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?

  • 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 – Steve Chambers Oct 29 '19 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). – Ben Hocking Oct 29 '19 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 Oct 29 '19 at 20:48

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 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 improvements tips (in brief: using VM with retina disabled, VboxVGA setup, disabled mouse integration, limiting FPS with RivaTuner).


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 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 they say they will submit their changes upstream to Wine.

  • CodeWeavers do say "hopefully by the end of the year" which means if you use Wine (not the paid CodeWeavers version) and depend on some application then you should plan on staying on Mojave until at least 2021 I'd have thought. – lx07 Nov 9 '19 at 23:18

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