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:
- Install virtualbox
- Using virtualbox setup a windows guest
- Setup shared folder between guest and host
- Download the WoW client for windows
- Install WoW on your windows machine
- Startup WoW and let it download all patches
- Once patching is done, copy your entire game folder to the shared folder
- On your linux host, copy the shared folder files to your wine folder
- Change permissions as needed to make sure you own the files
- Make sure Wow.exe starts by using wine to start it.
- If you see the login screen with the latest patch, thats enough for now, quit WoW
- Install ‘driconf’
- Run ‘driconf’ and a gui window will show up. Go to the ‘Image Quality’ tab
- On this tab set the ‘Enable S3TC texture Compression’ to ‘Yes’
- Close that window
- From a terminal window type ‘regedit’. This will start up a registry editor for the wine environment
- 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
- Right-click on the wine folder and select [NEW] then [KEY]
- Replace the text New Key #1 with OpenGL
- Right-click 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
- 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