[Wine]Configuring Wine to use on a separate partition

Holly Bostick motub at planet.nl
Mon May 9 13:16:04 CDT 2005

Robert Yu schreef:
> Thanks for the reply. I just want to know, how do you divide your hard
> drive space in Linux? Should I even make a separate partition for
> Windows programs at all?

I'm not sure if you wanted this to go to the list as well (it came only
to me; remember to use "Reply all" to include the list in the reply
recipients), but since it's a question that someone else might wonder
about too, I'm answering to the list. Hope that's OK.

The short answer would have to be, "That depends"... mostly on 1)
whether or not you're dual-booting with Windows and 2) what kind of
applications you intend to run with Wine.

Obviously, if you are dual-booting, having a separate (FAT32) partition
of Windows applications is convenient in that it means you can limit the
drive use by having only one install directory for the same application.
You may have to *install* said application twice (once under Windows,
and once under Wine, although even this is often not necessary as quite
a few applications will run without specific installation under Wine),
but it will not take up twice the space, since you're installing it to
the same "physical" location.

In terms of what kinds of applications you're running, the concerns are
again often space-related. In this case, it is often vastly more useful
to have a separate partition for Windows-based data *created* by
programs, rather than for the programs themselves. For example, I run a
lot of games under Wine, and let's pretend I also run Office. Now, I
know how much space the games and Office take up to install. So if I
know that I already have enough space on whatever drive contains my
/home folder (assuming that I install all programs to the default of
C:\Program Files-- which I don't, but let's pretend-- that resolves to
/home/username/.wine/c_drive, so we're essentially talking about how big
is the /home directory), there's no problem installing. The problem
comes when I play the game, or use Office, and want to *save* something.
Every save game or every document saved to C:\My Documents (again
assuming I use defaults) is eating up HDD space that I am no longer able
to estimate how much it is (since I don't know how big the
picture/video/save game/Powerpoint presenatation is without explicitly
checking), and this is what causes one to wake up one morning wondering
why in the bloody blue blazes the HDD is suddenly full.

However, if the folder to which this data is normally being saved is
actually a symlink to another partition (rather than a directory within
/home), then your /home is safe in terms of size (it's not growing out
of your control) and you can keep an eye on this data storage partition
much more reliably and clean it out when necessary.

So, for example, whenever I install a game with Wine, the first thing I
do is find the "saves" directory and symlink it to a partition that I
keep savegames on-- basically, I'd create a folder on the "storage"
partition using the name of the game, and symlink that folder in the
game's install directory, naming the symlink whatever the save game
directory is supposed to be called according to the game. Naturally,
I've got Wine set to recognize and allow symlinks (otherwise this
wouldn't work at all). So when the game creates a savegame file, it's
created on the storage partition rather than in my
/home/.wine/c_drive/Program\ Files/game_install/saves directory.

For documents, I keep all my documents on the "storage" partition as
well; map the "mydocs" (or whatever) folder on that partition to a drive
letter in ~/.wine/dosdevices, and then I just save all my data files to
E:\whatever. Audio files and pictures reside in a separate partition
from application data as well, not to mention email. It's just a matter
of specifying where the application is reading the data it's acting upon
from, and it really makes backing up your personal volatile data much,
*much* easier. Throw in a DVD, burn off everything in ~/storage (which
is where the partition is mounted into the Linux filesystem), and life
is good in case of disaster. Consolidating backup-able data in this way
makes it much more likely that you *will* backup every now and again.
Consolidating data files also makes disaster much more manageable-- even
if you have to delete every other partition on the drive(s) to recover
either Windows, or Linux, or both, you can easily avoid the data storage
partition and reinstall the OS without fear that you've screwed yourself
beyond recall.

Reinstalling *apps* is never a problem. Even losing application settings
is only annoying in most cases. *Your data* is what's precious, and
cannot be replaced-- imo, that must be protected at all costs, and the
first line of defense is buffering that data from any area of the
filesystem that might ever be deleted wholesale. Such as your /home
folder, if it's on the same partition as / --and sometimes even if it
isn't-- or the real Windows C:\ drive. Disaster always seems to strike
about 5 minutes after you said to yourself, "I should back this up
before I go to bed/as soon as I'm finished this long operation/when I
get back from the movies/etc", so plan for the worst possible case,
where you didn't back up (yet), and now you can't. With personal data
files insulated on a separate partition, you will likely be able to
repair the system without losing a single document, despite your lack of
foresight :-D .

Naturally, if your programs are of a specific size and don't generate
user data files of their own, then you don't really need a separate
partition for them. You don't much need to put things like WinRAR or
Nero or Quicktime or even IE on a separate partition if that's what
you're running, unless you're a neat freak like me and 1) like to know
precisely where everything is and 2) like to get to your directories
somewhat faster in a file manager-- you can get to an installation
directory installed to a partition mounted in ~/winstuff much faster in
a file manager than if you have to Show Hidden Directories => .wine =>
c_drive => Program\ Files => install directory => program.exe (or
program.cfg, if your goal is to edit DeusEx.ini, for example). But of
course you could just make a higher-level symlink in your ~ directory so
you could get to C:\Program Files somewhat faster if you needed to.

So, it depends, like most things Linux, on what you personally need to
make your system easier for you to use, based on how you personally use
your system.

Hope this helps,

More information about the wine-users mailing list