Wine-Staging 1.9.6 Adds Initial Support For Vulkan Windows Programs On Linux

Written by Michael Larabel in WINE on 21 March 2016 at 02:44 PM EDT. 36 Comments
The Wine-Staging 1.9.6 release adds an experimental Vulkan wrapper for running Vulkan Windows binaries on Linux.

Recently I wrote about Vulkan support being worked on for Wine and this week's Wine-Staging 1.9.6 release delivers the initial Vulkan wrapper. This isn't about translating Vulkan to run on D3D/OpenGL or the opposite (OpenGL/Direct3D over Vulkan), but rather it's just a wrapper for being able to run Vulkan Windows programs assuming your native OS has a Vulkan driver.

The Windows-specific surface extensions are translated to X11/XCB extensions while all the rest of the Vulkan calls are just directly passed to the host's Vulkan libray. Due to some complexities particularly around 32-bit vs. 64-bit support, this initial implementation adds around 10k lines of code.

The Wine Vulkan implementation is passing all of the Khronos Group conformance tests and the Windows version of The Talos Principle is running happily on Wine with the Vulkan back-end. Of course, hopefully most Windows programs having a Vulkan renderer will see a native Linux port, so ideally in the long-run this Vulkan wrapper hopefully won't be needed much by Linux gamers.

One downside about this release is Wine-Staging developers had to disable CSMT (Command Stream Multi-Threading) support in this version and so if you are relying upon it for faster performance you will need to stick to the older Wine-Staging builds.

Aside from the CSMT change and Vulkan wrapper, there are also other minor experimental patches merged in today's Wine-Staging release. More details at
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