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CrossOver for Catalina Progress — October 3, 2019

Progress on Supporting Catalina
By: Ken Thomases

In the last month we've continued to make steady progress in our quest to run 32-bit Windows programs in a 64-bit Mac process, so they can work on macOS Catalina (10.15). As previously described in an earlier blog post , Catalina doesn't support running 32-bit processes, which is what we've always used in the past for running 32-bit Windows programs.

In our last post, we reported that we had gotten Wine's built-in Notepad running. That was a nice milestone, but it's a very simple app. Since then, we've gotten more apps to run, including some third-party apps of increasing complexity. The highlights are:

* Notepad++

* Some simple OpenGL test applications

and, just today:

* Steam!

* and, via Steam, Plants vs. Zombies

Not only did Steam run PvZ, but it downloaded it and installed it from scratch.

Steam also did launch Team Fortress 2, which played the Valve logo video and then showed the Loading screen. But it got stuck there. Oh, well, still work to do!

But it's really encouraging to finally see some real stuff working!

Technical Notes
By: Ken Thomases

In order to get this far, we've had to overcome challenges in a few areas.

The greatest amount of work has been in "exception handling". An exception is an event that may require a special response from the program. Often, an exception arises due to an error or misbehavior of a program, such as attempting to access memory that's off limits. Sometimes, though, some programs use exceptions to control flow of execution through their code.

Either way, it can be tricky for us because our 32-on-64-bit Wine is running both 32-bit and 64-bit code. The exception handling code of a 32-bit app, though, can only understand the state of the 32-bit code. We needed to find a way to represent the state when 64-bit code encounters an exception in a form that the 32-bit exception handling could, well, handle.

The next biggest area of improvement has been OpenGL support. OpenGL is currently the main library Wine uses to render 3-D graphics. It's what Wine's implementation of the Direct3D interfaces is based on (except for D3D12). Once again, the challenge is bridging between the 32-bit interface to OpenGL that 32-bit apps will use and the 64-bit interface that the system OpenGL library provides.

Another issue that we had to solve was applications which "hook" into the standard Windows OS functions, to alter their behavior. Steam's in-game overlay does this, for example. We had anticipated that need and designed for it. However, it turns out that the particular way that Steam hooks into the functions interacted badly with the way our custom compiler was generating them. It wasn't too hard to fix once we figured out what was happening. The figuring out was the hard part. It's always the way. :)

So, that's where we stand today. We'll keep you updated as we make progress.

Pro Tip — Turn Automatic Updates Off
By: Ryan Abhiram

Don't want your Mac to automatically update to Catalina so CrossOver can continue to run your Windows software? Then follow these two simple steps to avoid the automatic update:

1.) Turn off Automatic Updates. On Mojave, the setting is in System Preferences > Software Update. On High Sierra and earlier, the setting is under the App Store Preferences.

2.) You will still see occasional notifications that the update is available, but you can dismiss them and continue running your current version of macOS.

3) As always, be sure to have a current Time Machine backup. In the event that Catalina is installed, reverting to the previous OS will involve the assistance from Apple Support (1-800-275-2273) and a backup is needed to return to a working state. If you don’t already have a backup, you can find the instructions for setting one up at

>>> PDF Instructions

Marketing Ballyhoo —What This Means for Our CrossOver Users
By: Jana Schmid

Catalina has not dropped yet. But when it does, we've got your back.

As previously stated in our last Catalina update blog post So We Don't Have a Solution for Catalina...Yetwe are good people. And if our product doesn't work, we believe that you shouldn't have to pay for it. We are automatically extending the support period for CrossOver macOS for three months for anyone who had an active license as of September 10, 2019. If we need more time on our end, you get more free support time on your end. If we get Catalina compatible CrossOver up and running in two weeks, you will still get an additional three months of support for free.

The best way for you to stay informed about our Catalina progress is through our macOS Catalina Update mailing list.
>>> Sign Up Here

Now back to celebrating my 1/2 Birthday.
>>> See my 1/2 Birthday Celebration on Instagram

About Ryan
I was born and raised in the Caribbean, moved to Minnesota over 20 years ago — don’t ask why, it’s a story to be told over beer. I love movies, music - metal, blues, 80's and reggae. Didn't have a firm idea what i wanted to be when i grew up, just went with the flow of things. I entered the world of Apple while I was in college and worked for the company for 6 years. Now I bring my prowess and experience to CodeWeavers!

About Jana Schmid
Jana has been working in the marketing profession for over 15 years. She joined the CodeWeavers marketing department in 2010 and has earned oddities such as the Margaritaville Tahiti Frozen Concoction Maker and a lifetime supply of sparkling water for her performance as Marketing Director. Contact Jana at and learn more about her professional accomplishments on LinkedIn.

The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.

Thanks for the update! Can you clarify something for me? Does CrossOver currently run on Catalina, but it's just limited to 64-bit apps?

No, not at the moment.

You do awesome job! Can't wait to test new version ! Either Crossover or Wine. I'm longtime user of Wine and it's magnificent peace of work! I remember starting CoD2 on Gentoo Linux to be shocked how good it's running.

This is very exciting to see, and your willingness/ability to take on a challenge like this makes me happy to support CodeWeavers! Is the code for this currently available somewhere? I'd love to be able to follow the progress made with each commit 😊

M.A. wrote:

Is the code for this currently available somewhere?

No not yet, it is still in a rough state. It will be submitted to WineHQ when it is ready. We'll probably blog about that before we publish the code.

Thank you for your efforts. But keep in mind that users of Quicken do real work with Quicken, as opposed to gamers with games. If there could be priorities, probably compatibility for games wouldn't have to be at the top of the list. I am sure gamers may disagree...

Could you check to see if MikroTik WinBox works in this? I would love an Alpha/Beta version as I rely using Winbox so I am keen to test

What about wrappers that CodeWeavers produced for third-parties - specifically the World of Tanks Game Center wrapper?

How are you going to compensate users if that wrapper will not work in macOS Catalina [outside of them not upgrading to macOS Catalina]?

We have been working with these companies directly to re-build their wrappers to be 64-bit compatible for Catalina. Any compensation for any delays in 64-bit support will be left up to our third party partners to provide to their clients. AND, you can always wait on upgrading to Catalina IF you are running a 32-bit application that is critical to you (regardless of whether or not its running in CrossOver).

All users of CrossOver (gamers and productivity users) will benefit from CrossOver 19 at the same time. In many ways supporting games improves performance for all applications as games are more challenging / difficult to support. That stated, we do work very closely with Quicken (they have been great to work with) and recognize the importance of supporting Quicken in Catalina. So, we won't need to sacrifice one group of customers for another in getting CrossOver 19 out the door and available to our users.

Glad to hear you guys are making progress on this! There's no shortage of Mac games that will never see 64-bit updates, and hopefully can fallback to the Windows versions one day thanks to WINE

Have you tested WINSCP?


Everyone reading please remember that CodeWeavers are still working hard on this solution.

When it’s in a good state it will get upstreamed, however that will lightly require using a custom version of llvm/clang or an Xcode toolchain (unless there able to add everything needed into winegcc)

I’m going to sit and wait for the beta release then test the crap out of it I’ll be filling for as many games I possibly can from my collection.

Hi, I run a tiny POS program via crossover - use it every day much of my day... Do you have a best guess on a catalina compatible crossover release date?
really dont want the hassle of downgrading.

Thanks for the updates -- any sense as to when/if we'll be able to run Quicken via Catalina? Thx

I updadated my mac to catalina . i use mtatrader5 in crossover.
when u send an update of crossover for work in catalina??
its important for me.
please guide me.

Hello James
Thanks for your update. As many I am stuck for the moment. Just for my understanding, are we talking days or weeks or months before you believe your team can get a Crossover version working for Catalina ?

Has Winscp been tested?

Hello James and team, you’re efforts and software are much appreciated. Now that two weeks have past, would you care giving us a status update?

A little guidance please!
I have enjoyed using Crossover for years. Just wondering the team can kindly provide a rough estimate for a Catalina compatible release... weeks, months, Days?

hi! have you find a solution to run cross over on Catalina or not?

Apple had announced the discontinuation of 32 bit app support in macOS a long time ago, why did you guys delay the solution to this issue so long?
On February 19 you wrote me:
"Thanks for reaching out to us. We are in the process of getting a 64-bit build of Crossover before the next release of Mac OS which would be 10.15. This is a difficult undertaking as We plan to have it in place so our customers see no disruption in function running 32-bit apps.
Currently 32-bit applications will still function despite the notice . This notice appears only once when you open a 32-bit app for the first time, after that it functions. At this time it does not affect crossover functionality on Mac.
CodeWeavers Support."

What has happened since then?
Why are you reacting to the long time announced discontinuation of 32 bit apps rather than having proactively addressed the issue since Apple announcement?
Why you do not commit to any due date for the release of a definitive fix to enable 32 bit apps to run on macOS 10.15?

Thx for the update, I understand the 32bit apps won't work until you find a solution. What about 64 bit apps? I have a few and cannot even install them...

I was wondering if using a very small docker container to run Wine 32 bit could be an easy work around for Mac OS Catalina....

If the version of Wine developed to work on 64-bit only Mac processes isn't named "The Catalina Wine Mixer," I fear you have failed us all. <3

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