How To Install Wine on Debian 11

Installing Windows applications on Linux is possible thanks to Wine. This application is a marvel and is widely used by many users who need some Windows application that is not available for Linux. So, in this post, you will learn how to install Wine on Debian 11 from the official repositories of the project.

What is Wine?

According to the Wine website:

Wine (originally an acronym for “Wine Is Not an Emulator”) is a compatibility layer capable of running Windows applications on several POSIX-compliant operating systems, such as Linux, macOS, & BSD.

While this definition is not very nice, the important thing is that it provides a virtualization layer where you can install and run Windows applications on Linux. All in an easy way and although it is not always 100% compatible, it has improved considerably over time.

From a more technical point of view:

Instead of simulating internal Windows logic like a virtual machine or emulator, Wine translates Windows API calls into POSIX calls on the fly, eliminating the performance and memory penalties of other methods and allowing you to cleanly integrate Windows applications into your desktop.

So we can expect an application with a fairly resource-efficient architecture.

In addition to this, Wine has a very active development with frequent releases that improve the tool’s capabilities. So we will be able to install it in our Linux distribution almost without problems.

Let’s go for it.

Install Wine on Debian 11

Wine is present in the official Debian 11 repositories, but we can also install it from the repository provided by its developers.

This process although it takes some extra steps is the recommended one because of the possibility of installing recent versions of Wine.

So, open a terminal and for security reasons, update the whole distribution.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade

The first step is to enable multi arch support in Debian.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386

Then download the GPG key from the Wine repository.

wget -nc

The next step is to add this GPG key to the system so that Debian recognizes packages from this repository as safe.

sudo apt-key add winehq.key

Now add the Wine repository to the system by creating a new archive in the Debian repository directory.

sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wine.list

And add the following content

deb bullseye main 

Save the changes and close the text editor.

So, refresh APT so that the new repository is added.

sudo apt update

After this, you can install Wine by running the following command

sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-stable

After downloading all the packages, you can then enjoy wine. To find out if the installation has been successful, you can run

wine --version

Removing Wine on Debian 11

In case you don’t want to use Wine anymore or consider it unnecessary, you can remove it from the system by running.

sudo apt autoremove winehq-stable

It is also advisable to remove the recently added repository.

To do this, delete the repository file we created.

sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/wine.list

And finally, refresh APT again.

sudo apt update

So, that’s it.


Wine is one of the most relevant open source applications and it shows the power of an entire community dedicated to one goal. While it is a mature application, it continues to offer innovations with each release. In this post, we have helped you with the installation process on Debian 11.

So, share this post and help us to grow!

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