When browsing directories in a Windows program installed in Wine - like when opening a folder in Foobar2000 - Wine always opens the Wine explorer:

Open containing folder option in Foobar2000

The wine file manager

Is it possible to set Wine to open an Ubuntu file manager (e.g Nautilus) instead?

  • 2
    You "should" be able to replace usr/bin/winefile. I haven't tested it though (and I suspect the FM you replace it with would need to accept the path as an argument). Jan 24, 2013 at 10:35
  • @hbdgaf - where is the line that specifies the FM in usr/bin/winefile?
    – user47206
    Sep 5, 2013 at 7:27
  • fwiw, I believe the window in question is called the file chooser. I couldn't find anything though
    – user1974
    Sep 9, 2013 at 23:51
  • What file am I editing to change winefile?
    – James
    Aug 29, 2016 at 19:18
  • 1
    @RobotHumans Do you have any ideas? Or is there somewhere that the inner mechanisms of winefile will be explained?
    – James
    Aug 31, 2016 at 18:34

4 Answers 4


In Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 A quick review of the code in /usr/bin/winefile indicates that the answer is no. after checking to see if it's called with a directory name it clearly is using wine to launch the file manager regardless.


if [ -x "$appdir/wine" ]; then exec "$appdir/wine" "$appname" "$@"; fi

# finally look in PATH
exec wine "$appname" "$@"

Since wine is designed to launch Windows executables It won't launch native apps. I would assume that using wine to launch the file selection routine is necessary in order to insure that the proper parameter is passed after file selection. This opinion is purely based on logic (and the content of /usr/bin/winefile). If you have information to the contrary please comment and share.

  • 1
    It seems, winefile just do the translation of application name or .exe name and handles that to wine program to do stuff with that.
    – Anwar
    Sep 15, 2016 at 15:07
  • Do you think that the way Foobar2000 can open the Linux file manager qualifies as an "information to the contrary" in the sense you ask above?
    – user47206
    Dec 11, 2016 at 12:04
  • 1
    @cipricus No I don't. If you look carefully at that answer you will note that it's calling C:\windows\system32\winebrowser.exe to display the directory called. (winebrowser.exe is clearly not a native app and is a part of the wine library
    – Elder Geek
    Dec 12, 2016 at 16:20
  • So then can't you just make a script called wine that calls wine for everyting except nautilus/thunar/etc...
    – Dagelf
    Oct 15, 2017 at 17:16
  • @Dagelf You could certainly try, on the flip side that could easily result in unintended consequences that would make supporting any issues you may have with wine in the future exceedingly difficult, so I wouldn't recommend that course of action.
    – Elder Geek
    Oct 16, 2017 at 15:20

The most promising approach seems to me to set MIME types for all files of interest. Have a look at How to associate all file types within Wine with its corresponding native application?

Other things I tried, but didn't work: /usr/bin/winefile is a simple wrapper script, you can replace or change it. For example, to use thunar as your file manager in wine, add after the #comment lines

thunar $@

You can leave the rest as it is, to be able to undo your changes.

Second approach, not working: looking in system32 for winefile.exe and explorer.exe, replacing them with softlinks to thunar. Wine ignores this, even a double-click on this softlinks runs winefile instead of thunar.

It seems to me that winefile is a builtin of wine. Maybe some registry edits could change wine's behaviour.

  • I like this approach Sep 1, 2016 at 22:09
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    Unfortunately this doesn't seem to work for me - it still opens the Wine file manager when choosing "Open containing folder" or "Locate on disk" in Picasa, instead of Caja (the MATE file manager), which is what I want. Any ideas ? Sep 2, 2016 at 6:04
  • @JonasCZ I found a file winefile.exe in ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32. I renamed it to winefile.exe.bak and did "ln -s /usr/bin/thunar ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32/winefile.exe". Surprisingly, it doesn't change anything. Even if I double click this link, winefile instead of thunar is starting. I suspect winefile may be a builtin of wine.
    – mviereck
    Sep 2, 2016 at 15:40
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    @JonasCz I couldn't manage to replace the wine explorer. I fear the explorer is from shell32.dll. But I can associate native application. Do you still suggest adding an answer?
    – Anwar
    Sep 5, 2016 at 17:23
  • 1
    @cipricus The most promising approach seems to me to set MIME types for all files of interest. Have a look at How to associate all file types within Wine with its corresponding native application?
    – mviereck
    Dec 10, 2016 at 9:48

You can associate folders with the native file manager by saving the following as fix.reg and importing it using Wine's regedit. Make sure to back up the registry first.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00



@="\"C:\\windows\\system32\\winebrowser.exe\" -nohome \"%1\""


This works for me to make foobar2000 open the native file manager when using 'Open Containing Folder'

  • This works for me (tested with Vortex). This seems like the best solution imo. Jan 3, 2022 at 7:44

i think no. even i have use crossover with enabled "use native browser by default" it still use it's own file browser when i tried to open file from ms. word

wine file manager

  • This might not be true. You can assign native application to wine
    – Anwar
    Sep 5, 2016 at 6:23
  • @Anwar - please provide a separate answer under the question with your solution. Even a limited one will be appreciated and awarded a bounty if the case.
    – user47206
    Dec 9, 2016 at 15:34
  • an "open/save file" dialog is very different from an "open file explorer" button. The former will open a built-in dialog while the latter simply asks the system file browser to open a location. samg's answer shows how to make wine use the linux-native file browser for "open this location" buttons/links, but I doubt it has any effect on "open/save file" dialogs. Jan 3, 2022 at 7:47

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