The Wine development team has announced the much-anticipated release of Wine 9.0, marking a significant milestone in Windows compatibility layers for Linux and Unix-like systems.
Key Highlights of Wine 9.0
This stable release encapsulates a year’s worth of development, featuring over 7,000 individual changes aimed at enhancing user experience and system performance.
A standout feature in this release is the new WoW64 (Windows 32-bit on Windows 64-bit) architecture. This critical development enables the running of 32-bit Windows applications on purely 64-bit Unix installations, a feat previously unattainable.
However, it’s important to note that this mode isn’t enabled by default and lacks support for 16-bit code and some OpenGL features.
Experimental Wayland Driver
Another notable introduction is the experimental Wayland graphics driver. While still a work in progress, it already boasts capabilities such as basic window management, multiple monitor support, high-DPI scaling, and Vulkan support.
Completing the PE/Unix separation now allows existing Windows binaries to run on ARM64, including support for ARM64X and ARM64EC modules and initial 32-bit x86 emulation.
Graphics and Direct3D Improvements
The PostScript driver has been reimplemented, WinRT theming now includes a dark theme option, and the Vulkan driver has been updated. Additionally, numerous optimizations have been made to WineD3D and the Vulkan backend, including power-saving features.
Audio/Video and DirectShow Upgrades
The foundation of several DirectMusic modules is implemented, MIDI playback is integrated, and various DirectShow filters and decoders are now available.
Desktop Integration and Internationalization
URL/URI protocol associations are improved, and the user interface now supports Georgian, among other languages. Locale data is updated based on the Unicode CLDR database.
Other Wine 9.0 Highlights
Besides those mentioned above, Wine 9.0 also includes the implementation of Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) for modern PE binaries, Low Fragmentation Heap (LFH) for better memory allocation, and support for smart cards.
Moreover, the Mono engine has been updated, and the Wine Debugger uses the Zydis library for x86 disassembly. Additionally, various development tools have seen improvements.
Lastly, the release includes updates to bundled libraries like FluidSynth, Faudio, and LibPng, among others. For the Wayland driver, dependencies include the Wayland client library and PCSClite library for smart card support.
Check out the announcement for more information about all novelties in the Wine 9.0.