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Want to make Wine apps feel at home on Ubuntu?

Do you use the Wine compatibility tool to run Windows apps on your Ubuntu desktop? 

If you do then you might have noticed that the ‘not-an-emulator‘ rarely scores a mention on this site.

This is because I have no need to use it. The apps and games I need are either available natively on Linux or better native alternatives exist.

This isn’t the case for everybody.

Back when I did use the app, back in the ol’ dusty pre-Spotify for Linux day, I used it alongside a great power-up tool called ‘Vineyard’.

Never heard of it?

Vineyard — A Power Up for WINE

Edit preferences for installed apps

Vineyard is a small utility¹ that provides Ubuntu (and other distro) users with an easy way to configure Wine-based applications, both before installation and after.

To quote the official project description Vineyard is “…a collection of tools and libraries designed to make managing Windows programs on Linux easier.

“More specifically, it aims to improve the integration of Wine and the Free Desktop and to make it easier to create programs and tools that integrate with Wine.”

Think of it as ‘PlayOnLinux’ …but for more than just games.

The app simplifies the process of customizing, fine-tuning and optimising Wine software on Ubuntu (e.g., adding start-up prefixes, setting compatibility mode, applying a Windows theme, etc).

Freshly Bottled

wine prefix editing.png
Prefix editor – newly improved

A brand new update to Vineyard, fresh out the barrel, is now available.

The app’s author, Christian Dannie Storgaard, better known to many as ‘Cybolic’, got in touch with us to tell us about it, writing:

“There’s a new release of Vineyard out which fixes a number of bugs and introduces handling of 32-bit/64-bit prefixes as well as well as multiple installed versions of Wine.

The official Vineyard blog offers a more detailed overview of the changes. It lists:

  • Improved Prefix creation (see image above):
    • You can now choose between creating a 64-bit or 32-bit prefix.
    • A specific version of Wine can be selected to be used for the prefix.
    • Installed versions of Wine are auto-detected (looks through $PATH, /opt and PlayOnLinux folders).
    • Progress indication works (finally).
  • 64-bit support is now auto-detected from the Wine version.
  • The main tab now shows which Wine binaries/version and arch (64/32-bit) is used.
  • The “Run executable” tool works again for .exe files in modern distros.
  • Added newer versions of MS Visual C++ to install list.
  • Launching a terminal in a prefix now works correctly again.
  • The menu icon has been changed to the modern GTK menu icon.

Install Vineyard on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS+

Palette whetted? You can uncork the latest version by adding the official Vineyard PPA to your software sources.

Despite the name the PPA offers the latest stable builds of Vineyard for Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, 15.10 and 16.04 LTS (there’s even a package for those still running Ubuntu 12.04 LTS!).

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:cybolic/vineyard-testing
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install vineyard

When install is complete simply launch Vineyard from the Unity Dash.

It should go without saying that to get the most from this app you will also need to install Wine, which is available to install from the Ubuntu Software Center. 

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