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Wine Staging is a Wine version which provides bug fixes and features that aren't yet available in regular Wine versions.

Wine Staging (formerly known as Wine Compholio) was initially created for Pipelight, a project that brings Silverlight and other Windows-only plugins to Linux web browsers. The project has evolved and some Linux distributions, like Fedora, provide it in the official repositories instead of the regular Wine version.

The latest Wine Staging provides the following extra features and bug fixes:
  • CSMT (Commandstream multithreading) for better graphic performance
  • CUDA / PhysX / NVENC Support for NVIDIA graphic cards
  • DXVA2 GPU video decoding (experimental)
  • EAX 1 support
  • Fixes for various upstream regressions
  • Job Object support
  • Loading of .NET CLI images without entry point
  • Named Pipe message mode support (Linux kernel >= 3.4 only)
  • Performance improvements for IO-heavy programs and memory allocation functions
  • S3 texture compression (DXTn) support
  • Threadpool API support
  • Various improvements to d3dx9
  • Various speed improvements (shared memory, RT priority)
  • Windows ACL support
  • Wine PulseAudio driver
For a complete list, see the Wine Staging GitHub page.

Some of these features are optional and they can enabled or disabled via Wine Configuration, on the Staging tab:

Install Wine Staging in Ubuntu or Linux Mint

Wine Staging is available in the Pipelight PPA new Wine PPA for Ubuntu, Linux Mint and derivatives. To add the PPA and install Wine Staging, use the following commands:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wine/wine-builds
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends wine-staging
If you're on 64bit and want to use the 64bit Wine version, also install 'wine-staging-amd64':
sudo apt-get install wine-staging-amd64
The Wine Staging executables aren't installed in /usr/bin (and aren't available in your PATH by default), but under /opt/wine-staging/bin/. Thanks to this, you can continue using the regular Wine version as well as Wine Staging - to run any Wine Staging executable, simply add "/opt/wine-staging/bin/" in front of the executable, like this:
... and so on.

You can avoid having to type the full path by installing a package which installs compatibility symlinks:
sudo apt install winehq-staging

For more information, see the Wine Staging Usage page.

The Wine Staging developers provide binaries for Arch Linux, Debian, Gentoo, Mageia and OpenSUSE - for installation instructions, see THIS page.