Applications running with Wine don’t have to look so appalling!

Ubuntu 8.04 is planned to have usability improvements for Wine, among these improvements is a theme for Wine applications that matches the GTK theme. Can’t wait until April?

The simplest way to theme Wine is to use the registry to change the colour scheme. Observe the difference between default Wine 0.9.46 and Wine with a Human colour scheme:

Wine colour schemes

Much better! You can install this colour scheme by pasting the contents of this text file into your ~/.wine/user.reg file.

A colour scheme is nice, but the widgets are still plain squares. It’s possible to get a look like this:

Wine Clearlooks theme

However, in the current Wine versions full theming is too slow to be usable. (You can watch it draw individual lines in slow motion.) If the Wine developers fix this in time for Ubuntu 8.04, a matching Wine theme will be used by default.

Still want to try it out anyways? Download the theme, extract the folder, and run winecfg. Go to the Desktop Integration tab and click Install theme. Load the msstyles file, and select Clearlooks in the Theme drop down box. If it’s so slow with the theme on that you can’t even turn it off, you can disable the theme by removing your ~/.wine/user.reg file.

Have any tips for improving the appearance of Wine applications with Linux? Leave a comment below.

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