Canonical and wine

Steven Edwards sedwards at
Thu Dec 11 12:14:44 CST 2008

On Wed, Dec 10, 2008 at 3:42 PM, Zachary Goldberg <zgold at> wrote:
> I agree with Canonical that perhaps it doesn't make sense to make a
> Winebuntu or a new Ubuntu with Wine as a bigger focus for exactly that
> reason, it doesn't work for everything and that isn't a great
> experience.  (Anything thats inconsistent is bad for something like
> Ubuntu.  We love Wine but fact is fact, it isn't univerally perfect so
> they can't advertise 'Full Windows Application Support!' etc. etc.
> They could advertise 'Will Work with Some Windows Apps!' but then
> users ask which ones and it gets confusing from there and yada
> yada...)
> However perhaps it does make more sense to think about using Wine for
> application specific scenarios.
> I believe it has been proposed before to have .debs for things like
> Adobe Photoshop which first install Wine (or create a new prefix etc.)
> and then ask for the Photoshop CD; sort of like application specific
> bundlings of Wine.

This has been the long term plan we've had with Bordeaux. We
ultimately want to give the user the ablity to just do something along
the lines of

sudo apt-get install photoshopcs

and have it find the correct version of Wine, if its missing install
that deb, install the photoshopcs deb and then start the install

There are a few key pieces missing for this to work

well for the end user though.

1. Wine Prefix Management

Alexandre and I have discussed this a bit and it needs to be well
thought out. I'm partial to having

something like

~/.wineprefixes for the private prefixes


/usr/local/wineprefixes for the global prefixes

Alexandre likes the idea of having a winelib tool that can do this,
and I think thats a great idea. Unfortunately the tool I wrote is
GTK+. Also I believe we might need to add some enhancements to
libwines support for detecting and maintaining the wineprefix
variable, perhaps adding a function for handling the prefixes folder.
I've got something like this in the Bordeaux cellar manager.

Also when dealing with things like deb/rpm packages the prefix manager
will need to know how to handle these.

2. Templates
The ultimate goal is of course that it will just install out of the
box with no dependencies, fonts or wine dlloverride tricks. This is of
course not possible in every case and so we need to take this in to

3. We need some sort of tool like you said that prompts for a CD. Some
sort of autorun.exe like tool. Ubuntu has been working on this so that
a Wine CD is identified and offered to start the setup.exe or
whatever. Its very generic and not very effective. We need a better

4. Most of the backend to support this is already in place. Now that
my IE6 changes are in winetricks, I could TODAY create a ie6.deb
package. Thanks to other users that have made winetricks steps in the
appdb we could do this for a host of other packages.

5. Finally if Cannonical won't host the application debs directly we
need to see if Scott will do it or have someone else host them.


Steven Edwards

"There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and
that is an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

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