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Game Porting Toolkit in MacOS Sonoma


I upgraded MacOS on my MacBook Air to use MacOS Sonoma a while back. I’ve been waiting to use it, so that I can install Game Porting Tool Kit to try play Windows games on MacOS.

Here’s the recap of what happened.

I also summarized it in a thread here:

Installing homebrew for x86_64 and aarch64

The first step we need to do is to install homebrew for x86_64. I’m using M2 MacBook Air, so I also have homebrew aarch64 installed.

This seems to be the perfect excuse for me to use nix-homebrew that is recently made by zhaofengli here:

My final setup can be seen in my nix-darwin config here:

I added the flake:

inputs.nix-homebrew.url = "github:zhaofengli-wip/nix-homebrew";

Then added each brew taps I used here:

# nix-homebrew tap
  inputs = {
    homebrew-core = {
      url = "github:homebrew/homebrew-core";
      flake = false;
    homebrew-bundle = {
      url = "github:homebrew/homebrew-bundle";
      flake = false;
    homebrew-cask = {
      url = "github:homebrew/homebrew-cask";
      flake = false;
    homebrew-cask-drivers = {
      url = "github:homebrew/homebrew-cask-drivers";
      flake = false;
    homebrew-cask-fonts = {
      url = "github:homebrew/homebrew-cask-fonts";
      flake = false;
    homebrew-apple = {
      url = "github:apple/homebrew-apple";
      flake = false;

The last one is the homebrew Apple tap (the official one).

Next, I added the darwinModule to load nix-homebrew

recalune = darwinSystem {
  inherit system;
  modules = attrValues self.darwinModules ++ [
    # modules
      nix-homebrew = {
        # Install Homebrew under the default prefix
        enable = true;

        # Apple Silicon Only: Also install Homebrew under the default Intel prefix for Rosetta 2
        enableRosetta = true;

        # User owning the Homebrew prefix
        user = "recalune";

        # taps
        taps = {
          "homebrew/homebrew-core" = homebrew-core;
          "homebrew/homebrew-bundle" = homebrew-bundle;
          "homebrew/homebrew-cask" = homebrew-cask;
          "homebrew/homebrew-cask-drivers" = homebrew-cask-drivers;
          "homebrew/homebrew-cask-fonts" = homebrew-cask-fonts;
          "apple/homebrew-apple" = homebrew-apple;

        # Automatically migrate existing Homebrew installations
        autoMigrate = true;

Because I already have homebrew installed, I toggled the autoMigrate option.

The rest of the config for your nix-darwin stays the same. For completeness, here’s an example of how my homebrew packages were managed in the darwin config file

homebrew = {
  enable = pkgs.stdenv.isDarwin;
  onActivation = {
    autoUpdate = false;
    upgrade = false;
    # use zap if you want nix-darwin solely manages homebrew packages
    # cleanup = "zap";
  taps = [
  brews = [
    # "pinentry-mac"
  masApps = {
    Xcode = 497799835;
    Tailscale = 1475387142;
    Bitwarden = 1352778147;
    WhatsAppWeb = 1147396723;
    SlackDesktop = 803453959;
    OneDrive = 823766827;
  casks = [
    # "visual-studio-code" maintained by home-manager

After that, we run darwin-rebuild switch --flake to apply the config

Testing homebrew prefix

Testing the homebrew prefix is straightforward. nix-homebrew flake will also setup Rosetta 2. So I assume Rosetta 2 is enabled now.

Rosetta 2 is a translation layer in MacOS Apple Silicon chip, so that it can run x86_64 arch as aarch64.

My builtin Zsh shell for mac, for some reason uses x86_64.

/bin/zsh --version
# outputs:
zsh 5.9 (x86_64-apple-darwin23.0)

Meanwhile, Zsh from Nix uses aarch64 as expected

/Users/recalune/.nix-profile/bin/zsh --version
# outputs:
zsh 5.9 (aarch64-apple-darwin22.6.0)

We can use this to check brew prefix being used for each architecture.

To check current architecture in your shell, use arch command.

# will output: arm64 or i386 depending on your current arch

Let’s test running x86_64 executable

arch -x86_64 /bin/zsh
uname -m
# this for some reason output arm64
# this will output i386 (which is correct)
brew list
# will output brew packages in x86_64

This is what happens on aarch64 (open a new terminal)

# you can also execute /bin/zsh as aarch64 because it is a universal app
arch -arm64 /bin/zsh
uname -m
# will output arm64
# will output arm64
brew list
# will output brew packages in aarch64 prefix

We will then uses hombrew prefix for x86_64 architecture to use Apple Game Porting Toolkit (AGPTK). Basically AGPTK is a wrapper to WINE, which is a compatibility layer for x86_64 Windows binaries.

Installing Apple Game Porting Toolkit (AGPTK)

I follow this docs:

For the brew part, I can skip most of it, since I configured it using Nix.

Now, enter x86_64 zsh shell, because we had to use homebrew prefix for x86_64.

arch -x86_64 /bin/zsh

We will use this shell for all the next steps. There are several differences between the wiki and current situation at the time when I tried this.

For the tap, I already include apple/apple/game-porting-toolkit using nix-homebrew flake. So the update/upgrade were done via flake. For now, let’s install the toolkit.

brew -v install apple/apple/game-porting-toolkit

This process took a very long time on my MacBook Air M2. I just left it overnight.

Next, download AGPTK from Apple official download page here. At that time, the download page is buggy and I can’t see the download link. Next week, I can see the download link.

Also make sure you already register as Apple Developer (you don’t need to pay the developer fee).

Double click the DMG to mount it to /Volumes. Copy the redistributable files and the helper scripts from AGPTK.

ditto /Volumes/Game\ Porting\ Toolkit-1.0/redist/lib/ `brew --prefix game-porting-toolkit`/lib/
cp /Volumes/Game\ Porting\ Toolkit*/gameportingtoolkit* /usr/local/bin

Once the toolkit has been installed, you can explore possible commands, tips, and usage from Apple Gaming Wiki.

Note that since this is, in an essence, installing WINE/CrossOver, you can try using any Windows Apps, not just Games.

You can check the compatibility lists from CrossOver/CodeWeavers offical page here.

Installing Whisky

If you don’t want to try compiling AGPTK, you can use Whisky. This is a wrapper on top of WINE + AGPTK. If you already setup Hombrew x86_64, then you can use Whisky to manage your Wine Bottle/Prefix and download precompiled AGPTK.

During my first try, I ended up using Whisky because I’m not able to download AGPTK from Apple website (due to bug in the website).


I used Elden Ring as my test bench, on MacBook Air M2, 16 GB, 8 cores. From the FPS bar in the screenshots, I can see that the bottleneck is CPU instead of GPU. I assume this is because MBA lacks proper coolings. So next time, I should probably test it using laptop cooling pad. Hahaha.

Rizky Maulana Nugraha

Written by Rizky Maulana Nugraha
Software Developer. Currently remotely working from Indonesia.
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