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"Inveniam viam aut faciam" : I will either find a way, or I shall make one

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Linux + Wine + World of Warcraft + Intel

I have recently moved from OSX to a linux laptop, and yes I am happy with it. But I wanted to play “World of Warcraft”. Just a strange impulse I have now and again. Anyway, I figure “no biggie”, setup Virtualbox, install Windows and then install WoW and away we go.

Not so much. I installed virtualbox, windows and WoW. I spent a long time downloading patches. But the damn game would not play. Turns out that virtualbox and directx are not good friends. So I installed the extensions and enabled the directx. No go. Ok, bruised but not defeated. I will use wine, the windows virtualization layer to install WoW, there are lots of posts about it on the web.  So I figure “no biggie”, setup wine, install WoW and away we go.

Not so much. Wine worked. The install worked. But the launcher.exe did not. I could fire up the wow.exe binary, but could not login as the latest patches were not there. Ok, more reading showed me you could manually install the patches. So I downloaded and installed, but it did not work quite as advertised. Now it’s personal.

I spent a long time reading posts and fiddling with wine settings, winetricks, upgrading wine, different kernels. Until I said screw it. I started up virtualbox, fired up the windows instance, let WoW update fully. Then I created a shared folder and copied my entire ‘World of Warcraft’ folder to my linux box. Then in linux I started up wow.exe, and all was well. Latest patches, I could login, create a character and all was well with the world.

Not so much. I logged onto the game with my new character and it bombed. Needless to say I was … not silent at this point. Browsing the interwebs told me that having an Intel graphics card as a dead-end. The advice was get another PC. Not so useful. But then I saw a post that mentioned installing ‘driconf’ to make a change, and it worked!!

So, if you are on Linux, want to play World of Warcraft and have an intel graphics card, here is how you do it in a failsafe manner:

  1. Install virtualbox
  2. Using virtualbox setup a windows guest
  3. Setup shared folder between guest and host
  4. Download the WoW client for windows
  5. Install WoW on your windows machine
  6. Startup WoW and let it download all patches
  7. Once patching is done, copy your entire game folder to the shared folder
  8. On your linux host, copy the shared folder files to your wine folder
  9. Change permissions as needed to make sure you own the files
  10. Make sure Wow.exe starts by using wine to start it.
  11. If you see the login screen with the latest patch, thats enough for now, quit WoW
  12. Install ‘driconf’
  13. Run ‘driconf’ and a gui window will show up. Go to the ‘Image Quality’ tab
  14. On this tab set the ‘Enable S3TC texture Compression’ to ‘Yes’
  15. Close that window
  16. From a terminal window type ‘regedit’. This will start up a registry editor for the wine environment
  17. Find this key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\
  18. Highlight the wine folder in the left hand pane by clicking left on it. The icon should change to an open folder
  19. Right-click on the wine folder and select [NEW] then [KEY]
  20. Replace the text New Key #1 with OpenGL
  21. Right-click in the right hand pane and select [NEW] then [String Value]
  22. Replace New Value #1 with DisabledExtensions (Notice it’s case sensitive!)
  23. Then double click anywhere on the line, a dialog box will open.
  24. In the value field type GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object
  25. Now you can run wow.exe through wine, login and actually play
So yes, it is possible to play WoW on linux with an Intel graphics card. You may have better luck running Launcher.exe under wine in which case you will not need the virtualbox steps. But for me, the above list is foolproof


Published by erich, on November 16th, 2011 at 3:39 am. Filled under: linuxNo Comments

Ubuntu ‘pictures folder’ screensaver – custom folder

If you use Ubuntu, and you use the ‘Pictures Folder’ screensaver, you may want to not have it point at your entire folder of pictures. So if you want it to just display pictures from a specific folder:

  • edit the /usr/share/applications/screensavers/personal-slideshow.desktop file
  • change the Exec entry to look like: Exec=slideshow –location <path to folder>
Published by erich, on October 30th, 2011 at 4:26 am. Filled under: linux,quickNo Comments

Getting the the ‘nice’ Picasa on linux

If you do not use a apple computer, then your choice for free photo management is pretty much going to be Picasa from google. It is a nice  program, with some cool features. But if you use linux, you may be feeling a bit unloved. You see, the only ‘official’ linux package of Picasa stops at version 3.0. And this is missing some of the nicer features, like facial recognition. But fear not, all it not lost!

You see the official package is pretty much just a wine package anyway, so with a few simple steps we can upgrade. What we are going to do is:

  1. download the current windows version of picasa
  2. make sure you have wine installed and then install this new windows picasa binary using wine
  3. once setup is done head to /opt/google/picasa/3.0/wine/drive_c/Program Files/Google
  4. get rid of the picasa3 folder
  5. now create a link to ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Google/Picasa3 to replace the folder you just deleted

Now when you start up picasa,it will load the new version with the new features. Enjoy.

Published by erich, on October 30th, 2011 at 1:35 am. Filled under: linux,quickNo Comments

sftp transfer logs

If you want to log the usage of sftp on your linux box you can make a simple edit to your (normally found here) /etc/ssh/sshd_config:

Subsystem sftp internal-sftp -f AUTH -l INFO

The addition of those two switches will greatly increase the details that are logged showing source, what directories accessed and what file actions are taken.

Published by erich, on August 18th, 2011 at 8:11 pm. Filled under: linux,quickNo Comments

Quick MYSQL tip

Using mysql from the command line is very useful. It allows one to plugin mysql queries and responses into a shell script. This is a good thing. The problem that arises though is the output. When you get the response it is delimited with a tab, and this can make it a bit difficult to work with in shell scripts. So lets use ‘tr’ …

echo “select * from TABLE1′” | mysql -pxxx DBNAME | tr “\011” “:” 

..and that will quite nicely replace the tabs with semi-colons. And that is easier to use in a script.

Published by erich, on August 3rd, 2011 at 3:00 pm. Filled under: linuxNo Comments

Linux “expect” – making things easy

Recently I needed to do some work via pop3 that I just could not find the right tool for. I tried nail, I tried fetchmail, I tried popcheck, etc. But all of them were not quite what I wanted. So I returned to using expect to create a script. Now expect starts what you would call a session, and everything you type during that session is captured, and when the session is done, a file is created. This file will allow you to replay that action again without user interaction. So if you telnet to a router, and check something, expect can help.

Now it has it’s problems. (1) any passwords are stored in the file which is text, (2) the expect “replay” file can normally benefit from some tweaking, since by default it is exactly the original session and you may have time-related data that will cause problems. Reading through it is easy and will help you make it better.

The best way to generate this script is autoexpect. This is part of the expect package and makes life even easier. You type:

“autoexpect -f run-again.exp”

..this will start an expect session and when finished will generate it in the run-again.exp file. Simple.

Expect is a blunt tool – no doubt, but sometimes it can be a life-saver.

Published by erich, on April 12th, 2011 at 2:43 am. Filled under: linux Tags: No Comments