Raptor Engineering Helping To Improve POWER Support In Wine, Eyes Hangover

Written by Michael Larabel in WINE on 26 February 2019 at 07:25 AM EST. 33 Comments
In hoping to improve the situation for running Windows programs on POWER9 hardware under Linux, Raptor Engineering has contributed a set of patches so far for bringing PowerPC 64-bit little endian support to Wine's library. This is great news if you are a current Talos II customer or hoping to get one of the lower-priced POWER9 Blackbird systems from the company this year.

Ultimately the goal is to allow Windows x86/x64 programs to run on Raptor's POWER hardware under Linux. This was motivated by the recent work by Wine developers on the new "Hangover" effort to run Windows x86_64 programs on 64-bit ARM. But instead of running on 64-bit ARM, the hope is the Hangover developers will also begin to support the IBM Power architecture.

Timothy Pearson of Raptor Engineering contributed the PowerPC support for Winelib. It's important to note though this is just Winelib and requires the projects be built from source as opposed to a full-blown Wine port at this time. But this Winelib port is enough that the Winecfg configuration utility can be built and run on PPC64EL systems. They still are working on the big endian mode support.

The Winelib patches can be found on wine-devel.

Assuming the work advances and Hangover also picks up Wine support, this is really interesting news. Unlike most 64-bit ARM hardware out there that is low-power and doesn't allow installing discrete graphics cards, systems like Raptor's Talos II and Blackbird are quite high performance and play well with NVIDIA and AMD Radeon graphics cards. In other words you could have a fully libre system that is then capable of running various Windows programs from Linux, albeit there is more Wine + POWER work to happen before that is a reality.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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