eXtreme Gammon is the go to backgammon software for serious players for years now. It’s available for Windows, Android, iOS… but not macOS. If you are on a Mac your only option used to be to install a virtual machine like VirtualBox and waste a lot of hard disc space with a full blown Windows installation in order to run XG — not to mention the hassle booting and shutting down Windows in the vm.
Of course you could also stick with BGBlitz which is written in Java hence platform independent. Or you could carry out some command line wizardry and install GNU Backgammon via MacPorts. But what if I told you there is another option? What if you could use XG on a Mac the same way you do on Windows?
Introducing WineHQ. Wine allows you to install Windows executables on the Mac without the overhead of installing Windows itself for free. And luckily this works like a charm for eXtreme Gammon.
Step 1: Install XQuartz from the provided Apple Disk Image (*.dmg) following the instructions. (You might have done this already if you installed GnuBG before.)
Step 2: Get the latest stable release of WineHQ (*.pkg). Follow the installation instructions. Assuming you have some disc space left tick the box for 64 bit support.
Step 3: Download the latest Windows executable of eXtreme Gammon (*.exe). In case you get any warnings about this being a Windows only executable put on your know-it-all-smile and hit OK.
If all goes well you will see that Wine is now the default software to open *.exe files. Double click the XG installation executable and follow the instructions of the Windows installer. What? Yes!
I’d advise you to choose Z:\Applications\eXtreme Gammon 2 as the installation folder. Make sure to deselect “Create desktop icon” and “Create Quick Launch icon” since those will throw errors (for obvious reasons).
After the installation look for the “eXtreme Gammon 2” folder in your Applications folder, open it and double click eXtremeGammon2.exe.
Et voilà! Enjoy!
Bonus: If you’re into the greek variants Fevga and Plakoto you can install Palamedes following the same steps described above.