Family Historian V5/V4 & Ancestral Sources V4 on Crossover & Wine


This advice has been obtained from FHUG members who have succeeded in installing Family Historian (FH) and Ancestral Sources (AS) into CodeWeavers CrossOver and Wine Windows emulators.

There are entries in the CodeWeavers What Runs? tab for Family Historian and the 2012-01-17 entry has some useful information.

The following advice applies to : FIXME ~ need to confirm versions.

Program Installation

The Crossover Bottler and Wine Bottler installation processes should both be similar for Mac and Unix platforms, but some users have reported problems with Wine.

Install all programs below into a default Win XP Bottle. Do NOT use a Win 7/8 Bottle.

In Crossover V14.0.3 (Jan'15) select install a Windows Application as normal. Create a new Win XP Bottle for Family Historian as an unsupported other application.

When installing FH, disable Create a desktop icon & disable Launch Family Historian. Crossover Installed Applications

Other programs automatically installed should include:

  • Microsoft Visual C++ 2008/2010 needed by FH.
  • Family Historian PDF (novaPDF printer) that is inoperable. See Reported Problems below.

Possibly other required programs include:
FIXME ~ under investigation

  • Internet Explorer 7
  • Microsoft XML Parser
  • Core Fonts

The Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 needed by AS appears to be integral with the Crossover Win XP Bottle but may need to be explicitly installed in a Wine Win XP Bottle. FIXME

A Crossover CrossTie for FH and AS is being considered.

This video shows how to install Family Historian 5 (30 Day Free Trial) on a Mac using Wine v1.7.11 RC.

Program Configuration

Ensure the Crossover window remains on the Mac screen on which it is opened, and does not follow the cursor when swiped to another screen. To achieve this, locate the Dock and right-click (control-click) the Crossover icon, go to Options, and ensure it is set to This Desktop. Repeat this with the Family Historian and Ancestral Sources icons.

All the Family Historian and Ancestral Sources settings below should specify similar folder paths, usually involving the Documents folder, and all the named folders and files must actually exist.

  • FH File > Project Window in the Location field
  • FH Tools > Preferences > Startup in the Default Startup File field
  • FH Tools > Preferences > Backup in the Default Backup Folder field
  • AS Tools > Options > General settings > Folders in all three fields

If necessary, it is advisable to create new folders using Crossover or Wine rather than within the FH or AS browser windows.

Configuration changes are needed as described below to allow some Plugins to work.


Plugins downloaded from the Plugin Store sometimes will not import using the browser Open With option, although Save followed by an explicit Import command works OK. A workaround in Firefox is to use its Firefox > Preferences settings to associate .fh_lua Plugin files with Family Historian then Open With works OK too.

Plugin Configuration

The following change is needed to allow many Plugins to work.

Open Crossover as usual, and in the Configure menu select Manage Bottles, select the FH & AS Win XP Bottle, then in the dialogue box that opens select Open C:drive. Finder will now open, so go up one level in Finder and select the cxbottle.conf file, and open it in a plain text editor such as TextEdit. Scroll to the bottom of the file to the [EnvironmentVariables] section, and at the bottom of this section add a new line, ensuring that the quotes are normal ones and NOT smart quotes:


Ideally MacName should be the same Mac computer name as in System Preferences > Sharing > Computer Name.

Finally Save the cxbottle.conf file.

FIXME ~ A similar change is probably NOT needed in Wine (To be confirmed).

Problems With Plugins

Printing and PDF

All FH Print Setup and Print options work with any Mac printer, even when a Report is displayed incorrectly on screen (see Reported Problems below).

The free PDFWriter for Mac offers a way of creating PDF output via the FH Print commands rather than the FH Save Diagram/Report As > PDF File (.pdf) commands.

Reported Problems

Avoid using Internet Explorer within the Bottle as it can lead to download issues. Instead use Firefox or Chrome in the native Mac or Unix environment.

Although the Family Historian PDF (novaPDF printer) installs, Crossover and Wine do not support Windows printer drivers, so the novaPDF printer does not work, and can be removed via the Installed Applications dialogue Repair or Remove button, and having done so the Save Diagram/Report As > PDF File (.pdf) commands say PDF file output is not enabled.

Published FH Reports display Multimedia/Graphic items correctly, but all Text is either missing or incorrect. However, File > Print Preview displays pages correctly on screen, and the Print options are OK.

The FH command Tools > Preferences > Backup > «Select > Make New Folder, and similar commands in Plugins, produce a hieroglyphic error message. The workaround is to create the folder using the native Mac system, and select the now existing folder in FH or Plugins.

If FH &/or AS &/or another program are running at the same time, and one program changes the shared GEDCOM file, then the other program(s) correctly report the file has changed, but then may freeze and Force Quit must be used.

It was reported that in earlier versions of Wine the Help command closes Family Historian. A workaround is to open the .chm (compiled HTML help files) outside Family Historian.

FHUG Forum Topics

These are most of the related Forum threads discussing this topic.