I've been looking into installing Wine on Ubuntu and the official wiki says that if I have a 64 bit Ubuntu machine I need to carry out a few back flips and install 32 bit Wine. This shouldn't be an issue since there's plenty of material on how to do that but what I'm missing is the why.

This provides some clues but unfortunately no sources or concrete cases to look at. I'm looking for some reading material to educate myself a bit on this matter before I decide how and what to do next.

-- EDIT --

This question has been marked as a potential duplicate of How to force Wine into acting like 32-bit Windows on 64-bit Ubuntu?. Just by looking at the title of the question you can see that we're asking totally different things. Although the "duplicate" has some relevant info in the various answers that it received, it is a very specific case of someone wanting to force Wine to work in 32 bit and this is entirely not what I'm asking here.

-- END of EDIT --

My two main questions are:
A) In what cases do I need a 32 bit installation? Any 64 bit Ubuntu? Only if I want to run 32 bit windows applications?
B) If not in all cases then what is the benefit of having 32 (and/or 64?) Wines? Pros? Cons?


  • Guys, I really fail to see how this question is any sort of duplicate of "How to force Wine...". Perhaps some info exists in the answers to it, but it doesn't actually answer what I've asked here. It blows my mind that there's actually no single source of info that people can refer to to get answers regarding this topic and it's a great disappointment that high rep members mark it as a dupe of a clearly different question.
    – AlexanderF
    Feb 15, 2018 at 23:23

1 Answer 1


I am using 64bit wine, when I need to run 64 bit windows program. All other cases I am using 32bit wine. The Playonlinux script can offer you a choice, whether to create 64bit or 32bit wine prefix. The base system is 64bit Ubuntu.

  • Thanks for your answer! Could you elaborate please? What is prefix? Playonlinux? Sources? I'm getting bits and pieces of information from comments, referenced questions and googling around, but there is no minimally complete set of simple facts about wine in a single place and this is what I'm trying to get at so that I (and anyone finding this question in the future) can reference. without compiling it from different sources. If you know of a source that covers the basics, please share. Thanks!
    – AlexanderF
    Feb 13, 2018 at 19:15
  • Wine prefix is so called virtual drive in Playonlinux - physically a folder in your home directory, where the wine programs get installed. Playonlinux is a third party script to manage wine versions, virtual drives and programs. It contains installation scripts for many windows programs. With sudo apt install playonlinux you can install it.
    – kukulo
    Feb 14, 2018 at 10:05

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