel driver. Basically with the KMS driver you get cursor skipping with certain programs. No idea why. [Rolling Eyes]

- I haven't yet figured out a way to mount external drives in the Wine shell. HAL seems not to work. Maybe use static mountpoints?

I'll keep you folks posted as I continue to mess around with it.

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