How to Install Wine on Debian 10 (Buster)

When Linux was originally released, it lacked many useful applications that its main competitor – Windows – successfully supported. Linux thus created a compatibility layer that was used to run the Windows application on Linux itself, called Wine. Originally, Wine could run only a few Windows applications, but now it can support thousands of them, which makes it a very powerful Linux application. However, its installation is very simple!

This article describes how to install Wine on a Debian 10 Buster system, both from the graphical user interface and from the command line.

Installing Wine through the Debian UI

For a person who does not want to open the Command Line much, installing a software present in the official Debian repository through the UI is very simple.

On Debian desktop Activities toolbar/dock, click the Debian Software icon.

Activities Toolbar

Click the search icon in Software Manager and enter Wine in the search bar. The search results will list the relevant entries as follows:

Wine for Debian

The Wine entry listed here is the one maintained by the Debian Stable Main repository. Click on this search entry to open the following view:

Wine package

Click the Install button to begin the installation process. The following authentication dialog will appear for you to provide your authentication details as only an authorized user can install software on Debian.

Authenticate as admin

Enter your password and click the Authenticate button. After that, the installation process will begin, displaying a progress bar as follows:

Installing Wine on Debian

Wine will then be installed on your system and you will get the following message after a successful installation:

Launch Wine

Installing Wine through the Command Line

Step1: Check if you have a Linux 32-bit or 64-bit system

There are different versions of Wine available for 32-bit and 64-bit flavors of Debian. In order to check which version you are using so that you can install the appropriate version of Wine, please follow these steps:

Open the Terminal through the Application Launcher search as follows:

Debian Terminal

Use the following command to fetch CPU details from the files sysfs and /proc/cpuinfo:

$ lscpu

This command will display the following output:


The CPU op-mode(s) entry tells you about the flavor of Debian you are running on your system; 32-bit means you are running a 32-bit Linux OS, 32-bit, 64-bit signifies that you are running a 64-bit OS.

Step2: Installing Wine from a the Official Debian Repository (recommended)

We recommend that you install Wine on your system through the standard Debian repository, as this way you can have a more stable version on your system.

Run the following commands in the Terminal as a root user in order to install Wine on a 64-bit version of Debian:

$ sudo apt-get update

And then

$ sudo apt-get install wine64

Install Wine 64bit package

Please enter y when you are prompted with a y/n option for installation. After that, the Wine application will be installed and ready for use.

For a 32-bit Debian system, you can use the following command:

$ sudo apt-get install wine32

You can verify the version of Wine through the following command:

$ wine --version

Alternative: Installing Wine from the WineHQ Repository

The WineHQ repository has a set of standard Wine packages that you can download and install on your system. Please follow these steps to do so:

Run the following command in the Terminal for adding i386 architecture before installing a 64-bit version of Wine:

$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

Run the following in order to add the WineHQ signing key:

$ wget -qO- | sudo apt-key add -

Tip: You can copy this command from this tutorial instead of typing it in the Terminal. Select and copy this command from here, right-click in the Terminal prompt and then select Paste from the menu.

Now run the following command in order to add the relevant repository from the WineHQ:

$ sudo apt-add-repository 'deb buster main'

Then, run the following command:

$ sudo apt-get update

Here you have two options about which release of Wine you want to install; the stable version or the development versions.

  • WineHQ Stable: This is the most recent and stable release of Wine available. Use the following command to install this version:
$ sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-stable

Install winehq

Please enter Y when prompted with a choice of y/n for installation. After that, the stable version of Wine will be installed on your system.

  • WineHQ Development: This is the most-recent version of Wine but it might not be very stable. As a developer, you might be more interested in installing this version.
$ sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-devel

Please enter Y when prompted with a choice of y/n for installation. After that, the development version of Wine will be installed on your system.

In order to verify installation and check which version is installed on your system, run the following command:

$ wine --version

Uninstalling Wine From Your System

Please enter the following command in your Debian Terminal in order to uninstall Wine from your system:

$ sudo apt-get purge winehq-stable

Remove wine package

You will also need to run the following commands to completely remove the installation and relevant folders:

1. rm ~/.config/wine/ -rf
2. rm -rf $HOME/.wine
3. rm -f $HOME/.config/menus/applications-merged/wine*
4. rm -rf $HOME/.local/share/applications/wine
5. rm -f $HOME/.local/share/desktop-directories/wine*
6. rm -f $HOME/.local/share/icons/????_*.xpm

Remove WineHQ

The installation will now be completely removed from your system.

By following the steps described in this tutorial, you will be successfully able to install the useful application Wine to your system. It might be the latest release from the official Debian Repository or stable/development version from the WineHQ repositories. We have also described the uninstallation process so you can easily remove Wine from your system, be it for new installation or complete removal.