Wine version 7.0 is now available for people run Windows games and software on Linux, macOS and BSD platforms.
Wine 7.0 is the latest stable release of the compatibility layer from the 28 year-old 'Wine' project, named after "Wine is Not an Emulator".
Wine is not an emulator and doesn't rely on virtualization, which would require a full version of Windows to run Windows applications on other platforms. Instead Wine translates Windows application protocol interface (API) calls to Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) calls/instructions for Linux and macOS.
Wine only reached version 1.0 in 2008, 15 years after development began. Wine 2.0 arrived in 2017 and since then a new version has been released roughly every year.
While Wine supports 29,000 Windows applications, its most popular use is for running games that were made for Windows on Linux and macOS systems. The top Wine-supported Windows application is World of Warcraft and the only non-game in its top 10 list is Microsoft's .NET Framework, but it also allows key utility apps and Office to run on Linux.
Wine 7.0 underwent six release candidates over the past year culminating in over 9,100 changes, including improvements in portable executable (PE) Windows modules, support for the Windows on Windows 64 (WoW64) compatibility layer (for running 32-bit programs on newer 64-bit Windows). Thanks to this, Wine 7.0 supports running a 32-bit Windows apps in a 64-bit Unix host process.
There are also new system color themes including light and blue, as well as Direct3D and Vulkan graphics improvements.
Wine 7.0 builds on early support for Apple's new silicon-based Macs and now includes support for running x86-64 binaries in Apple's Rosetta 2 translation layer for running apps built for Intel architectures.
As noted by Phoronix, CodeWeavers remains the main commercial sponsor of the Wine project. CodeWeavers sells a commercial version of Wine called CrossOver, which lets Windows apps run on Linux, macOS and Chrome OS.
Wine has also gained from game maker Valve's long-running collaboration with CodeWeavers to bring more Steam-powered Windows games across to Linux. CodeWeavers contributes the bulk of its Wine changes back to the Wine open source project. Valve originally tried porting games to Linux, but more recently it created Steam Play, which features a game-friendly version of Wine called Proton, and has proposed changes to the Linux kernel to support this effort.