WINE based apps in Ubuntu software

I was happy to see Photoscape on Ubuntu Software and installed it. But when I tried to launch it, it took some time and there was an indicator saying the WINE is being initiated. I don’t want WINE to get installed without my permission on Ubuntu. Is there any way that there can be some indicators which warn us of WINE before installing an app ?

I have used Ubuntu Software and uninstalled Photoscape. I hope WINE has gone away now.


Hi, I’m the maintainer of Photoscape on Ubuntu.

Photoscape is packaged as a strict confined snap application, which means that it’s running in a sandbox. For example, it cannot access your ssh keys or any hidden folders in your home directory, it cannot access USB sticks without your explicit permission and more. Wine itself is installed inside of this sandbox so it has the same restrictions. The Wine version inside of this sandbox is only used by Photoscape, and it is removed automatically when you remove Photoscape.

I have added wine to the keywords and added the following note in the description of the package.

Note: PhotoScape is a Windows application. This package includes the Wine compatibility layer in order to run PhotoScape on Linux.

There are many wine applications packaged as a snap, because it is a much cleaner and safer solution than actually installing Wine on Ubuntu. Notepad++ is an example of another Wine app. You might want to contact the maintainers of those packages to also include this note in their description.

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You make it sound like it’s bad somehow that we have more apps thanks to Wine. It’s not. And it’s much better than having “apps” coded with Electron.

Also, duh, the store has screenshots that SHOULD make it obvious if you are installing a non-native application.

the store has screenshots that should make it obvious if you are installing a non-native application

Screenshots don’t really work in this case because there are a great number of Linux-native applications that have the same grey interface, for example applications written for X11 that don’t use a toolkit.

Generally speaking people do not care how their apps work as long as they function well! If you really want to check if something is actually built for GNU/Linux or not you can look the app up online and see if it’s Windows/macOS-only, which would indicate that GNU/Linux builds are using Wine and are not native.

A lot of people use Ubuntu for its security. Mainly because all those malware that will run on Windows will not run on Ubuntu. If you want to take them out of it even without a warning and through official store, good luck.

If you want change, I suggest starting a topic on about the matter, maybe asking if the store could always set a flag on what development framework (Wine, Electron, etc) an app uses, so that people can avoid particular development frameworks that they don’t like for whatever reason? If the devs don’t respond, you could file a bug against snapd (so they’d have a bug on their bug count until they deal with your proposal) with ubuntu-bug snapd. If they implement that feature, you could then file a bug against Ubuntu Software asking for them to surface that flag in that GUI (maybe just by providing warnings for Wine snaps). The desktop team (who develop Ubuntu Software) do read this forum though so they should have already seen this and will respond if they feel necessary… Having an open bug which counts towards the number of bugs until it’s either acted on or dismissed may be a good idea though! :slight_smile:

Alternatively, ask every Wine and Electron snap developer to note their development framework in the description of the app, as Merlijn has done for Photoscape! But, of course, not everyone reads the full descriptions, and there’s no pop-up warning, you’ll need to do the above to make that happen.