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Bruce's Do Over Week 5--Installing Legacy 8 Under Wine on OS X

One of our objectives at the RootsTech/FGS conference was to talk to software vendors about specific functions and decide which package to use for future work. We are both primarily interested in better reliability and sourcing/citation capabilities. After using Family Tree Maker for a number of years, Kristin had experienced one too many data corruption problems and moved to Reunion, an OS X only solution about a year ago. She liked it, but wasn't entirely satisfied with the source/citation user interface. The MacBook laptop is now too old to upgrade to a supported version of OS X, so we either needed to put her genealogy onto the Windows laptop that we use for some Windows-only software, or get a new MacBook.

After looking at Gramps, RootsMagic and Legacy Family Tree in detail, we decided that Legacy has a slightly better interface for source/citation data entry. Since we are both considering certification at some point, we want to record the source/citation information as completely as possible. Unfortunately, Legacy is a Windows package, and we use Mac Mini desktops for most of our work. I built a Windows Vista machine for Kristin right when Vista came out--Microsoft touted the improved security features and I really wanted better security and stability than Windows XP. Windows Vista was an unstable disaster. Although our marriage survived Windows Vista, our relationship with Microsoft did not. I bought Kristin a Mac Mini and we haven’t looked back for a minute.

All of the indications are that Legacy will run under Wine, a set of Windows APIs that run on OS X and Linux. Our experience thus far is that everything in Legacy works under Wine except for the news items on the “Legacy Home” tab. It is rumoured that Legacy Family Tree is planning to release a version of Legacy 8.0 bundled with Crossover from Codeweavers as a single install package, but that is not available now (and may never be available).

Many but certainly not all Windows programs will run under Wine, so we took the plunge and decided to use the open source implementations for Wine rather than the commerically supported Crossover version from Code Weavers. The article that follows is a summary of the steps involved in getting Legacy to work under Wine on OS X 10.10 (Yosemite). It may work on Linux, but we have not tested it in that environment. For what is worth, we are using Legacy, Wine 1.6.2 and OS X 10.10.2.

Install MacPorts

The installation instructions for Wine will depend upon whether you are installing on OS X or Linux. For OS X, it is probably easiest to install MacPorts, which requires Xcode as prerequisite. This isn’t a difficult install if you have used command line utilities before, but if you have not used command line utilities before, you are probably better off purchasing Crossover from Code Weavers. The MacPorts installation instructions are detailed; there is no point in repeating them here.

Install Wine and Related Packages

Once you have installed MacPorts, you will need to install Wine and a few other packages. Use the command below:

sudo port install wine winetricks cabextract

Install Internet Exporer

Legacy 8.0 requires Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) for some of its rendering the displays in the tab interface; the Wine-provided iExplorer.exe implementation doesn't work. Some earlier versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer are installable under Wine, but versions 9 and later will not install under Wine. Although you need a version of IE, you should not use this for browsing the Internet, as it is out of support and is missing a number of important security patches. To install IE under Wine, use the command

winetricks ie8 corefonts

In a later step, we will install Firefox or another browser that is still supported to provide a safe browser for use within Legacy 8.0.

Download and Install Companion Programs

Legacy uses several companion programs to display Microsoft Word files, browse the web, display Adobe Acrobat files, and edit text files. You will need to download and install these companion programs. There are other alternatives, but I have used these programs under Wine with Legacy 8.0 and know that they work.

Firefox Browser

Internet Explorer 8 is out of support and is missing a number of security patches, so you will need to install another browser. Firefox from Mozilla is a popular one that I have used under Wine. When you go to the web page to download it, make sure to switch to download the Windows version; the Mozilla web site will try to download the OS X version since you are running on OS X. Once you have downloaded it, copy it to the Wine user directory and install it using the commands

mv firefox_installer.exe ~/.wine/drive_c/users/brucemoore
wine "c:\users\brucemoore\firefox_installer.exe"

Reader for PDF Files

Current versions of Adobe Acrobat Reader will not install under Wine, so you will need a differnet companion program for this. My recommendation is IrfanView. Again, copy or move the file from your download directory to the user directory under Wine, and install it.

mv irfanview_installer.exe ~/.wine/drive_c/users/brucemoore
wine "c:\users\brucemoore\irfanview_installer.exe"

During the installation, you will be prompted twice:

  • To install Google Chrome and the Google Chrome toolbar. Although you may want to install these, it is probably best not to do so as part of the IrfanView installation.
  • To set IrfanView as the viewer for a large number of document and image types. You should probably select the option for all image types.

LibreOffice as Word Processor

Legacy provides the capability to view and edit Microsoft Word Documents; you will need to install a companion program for these. Libreoffice is a good alternative that I have used for a number of years and which I have been able to run under Wine. Make sure to download the Windows version. Because LibreOffice uses an MSI file instead of an EXE file for the installer, you will need to run the msiexec under Wine to install it:

mv LibreOffice.msi ~/.wine/drive_c/users/brucemoore
wine msiexec /i "c:\users\brucemoore\LibreOffice.msi"

Alternate Text Editor

You will need to specify an text editor. Wine contains versions of Notepad and Wordpad. If you want something different, you will need to install them under Wine using the procedures given above.

Install Legacy 8.0

To install Legacy 8.0, you will need the CD or better, the update file from support area of the Legacy website.

Installing Using Support File

It is easier if you use the support file; the procedure is the same as the procedure for the companion programs installed above:

mv Legacy8Setup.exe ~/.wine/drive_c/users/brucemoore
wine "c:\users\brucemoore\Legacy8Setup.exe"

During the installation, you will need the Customer Number on the CD to unlock the deluxe features. When prompted, go ahead and install the Geocode database.

If you have a problem where the Legacy8Setup.exe program generates an error writing to a path name with a Spanish character, try

LANG=es_ES.UTF-8 wine "c:\users\brucemoore\Legacy8Setup.exe"




Installing Using the CD

If you use the CD, you will need to find out the drive letter that Wine assigns for the CD drive. To do this use the following command:


Go to the Drives tab and find out the drive letter for the CD and use that to call the Legacy 8.0 installer:

wine "x:\LegacySetup\LegacySetup.exe"

When you are prompted, enter your Customer Number to unlock the Deluxe features. When prompted, go ahead and install the Geocode database.

Figure 1 shows the Drives tab in the winecfg program. Look for /Volumes/Legacy 8 Install. If you have a lot of .dmg files on your desktop (as is the case in the example), you may have to scroll down to the bottom of the list to find the mounted Legacy Intallation CD.

Figure 1. Using winecfg to Identify the Drive Letter for the Installation CD.

When prompted for a custom or standard (recommended) install, choose the standard install unless you need additional languages&ndash.this is unusual in for most cases, but installing additional languages may actually be important for many genealogists.

Fix Path

Once you have installed Legacy, it will be helpful to update the path environment variable for Wine so that you can call programs with the full "c:/Program Files/Legacy8/legacy.exe" path. To do this use the wine regedit command to edit the Wine registry, and add a Path variable to HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Environment as shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2. Using regedit to Create a Path Environment Variable for Wine.

The path should include c:\windows;c:\Program Files\Legacy8;c:\Program Files\Internet Explorer; at a minimum. You may want to include the path terms for Firefox, LibreOffice and IrfanView, as well as c:\windows\system32;c:\windows\ie8.

Shell script

Finally, write a short shell script to call Wine and pass the name of the Legacy program:

wine Legacy.exe


wine "c:\Program Files\Legacy8\Legacy.exe"

change the permissions to 775

chmod 775

You can create a desktop shortcut for the shell script to simplify things further.

Configuring Companion Programs

The last step is to configure the help programs. Start Legacy using the shell script that you created or the command wine legacy.exe. Within Legacy go to Options->Customize and update the companion programs in option 11 as shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3. Configuring Companion Programs for Web Browsing, Documents, Text Files and PDF Files.

Optionally Modify Display Settings

You may want to configure other behaviors under Wine, especially the display settings. You should experiment with the settings to see how they work on your configuration of OS X and Wine. To modify the settings, use the winecfg command, and go to the “Display” tab. You may want to change the default settings to enable window manager control as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4. Changing the winecfg Display Settings to Enable Window Manager Control.