Wine registry in Linux

The Windows Registry is the internal database that contains all configuration settings for the software which is running on your system, as well as the operating system itself. Windows comes bundled with the Registry Editor (regedit), which lets you access and modify the Windows Registry.

If you’re running a Windows application in Linux through Wine, you’re essentially maintaining a (Windows) registry of the application itself.

Normally, users should never have to play with the registry. But with that said, sometimes there’s no other way to customize what you want. In this article, we will show you a few basic task with the Wine’s registry, including how to access it, how to backup software settings, etc.

Access Wine registry

Wine comes equipped with its own registry editor, which look and feel extremely similar to the Windows’s regedit.

In order to run Wine’s registry in GUI mode, run the following command in the terminal :

wine regedit

From here, you can navigate the registry database, modify keys and values, create new entries just like how you would do in Windows.

Backup Wine registry settings

All the registry settings in Wine is stored as text-based .reg files inside $WINEPREFIX/*.reg directory (usually /home/username/.wine). If you want to preserve your settings across setups, you can backup those files into a safe place.

For software settings and changes made to the existing settings in the registry, follow the instructions below :

  1. Run wine regedit , navigate to whatever entry you want to make a backup of. Most of the time, the software settings are located insideHKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software.
  2. Select the entry. Then choose Registry > Export Registry File to export the whole entry to a .reg file.
  3. Input the filename, for example, software.reg. Be sure to click the Selected Branch button before clicking OK.
  4. Restore the keys into the registry any time you want by running wine regedit software.reg. Alternatively, you can restore this .reg file on other system to clone the settings elsewhere.

Creating a new key in Wine registry

Wine registry allows you to create new keys using its GUI interface. Similar to how things work in Windows, follow the instructions below to create a new key if it does not exist yet:

  1. Run wine regedit in any terminal window to open up Wine registry.
  2. Navigate the tree to where you need to add a new key. For example, HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Chrome
  3. Select the section which you need to add the key to. Right click in the right pane and select New > Key.
  4. Input the name and value of the new key and click OK

Import .reg files to Wine registry

If you already have a .reg file which contains the settings you want to incorporate into Wine registry, you can import them with a single command :

wine start regedit.exe /path/to/file.reg

Remember to replace /path/to/file.reg with the actual path to your .reg files.

Alternatively, if you’ve installed Wine through PlayOnLinux, you can right-click the .reg file and select Open With Wine Registry Editor.

We hope that this tutorial provides useful information to help you better understand the registry on Wine. There are other related guides that we’ve covered such as AutoCAD on Linux, is it possible?, Fix “Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages” and Fix “bad CPU type in executable”.

If you spot any error in the article, or have a suggestion, please kindly let us know via the comment section below.

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