People who switch from Windows to Mac often find it difficult to survive without all those applications and games they got used to. That is where an idea to get this software on Mac OS X comes from. While some prefer dual-booting Apple computer with Windows, others get Virtual Machine (e.g., Parallels Desktop). Full utilization of resources is available with Boot Camp, but Mac may start working a bit slower. If you need to run just certain apps, it is better to use Wine, which is not an emulator, but rather an environment to work with Windows-based products.

This program is as fine as good red wine: without installing the entire operating system of Mac’s competitor, you obtain access to many exciting opportunities. The best part is that this stuff is free of charge, legal, and open-source.

Explore the Benefits & Download Wine for Mac

wine application
With Wine, you may forget about Boot Camp, VMware Fusion, and all other things that will slow down your computer. Right, virtualization is not the best option if you need just some Windows applications or games on your Mac OS X or macOS Sierra. Do you need to run a 64-bit app? Wine applies a Windows build of Mono, an open-source implementation of the .NET framework, to launch the software you need. The latest version of Wine installs Wine-Mono automatically, so there is no need to do that manually. You can learn more at the official page of WineHQ. Thus, the question is how to install and use a free program for running Windows apps on MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and other Apple computers?

Once you realize the harsh need to set up some of the Windows programs on Mac, you should know there are several ways to get Wine on your Apple computer. The official website, WineHQ, offers official builds of Wine. Even though this way a person will be able to run the target apps, he/she may lack useful graphical instruments for installing common apps. Only those who have already used Wine for a while may benefit from this option. Here you can download the latest versions of Wine.

The third-party projects such as the Wine source code guarantee a more user-friendly interface, which makes it possible to install and configure common software without any obstacles and pretty fast. All you have to do is download the offered Wine software. The third-party instruments are as listed:

  • WineBottler;
  • Wineskin;
  • PlayOnMac;
  • Porting Kit;
  • CrossOver Mac.

Some of them are paid while others are free.

Install Wine on Mac with the Help of a Package Manager

This section is a short tutorial on how to observe Windows gaming software and programs on Mac with the help of Wine. Basically, you will need a command line of the Terminal application and a package manager. In this example, we will cover a way to install the latest version of Wine using Homebrew – a free software management package that makes it easier to set up various software on macOS.

wine command line

  1. Getting Homebrew.

It makes sense that the first thing a Mac owner will have to get is Homebrew package manager. Launch the Terminal after finding it in Spotlight, for instance, and type the given line:

ruby -e “$(curl -fsSL”

Push the Enter button to go on. In some cases, a user will have to type the admin’s passcode. It will take just a few minutes to complete the installation. Then, Terminal will offer to accept this command: brew doctor. Wait while the program checks the entire system to find out whether everything was set up correctly. To accept the Xcode license, type this line: sudo xcodebuild –license.

  1. Installing XQuartz

Each version of Wine requires XQuartz. Send a request to Homebrew to get this one done: brew cask install xquartz. You can watch the entire process easily as Homebrew tells what it does step-by-step not to let the user worry.

  1. Setting up Wine Itself

So, the final destination of this journey is to discover the way to install Wine with the help of previously discussed programs. The command you should send to Homebrew looks this way: brew install wine.

Once you type this line, Homebrew will begin to download Wine automatically. The program will also take care of the installation process. Homebrew always shows the progress bar in the terminal window to let you know what is going on. Be ready that this process may take a while. It can be explained by the fact that Wine has to be compiled: moved from human-readable source code into a form that a computer can apply. The compiled list can be long. In case a user sees an error message telling a wrong file was downloaded in the process, remove Homebrew’s downloaded items by entering brew cleanup. Take the same step again to make sure this time the program installs the necessary file properly.

In the end, it is up to the user whether to adjust settings or start using Wine immediately.

How to Use Wine on Mac to Enjoy Favorite Programs and Games

Now that you know how to install Wine itself, it is time to look at the best Windows tools that a Mac owner can obtain with this little helper. Not every PC program will be available on the Apple computer, but basically, you will be able to access the most needed and frequently used things. This application will serve as a loader for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Office. Below, we cover the full list of games that work on Mac thanks to Wine as well as the programs that become compatible with Apple’s operating system.

wine pc game

A Wine compatibility list looks this way:

Programs: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (13.0), Fallout 3 1.7 and GOTY, The Sims 3 All, Adobe Animate Flash CS6 (12.0), iTunes 12.x, Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars 1.x, Gothic 3 1.x, Microsoft Office (installer only) 2010 (32 bit), Runes of Magic Official release, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5.x (32-bit).

Games: Final Fantasy XI Online, StarCraft 1.16.1 (Brood War), Team Fortress 2 Steam, Counter-Strike: Source Retail / Steam, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion 1.2.x, Sid Meier’s Civilization IV Complete, Half-Life 2 Retail (32-bit), Company of Heroes Obsolete Non-Steam, System Shock 2 2.3, Spore 1.0, World of Warcraft 7.3, EVE Online Current, Magic: The Gathering Online 4.x, Steam Official Release, Guild Wars All Versions, StarCraft II Current, The Witcher 1.x Retail, Watchtower Library 2014, Guild Wars 2 Release Client, Left 4 Dead Full (Steam).

To access these games and programs on Mac, a user will need the installer file.

  1. Make sure it ends up with .exe just like on Windows computers. Keep in mind the chosen location to store the file.
  2. Launch the Terminal window again.
  3. Cd to the target location and apply 1s to ensure the visibility of the installer.
  4. In the corresponding directory, enable the installer via Wine by entering this line: wine $INSTALLER.exe. For instance, if the installer file is named bootup.exe, you will type: wine bootup.exe.
  5. Notice an appearing window with a regular graphical Windows installing file. Click through it, and here you go!

To launch any of the apps you wish with the help of Wine, take the following steps.

  1. Launch Terminal.
  2. Enter the recommended command: cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/
  3. This action will show the installed software. Choose an app and type its directory with cd. Do not forget to enter a \ before the space in case the folder has this symbol.
  4. You should have a file ending up with .exe. Enter the following line: wine $PROGRAM.exe. An example would be: wine WARCRAFT.EXE

Bonus Tip: Update Wine on Mac!

It looks like the article discussed everything an average Mac user needs to know about working with Wine. However, there is a bonus for you: it will also explain how to upgrade this wonderful program! P.S. the article will refer to Homebrew as the preferred method of Wine’s installation.

As it was mentioned above, Wine is an open-source program. It means the regular updates are available. They usually offer new exciting features and fixed bugs. It is better to scan the system for any available updates regularly not to miss a thing and enhance your Wine experience. There is no need to do anything manually – let Homebrew search for the extras for you. This Terminal code will help to update both Homebrew and Wine: brew upgrade.

The best thing is that a Mac owner can upgrade any apps this way. Apply this command once in several months to get an improved version of Wine!

Related post: The Correct Way to Remove Wine and Its Components on Mac

Share this post with friends!