Running Windows Emulators on OS X/Linux with Wine

It's easy to play a lot of your favourite Windows console emulators on OS X or Linux using Wine. (You can run a lot of other Windows programs with Wine using this guide, too!)

Below are instructions for how to set up Wine on your Mac OS X or Linux machine to run Windows-only versions of gaming console emulators, such as ePSXe and Project64.

Good luck! If you need any help, find me on Twitter or Facebook.


1. Download and Configure Wineskin Winery

  • Grab Wineskin Winery from the Wineskin download page
  • Move "Wineskin" to your Applications folder
  • Install a Wine engine by clicking the "+" button below the "Installed Engines" table
  • Choose a Wine version, such as "WS9Wine 1.5.14"

We're off to a good start! We've got a version of Wine to work with, and we've got Wineskin Winery to make it easy for us. Now we just need to create a blank "wrapper" and install our program inside of it.

2. Create and Fill the Wrapper

  • In Wineskin Winery, click the "Create New Blank Wrapper" button
  • In the window that pops up, name your new wrapper after the emulator you are setting up, such as "Project64"
  • Your new wrapper will open, and it may start to install Mono and Gecko to help make your app work properly. If it does, follow through the installation process
  • Once the Mono/Gecko installation process is finished, click the "View Wrapper in Finder" button in Wineskin Winery
  • Open your new wrapper!

3. Installing Your Emulator

Now that we've got our wrapper ready to go, it's time to wrap up a Windows version of an emulator

  • Click the "Install Software" button to get this party started
  • In the next window, you'll usually want to choose the "Copy a Folder Inside" option. (If your program comes with an installer, choose the "Choose Setup Executable" option)
  • Navigate to the folder containing your program (and any supporting folders, such as save state or memory card folders), and click the "Choose" button (or press Return)
  • A "Choose Executable" window should pop up, and your windows .exe file should be selected in the drop-down menu. If it isn't, select it from the drop-down menu, then press "OK"
  • We're almost there! After selecting your .exe file, you should be back at your wrapper's main Wineskin menu. To do a test run to see whether your program is working properly, press the "Advanced" button, then in the next window, press the "Test Run" button
  • If all goes well, your Windows program will run, and you'll start dancing and feel like a wizard
  • Quit your Windows program, and choose whether you'd like to view the logs about it (they're pretty boring, but are useful is something went wrong)
  • Now, quit your wrapper. The next time you open your wrapper, your Windows program will run automatically, and you won't have to set it up agan. Magic!

4. Support Wineskin

Wineskin is a great program for OS X, and the developers provide it free-of-charge. (I'm not one of them, so don't thank me!)

To show your thanks and support for the Wineskin, please consider making them a donation by clicking on the "Donate! (PayPal)" menu item on the Wineskin homepage.

5. Other Ways to Wine on OS X

There are a lot of ways to get Wine working on OS X. I've found that Wineskin Winery makes it easy for the average person to use Wine to run Windows programs on OS X, but more advanced users may like to try some of these other options:


If you're running Linux, you may already have some experience using Wine to run your favourite Windows programs. You've got a few options:

1. Use a Wine Front-End

PlayOnLinux, for example, is a front-end for Wine that makes it easy to manage Wine and run your Windows programs. Some other Wine front-ends include:

2. Use Wine Natively

Install Wine from your distro's software centre or from the command line:

  • apt-get install wine for Debian-/Ubuntu-type distros
  • yum install wine for Fedora-/RedHat-based distros
  • pacman -S wine for Arch-based distros

Then, use Wine like any other command line program: wine ~/path/to/WindowsProgram.exe