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winepak [Official Site] is another interesting Wine-related project. One that aims to package up an assortment of Windows-only games that work in Wine using the power of Flatpak packages.

I'm not going to get into the politics of Snap vs Flatpak, mostly because I don't care for the arguments surrounding it and end-users shouldn't care as long as they work and work well.

Much like today's previous post about Track Mania Nations Forever having an easy to use Snap package, winepak seems to aim a bit higher and offer a repository of games. The advantage of using such packages (Snaps or Flatpaks), is that it should come with everything you need to get the Windows game running on Linux, without having to mess around with configurations. It's a new project though, so there's likely a fair amount of kinks to work out.

Their listed goals are simple:

  • Package wine applications via flatpak
  • Make installing and running applications Just Work

Currently it seems to offer: League of Legends, Path of Exile, Blizzard's BattleNet client along with, Overwatch, Starcraft II and World of Warcraft, World of Tanks and more. The full list can be found on GitHub here, although some don't work like Fortnite. Obviously, it does depend on Wine and what Wine build they include with each game.

Testing it myself, it seems that both League of Legends and World of Tanks had no issues with their launchers downloading, logging in and updating using this Flatpak method.

For those wondering how legal this is, well, it doesn't have to include any of the installers itself. It will just download them for you, so it's not actually redistributing stuff it's not supposed to.

Curiously, it seems the mind behind winepak, Julian Richen, is the same developer who we chucked some bucks some time ago to help re-design our website (which turned into our current theme). Always nice to see more from someone you've worked with before.

Will be fun to see how far this project goes, as I said it's early days yet. If projects like this can help bridge the gap, for people moving over to Linux so they don't lose access to some of their favourite games and have an easy way to play them—I'm all for it. It can help ease the transition until they become fully fledged Linux gamers. A lot of potential here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Wine
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58 comments
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Lakorta 13 June 2018 at 8:39 pm UTC
Purple Library Guy
shigutso
TheSHEEEPThat's a good idea, but my hope is that such functionality should be made official and implemented within Wine itself.
After all, Wine's biggest problem is that is simply doesn't "just work". There's always some fiddling around required.
Not quite... all software from this page Just Works (tm):
https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=application&sTitle=Browse+Applications&iappVersion-ratingOp0=5&sappVersion-ratingData0=Platinum&sOrderBy=appName&bAscending=true
Well, no. My understanding is, Platinum means it works perfectly if you set the fiddly stuff correctly, not that you can ignore the fiddly stuff. In this discussion at least, I think people are using Just Works to mean you just click something and it installs properly and happens, rather than having to figure out how to configure it first.
There is probably some Platinum stuff that Just Works in that second sense as well, but plenty that doesn't. So things like this, and PlayonLinux and so on, have always been welcome initiatives and I really hope at some point one becomes really solid--achieves critical mass so most stuff is there, and is easily maintainable so it doesn't rot.
Definition of the Wine Platinum ranking: "Applications which install and run flawlessly on an out-of-the-box Wine installation"
Gold is the one you described: "Applications that work flawlessly with some special configuration"
Ray54 13 June 2018 at 8:45 pm UTC
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I think I could find a flatpack of wine version 1.6 extremely useful, as about 6 of my old games (especially the early Command and Conquer series) need that version to play for more than 10 mins without crashing. However, I also need a newer version of wine for running Windows Steam and Steam based Windows games. Currently, I end up with the old wine 1.6 version as my default and use a new wine-staging version for Steam (as a staging version can co-exist with other versions of wine). I know I can use PlayOnLinux to install multiple versions of wine, but that needs virtual drives setting up. A flatpack of wine version 1.6 sounds much easier, but would it work as I expect?
Swiftpaw 13 June 2018 at 9:04 pm UTC
Both the Overwatch and WoW flatpaks error out in the Blizzard launcher for me. The Blizz launcher gives the error, "Failed to create a graphics context".

Linux Mint 18.3 w/ NVIDIA proprietary driver.

EDIT: According to this it appears it's due to the NVIDIA driver version I'm using. I'll try upgrading then downgrading to see if that fixes it.

EDIT 2: Newp, doesn't work on 384.130, 390.67, or 396.24.

EDIT 3: Found this link that says to disable the Lutris Runtime, so I guess this is an issue with this particular flatpak.

Disclaimer: This is to allow a mate to switch to Linux full-time. I'd never condone paying Blizzard a penny until they support Linux. No Tux No Bux FTW!


Last edited by Swiftpaw on 13 June 2018 at 9:33 pm UTC
Liothe 13 June 2018 at 9:30 pm UTC
Ray54...
A flatpack of wine version 1.6 sounds much easier, but would it work as I expect?

Probably. I'm assuming a known to work wine version gets bundled with each game in the winepaks


Last edited by Liothe on 13 June 2018 at 9:30 pm UTC
Swiftpaw 13 June 2018 at 10:02 pm UTC
devnull-Flatpak and sure. Otherwise nah.

Wut? Flatpaks are what this article is all about, unless you were responding to some comment somewhere...
Swiftpaw 14 June 2018 at 2:00 am UTC
devnull
Swiftpaw
devnull-Flatpak and sure. Otherwise nah.

Wut? Flatpaks are what this article is all about, unless you were responding to some comment somewhere...

-Flatpak .. aka Not flatpak and sure. Otherwise no.

Flatpak makes some, ok many, politically motivated descsions for you including where to install. Seriously what moronic distro puts things in /app? It's entirely too easy for someone to release a "pak", that is backdoored since there is no restriction on the language. Calling curl on a url and blindly installing it for example, is utter complete stupidity yet they do shit like that all over the place.


Overwatch for example

 echo "Downloading installer..."
          - curl -L --progress-bar --output "${XDG_CACHE_HOME}/overwatch-installer.exe" "https://www.battle.net/download/getInstallerForGame?os=win&version=LIVE&gameProgram=OVERWATCH"

What would a language restriction help and how would that break through the sandbox? How is downloading something unsafe as long as, again, it's sandboxed? As long as flatpak is sandboxing ${XDG_CACHE_HOME}/overwatch-installer.exe then so what? These are online apps, they do need to download and run stuff, so as long as everything is being treated as a potential threat and sandboxed then it should be okay? Why is it bad if they use wget, curl, or anything else when the Blizzard installer itself is going to download loads of files for WoW? How is that any different?
Hamish 14 June 2018 at 6:44 am UTC
ShmerlI don't mind tinkering with Wine. One problem with "just works" approach that was also used for example in PlayOnLinux installation scripts for games, is that it grew huge and no one was maintaining those scripts. So they quickly became obsolete. It's safer just to install something yourself using newest submissions in Wine AppDB.
Pretty much my feelings when it comes to WINE wrappers as well; I would much rather just do the heavy lifting myself and get things working just the way I want them than rely on third party packages and scripts. Of course given that I am an Arch Linux user that idea kind of comes with the territory anyway.

Not everyone is going to be both as patient and anal as I am.
TheSHEEEP 14 June 2018 at 6:50 am UTC
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ShmerlI don't mind tinkering with Wine. One problem with "just works" approach that was also used for example in PlayOnLinux installation scripts for games, is that it grew huge and no one was maintaining those scripts. So they quickly became obsolete. It's safer just to install something yourself using newest submissions in Wine AppDB.
But "just works" is a necessity if Linux is to attract more gamers.
The vast majority don't have the skillset or patience like you or me (or many others here) to fiddle around with anything. Hell, for some, having to install Wine to install their game is already too much.
Of course, that says more about the quality of the people than that of the OS, but it is what it is.

"just works" is the most important bit for the spread of any OS and its software.
PlayOnLinux could have worked if it had maintained its maintainers (pun? intended).
Lutris seems to gain more traction, and is definitely more promising than PoL ever was. However, only time will tell if that leads anywhere.
Nothing of this will amount to much, IMO, if it doesn't become officially endorsed. As in, every Ubuntu comes with the most recent Lutris right away, no questions asked.

PS: Here we see the fragmentation problem, again. Now we have PoL (which is minimally maintained, still), Lutris and this winepak (and possibly others, too). All kinda similar in their purpose. It would be better for everyone if they all worked together.


Last edited by TheSHEEEP on 14 June 2018 at 6:59 am UTC
lucifertdark 14 June 2018 at 8:31 am UTC
Wine Is No Excuse not to port your games/applications to Linux properly.
Pompesdesky 14 June 2018 at 9:15 am UTC
lucifertdarkWine Is No Excuse not to port your games/applications to Linux properly.

We're going in circles with this one. As already expressed by others most of the current Windows users will never switch to Linux if they have to lose access to their Windows only catalog of games and if they must spend 3 hours on Linux support websites to figure out how to install any of their game.

Once we get maximum playability for Windows games with an install process that is a simple double click away then we should have a lot more users. Then when the Linux playerbase starts to really represent a good fraction of all gamers, developers will have to start thinking about what they're doing.

I've been trying to make my brother in law switch for over 2 years without success, but now that he sees me starting to easily play games that he likes with Lutris (like SupCom Forged Alliance or Bad Company 2) he's beginning to seriously consider making at least a dual boot to try. If it's simple enough, the low barrier to learn how to use a new OS should outweight Windows 10 pissing him off.


Last edited by Pompesdesky on 14 June 2018 at 9:16 am UTC
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