Wednesday, August 23, 2023

DirectX 12 support comes to CrossOver on Mac

Codeweavers took to its official forums today to announce the release of CrossOver 23.0.0, the new version of its software that aims to make emulating Windows software and games easier on macOS, Linux, and ChromeOS systems.

CrossOver 23 has updated to Wine 8.0.1, and it's loaded with improvements across all its platforms. The most notable, though, is the addition of DirectX 12 support under macOS via VKD3D and MoltenVK. This marks the first time most Mac users have had access to software that relies on DirectX 12; previously, only DirectX 11 was supported, and that went for other software solutions like Parallels, too.

This new release adds "initial support" for geometry shaders and transforms feedback on macOS Ventura. Codeweavers claims that will address a lot of problems with "missing graphics or black screens in-game" in titles like MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries, Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, and Octopath Traveler.

All that said, steer clear if you're running the macOS Sonoma beta; the forum post says that while CrossOver 23 technically runs in Sonoma, "there are definitely known issues." It's worth mentioning that the public release of Sonoma later this year will include new tools for porting games to the Mac that could make additional apps like CrossOver unnecessary in some specific instances.

On the Linux side, Codeweavers said it resolved the Xwayland bug, leading to better performance for applications like those in the Microsoft 365 suite. The EA desktop app now works on macOS and Linux, too.

Those are the major improvements in compatibility, but there are a plethora of bug fixes that affect a wide range of apps like Quicken or Steam. Codeweavers says there are more than 5,000 changes in this update. You can now uninstall applications much more easily in the CrossOver GUI, too.

These updates are available to existing users who have active entitlements to the software and to new users who want to fork out $74 to get some Windows applications and games running in emulation on their machines.

Testing it out

The forum post notes that Diablo II Resurrected and Diablo IV work on macOS Ventura with DirectX 12. Before writing this article, I briefly tested Diablo IV via CrossOver 23 on an M1 Max-equipped MacBook Pro and found that it worked on medium to high settings at 1080p with some stuttering.

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5 years ago Valve released Proton forever changing Linux gaming

Has it really been that long? Apparently so. Valve originally announced their rebranding of Steam Play with Proton back on August 21st, 2018. Seems like a good time for a quick reflection being halfway to a decade old now.

The problem: before, during and just after the original Steam Machine push developers just weren't porting many games to Linux, and on the whole really when you look back Linux gaming was in a period of mostly stagnation. Nothing much was happening. A lot of the early porting work that came along was slowly dying off since the Steam Machines didn't provide the boost Valve and Linux gamers were hoping for. 

Originally, “Steam Play” simply meant you could buy a game on Steam and get access to all versions of it. So if you purchased a game on Windows, you could play it on Linux if it had a Native Linux version (same again for macOS). Clearly though, that wasn't enough for what Valve had planned. So if Valve wanted to make Linux a better platform for people to actually use it, they needed something more.

Popular games needed to be able to run on Linux if more people were to use it, because what good is a platform for gaming if tons of the most played games weren’t compatible? As Valve saw with the Steam Machines (not the only reason of course) it doesn’t end well.

I remember being sat in my office at the time, going over my TODO list of various articles and games to cover, planning the week ahead. Ready to then probably go to bed and then BAM — out of nowhere this announcement comes along from Valve that basically said “you're going to be hella busy, better get a lot of coffee”. Valve had partnered up with CodeWeavers and Proton was the answer. 

Proton being the name Valve gave to their fork of Wine with a bunch of added extras, and it has changed Linux gaming forever. Steam Play is more than just Proton though, be sure to read my full Steam Play Proton guide. Side-note: John Carmack (id Software / Oculus VR / Keen Technologies) even thought Wine was the solution back in 2013.

Of course Proton wouldn't have been possible without all the many years of work that went into the Wine project in the first place, and everyone who contributed to Wine should be applauded for their effort. Valve has funded a lot of extra work though to get things like DXVK and VKD3D-Proton for the translation from Direct3D to Vulkan into a state where performance can be really great! Valve also funds work on Linux graphics drivers, Linux kernel work and the list goes on.

Just how much has Proton changed things though? Well, we certainly wouldn't have the Steam Deck if it wasn't for Proton. There's no way Valve would have released their handheld without as many games as possible, clearly learning their lesson on the failure of the Steam Machines. But as we all know, the Steam Machines burned so Proton and the Steam Deck could rise from the ashes.

Proton just makes a lot of sense. It didn't take long for Valve to expand Proton to go initially from a few select Valve-approved titles, to being able to run anything we choose to try with it. From there, Linux gaming just seemingly exploded. And then eventually we saw why Valve made Proton with the Steam Deck announcement coming less than three years later in July 2021.

When you look at the crowd-sourced reports on ProtonDB over 11,000 titles are reported to work by multiple people. It's a small fraction of Steam's overall game count but ProtonDB relies on people actually going and writing a report.

Valve's own Deck Verified rating system just for the Steam Deck hit plenty of milestones since the Steam Deck's release too, now having over 10,000 titles rated to be Playable or Verified. Although both ProtonDB and Deck Verified include a mixture of Native Linux releases and Windows games run with Proton. The point is - being on Linux now for a gamer means quite often a huge amount of your games do actually "just work". It's almost magical.

The real number of games playable on Linux will never be truly known though, because on Steam there's many tens of thousands of games and a lot of them will likely "just work" with Proton if they don’t have a Native Linux build available…and many more are releasing every week. This is a truly incredible place to be in. When you think about Linux and Steam Deck together having just less than a 2% user share on Steam overall — these are some insane numbers for game compatibility for a niche platform.

Thanks to Proton, I've been able to discover a ton of new favorite games, some I would never have played before. Games like Deep Rock Galactic, God of War, Death Stranding, Baldur’s Gate 3, Brotato, Beat Saber and so on. You get the idea, there’s a truly ridiculous selection of games available and at times it’s a little paralysing scrolling through my Steam Library deciding what to play — a delightfully annoying problem to have huh?

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Wine development release 8.14 is now available for Linux FreeBSD and macOS

The Wine development release 8.14 is now available.

What's new in this release:

  • PCSC framework used on macOS for smart card support.
  • Dumping of Windows registry files in WineDump.
  • Fixes for Wow64 window messages.
  • Various bug fixes.

The source is available now. Binary packages are in the process of being built, and will appear soon at their respective download locations.

Bugs fixed in 8.14 (total 30):

 - #28603  Winedbg sometimes receives invalid parameters
 - #30655  DiRT 2 Demo: Low (1 - 3) FPS during race, but not in in-game menus.
 - #34678  Not all serial port work in wine
 - #36564  'Candytron' demo: certain objects are black with GLSL enabled
 - #44546  The Settlers II: 10th Anniversary runs very slow when CSMT enabled
 - #44816  Cygwin/MSYS2 `script -e` exit status forwarding randomly returns zero for non zero child process
 - #48621  Civilization 6 crashes on startup.
 - #52474  ws2_32:sock - test_connect() fails intermittently with 'Test failed: expected timeout'
 - #52492  stack overflow from GdipFlattenPath
 - #52889  Freelancer with Crossfire mod crashes on startup
 - #53171  advapi32:registry - test_performance_keys() sometimes fails due to time going backwards!
 - #54073  ws2_32:sock - test_close_events() sometimes fails in Wine
 - #54074  ws2_32:sock - test_empty_recv() sometimes gets an ERROR_IO_PENDING error in Wine
 - #54413  ws2_32:sock - DuplicateHandle(socket) sometimes look like a socket in test_WSAGetOverlappedResult() on Windows
 - #54546  ws2_32:sock - test_write_watch() gets unexpected write counts on Windows 11
 - #54676  winetricks --verify dotnet20 (AutoHotKey) fails in a wow64 build
 - #54720  Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions - dialogue audio doesn't play
 - #54748  Greenshot crashes when drawing rectangle to make screenshot ("GDI+ status: PropertyNotFound")
 - #54831  GStreamer gst_init_check() crashes when called from winegstreamer on recent macOS, also Wine crashes on macOS Sonoma
 - #54866  ieframe:webbrowser - test_SetQueryNetSessionCount() sometimes gets an unexpected session count on Windows
 - #55127  httpapi:httpapi - test_v2_bound_port() sometimes succeeds in connecting on Windows 10
 - #55152  Crash in Notepad++ processing a WM_DRAWITEM message
 - #55231  Warframe: camera/mouse stuck in X-axis
 - #55258  steam: small window floating on top of all windows even in fullscreen mode
 - #55283  amstream:amstream systematically crashes and times out on gitlab-debian-32
 - #55291  gdi32:dc - print_something() gets a bad signature on fg-deb64-*
 - #55331  ntdll:file - The 64-bit test_file_disposition_information() gets unsupported error on Windows 10 1607 and 1709
 - #55344  Yuzu fails to start (needs MSVCP140_CODECVT_IDS.dll)
 - #55367  Trying to run WatchFaceStudio with wine 8.0 and Ubuntu 23 (lunar)
 - #55422  mfmediaengine:mfmediaengine - test_GetDuration() fails in Wine

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Wednesday, August 16, 2023

CodeWeavers CrossOver 23.0.0 for macOS Linux and ChromeOS has been released

Hi folks,

I’m thrilled to announce that CodeWeavers has released CrossOver 23 for macOS, Linux and ChromeOS!

CrossOver 23 includes an update to Wine 8.0.1, bringing with it over 5,000 changes that offer improvements to a variety of applications. This release also includes an update to Wine Mono 7.4.0, vkd3d 1.8, DXVK 1.10.3 and MoltenVK 1.2.3.

Our most exciting feature is initial DirectX 12 support on macOS. Diablo II Resurrected and Diablo IV are currently running well on macOS Ventura, making them the first DirectX 12 games working on a released macOS version. This breakthrough was the culmination of years of development, and we look forward to continuing to aggressively pursue support for even more DirectX 12 titles. Diablo IV is also newly working on Linux with the CrossOver 23 release.

We’re pleased to announce that this release also includes initial support for geometry shaders and transform feedback on macOS Ventura. This unlocks many games that previously suffered from missing graphics or black screens in-game. Risk of Rain 2, TEKKEN 7, Octopath Traveler, Street Fighter V, Astroneer, MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries and Trailmakers are just some of the titles that are now running on CrossOver 23. Note that using wined3d instead of DXVK will produce the best results for games using geometry shaders. And speaking of wined3d, our team also noted some nice performance improvements with wined3d.

EA App is now running on both macOS and Linux with CrossOver 23. Many EA App games are now working, including The Sims 4, Titanfall 2 and Mass Effect Legendary Edition. If you are running EA App games through Steam, make sure to install “EA App for Steam” into your bottle: that CrossTie installs needed dependencies.

For our Linux users, we worked around an XWayland bug, and Office 365 applications are now running with better performance with Wayland under CrossOver 23.

One of the most requested features we get for the CrossOver GUI is the ability to uninstall applications, and that is now possible with CrossOver 23. Uninstalling is now a quick operation: simply go to the “Bottle Details” at the bottom of the right sidebar for your bottle and right-click on the application listed under “Installed Software” to find the uninstall option. CrossOver also now deletes launchers for uninstalled applications. For example, launchers for games uninstalled through Steam will now be removed for you.

Of course, this release also contains some important bug fixes, including fixes for the latest Quicken, Steam, Rockstar Games Launcher, Age of Empires II Definitive Edition and Ubisoft Connect updates that caused those applications to stop working with CrossOver.

Lastly, a note about macOS Sonoma. Currently, CrossOver 23 runs on the Sonoma beta, but there are definitely known issues. We are working on fixes, and we plan to release an update to CrossOver 23 that will be fully compatible with it. 

Change Log :

23.0.0 CrossOver - August 16, 2023

  • Core Technology Improvements:
    • CrossOver 23 includes Wine 8.0.1, with over 5,000 improvements, and selected patches from recent Wine with benefits to many popular applications.
    • Update to Wine Mono 7.4.
    • Update to vkd3d 1.8.
    • Update to DXVK 1.10.3.
    • Support for EA App.
    • Ability to uninstall applications.
  • macOS:
    • Initial support for DirectX 12 games, including Diablo II: Resurrected and Diablo IV.
    • Initial support for geometry shaders and transform feedback.
    • Update to MoltenVK 1.2.3.
  • Linux:
    • Office 365 support on Wayland.
    • Support for Diablo IV.
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Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Proton 8.0-3 has been released

 Valve has just published Proton 8.0-3 as the newest version of this Wine-based software that powers Steam Play for running Windows games on Linux. 

  • Previously playable only with Proton Experimental:
    • Propnight
    • Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy
    • Bloodrayne Terminal Cut 1/2
    • Breakout 13
    • Murasaki Tsurugi
    • PooShooter: Toilet Invaders
    • Purgo Box
    • Olympia Rising
    • Summoners War: Chronicles
    • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Breakpoint
    • Minecraft Legends
    • Company of Heroes: Battle of Crete
    • Gunfire: Reborn
    • Super Bomberman R
  • Newly playable: StreetStep: 21st Century Basketball.
  • Fixed not starting.
  • Fixed EA launcher crashing.
  • Fixed Ubisoft Connect intermittently having an invisible window.
  • Fixed scroll bar in Final Fantasy XIV Online launcher.
  • Fixed EOS error message with Returnal and other EOS games.
  • Fixed a few Proton 8.0 regressions:
    • DJMAX RESPECT V is playable again.
    • Halo: The Master Chief Collection menus no longer are broken.
    • no longer crashes when a steering wheel is connected.
    • Cafe Stella no longer crashes with 2 elements on the flowchart.
    • Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered no longer ignores controller input.
    • Indiana Jones and The Emperor no longer crashes on the splash screen.
    • Grand Theft Auto V no longer freezes on keyboard input.
    • TRAHA Global no longer crashes at end of second cutscene
    • Logging in online in Gears 5 works again.
    • Doom Eternal no longer crashes with ray-tracing enabled on AMDVLK / NVIDIA.
  • Fixed Creativerse hanging while exiting from a local game.
  • Fixed Call of Duty 2 hanging when loading maps.
  • Fixed New World not starting after a recent game update.
  • Fixed game stutter in Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris.
  • Fixed Last Labyrinth displaying only a black screen on the Steam Deck.
  • Fixed Creativerse not being able to connect to a local game with a VPN connection active.
  • Fixed The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing not rendering text in Polish correctly.
  • Fixed game looking dark and improved performance with Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi.
  • Fixed DXVK HUD not showing the correct git revision used.
  • Improved video playback in Roboquest.
  • Fixed various memory leaks during video playback that were affecting Street Fighter 6.
  • Enabled nvapi for many more games: Chernobylite Enhanced Edition, Dead Space (Remake), Forspoken, Forza Horizon 5, Hi-Fi Rush, Marvel's Avengers, Monster Hunter Rise, Need For Speed Unbound, Nioh 2, Propnight, Redfall, Returnal, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, SCP: 5K, Scum, The Last Of Us Part I, Watch Dogs Legion.
  • Fixed Tales of Berseria suffering from screen tearing with vsync turned on while in fullscreen / borderless.
  • Improved Final Fantasy XIII loading times.
  • Fixed Red Dead Redemption 2 taking long time to exit with Alt+F4.
  • Fixed multiple Unity titles flickering on the Steam Deck when switching display window options.
  • Fixed The Elder Scrolls Online wrongly claiming not enough space.
  • Fixed The Elder Scrolls Online launcher showing blank window.
  • Fixed Madballs in Babo: Invasion claiming the game wasn't purchased.
  • Fixed PlanetSide 2 launcher.
  • Fixed various Wo Long: Fallen Dynasty issues around video playback.
  • Fixed video playback in Nioh: Complete Edition.
  • Fixed Pentiment not being playable on desktop.
  • Fixed Grounded not being playable on desktop.
  • Improved cutscene desync in Immortals Fenyx Rising.
  • Fixed Witcher 3 launcher rendering issues.
  • Fixed Call of Duty: Black Ops III graphical glitches when loading Hex Tower.
  • Fixed video playback speed issues in METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN.
  • Fixed Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut hanging on exit.
  • Fixed connection error at the end of Chapter 2 in Life is Strange Remastered.
  • Fixed rendering issues in Uru: Complete Chronicles on Steam Deck.
  • Fixed Richman: Classic not starting in OpenGL mode.
  • Updated dxvk to v2.2-34-g4d254b13.
  • Updated dxvk-nvapi to v0.6.3-4-g2483eac.
  • Updated vkd3d-proton to v2.9-21-gf52e6482.

Link to source code

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