Wine 9.0 released with major enhancements -- a milestone release for running Windows software on Linux and macOS

The Wine team has announced a significant milestone with the release of Wine 9.0, a major update enriching the Linux experience. This latest version encapsulates a year of dedicated development, featuring over 7,000 changes. Wine 9.0 is distinguished by its introduction of the new WoW64 architecture and the experimental Wayland driver, making it a landmark release for users seeking to run Windows applications on Unix-based systems.

The new WoW64 (Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit) architecture in Wine 9.0 is a highlight of this release, marking the completion of a multi-year effort to convert modules to PE format. This significant development creates a clear boundary between Windows and Unix systems. In a notable shift from the older version, the new WoW64 mode enables the running of 32-bit Windows applications on purely 64-bit Unix installations. This is particularly beneficial for macOS users, where recent versions have dropped support for 32-bit processes.

Another exciting development is the experimental Wayland driver. This addition, although still a work in progress, already includes features such as basic window management, multiple monitors support, high-DPI scaling, relative motion events, and Vulkan support. The inclusion of an experimental Wayland graphics driver indicates a commitment to keeping pace with the evolving Linux ecosystem.

The release also brings enhanced support for ARM64, allowing the running of existing Windows binaries on ARM64 systems. This includes support for ARM64X and ARM64EC modules, broadening the scope of hardware compatibility.

Graphics improvements are a key aspect of Wine 9.0, with the reimplementation of the PostScript driver and updates to the Vulkan driver. Direct3D sees various optimizations, particularly in the WineD3D and Vulkan backend. These changes include multi-threaded command stream improvements, which are designed to reduce power consumption.

Audio and video capabilities have also been improved, with the implementation of several DirectMusic modules and enhancements in DirectShow, including the implementation of the Windows Media Video (WMV) decoder. Input device compatibility sees a significant boost with the implementation of DirectInput action maps, improving the gaming experience on Linux.

In addition to these major features, Wine 9.0 offers a range of other enhancements. These include desktop integration improvements, internationalization support with new locales, kernel updates like ASLR support, internet and networking enhancements, cryptography and security updates, and development tool upgrades. The bundled libraries, such as FluidSynth and Faudio, have been updated, and there's better integration with external dependencies like the Wayland client library and the PCSClite library for smart card support.

The Wine 9.0 source is available for download here, while binary packages can be had here.

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