Windows version autodetection

Damjan Jovanovic damjan.jov at
Sun Dec 21 04:14:08 CST 2008

On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 11:49 AM, Reece Dunn <msclrhd at> wrote:
> 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 know, but bugs coming up from the wrong default version aren't
always obvious (in my case they were registry keys that don't get
created during installation).

> 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).

Heuristics aren't necessarily wrong:

File Header
  Machine:                      014C (i386)
  Number of Sections:           6
  TimeDateStamp:                31104C75 (Thu Feb  1 07:15:33 1996) offset 136

Feb 1 1996 can't be later than Windows 95.

> 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.

The bulk download would only work if you install applications to their
default location, but it seems like a good idea.

> - Reece


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