What to do with all this spare time…?

I have almost two weeks off from school now. Except 3 hours lecture tomorrow this block is done – I handed in my last homework today at 10 am.

So, what am I going to do with all this time on my hands? I do have a to do list that takes up half the screen of my laptop… on the other hand some friends gave me the Burning Crusade (an expansion pack for World of Warcraft) for my birthday. It’s still in the wrapping, so it is not to late to go get the money back at the store. On the other hand, if I’m going to waste time, playing the computer might not be the worst way to do that.
Incidentally, today’s Penny Arcade does illustrate the thoughts going through my mind on the topic of opening up the Burning Crusade wrapping…

World of Warcraft on Ubuntu Edgy Eft (a howto)

Last time I tried to install World of Warcraft under Ubuntu was probably more than six months ago. And a lot has changed since then. I installed it yesterday on my new laptop and the install process was really easy! The hardest part turned out getting the patches for WoW. After a fresh install you need to download approximately 1 GB of patches! And as Penny Arcade http://www.penny-arcade.com/ has so artistically pointed out, this is not always a trivial task.

I followed the steps mentioned here
and after successfully install also found this guide
Of course you need a pc capable of actually running World of Warcraft, and you need to have the right drivers installed (usually the 3D drivers for graphics cards are the hard part – this guide does however not cover installing right graphics drivers).

So my advice is to google for the patches you need as the first thing you do, start to download these, and then complete the setup of wine and base install of World of Warcraft while you get the patches.

The files you’re looking fore are


where XXXX depends on your preferred language and what servers you play on. For me that would be enGB, as my WoW client is in English, and I play on the European English language servers. Just do a google search for these file names, and some mirrors or torrents should pop up.

So, while you’re downloading the patches you can start installing and configuring Wine. You need a newer version than the one in Edgy Eft. Luckily Wine provides us with a APT repository for the latest wine.

The line you really need is

deb http://wine.budgetdedicated.com/apt edgy main

For details on setting up Synaptic (or by using the console) see http://winehq.com/site/download-deb.

You should now have Wine 0.9.27 or newer installed. From a console run


and set under the Applications tab

  • Windows Version: Windows XP

under the Graphics tab

  • Allow the window manager to control the windows
  • Vertex Shader Support: Hardware
  • Allow Pixel Shader (if supported by hardware)

and under the Audio tab set

  • OSS Driver

Although you can get by without it, WoW likes it if you have a html render installed. So installing Mozilla (for Windows) under Wine is recommended. As of this writing it can be done by issuing the following in a terminal:

wget http://download.mozilla.org/?product=suite-1.7.13&os=win&lang=en-US
wine mozilla-win32-1.7.13-installer.exe

But the Mozilla version might change. See http://www.mozilla.org/products/mozilla1.x/ for details on the current version.

Now you should be ready to start actually installing World of Warcraft. Copy the content of the four install cd’s into one directory, overwriting where need be, and run the installer:

wine Install.exe

Now, the installer should run without trouble and you should almost be able to run WoW now. However, you might want to do the following for better performance.

Edit the file ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft/WTF/Config.wtf

As one of the top lines you will see SET gxResolution followed by a screen resolution. Here you can tell WoW your preferred (higher) resolution than the standard.

Also add the following at the end of the file

SET gxApi “opengl”
SET SoundOutputSystem “1”
SET SoundBufferSize “100”

Next, in a console run

wine regedit

And in HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareWine make a new key called OpenGL and in this key make a new String Value with the name DisabledExtensions and the data Value GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object. (If you have trouble figuring out how to add/change these things, just right click until you get it right.)

By now, hopefully the patches you started downloading have finished. So, copy the patches to the World of Warcraft directory

~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft

and now you should be good to go.
The installer might have left a shortcut for you on your Desktop and in the Applications -> wine -> Programs -> World of Warcraft menu. But if you can’t find those or the installer didn’t create them, just running

~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft$ wine WoW.exe

should do the job.

Hope to see you in Ironforge…

(Of course there are a lot of tweaking possibilities, optimizations etc. regarding graphics, sound etc. but this should get you started and show that Linux is in fact ready for (some) games!)