Wine 5.0-rc1 Is Released. This Ends Active Development, Feature-Freeze And Bug-Fixes Ahead

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The Wine Is Not An Emulator compatibility later (WINE) project has made its first release-candidate for its upcoming 5.0 release. This marks the end of the active development release cycle and the beginning of a weekly release cycle with small bug-fixes only until Wine 5.0 is released. 37 bugs have been fixed since the last development release.

published 2019-12-14last edited 2019-12-16

Doki Doki Literature Club - girl-2 why did you bring a boy.jpg
The Windows-game Doki Doki Literature Club running in Wine on a GNU/Linux machine.

Wine is rather unique in its version system which differs from the rest of the free software world. Major versions are called wine-x.0. Minor stable-branch updates are versioned wine-x.0.z while development releases have versions like wine-x.y.

Wine 4.21, released in the end of November, was the last development release prior to Wine 5.0-rc1. Wine 4.0.3, released around the same time, was a small bug-fix update to Wine 4.0 - which is Wine's current "stable" release. Wine 5.0 will take its place once the release-candidates seem stable enough to warrant doing a single-point "stable" release.

Wine 5.0-rc1 has no new major features added to it since Wine 4.21. The short-short log since 4.21 is:

  • Gecko update, with support for running from a global location.
  • Unicode data updated to Unicode version 12.1.
  • Initial version of the MSADO (ActiveX Data Objects) library.
  • Update installation support in the WUSA (Windows Update Standalone) tool.
  • More progress on the kernel32/kernelbase restructuring.
  • Support for signing with ECDSA keys.
  • Various bug fixes.

The detailed changelog in the release-announcement has a long detailed list of all the bug-fixes since the prior 4.21 release. There's a lot of them. There are specific fixes for FIFA Online 3, Beat Hazard 2, Geometry Wars 3 and Costume Quest 2.

Development of the optional DXVK DirectX To Vulkan Translation Layer was halted this week since the main developers feels it has grown into "a fragile, unreliable and frustrating maintenance nightmare". Wine's own wined3d DirectX to OpenGL translation layer is moving full steam ahead with several bug-fixes in Wine 5.0-rc1. It is slightly slower than DXVK in some games.

The complete list of changes between Wine 4.0 and the upcoming 5.0 release is really long. Wine 4.0 was released on January 22nd, 2019 - so it has been a year and 21 development releases since 4.0. The differences are so significant most distributions are already shipping a development-release instead of the older "stable" 4.0-series. We will try to provide a complete list at a later date.

Wine does not have a release-schedule for the big 5.0. It will be released when the developers deem it to be ready. It is possible to make an educated guess based on Wine 4.0. Its first release-candidate was released December 7th, 2018. Seven weekly release-candidates followed before the final version was released towards the end of January. 5.0rc1 came a week later which makes the first week of February 2020 a likely target for a final 5.0 release.

The source for Wine 5.0-rc1 can be acquired from mirrors.ibiblio.org/wine/source/5.0/.

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