Monday, September 13, 2010

Crossover, Bordeaux, Cedega VS Vanilla Wine

A question I have fielded more then a couple times in the Wine section of the Ubuntu Forums is

What is the difference between commercial Wine products and vanilla Wine?

There are three main commercial Wine products: Bordeaux, Cedega, and Crossover. There are a few distinct differences between the commercial Wine products and the FOSS Wine.

One of the largest benefits to using a paid for Wine product is that not only are you paying for software, you are also paying for support of said software. What this means is that if an application that is suppose to function, doesn't work properly - You will have a real live person to help you debug the issue. While support for Cedega is somewhat lacking, Bordeaux and Crossover have fantastic support staff.

GUI/Automated Installer:
All three of the commercial Wine applications provide a GUI/automated installer for installing applications. This makes it much easier for new users (and faster for experienced users) to configure applications properly under Wine. Time is money as they say.

Added Application Support:
Commercial Wine products have added pieces of code that allow some applications to function better than they do under vanilla Wine. Notably under Cedega is a superior DirectX API that allows for better FPS under a few titles (as well as running Crysis). The primary piece of code Crossover adds to Wine is their custom HTML engine. This adds better functionality to Internet Explorer, Steam, and other web-based Windows applications. Bordeaux builds Wine with a few extra patches to fix bugs, as well as support for the pulse audio sound server.

Regression Resistance:
Ever had an application working perfectly under the latest beta Wine release and then have it magically stop working for some reason or another when Wine updates? That is called a regression. Commercial Wine products are tested to ensure that all of your applications that already work, will continue to do so with future releases.


Ah, and now the the primary reason that is always brought up whenever someone mentions any sort of commercial Wine product: The Cost. I must say, my absolute favorite response is something along the lines of:

"Why would you pay for software to use on your free operating system! That goes against the very nature of Linux!"

You know what else goes against "the very nature of Linux"? Trying to run Windows applications. Odds are you paid for that Windows application as well, so if you are going to support application development on a platform you no longer use - Why not support it on your platform of choice as well? None of the products are terribly expensive. Bordeaux starts at 20$, Crossover at 40$, and Cedega starts at 15$ (but is subscription based).

If perhaps I have persuaded you to invest one of these products and you are confused on which of the three is best for you, check out my Cedega VS Crossover comparison and my Bordeaux 2.0.4 review.

~Jeff Hoogland


  1. We really appreciate the mention of CrossOver.

    Best Wishes,

    -jon parshall-

  2. Thanks for mentioning Bordeaux as well...

    While Cedega has it's roots in Wine they have not given back anything to the Wine project in a very long time now. Personally I see Transgaming and Cedega as being Free Loaders, taking but not ever giving back.

    Tom Wickline

  3. Nice comparison. But what about PlayOnLinux?

  4. The main thing POL adds to vanilla Wine is the GUI, which while that is functional I've personally had issues with POL not behaving as it should. Most times it ended up being quick for me to just get a program running under vanilla Wine than POL

  5. While I have not used POL, I did note that a new version has recently been released.

  6. What I like about POL is the ease in setting each program/game up in a seperate prefix that can be individually tweaked. I haven't used the install scripts that is part of it except to see how to customize the prefix.

  7. With CrossOver and Bordeaux you can install applications in their own seperate prefix and then tweak the prefix. CrossOvers prefixes are called bottles and Bordeaux prefixes are called cellars.... But they are all the same thing really, just a wine prefix to install a application into.

    When you purchase CrossOver or Bordeaux your helping support Wine.

  8. Crossover versus Wine: Crossover actually adds the mimes so you can double-click and Excel spreadsheet and actually have it open in Excel versus having to manually add everything into Gnome.

  9. Every one of the comments, and even the original post, is just a giant advert. What's worse to me is seeing people put down PlayOnLinux here because you don't pay for it...that seems rediculous to me.

    @twickline: Sorry, but the BEST way to support Wine is by contributing to the Wine community directly, rather than paying some proxy company that makes minor modifications to it and sells it.

  10. @xano - Before commenting you might want to do your research. Supporting these project, Crossover especially, not only get you all the benefits of the product including support but also helps to contribute back to the Wine community in not only code contributions but also in funding.

    From Winehq -
    From Codeweavers -

    @twickline - You also should do you're homework. Transgaming has and continues to contribute back.

  11. @Xano: I don't know for Bordeaux, but... Codeweavers, "makes minor modifications to it and sells [wine]." ? Are you serious ?
    You obviously don't know what you're talking about. Does the name Alexandre Julliard ring a bell ? Alexandre is the maintainer of Wine, and a core Codeweavers employee.
    If there's a company that does open-source right, it's Codeweavers, really.