How to run Mikrotik’s Winbox on macOS

Some time ago m0n0wall burried their project and my firewall went out of maintenance. Back in 2008 m0n0wall really had it’s great time but opnsense - as the recommended successor - requires more hardware (cpu/memory) than my alix routerboard alix2c3 had.

I didn’t want to invest or assemble a new alix routerboard with encosure and antennas. So after doing some research online I decided Mikrotik would be my next internet entry point.

So I got a hAP AC from Mikrotik.

RouterOS administration

There are a lot of tutorials out there how to setup different configurations and the Mikrotik Documentation, wiki and forum are pretty good.

But after some time managing your device in your browser, you’ll start to notice, most people use some kind of software to manager their devices.

They use Winbox.

What is Winbox?

Winbox is available - guess what - for Windows only and is a RouterOS management application. It looks quite similar to the webui, but has some features you will really like as multiple windows.

So how to run a Windows programm on a macOS, you might want to use a virtual machine, but you could run it very easily by using good old Wine.

Install Wine to run Winbox on macOS

Use homebrew to install Wine.

brew install wine winetricks

Now run winbox.exe using:

wine winbox.exe


If your fonts are looking bad, try to run winetricks settings fontsmooth=rgb before you relaunch the application.

Winbox running in Wine Winbox running in Wine

Create a macOS application with WineBottler

If you’re not familiar with command line you can use WineBottler to bundle everything together and have an *.app package you can just drop into your /Applications folder as you’re used to.

packing Winbox in WineBottler

The package will be quite large as you see below. WineBottler includes Wine into the applicaton package.

ls -lah ~/Downloads/ |grep -i winbox
drwxr-xr-x@   3 daniel  staff    96B 24 Jan 14:34
-rw-r--r--@   1 daniel  staff   1,5M 24 Jan 13:38 winbox.exe
du -sh ~/Downloads/
542M    /Users/daniel/Downloads/

You can finetune the settings in WineBottler.


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