Release 6.0

The Wine team is proud to announce that the stable release Wine 6.0 is now available.

This release represents a year of development effort and over 8,300 individual changes. It contains a large number of improvements that are listed in the release notes below. The areas of major changes are:

  • Core modules in PE format.
  • Vulkan backend for WineD3D.
  • DirectShow and Media Foundation support.
  • Text console redesign.

This release is dedicated to the memory of Ken Thomases, who passed away just before Christmas at the age of 51. Ken was an incredibly brilliant developer, and the mastermind behind the macOS support in Wine. We all miss his skills, his patience, and his dark sense of humor.

What's new in Wine 6.0

PE modules

  • The core DLLs, including NTDLL, KERNEL32, GDI32, USER32, etc. are built in PE format. This should help a number of copy protection schemes that check that the DLL files on disk match the in-memory contents.

  • There is a new mechanism to associate a Unix library with a PE module, to make it possible to call Unix libraries from PE for the functions that can't be handled with Win32 APIs. These libraries are found by replacing the PE module file extension with .so, for instance ntdll.dll -> They have to be located next to the PE file on disk.

  • Winelib modules no longer link against, or require it at run-time. This is a backwards incompatible change, meaning that modules built with Wine 6.0 won't run on older Wine versions.

  • The libwine library is no longer used, but it's still provided to support running Winelib modules built against older versions. It is deprecated however, and will be removed in a future Wine release. Applications that explicitly call libwine functions will need to be changed to call equivalent Win32 or Unix APIs instead. As a consequence, the wine/library.h header has also been removed.

  • PE modules can be built with their debug information split to a separate file, to reduce the size of the files installed into the Wine prefix.


  • An experimental Vulkan renderer for WineD3D is implemented. This requires the vkd3d-shader library in order to translate Direct3D shaders to SPIR-V shaders. In this release, shader support in the Vulkan renderer is limited to shader model 4 and 5 shaders. In practice, that limits its usefulness to Direct3D 10 and 11 applications. The Vulkan renderer can be enabled by setting the Direct3D "renderer" registry setting to "vulkan".

  • The following Direct3D 11 features are implemented:

    • Per render-target ("independent") blend states.
    • Dual-source blending.
    • Multi-sample anti-aliasing sample masks.
    • Several more capability queries.
  • Support for Direct3D 9 alpha-to-coverage multi-sampling is implemented.

  • When the EXT_framebuffer_multisample_blit_scaled OpenGL extension is available, scaled multi-sample resolve operations can happen as a single operation.

  • When the ARB_buffer_storage OpenGL extension is available, it will be used to allocate OpenGL buffer objects. This can result in minor performance improvements with some application and driver combinations.

  • The Direct3D graphics card database recognizes more graphics cards, and the reported driver versions have been updated.

  • New or modified HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\Direct3D registry keys:

    • "renderer" (REG_SZ) The backend API to target. This existing setting has an additional valid value in this release: "vulkan". Possible values are now "gl" (default) for OpenGL, "gdi" or "no3d" for GDI, and "vulkan" for Vulkan.
    • "csmt" (REG_DWORD) Enable or disable multi-threaded command stream features. This existing setting has an additional valid bit-field value in this release. Valid bit-fields in this release are:
      • 0x1 Enable the multi-threaded command stream feature.
      • 0x2 Enable serialization between multiple command streams in the same application. This feature is primarily useful for applications using multiple Direct3D instances from different threads, in combination with OpenGL drivers that do not properly support multi-threaded access themselves. As of this release, this is known to affect Microsoft Office
    • #2013and later versions in combination with the Mesa-based Nouveau driver. Note that this setting is a bit-field; in order to enable both features above, set this to 0x3.
  • Removed HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\Direct3D registry key:

    • "DirectDrawRenderer" This setting was previously deprecated in favor of the "renderer" setting, and has been removed in this release.


  • Drawing text using the ID3DXFont interface is implemented.

  • The ID3D12ShaderReflection shader reflection interface is implemented.

  • The D3DX10GetImageInfoFromMemory() and related image information query functions are implemented.


  • Drawing arcs, ellipses and rounded rectangles using the Direct2D API is implemented.

  • The standard sRGB color profile is installed into the prefix, for applications that expect to load it directly.

  • The Null display driver can be used as a proper display driver, for cases when a user interface is not needed.

  • WindowsCodecs supports decoding images in DDS (DirectDraw Surface) and JPEG-XR formats, as well as encoding images to GIF format.

  • The Vulkan driver creates the JSON manifest and registry entry used by the official Vulkan loader.

  • The Vulkan driver supports up to version 1.2.162 of the Vulkan spec.

  • There are a number of improvements in GdiPlus, including support for widening lines, more hatch styles, and more record types in metafiles.

Audio / video

  • The Media Foundation framework is more complete, including:

    • Initial Media Session implementation for state changes and data flow.
    • Initial Streaming Audio Renderer (SAR) pipeline component implementation.
    • Initial Video Renderer implementation, a pipeline component hosting EVR mixer and presenter.
    • Initial Topology Loader implementation.
    • Various fixes for the Source Reader.
    • Initial Media Engine implementation.
    • Asynchronous queues functionality is moved to rtworkq.dll.
  • The AMStream (ActiveMovie Multimedia Streaming) library is more fully implemented, including support for streaming and sample management.

  • The Video Mixing Renderer supports the following features:

    • Windowless and renderless mode.
    • Automatic stretching and resizing of the video to match the window size.
    • Hardware-accelerated color space conversion of YUV formats, if supported by the underlying Direct3D implementation.
    • Preservation of video aspect ratio via letterboxing.
  • The Video Mixing Renderer is used as the default video renderer if supported by the underlying Direct3D implementation, replacing the GDI video renderer.

  • The DirectShow File Writer filter is implemented.

  • The DirectX Media Object (DMO) Wrapper filter is implemented. DMOs can be automatically enumerated and plugged into the filter graph.

  • The video capture filter supports reporting more information about video formats, including supported sizes and frame rates.

  • More Media Detector APIs are implemented.

  • The GStreamer wrapper filter supports video and audio format conversion within the GStreamer pipeline. This obviates the need for extra transform filters, and accordingly the GStreamer-based YUV to ARGB converter, audio converter, and mp3 decoder have been removed. Any video can be output in any of several RGB and YUV formats, allowing for better performance in some cases.

  • The Enhanced Video Renderer (EVR) contains an initial default mixer and presenter implementation using DXVA2 API.

  • The XACT3 (Cross-platform Audio Creation) engine library and interfaces are implemented through FAudio.

Text and fonts

  • Text console support is reimplemented, using the architecture of recent Windows versions, which is closer to the Unix way of doing things. In particular:

    • Pseudo consoles are implemented (equivalent to Unix pseudo TTYs).

    • All console handling is done in the ConHost process. WineConsole is now only a thin wrapper around ConHost.

    • ConHost handles VT escape sequences, meaning that the Unix Curses library is no longer needed.

  • Default shaping features are enabled for all scripts in DirectWrite. All types of GSUB/GPOS lookups are supported.

  • In DirectWrite, CMAP data is read directly from the font without global cache or a need to create FreeType objects, for improved performance.

  • The font initialization in GDI32 avoids loading fonts through FreeType when possible, for faster startup times. The font registry cache is also more efficient.

  • The Uniscribe support in the USP10 library is moved into GDI32, as per recent Windows versions.

  • An initial version of the Webdings font is implemented, with only a few glyphs at this point.

Input devices

  • Raw input devices and messages are implemented, and used by DirectInput instead of less efficient low-level hooks.

  • An initial USB kernel driver is implemented, based on the LibUSB library, to provide access to USB devices.

  • Mouse position history is implemented, for games that want more precise mouse positions.

  • SDL controller mappings can be set through the 'SDL_GAMECONTROLLERCONFIG' environment variable.

  • Plug & Play device notifications are implemented.

Desktop integration

  • Display settings are retrieved through XRandR 1.4 if available. This also provides support for multiple display orientations.

  • There is a consistent view of the graphics adapters across the X11, OpenGL and Vulkan APIs.

  • The desktop work area layout is supported on multi-monitor setups using the _GTK_WORKAREAS property.


  • Unicode character tables are based on version 13.0.0 of the Unicode Standard.

  • Unicode normalization is fully standard-compliant, including support for Hangul, supplementary character planes, and IDN normalization.

  • Codepage and other Unicode tables are stored in external NLS files compatible with Windows. This makes it possible to test with the native files to track down character mapping issues.

  • Codepage mapping tables are generated from Microsoft's Open Specification data for better compatibility.

  • Unicode linguistic case mappings for languages like Turkish are implemented.

  • Codepage 708 (Arabic ASMO) is supported.


  • Windows version compatibility mode is implemented, to only report the newest Windows versions to applications that have declared that they support them.

  • INI file mappings are implemented, to redirect .ini file entries to registry keys.

  • Many more NT kernel objects and functions are implemented, to support anti-cheat systems that load kernel drivers.

  • A NetIO.sys kernel driver is implemented, to support copy protection drivers that want to access the network.

  • AVX registers are supported in register contexts and exception handling on x86 platforms.

  • The Kernel User Shared Data block contains up-to-date timestamps, to avoid system calls when retrieving the current time counter.

C Runtime

  • The C runtime import libraries provide the necessary runtime support so that PE modules no longer depend on the MinGW runtime.

  • The Wine modules are all built against the new UCRT runtime.

  • Winegcc uses the new UCRT runtime by default, unless an older C runtime library is explicitly imported.

  • The C runtime supports Windows locales that use the UTF-8 codepage.

  • A number of C runtime math functions are implemented internally based on code from the Musl C library, to avoid depending on the system math library.

  • Floating point formatting is reimplemented in the C runtime to avoid depending on the system printf function.

Internet and networking

  • The Gecko engine is updated to version 2.47.2.

  • The WebSocket API is implemented.

  • JScript and VBScript report the correct location for errors in scripts.

  • There are various improvements to the LDAP and Active Directory Service support.

  • There is an initial implementation of the NDIS network driver.

  • The OLE data link dialog supports configuring the ODBC data connection.


  • The BCrypt library supports additional algorithms, including DSA keys and the 3DES cipher.

  • The DSSENH (Digital Signatures) Cryptographic Provider is implemented, and enabled by default.

Alternative platforms

  • Support for exception handling and stack unwinding on ARM platforms (both 32-bit and 64-bit) should be on par with the x86 architectures.

  • There is initial support for ARM64 on macOS, for the new Apple Silicon.

  • Support for the obsolete 32-bit PowerPC architecture is removed. It had been broken for some time already.

  • Case-insensitive filesystem optimizations are enabled on FreeBSD.

Builtin applications

  • WineCfg supports querying and modifying the configured Windows version through the command line with a new /v option.

  • The Shell Folders configuration in WineCfg also supports the Downloads and Templates folders.

  • The removable drive autodetection has been removed in WineCfg, now that the dbus dynamic device support is stable.

  • The FSUTIL tool supports a 'hardlink' command to create hard links.

  • The FIND tool supports searching multiple files, in addition to standard input.

  • The WHOAMI tool is implemented to display the current username.

Development tools

  • Winegcc supports generating PDB files when building PE DLLs, for compatibility with Windows debuggers.

  • DbgHelp supports GNU-style debug information also in PE files.

  • Winegcc can generate an import library directly when building a DLL, with the '-Wl,--out-implib' option.

  • The various build tools also look for include and library files in paths relative to the tool binary, to allow relocatable Winelib installations.

  • The Resource Compiler (wrc) and Message Compiler (wmc) use the external NLS files for codepage conversions. If necessary, the path to the external files can be specified with the '--nls-dir' option.

  • There are various improvements in the gdb proxy mode in WineDbg, including support for hardware watchpoints, and for loading symbols from PE modules.

  • The Message Compiler (wmc) handles the Unicode BOM to detect the input file format.

  • The Resource Compiler (wrc) has a '--utf8' option to specify UTF-8 input, as an alternative to putting #pragma codepage inside the file.

  • The IDL compiler (widl) supports a WinRT mode, and various constructs specific to that mode.

  • The IDL compiler (widl) supports custom attributes in type libraries.

Build infrastructure

  • Makefiles are no longer recursive; a single Makefile is generated to build the entire tree, with correct dependencies between modules.

  • Automake-style silent build rules are supported. They are disabled by default, but can be enabled by passing the '--enable-silent-rules' option to configure.

  • The new LLVM-MinGW compiler is supported for PE cross-compilation.

  • Building with the Clang compiler in MSVC mode is supported.

  • A '-syscall' entry point flag is supported in spec files, to generate NT-style system call entry points.


  • The Mono engine is updated to version 5.1.1, containing the open sourced parts of the WPF framework, and initial replacements for some of the closed source parts.

  • Most modules have been converted to use wide-character string constants like L"abc" instead of explicit arrays, for more readable code.

  • Many of the less common timezones (for various remote islands) are supported.

  • Listviews and image buttons are supported in MSI installers.

  • There is initial support for the Print Ticket API.

New external dependencies

  • The LibUSB library is used to implement the USB driver.

  • The VkD3D-Shader library is used to translate Direct3D shaders to SPIR-V shaders for the WineD3D Vulkan renderer.

  • The Curses, GLU, and Zlib libraries are no longer used.