Ubuntu 20.10: wine-6.2 with WOW64 and 32 or 64 bit program installations

When creating a 64 bit wine prefix it creates a directory structure with "Program Files (c86)".

I can launch 32-bit programs into it, but I always get prompts that tell's me it could go wrong because I use a 64-bit prefix. Although there is no apparent error.

At top of that, when I install a 32-bit program into this prefix, should I do it with wine, or wine64? If I do it with wine, will it use the "Program Files (x86)" or the default "Program Files" reserved for 64-bit programs on a 64-bit architecture?

It's not clear at all how to use a 64-bit architecture, with 32-bit applications/installations. The point is, some of the programs I want to install, have a 64-bit installer, but uses 32-bit launchers and are normaly installed into "Program Files (x86)".

My goal is to run a signel Prefix for all the apps I need wone for. This would mostly be used for game purposes.

How do I launch a prefix desktop WOW64, compatible for 32-bit and 64-bit apps as well?

What is the best way to install all I need into this only prefix, without this prompt about 64-bit prefix?

I have no choice to use other than a 64-bit. My prefix should be at HOME/user/wine64/


I've found out that I have to work with wine64 to run an exe within the x64 Prefix I've created. Even is this one is 32-bit Like the Steam setup for exemple.

'WINEARCH=win64 WINEPREFIX=/$HOME/.local/share/wineprefixes/Win64DXVK wine64 explorer'

I'm a newbie, but for me it's like winetricks runs some commands with wine instead of wine64, just because those are 32-bit applications. So my question at this points, if it's so, there a winetricks version that runs everything with wine64 instead of wine?

I'm looking how to work directly trough wine64, because winetricks give me these error prompts about WINEARCH 64.

WINEARCH=win64 WINEPREFIX=/$HOME/.local/share/wineprefixes/Win64 winetricks

When I'm working directly with the prefix, I've getting things to work somehow. But it would be easier for me if I could also use winetricks in full WOW64 environment.

  • I would suggest to ask this on the winehq forums. Most of us do not use WINE. The far better experience would be do use virtualization or a dual boot.
    – Rinzwind
    Feb 26, 2021 at 8:17
  • I'll give it a try on WineHQ. Just for information: I've seen that, even if we work into a 64-bit prefix, the shortcuts to 32-bit applications made on the Linux desktop are launching wine instead of wine64. Exemple: env WINEPREFIX="//home/user/.local/share/wineprefixes/Win64" wine C:\\windows\\command\\start.exe /Unix //home/user/.local/share/wineprefixes/Win64/dosdevices/c:/users/Public/Bureau/Steam.lnk I's a 64-bit prefix (so 32-bits apps are installed into (x86) folder), so it should launch 32-bit apps into the same environment to use the right folder I presume.
    – user849355
    Feb 27, 2021 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


I had faced the same problem when I was learning how to install older Wine versions MANUALLY without having to deal with Apt-Get repositories and all that nonsense. Procedure below.

Installing older/different versions of Wine than the latest ones from the repositories in Debian/Ubuntu system is a pain in the rear extremity.

Plan B: consider hopping over to Manjaro, if it's possible for you to do so. Why? Because the Manjaro version of the Wine package comes bundled IN A SINGLE PACKAGE, and you install it using A SINGLE COMMAND:

sudo pacman -U /local_path/wine-staging-5.1-1-x86_64.pkg.tar.zst
or, in the case you miss dependencies..
sudo pacman -Sy /path/wine...
(I think that's the command... I'm not in Manjaro right now,
the Sy command will download the dependencies for you 
WITHOUT performing a full system upgrade, only the packages you need...
pacman -U is the equivalent of sudo dpkg -i , for manual install)

OK. If hopping over to Arch/Manjaro is NOT a possibility for you, these below are the steps for MANUALLY installing older versions of Wine on Debian/Ubuntu-based distros:

  1. Let's say you want to install Wine version 4.1 (one of the last versions of Wine before the Wineprefix size increased from 100 MB straight to 600 MB, without no additional benefits and no avoidance of the usual bugs from the last 10 years...)
    Go to https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/
    and download all packages that have 4.1 in their name (they should have the same Date to them)

In the case of Wine 4.1 (the version that I've found to be the optimal one) these are the packages you need. You always will need FIVE packages in total.

  1. Installation order. Here comes the tricky part, after you do it the 1st time it should be easier the next times. First, you install the biggest i386 package, always. Then, you install the small i386 package. Then, install the big amd64 package, and the small amd64 package. The last to be installed should be winehq (which only comes in amd64 form)

Below is a copy of my bash history with the order of commands I used to do this in shortest time.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update
sudo dpkg -i /path/wine-staging-i386_4.1_buster_i386.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
sudo dpkg -i /path/wine-staging_4.1_buster_i386.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
sudo dpkg -i /path/wine-staging-amd64_4.1_buster_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
sudo dpkg -i /path/wine-staging_4.1_buster_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
sudo dpkg -i /path/winehq-staging_4.1_buster_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get install -f
sudo apt-get update
winecfg    <used to create the initial Wine prefix>
<use these ones below to reassure that you have all libs installed correctly>
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine32 WINEARCH=win32 winecfg  <to test if 32-bit is working OK>
WINEPREFIX=~/.wine64 WINEARCH=win64 winecfg  <to test if 64-bit is working OK>
<you should not see errors in the terminal of the type
"but the wrong architecture is being used" >

Notice how you need to run

sudo apt-get install -f  

every single time each package is installed. That will guarantee that the individual dependencies to each package are installed and configured, before you install the next package. (this is only needed the 1st time you do this... after that, you can put all these dependencies, store them in a Backup location, and install them all-at-once using sudo dpkg -i /path/*.deb )

  1. Sometimes, and I don't understand why this happens, you won't be able to use Wine 64 bits, or you won't be able to use Wine 32 bits, one of the two. If that happens, simply re-install one of the big Wine packages again (depending if you need amd64 or i386)

    sudo dpkg -i /path/wine-staging-amd64_4.1_buster_amd64.deb

It's very unfortunate that Wine has been distributed like this on Debian/Ubuntu system, it's an overcomplicated process with a lot of time wasted. The way Manjaro does it should become the official way Wine is distributed from now on.

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