[Wine] Wine on non-Unix platforms

DOSGuy wineforum-user at winehq.org
Thu Sep 22 15:01:38 CDT 2011

Greetings everyone. Let me start by stating that I appreciate the enormous undertaking that Wine has been, and I am not suggesting that the ideas I will ask about in this post would be easy (or even possible) to implement, so there's no need to flame the n00b.

As I understand it, Wine is an implementation of the Windows API for Linux and other Unix-like operating systems (Mac OS X, FreeBSD, Solaris, etc.). Wine is really super awesome, and can apparently even somehow run 16-bit in 64-bit versions of Linux despite the absence of Virtual 8086 mode while in Long Mode, something that 64-bit versions of Windows can't do. In my role as the webmaster and curator of a retro gaming website, I'm finding that a large number of older DirectX games don't run well in Windows 7. Windows just isn't very good at running old Windows software any more.

Before anyone tells me that I should switch to Linux or get a Mac for any of a thousand valid reasons, that would solve my problem, but it won't solve the problem for my visitors. Converting the world to Linux is a noble goal, but not one that I expect to be very successful at.

So, my question is whether it would be possible to make a portable version of Wine, perhaps using something like SDL. Actually, I see there are a number of ideas about how to run Wine on Windows (http://wiki.winehq.org/WineOnWindows), though it doesn't seem like any of them would work as well as a native Windows solution.

But, for that matter, why limit Wine to just Windows? ARM has jumped from smart phones to tablets, with netbooks on the way, and low powered notebooks planned in the future. Microsoft is even making an ARM version of Windows 8... which of course, won't run x86 Windows software. This "post PC world" thing might be for real. It seems like the only truly safe and universal platform is the web. danoon to the rescue, there is now a Java port of DOSBox called jDosbox, which has allowed me to make over 260 DOS games playable online at http://www.classicdosgames.com/online.html. jDosbox can even run Windows 3.x and Windows 98 -- though it would be illegal for me to install Windows in a disk image and put it online. Of course, there's HX DOS Extender (http://www.japheth.de/HX.html). So the other question is, could Wine's implementation of the Windows API be incorporated into HX DOS Extender, and is there any interest in trying?

Anyway, I'm sure y'all are a friendly bunch, but go easy on me anyway. I realize that the purpose of Wine is to make life easier for Linux users, not to allow Windows programs to run on every operating system under the sun (including Windows), and I don't expect anyone to go out of their way to accommodate a userbase that the project was never intended to support.

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