I think the ease of use and how simple both box86 and box64 are to install is often forgotten. So let me detail a bit what is needed to have either box running:
For box86, you need the
box86 binary, and a 32bits subsystem.
For box64, you need the
box64 binary, and a 64bits subsystem.
And that it. Everything else is “quality of life” addons.
The installation to the system, using
systemd-binfmt integration, allows box86/box64 to be used automatically by the system when an i386/x86_64 binary is launched. But that’s not mandatory.
If it is not installed (or if
systemd-binfmt is not available), box can still be used. For example, once built (that part is covered in the
COMPILE.md doc from each repo) on the Pandora (no systemd there), world of goo can be launched using
The other things that come with both box and are installed are a small set of libraries. There is
libstdc++ and its companion
libgcc_s. There is also
libpng12 now. That last one is here because quite a lot of games are still using it, while it’s deprecated and removed from modern OS version. It’s here so games can still be run.
For the C++ library, well, box86 and box64 don’t wrap C++ library (for technical reasons). So those libs need to be the i386/x86_64 version to run C++ software (so, a lot of softwares!). Those libs are copied in a fixed path on the system so box can find and use them. But again, it’s not mandatory. C++ games can still be launched if the libraries are copied somewhere box can find them, like in the game folder itself.
For all libraries used by a game or software, box will try to load the native version if that libs is wrapped (32bits for box86 or 64bits for box64). If the lib is not loaded (not wrapped or not found), box will try to load an emulated version of that lib (in the current folder, a few subfolders, or in a folder indicated by either LD_LIBRARY_PATH or BOXxx_LD_LIBRARY_PATH environment variable). If the lib is still not loaded, an error will occur…
To use Windows software, you will need an i386 or x86_64 version of wine. It is easier to use pre-built binary. You can find some in the PlayOnLinux build machine, or in the TwisterOS FAQ page for example. Once you have a tgz of the binary, simply extract it in your home folder (so
~/wine), then create a few shortcuts to launch it with
sudo ln -s ~/wine/bin/wine /usr/local/bin/wine
sudo ln -s ~/wine/bin/wineserver
sudo ln -s ~/wine/bine/wineboot
If you grabbed an 64bits built, you also have to add
sudo ln -s ~/wine/bin/wine64 /usr/local/bin/wine64
You can also install
winetricks, just follow the procedure on its GitHub page, and it should just work out-of-the-box with the latest versions of box86 and box64.
Now, just launch your Windows games with
wine, as if you were on an x86 pc…
Because the wrapping is an integral part of box, there is no specific file or configuration to define what/how libs are wrapped. And there is more than a hundred libs that are actually wrapped. That means that, in most cases, when a lib is missing, you just need to install the native one for your system.
When using box86 on an Aarch64 OS, it can be a bit tricky. For the Debian family, you can use multiarch, for a seamless system integration. Start with
sudo dpkg add-architecture armhf
sudo apt update
to add the architecture. Then, to kickstart your library collection, you can use
sudo apt install libgtk2.0-0:armhf libsdl2-image-2.0-0:armhf
To install gtk2 (which also installs many X11 libs) and some SDL2 libs for armhf. That should allow a good set of 32bits program to start.
To conclude, I’ll show here the list of library wrapped by box86 and box64.
crashhandler.so => empty wrapping d3dadapter9.so.1 => box86 only (that's gallium9) ld-linux-x86-64.so.2 / ld-linux.so.2 libalure.so.1 libalut.so.0 libopenal.so.1 / libopenal.so.0 / libopenal.so / openal.so libasound.so.2 libbz2.so.1 libc.so.6 libcairo.so.2 libcups.so.2 libcurl.so.3 libcurl.so.4 libcurl-gnutls.so.4 libcrypto.so.1 => emulated is prefered libdbus-1.so.3 libcrypt.so.1 libdl.so.2 libdrm.so.2 libect-2.0.so.0 libexpat.so.1 / libexpat.so libFAudio.so.0 => box64 only libFLAC.so.8 libfontconfig.so.1 libform.so.5 libformw.so.5 libfreetype.so.6 libGL.so.1 / libGL.so / libOpenGL.so.0 libGLU.so.1 libgmp.so.10 => box64 only libgnutls.so.30 libgssapi.so.3 => box64 only libgssapi_krb5.so.2 libICE.so.6 libiconv.so.2 => box86 only libjpeg.so.8 => box86 only libjpeg.so.62 => box86 only libkrb5.so.3 libldap_r-2.4.so.2 liblber-2.4.so.2 liblzma.so.5 libm.so.6 libmpg123.so.0 libncurses.so.5 libncurses.so.6 libncursesw.so.5 libncursesw.so.6 libnsl.so.1 libnspr4.so libnss3.so libnssutil3.so libogg.so.0 libpanel.so.5 libpangoft2-1.0.so / libpangoft2-1.0.so.0 libpci.so.3 => box64 only libpcre.so.3 libplc4.so libplds4.so libpng12.so.0 => box86 only libpng16.so.16 libpulse-simple.so.0 => can be disable with BOXxx_NOPULSE=1 libpulse.so.0 => can be disable with BOXxx_NOPULSE=1 libpthread.so.0 libresolv.so.2 librt.so.1 libSDL-1.2.so.0 libSDL_image-1.2.so.0 libSDL_mixer-1.2.so.0 libSDL_net-1.2.so.0 libSDL_sound-1.0.so.1 libSDL_ttf-2.0.so.0 libSDL2-2.0.so.0 / libSDL2-2.0.so.1 / libSDL2.so / libsdl2-2.0.so.0 libSDL2_image-2.0.so.0 / libSDL2_image.so libSDL2_mixer-2.0.so.0 libSDL2_net-2.0.so.0 libSDL2_ttf-2.0.so.0 / libSDL2_ttf.so libselinux.so.1 => box64 only libsecret-1.so.0 libSM.so.6 libsmime3.so libsmpeg-0.4.so.0 libsmpeg2-2.0.so.0 libsndfile.so.1 libssl.so.1 => emulated is prefered libssl3.so libtcmalloc_minimal.so.4 => empty wrapping libtinfo.so.5 libtinfo.so.6 libturbojpeg.so.0 => box86 only libudev.so.0 libudev.so.1 libusb-1.0 => box86 only libutil.so.1 libuuid.so.1 libv4l2.so.0 => box86 only libvorbis.so.0 libvorbisfile.so.3 libvulkan.so.1 / libvulkan.so libwayland-client.so => box86 only libX11.so.6 libX11-xcb.so.1 libXau.so.6 libxcb.so.1 libxcb-dri2.so.0 libxcb-dri3.so.0 libxcb-glx.so.0 libxcb-image.so.0 libxcb-keysyms.so.1 libxcb-present.so => box86 only libxcb-randr.so.0 libxcb-shape.so.0 libxcb-shm.so.0 libxcb-xtest.so.0 libxcb-xfixes.so.0 libXcomposite.so.1 libXcursor.so.1 libXdamage.so.1 libXdmcp.so.6 libXext.so.6 libXfixes.so.3 libXft.so.2 libXi.so.6 libXinerama.so.1 libxkbcommon.so.0 libxkbcommon-x11.so.0 libxml2.so.2 libXmu.so.6 libXpm.so.4 libXrandr.so.2 libXrender.so.1 libxslt.so.1 libXss.so.1 libXt.so.6 libXtst.so.6 libXxf86vm.so.1 libz.so.1 //Those are GTK one and can be disabled with BOXxx_NOGTK=1 libappindicator.so.1 => box86 only libatk-1.0.so.0 libatk-bridge-2.0.so.0 libatspi.so.0 => box64 only libdbus-glib-1.so.2 libdbusmenu-glib.so => box86 only libdbusmenu-gtk.so => box86 only libgconf-2.so.4 libgdk-3.so => box86 only libgdk-x11-2.0.so.0 libgdk_pixbuf-2.0.so.0 libgio-2.0.so.0 libglib-2.0.so.0 libgmodule-2.0.so.0 libgobject-2.0.so.0 libgstapp-1.0.so.0 libgstaudio-1.0.so.0 libgstbase-1.0.so.0 libgstinterfaces-0.10 => box86 only libgstreamer-0.10 => box86 only libgstreamer-1.0.so.0 libgsttag-1.0.so.0 libgstvideo-1.0.so.0 libgthread-2.0.so.0 libgtk-3.so => box86 only libgtk-x11-2.0.so.0 libgudev-1.0 => box86 only liblcms2.so.2 => box86 only libnm.so.0 => box86 only libnm-glib.so => box86 only libnm-util.so => box86 only libpango-1.0.so.0 libpango-cairo-1.0.so.0