Wine, the compatibility layer designed to run Windows games and applications on other systems has a big 6.0 release now officially available with thousands of improvements.
This is the main tech behind the Steam Play Proton compatibility layer. Plenty of improvements came as a result of CodeWeavers (who back the Wine project) working with Valve on that since they get Proton changes upstreamed whenever possible into Wine directly.
Here's some quick highlights of Wine 6.0:
- Core modules in PE format - this is to help "a number of copy protection schemes that check that the DLL files on disk match the in-memory contents".
- Vulkan backend for WineD3D - experimental Vulkan renderer for WineD3D, much like DXVK. Currently the Vulkan backend supports shader model 4 and 5 so it should work with Direct3D 10 and 11.
- DirectShow and Media Foundation support - allowing many more types of media from Windows games and applications to actually work.
- XACT3 support provided through FAudio.
- Mouse position history is implemented "for games that want more precise mouse positions".
- Better multi-monitor support with display settings pulled from XRandR 1.4 if available.
- Text console redesign.
- WebSocket API is now implemented.
- Newer Unicode support.
If you've been using one of the biweekly Wine 5.x development releases, it's not a big change but for anyone who sticks with the main stable releases of Wine it's going to be a huge difference.
See the Wine 6.0 release announcement here for the full expanded details.
How good is Wine? It varies from game to game but it often results in a really great experience. We use it to play titles like Overwatch, Starcraft II, World of Warcraft and more that don't support Linux officially. It's great that Linux has something like this available so you don't have to give up your favourite Windows games.