This howto is for installing and playing World of Warcraft using Wine under Ubuntu-x86.
Wine is a free open source implementation of the proprietary Win32 API, and attempts to enable Windows applications and games to run on Unix-like operating systems. DirectX support in Wine is still in early development, but WoW also has full support for OpenGL, which in turn is fully supported in in most Unix-like operating systems, and World of Warcraft is one of the Windows based games that is best supported by Wine at the moment.
It runs especially well on Nvidia video card hardware because Nvidia has well supported drivers for Linux. Intel cards are usually not very powerful, but they also have well supported drivers. The Linux drivers for ATI graphics cards, on the other hand, are not very well supported by ATI, and may be unstable and give bad performance. Many of their newer cards do actually not work at all, as ATI has not developed any Linux drivers for them.
World of Warcraft can also be played under Ubuntu by using the proprietary Cedega and CrossOver Linux. This howto, however, does not address these two.
The official deb file of Wine from WineHQ's download page, works almost out of the box for most users and has a gold rating at the moment. Other experienced users, who are unable to make this work or just want more control over the installation, may want to try to compile Wine from source in order to play WoW. Instructions can be found here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BuildingWineFromSource
For full instructions on installing Wine see the Wine page.
To install the deb you need to add the WineHQ repository and then install Wine. For additional help on adding repositories, see the Repositories page.
Open a terminal(also called a console, CLI, and command prompt) and choose one of these three commands to run, based on your version of Ubuntu:
For Ubuntu Feisty (7.04):
sudo wget http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/sources.list.d/feisty.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list
For Ubuntu Edgy (6.10):
sudo wget http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/sources.list.d/edgy.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list
For Ubuntu Dapper (6.06):
sudo wget http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/sources.list.d/dapper.list -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/winehq.list
Now do these three commands in a terminal:
wget -q http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt/387EE263.gpg -O- | sudo apt-key add - sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install wine
Before proceeding to install World of Warcraft you must run winecfg at least once (it must setup the ~/.wine directory structure before you can install Windows applications into it). This is a very important step. In a Terminal window type the following:
Select your Windows type, configure disk and removable drives, etc, then press Apply and Ok. As it closes, winecfg will create a .wine directory structure in your home folder, populating with information about drives and devices installed in your system. If you fail to do this before trying to install World of Warcraft then you'll probably see errors like the following when running winecfg in the future:
err:winecfg:apply_drive_changes unable to define devicename of 'C:'
Click on Places -> Home Folder in the top panel. Use this application to create a directory and copy all of the files from all of the CD's to this directory on your hard drive (overwrite when prompted).
Then start the installation by opening a terminal and doing these commands:
cd /<path-to-directory>/ wine Installer.exe
Replace <path-to-directory/> with the right path to the directory where you copied all the files.
Some dialogs during installation may appear blank or garbled, and the installer may even hang for up to 5 minutes at 100% CPU, while appearing to be doing nothing. Simply wait and click next when possible.
Note: If you haven't already done so, you may want to install Microsoft's proprietary fonts, because they can solve some text related graphical glitches during installation.
Alternative 1: You can also just install WoW in Windows and then copy the entire World of Warcraft folder over from your Windows installation.
Alternative 2: Or if you have lost a CD, do not have access to a cd drive or simply don't wanna bother with patching and messing with the CD's, you can download the trial version, which is the full game almost fully patched, from the blizzard torrentlike downloader.
Burning Crusade download: -
The US installer for BC can be obtained by logging in and going to the following page: https://www.worldofwarcraft.com/account/download/bc-clientdownload.html.
They work very nicely with wine.
In order to use the Blizzard Downloader effectively, you must 1) open certain ports on your computer and 2) enable port forwarding on your router.
The easiest way to open these ports is to use the firewall program Firestarter. From the command line, install Firestarter with this command: sudo apt-get install firestarter. When it is running, select the "Policy" tab, right-click in the Allow Service area, and select Add Rule. Under port, type 6112 and make sure that the "Anyone" radio button is selected. Make a note in the comments field that this port relates to Blizzard. Repeat these steps for ports 3724 and for the range 6881-6999 (which will be recognized as BitTorrent ports).
Next, configure your router to forward those ports on the router to your computer only. The steps are similar to the above, but vary slighly from router to router and may be found on Blizzard's website: http://www.blizzard.com/support/wow/?id=aww01199p
Once the Burning Crusade downloader is set up and the network is configured for it, run it with (US Version):
WoW uses DirectX by default, but for most people it will not perform well in this mode. If this is the case for you, then you should change it to run in OpenGL mode instead. To do this you need to find the file wtf/Config.wtf in your WoW directory. By default it is found in /home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/Program/ Files/World/ of/ Warcraft/, where <username> is you computer login name. Note that since .wine begins with a period, you will not be able to see it, but you may access it. If config.wtf does not exist, run the game and log into a character. The game should then create the file. Open it using a text editor, and add the following line to it:
SET gxApi "opengl"
The file is found in the wtf directory in your main WoW directory.
If you experience poor performance, graphical glitches, or the game doesn't run at all, then add the following options as well:
SET ffxDeath "0" SET ffxGlow "0"
Note that disabling ffxGlow may also enable antialiasing for some users.
If you experience stuttering, bad sound or no sound what so ever, then add the following options as well:
SET SoundOutputSystem "1" SET SoundBufferSize "150"
If you experience stuttering, bad sound or no sound what so ever, then you must try a few things in winecfg. Just type winecfg in a terminal, press enter, and the winecfg window should appear and you should go to the audio tab.
For most people OSS will work better than ALSA, so you should make sure that only OSS is ticked. But for some ALSA works better, so try that as a second solution, make sure you only have one ticked at a time.
Also, refer to the Voice chat section for information on getting multiple audio streams working with OSS and ALSA (two programs pumping out audio at once) It will wave you grief should you ever want to listen to music and play, or use Ventrilo while raiding, and all that.
You may also try ticking Driver Emulation. Remove it again if it doesn't help.
This is a simple registry edit for Wine that will dramatically increase the framerate in game. It is gathered from this thread on Ubuntuforums.org: http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=303509
Open a terminal window, type regedit and press enter. This will start the Wine equivalent of the windows registry editor. If you are familiar with using the registry editor under windows then this is pretty much the same.
Find this key HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Wine/
Highlight the wine folder in the left hand pane by clicking left on it. The icon should change to an open folder
Click right on the wine folder and select [NEW] then [KEY]
Replace the text New Key #1 with OpenGL
Click right in the right hand pane and select [NEW] then [String Value]
Replace New Value #1 with DisabledExtensions (Notice it's case sensitive!)
Then double click anywhere on the line, a dialog box will open.
In the value field type GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object
Note: If you are unable to rename the newly created key "New Key #1" to "OpenGL" then expand the left hand pane of the regedit window using the vertical divider bar. You should now be able to change it. A known bug in Wine is causing this unwanted behavior.
Here's what regedit should look like once you have finished adding this new key and it's value:
Start from the Desktop Icon
Double click the icon you find on your Desktop titled World of Warcraft, this will start the launcher. If you have never used something requiring HTML rendering with Wine you will be prompted to download and install the Gecko rendering engine, you should do this as it will enable the WoW Launcher to do display news.
Start from the Terminal
Starting from the terminal is simple, just enter:
wine "C:/Program Files/World of Warcraft/Launcher.exe"
(install when prompted about the Gecko rendering engine)
Or, dive right into the game with:
wine "C:/Program Files/World of Warcraft/WoW.exe"
Gnome menu icon
You can make a Gnome menu entry for WoW by doing the following commands in a terminal:
wget http://kde-files.org/CONTENT/content-files/41569-wow-icon-scalable.svg sudo mv 41569-wow-icon-scalable.svg /usr/share/icons/ gksudo gedit /usr/share/applications/wow.desktop
Add this to the text editor window, which should have appeared after the third command, change <username> in the Exec= line to your computer login username, and save:
[Desktop Entry] Encoding=UTF-8 Name=World of Warcraft Name[hr]=World of Warcraft Exec=wine /home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/Program/ Files/World/ of/ Warcraft/WoW.exe Icon=41569-wow-icon-scalable.svg Terminal=false Type=Application Categories=Application;Game; StartupNotify=false
Note: Remember that you should also edit the Exec= line to reflect your WoW installation path, if you've installed to a special location.
If you choose to configure Wine to use OSS for sound, then you will experience an issue with making voice chat applications and WoW use sound input and output simultaneously. You need to be able to mix sound in order for this to work, but most modern onboard soundcards don't support hardware sound mixing, so either you'll have to get a PCI soundcard, which supports this feature, or use software mixing. The issue with software mixing comes down to the two different sound interface architectures available in Linux, OSS and ALSA.
OSS(old/legacy): Doesn't allow you to use software mixing. Meaning only ONE application will be able to use sound at a time.
ALSA(new): Allows software mixing. Meaning several programs can use sound simultaneously.
However, as stated previously in this howto, for some people the sound may stutter or be otherwise corrupted when using ALSA, this may force you to use OSS.
So you see the problem:
WoW runs in Wine, ergo uses OSS
Ventrilo runs in Wine, ergo uses OSS
The Linux version of TeamSpeak is based on OSS
Only one of these applications will be able to use sound at a time, but this can be solved by using alsa-oss, which channels OSS applications through ALSA, making them them work more or less like regular ALSA programs.
ALSA-OSS is installed by running this command:
sudo apt-get install alsa-oss
And then one uses it by starting the programs with the "aoss" command, something like this:
aoss wine /path-to-program/Ventrilo.exe
aoss wine /path-to-program/WoW.exe
Remember that both the voice chat program and WoW need to be run with the aoss command in front.
This section tries to address the common issues people are having. Problems that persist after you have explored and tried on all of these different hints and tips, are often related to graphics cards and drivers. Sometimes the graphics card is just not well enough supported in the driver, and other times a driver update or reinstall solves the problem. See here https://help.ubuntu.com/community/BinaryDriverHowto/ and here http://albertomilone.com/driver.html for more info on installing updated drivers for your graphics card.
If you have troubles running the installation or even the game itself, you may need to get a few .dll files from a windows installation or here:
msvcp60.dll (MD5: 6050bcc1b23f3df7a1876cbdcbac8232)
mfc42.dll (MD5: 7e4d1b552ee1dfa859ba9033b3670590)
and place them in /home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/windows/system32. You will, however, need a Windows license to use these files.
Note: Remember to change <username> to your personal computer login username
If you have problems with sound stuttering you may have to increase or decrease the sound buffer a bit. It's configured by changing the value of the SET SoundBufferSize line in wtf/Config.wtf. Anything from 50 to 250 may cure your problem. Bear in mind that excessive buffer size may create audio sync issues.
When the patch program, or the WoW Launcher starts, it will ask you about installing Mozilla ActiveX. Select "Yes". In doing this you will download a trimmed down version of the Gecko rendering engine (Firefox, Mozilla) which will respond to ActiveX calls, this means anytime a program tries to use HTML for a display, or similar, it will show. The launcher's news section and the changelog shown when applying a patch both use the rendering engine.
You may have trouble with the gnome-panel/kicker showing up above the WoW "window". Make sure you have used the configuration settings above or set Gnome's fullscreen hotkey.
If you are using CONTROL in your switch workspace key combo, you may need to reassign it to avoid inteferance from WoW.
If you try to configure WoW's video settings (Resolution, Vertex Shaders, Pixel Shaders etc.) while running in opengl mode, WoW may crash. The workaround is to configure WoW's video settings while running WoW in d3d mode, or by using a special addon.
The addon is found here http://files.wowace.com/ApplyToForehead/no-ext/, and you should extract the zipped folder in to /Interface/AddOns/ in your WoW directory. Then enable it under AddOns in the choose character screen. You probably need to tick the option, which says Load out of date AddOns, for it to work.
You use d3d mode by running WoW with this command in stead of your usual one:
wine wow.exe -d3d
or you can change this line in wtf/Config.wtf
SET gxApi "OpenGL"
SET gxApi "d3d"
run the game and change the settings, and then change the line back.
If this causes the display to be inverted or otherwise corrupted, don't be concerned. The display will right itself once you switch back to opengl. Running in d3d mode is simply so you can set WoW's video options.
If WoW crashes on startup under opengl, but runs with d3d, try disabling 'fullscreen glow effects', in the video setting screen or by adding this line to wtf/Config.wtf:
SET ffxGlow "0"
For users with an Nvidia card who have upgraded to Wine 0.9.30 after installing, you may need to reinstall your nvidia-glx if you are crashing with the following error message when running WoW from the console:
Major opcode of failed request: 142 (GLX) Minor opcode of failed request: 3 (X_GLXCreateContext) Serial number of failed request: 14 Current serial number in output stream: 15 /*( This can be fixed by typing: */ $ sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx
For users with an ATI video card: certain cards have trouble rendering games and video in opengl using current flgrx drivers which will cause your computer to hard locks when you attempt to enter a domain. This error will occur just after character creation/selection, as the game environment is loading, or possibly after a short period of play. In order to fix this error, add the following three lines of code to your xorg.conf file in the ATI device section:
Option "Capabilities" "0x00000800" Option "UseFastTLS" "off" Option "KernelModuleParm" "locked-userpages=0"
You edit the file by doing this command:
gksudo gedit /etc/X11/xorg.conf
The section should look something similar to this after editing:
Section "Device" Identifier "aticonfig-Device" Driver "fglrx" Option "Capabilities" "0x00000800" Option "UseFastTLS" "off" Option "KernelModuleParm" "locked-userpages=0" EndSection
If you experience corrupt icons on your panel then you then you may need to set the SET UIFaster parameter in wtf/Config.wtf
Use it like this:
Set UIFaster "x"
Where x equals:
0 – This turns off all UI acceleration 1 – For Internal Use Only - DO NOT USE! 2 – Enables partial UI acceleration only. 3 – Enables all UI acceleration.
Set UIFaster "2"
The value 2 usually corrects this problem.
For Beryl/Compiz users with gnome pannel showing on top of World of Warcraft start the game in windowed mode. Either by adding -windowed to your command line starting WoW, or add SET gxWindow "1" to wtf/Config.wtf. Then press CTRL-ALT-ENTER to activate the fullscreen shortcut from beryl.
- To make the sidebuttons on your mouse work in WoW follow this link: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/~djm/ubuntu/#enable-5button-mouse
If you are having difficulties downloading or installing a patch, you can try downloading the direct file from here: http://www.wowwiki.com/Patch_mirrors
Support and discussion
For support and discussion on the subject of this howto, please post at:
For more information regarding WoW under Wine see Wine's appdb:
The Gentoo wiki also contains good information, especially for those that need more detailed info: