Bizarre idea: creating our own extension to msi for cross-platform installers

Scott Ritchie scott at
Sun Jul 27 11:21:55 CDT 2008

Stefan Dösinger wrote:
>> What if we created a standard for passing some sort of wine-specific
>> metadata in an MSI file?  Windows would ignore it, but application
>> developers could use it to include some helpful Linux-specific Wine
>> instructions like what windows version to use, a custom .desktop file,
>> or even instructions to install into a completely independent Wine
>> prefix.
>> Thoughts?
> Hm. I sort of like and dislike the idea at the same time
> Regarding desktop integration with win32 apps is concerned, I think those
> problems should be fixed in Wine. I think all the things we need to set up
> the shortcuts, filetypes, etc. properly are provided by the Windows app
> as-is.

A custom desktop file is necessarily a difference between a Linux and
Windows system.  Like, for instance, having the program under
Start->Programs->Company Foo->Bar Program under windows but having it
under Applications->Games-Bar under Linux.

> Installing into a different wineprefix won't work, I think. By the time you
> have msi started up, a wineprefix decision is done already.

This is solvable though, if it matters.

> What would be cool though, is if Wine's msi could install a completely
> Wine-independent native Linux application(or, install a Winelib app that
> brings its own Wine). That way one could build an universal package that
> contains a Win32 and native Linux app at the same time.

One nice advantage of msi-shipped apps over linux packages is that they
easily install into a user's home directory on all distributions (or,
indeed, even on OSX and BSD) without root access.

Scott Ritchie

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