Bottles Next: Revolutionizing Linux Emulation for Windows Apps

Bottles Next is still in development but promises a more functional Windows app-emulation for Linux and macOS, building on existing tech.

Long gone are the days when running Windows applications under Linux was a difficult endeavor fraught with many challenges. Today, there are various applications for this purpose, using Wine as the foundation on which they stand, with Bottles being one of the most prominent in recent years.

It is a tool providing a convenient GTK-based graphical user interface (GUI) that makes it easier for users to manage and run Windows applications on Linux without needing to use command-line tools.

Bottles App
Bottles App

Bottles servers as a frontend for Wine, allowing users to create isolated environments (known as “bottles”) where Windows applications can be installed and run without interfering with each other or the host system. Here are its main areas of use for it.

Bottles Use Cases

  • Gaming: Linux users can run Windows-only games on their systems.
  • Software Compatibility: Run software only available for Windows, such as certain productivity apps or development tools.
  • Testing and Development: Developers can test their applications in a Windows-like environment without needing an OS license or dual-boot setup.

Overall, Bottles provides a convenient and user-friendly way to manage and use Windows applications on Linux, leveraging the capabilities of Wine while providing additional features and ease of use.

But now, an exciting new addition to the existing one is coming, so let’s see what it is all about.

Meet Bottles Next

Still in development, the most important thing to note is that Bottles Next is not an upgrade over the existing Bottles but a completely separate app written from scratch intending to solve issues the current codebase makes impossible to fix, designed for scalability and extensibility over time.

In this regard, although Bottles’s backend and wineprefix management primarily rely on Python and shell commands, Bottles Next is moving toward using Go as its primary backend development language.

The other exciting news is that until now, the app was only available to Linux users, but this is about to change. Bottles Next will also be available to macOS users, who can use it to run Windows apps on their systems.

The Next mode will simplify Bottles usage significantly with no individual bottle management. At the same time, the Classic mode will use a layering concept to isolate applications, dependencies, and configurations, providing users with the same bottle management capabilities as before.

Each application will have its own set of settings, such as DXVK, VKD3D, FSR, desktop resolution, environment variables, launch options, dependencies, etc.

Bottles Next Welcome Screen, Image credits: Bottles
Bottles Next Welcome Screen, Image credits: Bottles

We continue with another significant change Bottles Next will bring – a fully revamped user interface, relying on an Electron-based user interface (with TypeScript and VueJS 3), offering a modern and customizable user experience.

Special attention has also been paid to gamers, one of the app’s main user groups. For example, the app will be Steam Deck ready, thanks to the Large Coverage mode. Moreover, the entirely revamped Library will allow personalized covers, easy access to software settings, usage time stats, and more.

Bottles Next Library, Image credits: Bottles
Bottles Next Library, Image credits: Bottles

Furthermore, it will also recommend which software to add without users needing to search through their bottles.

Finally, an optional cloud feature in Bottles Next will let you share your environments online with friends and quickly back up and restore your bottles and applications with a single click.

I know what you’re thinking: “What will happen to bottles?” To give a piece of mind to all users, the short answer is nothing. It will continue to be a GTK-based app, existing in its current form and receiving support. Of course, quite expectedly, the developers’ main focus will be shifted to Bottles Next.

For detailed information, refer to the announcement.

When to Expect Bottles Next?

Well, that’s a question that even the app developers can’t answer definitively. As we pointed out at the beginning, Bottles Next is currently under active development, and there’s much more to do.

However, while entering the realm of speculation, we predict that the app will see the light of day in the next few months, to the delight of all Linux gamers and those needing to run Windows applications on their Linux systems.

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

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