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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.

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64 comments
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seven 13 June 2018 at 7:46 pm UTC
yeeeeey, after 15 years on linux i'm finally gonna use wine....
Purple Library Guy 13 June 2018 at 8:01 pm UTC
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.
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 at 13 June 2018 at 9:33 pm UTC. Edited 7 times.
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 at 13 June 2018 at 9:30 pm UTC
devnull 13 June 2018 at 9:59 pm UTC
-Flatpak and sure. Otherwise nah.
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...
devnull 13 June 2018 at 10:33 pm UTC
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"
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?
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