Wine Lands Support For Vulkan On macOS Via MoltenVK
Written by Michael Larabel in WINE on 13 July 2018 at 05:29 PM EDT. 31 Comments
WINE --
CodeWeavers' Andrew Eikum has added support to Wine for using Vulkan on macOS via the open-source MoltenVK.

As what should mature into a big boost for allowing Vulkan-enabled Windows games to run faster on macOS by mapping it through to Apple's Metal API, and also should ultimately allow the use of DXVK for Direct3D 11 over Vulkan or VKD3D for Direct3D 12 over Vulkan, the "winemac" code now has this initial Vulkan support using the MoltenVK wrapper.

This is very exciting to have the Winemac driver have Vulkan support exposed to Windows programs on top of MoltenVK, as this will hopefully allow Wine developers to focus more on Vulkan support now that it can be the assumed 3D graphics/compute API across the two primary operating systems for Wine: Linux and macOS.

Efforts like the Direct3D state tracker within Mesa's Gallium3D in the past didn't have too much of a welcome reception by Wine developers since it was limited to Linux and for that a sub-set of the Linux graphics drivers. While now having Vulkan support exposed on macOS is very exciting and hopefully a much brighter future ahead for DXVK, VKD3D, and friends. This is especially important as for Wine's Direct3D 12 support they are exclusively focusing on VKD3D as D3D12 wouldn't map well to OpenGL/OpenCL and maintaining a D3D12-to-Metal layer just for macOS would be a significant undertaking.

This is good news for Linux gamers due to the likely increase in Vulkan activity around Wine, more attention from the developers, and ideally leading to a more vibrant ecosystem with better support.

The support landed across the span of a few patches today and will be part of next week's Wine 3.13 release. Eikum didn't comment how well the support is at this stage, but given the usability and performance of Dota 2 with Vulkan on macOS via MoltenVK, if not already hopefully it will be very soon that the Winemac integration bits are in good shape.

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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 10,000 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 or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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