The developers behind the popular Bottles application have announced the next-gen edition: “Bottles Next.”
Bottles is a popular way of running Windows applications on Linux and macOS, providing an easy-to-use implementation of the WINE translation layer. Bottles allows users to choose whether they want to install a game or standard application and provides the ability to use pre-existing application installers or load up a custom one.
The Bottles developers have announced they are working on a next-gen version of the program, one that will add a number of new features and abilities. The developers say Bottles Next is a necessary step as a result of the current codebase.
If you’ve been a long-time Bottles user, you’ve gotten used to frequent releases that brought lots of new features and bug fixes. However, over the past year, this has become less frequent. This is because Bottles, like many other projects before it, has reached a point where implementing new features without making drastic changes to the codebase is no longer possible. This doesn’t mean Bottles is stagnant; it’s far from it. We’re still adding small features and fixing critical bugs that don’t require a complete codebase overhaul.
The new edition will fix issues that are not fixable with the current version:
Bottles Next is our response to the needs of users and the market for running Windows software on Linux and MacOS. We’ve redesigned Bottles from scratch to address all the issues and shortcomings that are currently unresolvable due to the existing codebase. The Next project is designed for scalability and extensibility over time, with the goal of avoiding the need for another complete rewrite.
The developers say the new version will have a GUI based on Electron and VueJS3, although it will maintain a secondary GTK frontend for users who prefer the GTK look.
The developers also believe there is no way to add all the features they plan into a single experience, so they will be releasing Bottles Next with two different modes: Next and Classic.
The Next mode simplifies Bottles usage significantly. There won’t be individual bottle management; Bottles will create and manage a single bottle, leaving users with the task of installing and running the software they need. The Next bottle will use a layering concept to isolate applications, dependencies, and configurations. This means that the underlying wineprefix will be the same, but each application will have its settings (DXVK, VKD3D, FSR, desktop resolution, environment variables, launch options, dependencies, etc.). This minimizes the risk of bottle breakage to just external interferences.
The Classic mode, on the other hand, will provide advanced users with the same bottle management capabilities as before. It will introduce many new features for taking full control of their bottles in different environments (Gaming, Software, Custom, and Next). Users can still create Next-type bottles, incorporating the layering and application-specific configuration concepts.
Bottles Next will also improve Steam compatibility, offering better small-screen optimizations. The new version will also support cloud backup, giving users the ability to easily restore their bottles.
The developers say the new version is still months away from release, but they will continue to add bug fixes and low-impact features to the existing version.
The announcement is great news for Linux and Mac users alike, giving them an even more powerful option to run Windows software.