Wine isn't GUI user friendly

Mike Hearn mike at
Sun Jul 25 10:03:01 CDT 2004

Christian Neumair <chris at> writes:
> That reminds me of asking for nicer, GUI-driven error handling:
> touch mustardandwiener.exe &&
> wine mustardandwiener.exe
> returns
>  wine: cannot determine executable type for L"H:\\Desktop\\test.exe"
> which is neither verbose enough nor user friendly, because it is simply
> printed at a terminal. Modern desktop environments usually launch wine
> from their file manager, i.e. without terminals.

Well, as to the contents of the message itself, I don't know how it
could be improved. You asked Wine to run an empty file and it said it
can't figure out what kind of executable it is: why is this a problem?

As to using message boxes for errors, well I have submitted patches to
do this before and some were accepted, and some were not. The
reasoning was that having all errors appear in message boxes would be

Perhaps if there was a generic mechanism such that when a terminal
was available the message was printed, and when it was not (like in a
GUI) a message box was used, that would be more acceptable.

I don't know how to tell if a console is available or not
though. Plus to be convenient it'd need to be a new Wine API and
we're trying to remove them rather than add to them :)

> Can't we have popup dialogs for that kind of errors? As far as I know,
> debian guys have build a shell/wrapper around wine that pops up if weird
> things like these occur. Can't we have such a wrapper in stock wine? For
> now, it would be enough to just catch the most common problems (binary
> not found, binary can't be loaded, etc.).

To be frank I still think displaying the output of stderr when a
program launched from the GUI fails is the desktops job. All kinds of
messages can be printed by Wine before we even have a chance to
initialize the GUI subsystem - in fact the "cannot run exe" message
may well be an example of that.

Writing a patch to Gnome to make it do that wouldn't be hard and
would solve a broad class of problems.

thanks -mike

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