After upgrading to Catalina, Wine no longer works at all. When I attempt to launch my "Wine Stable" app, I get the following message:

“Wine Stable.app” needs to be updated. The developer of this app needs to update it to work with this version of macOS. Contact the developer for more information.

From the winehq.org forum, it appears my only option is to revert back to Mojave or to find another Mac somewhere, neither of which are options I would really like to pursue.

Does anyone have any other options?

  • 2
    Sounds like WINE needs to be compiled for 64bit to be compatible with Catalina, probably not easy. But, have you see this distrita.com/wine-2-0-released-with-macos-64-bit-support ?? Seems like someone has done that wok already Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 19:21
  • I think that's from 2017 and just refers to it supporting 64-bit applications and not itself being completely 64-bit itself (which makes sense since many Windows apps are 32-bit). Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 19:59
  • Since Catalina drops support for 32-bits applications, running Wine is a out of luck attempt. I am happy with Mojave until all third parties that matter most to me upgrade their code base as well.
    – Mojavex86
    Commented Oct 29, 2019 at 20:48
  • 3
    Personally, I’m cool on mixing Catalina with wine
    – bmike
    Commented May 16, 2020 at 18:33

3 Answers 3


I was able to build Wine 64 bit from source on macOS Catalina and successfully run Notepad++ 64 bit on it.

My steps were more or less something like that:

  1. Download Wine 4.20 from https://dl.winehq.org/wine/source/4.x/wine-4.20.tar.xz
  2. Extract it
  3. In terminal go to extracted directory
  4. Run: ./configure --enable-win64
  5. It showed that it couldn't find bison, so I installed it with macports (sudo port install bison).
  6. After I was able to run ./configure --enable-win64 successfully without errors in terminal run: make
  7. It compiled after more than 30 minutes.
  8. I run it with: ./wine start
  9. It opened windows console and here I was able to cd to Notepad++ 64 bit directory (downloaded from https://notepad-plus-plus.org/repository/7.x/7.0/npp.7.bin.x64.zip note that newest version did not work and threw some errors about some dll's)
  10. I typed notepad++ to run exe file
  11. It showed some errors about freetype fonts so I installed them with macports and I had to copy them from /opt/X11/lib to /usr/local/lib before wine detected them
  12. After fixing freetype fonts problem I was able to run notepad++
  13. Also, you might want to run: sudo spctl --master-disable to disable gatekeeper if you will see some system alerts about loading app from an unknown developer.
  14. Also, note that instead of ./wine start you can run ./wine explorer for graphical file manager instead of console

Those steps might not be exactly precise, as I'm not sure if I did not miss something but hope it will help someone.

Also, note that obviously wine on macOS Catalina will be able to run only some 64-bit windows apps and all 32-bit windows app will not work. I also tested it with IrfanView 64 bit (https://www.fosshub.com/IrfanView.html?dwl=iview453_x64_setup.exe) and it also works fine.

In case you wanted to get wine working for purpose of running 32-bit games then unfortunately it will not work with wine but you can try with VirtualBox. You can check https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AO8dF0vviQ for some performance improvement tips (in brief: using VM with retina disabled, VboxVGA setup, disabled mouse integration, limiting FPS with RivaTuner).

You can also try commercial CrossOver software by CodeWeavers which provides wine that supports 32 bit apps on Catalina. You can download the trial version for free and test it for free for 14 days. Also probably 32 bit apps will be supported by a normal free version of wine at some point.


Since July 2020 PlayOnMac (https://www.playonmac.com/en/) works again on macOS Catalina so you can download it and run windows apps with it which I think is much simpler. Good news is that it also supports running 32bit windows apps on macOS Catalina. Installing apps with it is a little more complicated than with commercial CrossOver but it is free and worked with 2 apps which I tested. I checked it with Notepad++ 32bit and with 32bit game Tomb Raider Anniversary Demo and I was able to get both apps working on macOS Catalina. Also I was able to install RivaTuner 7.2.3 app (with dotnet35 winetrick and manual installation of Visual C++ 2008 Redistributable package) to limit FPS in game which I recommend if someone wants to limit cpu and cpu fan usage. Alternatively if 7.2.3 does not work for you then you can try D3DOverrider from Rivatuner 2.24c (which is located in tools folder of rivatuner) which might be easier to install but it only allows to limit FPS by forcing vsync.


Alternatively you can also try PortingKit (https://www.portingkit.com/) which I tried on latest macOS Monterey and it also worked for me with 32bit game Tomb Raider Anniversary Demo and with RivaTuner 7.3.3 which allowed to show and limit FPS inside the game (I selected latest WS11WineCX21.1.0 wine engine while installing).

  • 2
    I tried this but keep getting Segmentation fault: 11 when I try to run anything with wine :(
    – Gregology
    Commented Mar 4, 2020 at 2:11
  • If you have issue with bison: stackoverflow.com/a/56513192/2360439
    – D.A.H
    Commented May 13, 2020 at 9:05
  • Error while lauchinch wine "0012:err:wineconsole:WINECON_Fatal Couldn't find a decent font, aborting", how to install fonts ? Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 12:42
  • @JosefVancura I do not remember exactly but I think in step 11. I installed them with "sudo port install freetype" (and after that copied them from /opt/X11/lib to /usr/local/lib) Commented Jun 1, 2020 at 16:18
  • After all the crazy workarounds above for Bison, now the compiler completed, and trying to start wine gives me could not locate the Wine build tree
    – tmarois
    Commented Jun 26, 2020 at 2:35

On Catalina/Big Sur/etc.. you can use homebrew to install wine-stable. To see all available options run brew search wine.

brew install wine-stable

This will install /usr/local/bin/wine64 along with dependencies.

Now you should be able to run your 64bit PE executables with something like this:

# run the tc installer
wine64 ~/Downloads/tcmd922ax64.exe

# run the actual app
wine64 ~/.wine/drive_c/totalcmd/TOTALCMD64.EXE

NOTE: Note the brew post-installation message which will indicate that wine-stable supports both 32-bit and 64-bit and will show the command you'll need to use to create a 32-bit prefix (but 32-bit prefixes this will only work on versions prior to Catalina).

winecfg and wine are still included in the installation but they will not work on a 64-bit architecture — use instead wine64 and wine64 winecfg accordingly.

❗️On recent macOS versions the exectuables will fail when run for the first time because they are not signed with an Apple-approved certificate. You'll need to open System Preferences > Security and Privacy click the lock icon 🔒 and explicitly allow execution of each specific binary.

Offtopic: If you need to run something more complicated than simple 64bit apps or 32bit apps then consider using Boot Camp or VirtualBox for maximum compatibility.

  • 2
    Thanks, that solved my problem trying to install it Commented Aug 10, 2020 at 13:46

Currently Wine still requires 32-bit code to run 32-bit Windows software, which is a problem for Catalina (which dropped 32-bit code support almost completely), and cannot be solved with a simple recompilation. It's only possible to use Wine for some 64-bit Windows software.

CodeWeavers, who develops CrossOver and by extension Wine, has developed a solution for 32-bit software, and they've posted some updates on their blog about it.

Currently these changes are only available in their commercial CrossOver product, but apparently they release the source for every version they release.

According to a post by a moderator on forum.winehq.org, the CodeWeavers solution likely won't be merged into the official Wine. I'd take what they say with a grain of salt though because the things they say about ELF vs PE (or Mach-O vs PE in the case of macOS) don't really seem directly applicable to the issue at hand.

This was discussed at WineConf. Alexandre made it clear that the Codeweavers solution is a hack that will not be accepted into Wine's development branch. The long term solution for Wine is the change from ELF to PE. Work on that has already begun, but it is not going to be completed any time soon. When I asked Alexandre for an estimate, he said it will definitely not be ready for Wine 5.0, but might be ready for Wine 6.0.

Codeweavers has said they intend to release their Catalina code under a free software license, so anyone who wants to compile Wine with it can, but at present no one has volunteered to maintain that code.

They further said:

The new patched clang/llvm added -mwine32 (and some other additions) using that flag instead of the usual -m32 will have llvm doing the heavy lifting generating the trunking code.

Wine moving to PE is for various reasons. A simple reason Windows uses PE files not ELF files so any checks will fail on wine mostly due to the stub dll files that link to the real ELF.


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