When installing Wine on 64-bit Ubuntu 12.04, both 64-bit support and 32-bit support get installed. If I run wine foo.exe where foo.exe is a 64-bit-aware installer, it thinks it's on 64-bit Windows. This would be fine if this mode didn't fail, but in my case, it does (yet the Wine database suggests the app I'm trying to install should work, presumably as a 32-bit app).

How do I tell Wine (and Winetricks) to use Wine in 32-bit-only mode?

8 Answers 8


It turns out that to make Wine run in 32-bit-only mode, one needs to:

  1. Remove ~/.wine if it was already created in the 64-bit mode. (WARNING: This removes all stuff you have installed under Wine. Move it aside instead if you want to avoid dataloss.)

  2. Set the WINEARCH environment variable to win32 i.e. export WINEARCH=win32

  3. Then run wine (or winetricks, etc.)

  • 1
    Just used this to get Editpad Pro 7.1.1 (32/64bit .exe) to correctly install under 12.04 LTS (64bit). After deleting ~/.wine, needed to re-install any apps (under Wine).
    – david6
    May 27, 2012 at 7:41
  • 1
    just mv .wine to .wine_backup in case after fail step :)
    – deadfish
    Aug 16, 2012 at 13:34
  • 8
    Added the line export WINEARCH=win32 to .bashrc (after line 10).
    – david6
    Jun 30, 2013 at 3:08
  • 7
  • "Set the WINEARCH environment variable to win32 i.e. export WINEARCH=win32" - how to do that?
    – user47206
    Nov 20, 2014 at 12:43

Install playonlinux there you will have this option. It is a frontend to wine, and makes it far better.enter image description here

This picture was taken on a 12.04 - 64bit system.

  • I don't see the option. Where in the playonlinux UI can I find it?
    – hsivonen
    May 15, 2012 at 6:56
  • 3
    "Tools [the third dropdown menu]-> Manage Wine Versions" I will make a screenshot.
    – gajdipajti
    May 15, 2012 at 10:54
  • Even after moving x86 Wine 1.5.4 from the "available" column to the "installed" column, launching installation using the "Configure" button in PlayOnLinux still launches in a 64-aware version of Wine.
    – hsivonen
    May 17, 2012 at 16:53

You can in an easy way copy all win32 files into .wine to substitute the lesser need to change all run commands as well. By avoiding doing to much changes to the system in another hand. At first, run the command:

WINEPREFIX="$HOME/prefix32" WINEARCH=win32 wine wineboot

Assume you already made a run of making .wine with 64bit compatibility. If not you are still able to make a folder called .wine instead in your home directory.

Then copy all content of prefix32 found in your home directory to your .wine content area both files and directories, first either backup or just remove the content in the directory .wine if you already are planning running 32bit arch of wine, don't overwrite content! Rather delete if you already made a backup.

Remember that directory .wine might be hidden, any use of seeing hidden files will make you be able to see the folder in your home directory. You can as well use the Go in Thunar with Ubuntu to either just go straight into the folder called .wine in the home directory and make the process as told here before.

  • 1
    This is the most sane of the responses, thanks
    – JBernardo
    Aug 12, 2019 at 11:42

You can run 32-bit Windows programmes on a 64-bit Linux machine with wine by installing playonlinux.

  1. If you haven't done so before, install playonlinux: sudo apt install playonlinux.
  2. Start the playonlinux GUI: playonlinux &.
  3. Click "Install a program" in the left sidebar.
  4. Click "Install a non-listed program".
  5. If this is the first time you started playonlinux, you might have to click through two notification windows.
  6. Click "Next", then select "Install a program in a new virtual drive"
  7. Choose a name for your new virtual drive, preferably the name of the Windows program you want to install.
  8. Leave all checkboxes unchecked on the next screen and click "Next".
  9. Select "32 bits windows installation" and click "Next".
  10. Click "Browse" to select the installation file of the program you want to install and follow the instructions of the installer.

Install Play on linux as said before , i did it in like 1 minute , What you need to have:

  1. Is have a 32 bit wine version , like said before.
  2. Next you need to press install
  3. Click the text at the bottom that says something like install a program that is not listed
  4. Check change wine version
  5. Select the 32 bit version you have installed
  6. Create a new virtual disk
  7. Name it
  8. AND THE MOS IMPORTANT:Select 32 bit virtual disk
  9. Select the installer and install

So alot of solutions about del,del,and lose all data!

  1. in *.reg files(in old .wine folder) replace lines from #arch=win64 lines to #arch=win32
  2. rename your .wine folder to something like .wine_bak keep all config and *.reg files
  3. run WINEARCH=win32 winecfg in cli, for recreation new folder .wine/ with correct version of windows, program files and other folders and *.reg files in new .wine/ folder.
  4. copy your old *.reg files from .wine_bak/ to .wine/ and copy your programs/confir/files from old .wine_bak folder to new .wine/ folder.
  5. After copying files, in cli run winecfg to see what necessary dll is missed or has wrong version. If all goes wrong, del ONLY new .wine and start from 3 number. To keep old Wine's configs, files, folders
  6. profit.

Try to remove .wine and export a wine prefix:

cd ~/
rm -r .wine

export WINEARCH=''win32''
export WINEPREFIX=~/.wine

wine config
  • so if you do it only a Program Files created, there is no x86 and you can download Dll's on winetricks
    – Luk Gaming
    Jul 27, 2018 at 23:14

While you can not run within the same containers you can actually still have both by setting up Biarch. Please see this Wine white paper on setup. While hsivonen gives you the easiest answer this would be the way to achieve your desired functionality.


  • 1
    Links are good but may break hence some compressed form of the relevant information there would be helpful. Jan 4, 2017 at 8:37

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