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Discussion about CrossOver Mac
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Two suggestions and a request for CrossOver Office/Games Mac
I'm using CrossOver Games on my Mac for a while now, and while I'm overall quite content, I would like to see some changes or new options in future versions. There are some – not too grave – things that bug me and that certainly also apply to CrossOver Office.
1. Every new bottle has the habit to create the folders "My Music", "My Pictures", "My Videos" and – in some cases – "My Games" in my Documents folder. This is rather unnecessary, since actual counterparts in MacOS X's home folders exist: ~/Music, ~/Pictures and ~/Movies. While it is possible to redirect the CO folders to the MacOS X folders with winecfg, it would be nicer and more elegant, if the appropriate paths would be set by default.
2. CrossOver Mac creates new bottles by default in ~/Application Support/CrossOver. This is certainly convenient, but in some cases it would be nice to have the bottle somewhere else, for instance when a game takes up several GB of hard disc space and there's not too much space left on the Mac's main partition or hard drive. I noticed that every bottle seems to be a rather self-consistent Wine installation and appears to have its own Wine configuration variables, like WINEPATH. I assume that it would be rather easy to implement the option to let the user set these paths, which would allow for more flexibility regarding the place of installation. I know that it is possible to work-around this by using hardlinks and stuff, but why not make it a bit more user friendly?
3. Support for USB devices. Pleeeeaaaase!
Regarding your suggestions, that's something we're asked quite often. It puzzles me a bit that (1) doesn't behave in a proper way yet, as it is just a matter of setting the default paths, which we do for many other paths.
For number 2, a hacky solution is to move the bottle elsewhere and symlink it back to the original place.
Regarding the USB devices, this is not possible in general. CrossOver does not implement a Windows kernel(unlike virtual machines, which run an unmodified windows kernel). Instead it uses the MacOS kernel and drivers to talk to hardware. That means, in order for a device to work, MacOS has to be able to talk to it, and CrossOver has to forward the Mac device to the Windows apps. In general we cannot load Windows drivers because there's no Windows kernel.
That said, we have a faked ntoskrnl.exe service to load drivers, but that's mainly for loading copy protection drivers, which do not access the hardware. Since CrossOver runs in user space it cannot access hardware directly, which is a good thing because then Windows malware or CrossOver bugs can't mess up your system. However, that means that Windows drivers, even if we load them, cannot run.
Some Windows drivers, like the ipod driver, is happy with the things we can give it from userspace. That's more an exception than the rule though.
Okay, I understand that it's not possible (and not sensible) to let a virtualisation environment to have direct hardware access, so that not all USB devices would work.
"USB devices" was also too general. Specifically, I mean USB Input devices, like graphic tablets (that do not work properly in programs running in CrossOver), mice with special functions, gamepads, and so on.
Let's rephrase it as "graphics tablet support", "joystick support" and "extended mouse support" then. CrossOver doesn't really care what connection the device uses, it's more important what sort of device it is.
I know that graphics tablets are supposed to work on Linux, at least with current Wine versions, so with cxgames and the upcoming crossover 7. I don't know about the state on MacOS, but I think the X server will need some extensions for that.
The mouse buttons fail due to missing features in Wine, as far as I know.
Joystick support exists on Linux, but we've never tested / used it ourselves. I am afraid on MacOS it will need different code dealing with it, I think the Mac joystick API is entirely different.
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