For running Windows games and applications on Linux, Wine is easily the best option. The Wine Project is actively maintained and supported by a thriving community. It’s continually improving and adding compatibility for programs. Wine Staging takes all of that to the next level.
So, what’s the deal with “staging?” Wine is probably more conservative than it needs to be. It holds many patches back until they are completely mature and bug-free. That’s great if you’re using Wine for professional purposes, but what if you just want to run your games with the latest graphical enhancements and the highest degree of compatibility? That’s where Wine Staging comes in.
Wine Staging is the same as the base application with the added benefit of patches that are still being tested and improved. They may not all be rock solid, but they are reliable enough to game with and for most other uses.
The staging patches bring some of the most useful features Wine has to offer. CSMT is a big selling point for Wine Staging. It provides multi-threading for extreme graphical improvements. In addition, staging brings improved DirectX performance and support for Vulkan.
If that wasn’t enough, staging also has specific patches to make games that don’t work on normal Wine work. That’s right, Wine Staging gets you more games.
Setting Up the Repository
Wine Staging has its own Ubuntu repository set up and ready to use. You just have to enable it on your system to get regular updates direct from the maintainers.
First, you need to download and import the GPG keys from the repository to ensure that it remains secure. You can use
wget to pull the key down and import it with Apt.
After you have the key, you can add the repository to Ubuntu with Apt.
From that point, the repository will be part of your system. If you’ve never added an external repository to Ubuntu before, it will integrate seamlessly into the system. You won’t notice the difference in your regular updates or installs.
Now you’re ready to install Wine Staging.
Installing the Packages
Before you install staging, you should be sure to remove any existing Wine installations.
Install Wine Staging the way you normally would with Apt.
That will give you the basic install. There are plenty of recommended packages that you can install for additional functionality. You can install them along with staging for the most complete experience.
Wine Staging makes a number of features available through the wincecfg graphical configuration tool. Open winecfg to check it out.
On your first run Wine needs to set up its configuration and the .wine directory in your home folder. As it goes through that process, it will ask you to install several pieces of software through Wine. Click “Install” for each one. They all help boost Wine’s compatibility.
The configuration window will pop up and allow you to access many of the settings available for Wine. Winecfg uses a tabbing system, so click on the “staging” tab at the top.
The window will switch to show you all of the options available on your installation of Wine Staging. Check off what you want and hit “OK.” Wine will now be ready to install and play your games!