Linux Mint and Windows games.

For those who like big windows games, the maxim that you need a dual boot system in order to play them is becoming less applicable all the time.

I have the following games running successfully… (all these work by simply clicking on Setup.exe and following the Installer step by step as you would do on Windows).

Portal 1 & 2
Mass Effect 1 & 2
Men of War Assault Squad
Men of War Red Tide
Grand Ages Rome Gold
Imperium Romanum
GTA Vice City (the online multiplayer patch works as well)
GTA San Andreas
Brothers in Arms Earned in Blood
Sins of a Solar Empire
Unreal Tournament (later versions had Linux installers included on the install discs)

Company of Heroes
This game needs to be installed on Windows, updated and then the THQ folder copied into your Linux partition somewhere. I have the full game working, online and off, with the RC_Realism and Eastern Front mods both working as expected. (I used vmware player and installed XP onto that, then installed the game to XP and then copied the folder to my home partition).
Alien vs Predator (old game - needs to be installed the same way as Company of Heroes)

This is a short list of games and is reflective of my taste/collection rather than being an exhaustive list of the games that will work with WINE. But back when I started using Linux you could get Quake 3 and Unreal Tournament working on Linux and that was about it.

Step 1 - check out the WINE Applications database (google ‘WINE App DB’) and look for the game you’re trying to install. Has anyone else had success? Did they leave any tips or advice? Don’t be discouraged if there’s no mention of it, try anyway.
Step 2 - try invoking Setup.exe using WINE (either by clicking using the file manager, or from the command line “WINE ./Setup.exe”).
Step 3 - try installing it to Windows and then running it from Linux.
Step 4 - don’t be disheartened by failure. Some games just don’t work on Linux.
Some games, once installed, add a nice menu entry that appears not to work. I found if I use the file manager to show the ~/.wine folder, that if I drill down into the game folder and invoke the game .exe, that some games whose menu entries don’t work, can be played as expected.

Other games I’ve had running in the past include Call of Duty 1 & 2, Civilization 3 & 4, Quake 2.

NOT A GAME - I also managed to get Studio Line’s “FL Studio” (used to be called fruity loops) to install and run. On top of this, VST plugins work, for the most part and I was able to get Absynth up and running as well as one or two other “stand alone synth apps” (Absynth needs a fast system to run on, my dual core Pentium D box had a heart attack when I launched it). Traktor Pro installed and worked - again - it needs a decent system.

I’d love to get ReBirth up and running - no success as yet and ditto for Propellerhead’s Reason.

I discovered that downloading the latest DirectX redistributable and running it with WINE helped a lot and should be done, preferably before you start installing games. (Stage 1 of the install is a straight extraction - MAKE SURE you have a dedicated folder to extract it into as it has a lot of files in it. Stage 2 is just “wine DXSETUP.EXE”).

Disclaimer - I am not a software engineer, WINE expert or programmer. If you get stuck and ask for help I’ll do what I can but, alas, I have long since mislaid my magic wand.

Awesome article there salparadise :slight_smile:

I’ve noticed a big difference in the amount of tweaking that is less necessary these days to get something to run in WINE … which is great.

I’m not a big gamer, and with games now coming to Linux through Steam … I wonder how much development will continue to go into tweaking WINE for Windows games ?


The problem with Steam is that it’s platform specific. So, I can install the ‘latest Steam’ on Mint but it won’t let me install or register already installed Windows games. So it’s mostly useless to me.

The other problem I have with Steam is the same problem I have with anyone who inserts themselves as a de facto gatekeeper in an area they don’t belong in. Rupert Murdoch suffers from the same inflated opinion of himself, charging people a 3rd time to watch tv programs he didn’t make and acting as a gatekeeper to sports he has no right to bar people from viewing. I will not participate in such effrontery.

Half of me wants to agree with you (particularly as you mentioned Murdoch), the other half of me says a “gatekeeper” is not necessarily a bad thing if they built the bridge (conduit) behind it … then they can be a valuable service.

Thought I’d add a bit on here. Since posting about installing games on Linux using WINE, I’ve come across a related issue that I thought would be worth highlighting.

There’s a package named icoutils that extracts icons from .exe files. When it’s running, a program called “wrestool” appears. It’s this that hogs all the resources. If you’re installing windows compatible software with WINE you’re going to end up with .exes on the system and some of those .exes can be quite large. When wrestool looks for such icons it tends to wallop system performance rather severely. Several times I’ve sat and watched the PC for 15 or so minutes whilst this wretched program does its work. The Ctrl Alt Fx keys don’t work, the GUI is frozen.
So, remove icoutils and the issue goes away. As far as I could tell, nothing else seems to be impacted by its removal.

Nice spot … and useful info … cheers :slight_smile:

Personally i see no point in breaking your back trying to make any piece if of Windows specific software work in wine and i mean no disrespect to you or the wine developers, but if software developers don’t consider us relevant enough to write software for our platform just because there’s not enough cash in it for them then we should not consider their software relevant for us to use full stop.

it’s simply a sacrifice we should be prepared to endure for the common good.

All we are doing by using and tweaking wine to run Windows programs whether it be games of other software is make it easier for these software developers to ignore us.

Let them ignore us at their peril, but let them be aware that if and when the day comes we become the popular OS then they’ll be told where to stick their software

We don’t need them, if it’s so important to use Windows software then use Windows.and make it easy for them if that’s what you want or stand up for what you believe in and make the sacrifice because nothing worthwhile in life has ever been achieved without it

Just my opinion


Well said :slight_smile:


But then not being a big gamer, I suppose that’s easy for me to say.

I am of the same mindset, but then never been a gamer myself. :-[ so for me it is easy to ignore all these Windows only games/software.
I had wine installed once upon a time, but never (other than for some tests) actually used it.
Also now days the first thing I do on any new install is to purge Mono.

No mono in Peppermint :wink:

mark@mark-AA1-Blue ~ $ dpkg -l | grep mono mark@mark-AA1-Blue ~ $


I really need to shut up about Peppermint … anyone would think I’m a fan or something.

I really need to shut up about Peppermint .. anyone would think I'm a fan or something.

Never, What in gods name would give anyone that impression


Nah, I’m no Peppermint fan … WinME FTW :slight_smile:
(some say Vista was the finest software ever written, but I think Millennium Edition was better)


OK psilocybin trip over …

W = Wastebin :wink:

The other side of the coin is - by using Windows software on Linux and talking about it publicly, awareness is raised that such a thing is possible. It also sends a message to developers that “there are people out there that want to use my software but who don’t use Windows”. I can think of few things more likely to effect a change.

Then there’s the “have you seen most of the games currently available natively for Linux?” argument. Some of them feature graphics that Win95 users would have thought “a bit out of date”.
I dual booted for years (and hated it), in order to keep certain games available. The fact that I haven’t had Windows on this machine for some time now and yet can still do what I enjoy doing, is something of a pleasure. I’ve had to set some games aside as they just don’t work on WINE at all and that contains another message for developers - “I won’t use your software unless it either runs natively on Linux or acceptably on WINE”.
When I find a game that does work on WINE/Linux, I tend to email the parent Co’ and tell them how I’m running it and, briefly, why.

It all helps.

IMHO, WINE has a place for already owned games/apps … but I will NOT buy anything new that isn’t Linux native.

There, that covers both sides of the coin :slight_smile:

Who said anything about buying new?



Slight Addendum

I was playing with Steam. The Linux version of Steam is great, but it only recognises games that have been released for Linux and that list has a few gaps in it.
However, the Windows version of Steam can be installed using WINE and will recognise Windows versions of games (this is now the only way to get the old Company of Heroes game working as Relic have switched the game servers off and the natively installed game won’t start if it detects a net connection but can’t use it to connect to home).
Not all games work this way and not all games that you have serial numbers for will be recognised by Steam and added to the Library of installed games.