Windows version autodetection

Reece Dunn msclrhd at
Sun Dec 21 03:49:19 CST 2008

2008/12/21 Damjan Jovanovic <damjan.jov at>:
> There are some older applications out there, which don't install or
> run correctly unless Wine is emulating the correct Windows version
> (eg. Windows 9x).
> At least Windows XP has the ability to use certain heuristics to make
> an educated guess as to which version of Windows the application
> expects, and then lie in GetVersion() and behave like that version in
> relevant APIs.
> Should we do something like that for Wine? It would allow many
> applications to work out of the box.

You can change the version of Windows reported for different
applications, and the default version using winecfg -> Applications.

I'm not sure that adding heuristics would be the correct approach, as
those can lead to incorrect results. The winecfg option supports the
user being able to change the version of Windows reported for the
specified application. The workflow could be better, though (e.g.
supporting an option on an exe's right-click menu).

What would be better is to have AppDB keep track of what version of
Windows works best with a particular application. This could then be
queried on install of the application, or downloaded in bulk. It would
be easy to take the data and create a registry file like what winecfg
will be saving to. That way, AppDB becomes the place where this is
maintained (so it is up to the individual maintainers to set the
Windows version if it doesn't work with the default version) and there
are no ugly heuristics involved.

- Reece

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