Things have changed since my original answer. The version of Wine you install on a 64bit computer these days is capable of running in both a 64bit and 32bit capacity. This is decided by the prefix (the local bundle of files, traditionally at
Once you've set up a 32bit prefix, everything will run in 32bit mode in that prefix. Conversely, if you don't do anything and run anything with
wine (or its ancillary commands), you'll create a Wine64 environment... And these are buggy as all hell still.
If you're upgrading an old prefix (and I think this is why I hadn't appreciated this before today), it will carry on using the same architecture. My ~2010 prefix just kept working.
If you're starting a new prefix (ie on a new install of Ubuntu), you'll need to do a few special things:
# Move the old prefix (if one exists)
# You could rm -rf it if you don't want it.
mv ~/.wine/ ~/oldwine/
# Create prefix with right arch, per
And that's it. Unless you're specifying another prefix that doesn't exist yet, you shouldn't need to set
And ultimately, as Wine64 matures, this should be something that's less and less relevant. Wine64 should be able to run 32bit applications.