Foobar2000 under Wine in Ubuntu

[ Sunday, 25 November 2007, P2O2 ]

Wine full of foobars…

The newest version of Wine (Windows API Linux emulator) allows one to run foobar2000 with most of its plugins in Linux. At last ColumnsUI works correctly! There are a few inconveniences, of course, but more on that later. Let’s check them then!

Author: Wujek_Bogdan

This Howto is based on the Ubuntu system. Installation of Wine on other GNU/Linux systems shouldn’t differ much, though.

  1. Using Ubuntu we have no access to the root account. All commands with root rights are performed with the help of the sudo command. In the case of other systems users should use the su command.

  2. Wine can be installed in Ubuntu with the help of apt-get. For other distros, one use should run the appropriate package managers (yum, yast, urpmi, etc.) belonging to the distro’s pool of tools.


We will need:

  • foobar2000
  • Wine’s latest release

Programs should be downloaded from official sites. But first, the Wine hyperlink must be added to the repo list kept in the /etc/apt/sources.list file.

To do so, open the gedit editor:

sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list

The corresponding entries should look like this:

deb HTTP:// feisty main

deb-src HTTP:// feisty main

Update the package list:

sudo apt-get update

Then install Wine with the following command: sudo apt-get install wine

Hydrogenaudio site contains a guide which recommends manual installation with many nonstandard fonts. You’ll find the Howto here. I must admit I didn’t test it.


Alas, copying our beautifull foobar from Windows is out of question. We have to install a pristine, clean version of the program. Let’s assume we have downloaded the package to our home directory.

First we have to go to the directory:

cd ~

Now we are to start to install the foobar package:

Wine foobar2000_0.9.4.3.exe

Of course, with newer versions there'll come higher numbers.

Installation process is identical to Windows’ one, but:

- we do not install Audio CD (CDDA) management

- we do not install desktop Shortcut icons and Directory context menus

- we do not install specialized foobar settings (Enable per-user settings) — foobar must keep config files in install directory!

Foobar is to be installed in default directory c:\Program Files\foobar2000, so the “true” directory will look like this:

/home/user's_name/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/foobar2000

To have everything professionally adjusted (although it’s not necessary) we have to move the foobar directory to default user’s directory where his config files are kept in *nix systems, namely to user’s home directory:

mv ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/foobar2000 ~/.foobar2000

As the guide’s author suggests, we can uninstall foobar now as it was moved into another place. I didn’t do this, as it is not necessary.

From a practical standpoint, the foobar is now ready to run.


Time to start Wine configuration program: winecfg

Let’s click the Sound tab

Select OSS or ALSA driver

Choose Hardware acceleration – Full

Mark – driver's emulation – default frequency 44100, 16 bits per sample

Now we can improve our Ubuntu.

We must add a script to have the foobar start like other Linux applications. Issue the command:

sudo gedit /usr/bin/foobar2000

Type in the following text:

cd ~/.foobar2000/
if [ "$1" != "" ]; then
wine foobar2000.exe "$1"
wine foobar2000.exe

If we installed Wine with CJK we will have to change wine to wineloc -l ja_JP. Now we should save the file and close the gedit.

The file has to have exec rights:

sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/foobar2000

Let’s add the foobar entry to the GNOME menu. Create a config file then:

sudo gedit /usr/share/applications/foobar2000.desktop

Type in the following text:

[Desktop Entry]
GenericName=Plays Music
Comment=Plays Music

As you can see the file contains links to the foobar2000.png icon.

We should modify the path as the icon is required. A few of them can be found here and there. The chosen one should be named foobar2000.png in the ~/.foobar2000/ directory.

Foobar can be run from the GNOME menu or from a terminal:

$ foobar2000

It’s up to the user what he will change yet in foobar configuration. There are a lot of good howtos and handy advice on the forum so I’m not going to elaborate on that.


Now it’s time for the saddest part of the guide — namely, “what is not working under Linux”.

  • ColumnsUI works. It doesn’t crash during basic operations. Only the menu under the right click button, e.g. in Layout option, pops up after a double click.
  • Some plugins demanding .NET Framework do not work correctly or at all.
  • PanelsUI — it needs the gdiplus.dll file to run. It should be placed in the program’s installation directory or in ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32.
  • foo_uie_albumart — it works but you will need the gdiplus.dll, libpng13.dll, and zlib1.dll files. They should be placed in the program’s installation directory or in ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32. The libraries can be grabbed from the HTTP:// website.
  • Ego Spectrum Analyzer — it hangs the application.
  • ProjectM — it doesn’t load at all.
  • Queuemanager — it doesn’t load at all.
  • foo_run — it loads but doesn’t work.
  • Tray’s icon looks ugly, it has a white background and it needs transparency.
  • In most cases foobar works in Wine without a problem. I experienced some unwelcome behavior, however — sound frequently choked during basic operations like directory look up under Nautilus control, or foobar options look through. It seems to me (I’m not sure, this is only my supposition) that the devil lies in my sound card, or to be precise, in its driver, or is caused by its emulation under Wine. I have Audigy 2 Platinum. If anyone bumped into the same problem drop me a line, please.

Let’s see how the foobar looks. This screenshot presents simple example of foobar’s configuration: ColumnsUI plus several plugins. It works.

Foobar within Wine

This guide was based on articles published on the website and written by Yotsuya. Original text can be found here.

Translated by P2O2, Proof-read by Jake Conroy

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Przemysław Pawełczyk

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