First Post – Tutorial on Wine using PlayOnLinux

Hello, welcome to this tutorial and the first post to this blog. This blog will speak about gaming and the perks on doing so on Linux. With the first post, I shall commence on the easiest way to get games running on Ubuntu and other debian-based distros. Since I expect debian users to be more ‘experienced’ as i use Debian myself, I have tried to simplify the steps to make it more suited for Ubuntu users. Of course, since wine has been very successful and easy to install, I will begin with wine and explain how to make use of its many abilities. This guide also totally assumes  you to be a noob who just installed Ubuntu and want to play WOW or GW or any other games. If this guide is too slow for you, my apologies.

As you can see, the many games I have


I expect users to have installed their drivers. If you haven’t bought a gfx card, I recommend Nvidia. You’ll need a useful working 3d accelerated graphics card to run 3d apps and compositing programs like compiz. I expect most gamers to be running ATI or Nvidia. Anyway, I would seriously recommend that any new users use the latest version of Ubuntu and EnvyNG to install their card. Either go to the Appstore/Synaptics. Alternatively, you can type this in the command line sudo apt-get install envyng

EnvyNG should be used for ubuntu 8.04 or higher. Otherwise, use envy legacy.

For debian users using nvidia cards:

Also, for 64 bit users, INSTALL THE ia32 DRIVERS!! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!! Just search ATI/nvidia ia32 in the Appstore/Synaptics.

I have 32 bit libraries installed in my 64 bit computer


For new users, i expect you to use a GUI(graphic user interface), a simple organiser that doesn’t need a lot of command line interface tinkering. It helps you create the prefixes(what we know as drive c in windows) and also organize the different versions of wine. Scripts can also autoinstall the games for you in many cases. Installation notes are in the website given below:

apt-get is your friend. It makes sure everything is installed properly.

Running POL and installing your first game

Now, I’m sure you can’t wait to install your very first windows game. Go Applications-> Games-> PlayOnLinux.

Now go to Install. For popular games, normally games are already listed on the list. Just follow the instructions. After installation, you might want to visit This helps you tweak your game, which i will talk about below.  If your game isn’t there, refer to the next instruction.

How to check if your game works if it is not listed

Sooo, you can’t find your game in the list, no worries, many games aren’t listed anyway.

The above website lists all the games that have been run before or have been tried to run before. If your game is labelled as garbage, chances are that you won’t be able to run it. This is quite rare however. If your game is silver and above, it should run relatively well. Even at bronze, check all tests to see if other users have managed to run it at silver and above. Following the right instructions, you should be able to derive what other users are able to do. For more mainstream games, the gameplay quality might be revealed in youtube.

Yay, my game is at appdb, but what now?!!

Maybe I shouldn’t state the obvious since most likely ur game is able to be run 90% of the time besides obscure programs or more sophisticated ones. Fire up PlayOnLinux if it isn’t already up. Select Install->Install a .POL package or unsupported application-> Manual Installation. For first timers, install the wine program in a new prefix. You should always install in a new prefix unless you are really sure what dlls are needed and if some games have the same req. One installation may screw the other up.

POL able to install applications not in the list

Enter the name of the prefix without spaces, and then click forward. You can pick a version of Wine here. If you do not have a particular version of wine installed, it will be downloaded on PlayOnLinux. If you are unsure, pick the latest version of wine. The installer will prompt you for an exe file. Select the exe file, which is normally setup.exe on CDs. A window will popup. Do not click forward until the installation has finished. Once it has finished, click forward and select the appropraite shortcut for the game. You can then launch the game from POL by clicking run. To run 3d games optimally, it is also recommmended that you turn off compiz by changing the window manager to metacity.

In many cases, the game may not work until you use tweak wine, tweak the registry and use wine tricks. I will mention winetricks in a future post.

Tweaking Wine

Tweaking wine is a matter of selecting the right sound and graphic options and determining if your game runs fullscreen or on a virtual desktop. For those that are using twinview(dual monitors), using a virtual desktop is inevitable. First click on the icon, and then click configure this application. Next click on configure wine.

Sound: Alsa in most cases but refer to the appdb to see if OSS should be used instead.

Graphic: Pixel shaders should be enabled. 96dpi is optimal. Choose to run on a virtual desktop if there’s problem with resolutions. If a game doesn’t run, running it on a virtual desktop allows you to see if it actually ‘runs’ while giving you sufficient control. The windows manager should always have control otherwise you may not be able to type stuff into the game.

Tweaking Wine registry

The purpose of creating many prefixes is due to the registry. While one registry setting may work for a game, it may not work for another. Different games require different registry settings and each prefix has its own registry. If a few games do not need to have any registry tweaking, u can install them in the same prefix too! While it is possible to handle all your wineprefixes using the command line(covered in a future post), it can be quite tiring without a GUI. To access the registry, click on the icon, then configure this application and then to Registry Editor.

Some simple settings for Call of Duty 4

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER->software->wine->Direct3D

Editing shortcuts and an easy way to get by winetricks(without the command line)

While most of your games should work by now, some would require winetricks. Some of you may wish to change the names of your shortcuts, or the paths of the game or select the EXE used to run the game, like a crack or something. No problem. Install POL helper. The plugin installation link and installation instructions can be found in the link below.

This also not only allows you to edit your shortcuts and launchers, but install a set or normally used dlls available from winetricks as well. To use install basic winetricks in PlayOnLinux, go to plugins->POL helper->winetricks->to wineprefix->get winetricks->run winetricks. However, for more complicated games, sometimes u will need to the command line to install more components of wine tricks. This will be covered in another post.

To Patch or Not to Patch and No-CD cracks

Linux has a few problems when running games from a protected CD simply because a lot of unnecessary security has been built into windows. This can be avoided by using a No-CD crack. You will have to find this yourself but search common names like reloaded or vitality and then the game name and you may have luck getting them. GCW has some too. This is often avoidable if you manage to use a downloaded copy or steam-powered games. If a game is single player, you may want to consider not patching because of an unavailable CD crack. In some established games, after several years, the cd check is removed in a patch version. This allows you to install the patch and play the game without using any backdoor methods.


Many changes are made here. Sometimes you need to do more changes. Refer to appdb for individual programs to see what is required to be edited. With this tutorial, WOW and Guild Wars should run perfectly fine, save a few minor ignorable glitches. Not all games will run with just these simple instructions though, sometimes you will need to perform advanced tweaking of wine which will be discussed in a future post.

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One Comment on “First Post – Tutorial on Wine using PlayOnLinux”

  1. unxtool01 Says:

    I am a New User GNU / Linux.
    i’m using Xubuntu 11:10 on my laptop Toshiba AMD / ATI.

    I started the last month with ubuntu, but some friends convinced me to play Battlefield Play4Free (not playing video games for years as now). I kept another partition for win7 to play … the problem is that I realized that that fact makes me lazy on learning Linux.

    So, 5 days ago i decided to pass once and for all to Linux. has been difficult to learn to work with the command line and the whole OS. It was very difficult to install and use Mastersys because it was not in the Program Center. 5 DVDs messed up to get to Mastersys-gtk 3.0.2-1, but I knew if I didn’t quit i could learn about Linux (and indeed I learned very much. But yesterday I realized an easiest way to instal it LOL) … now I can mess up in linux and then format and install my costumed Xubuntu with updats already made ​​…

    now the wine … for 3 days Wine has been my headache!! =( = (
    I’ve been frying my head. the game does not run! and I know it is because i’m runing Wine on 32bit!! ….

    I learned even more about Linux because of that, about commands and everything … but I’ve literally so tired = (= (

    I go to Switzerland alone try to find work next month, and I wanna take my laptop ready to use programs on 32 and 64 bit … I wanna play with my friends and talk with my girlfriend and see my baby son by webcam without problems BECAUSE I DONT WANT TO USE WINDOWS!!
    I like the philosophy of linux and I want to contribute in this project …

    so I come here asking for help, if you give me all the steps to activate wine to work with 32 and 64bit …

    i’m already confused with the activations!!dont know what the coamnd line ./blablabla and whatis Wow64, i’m confused!!… ufff

    do you help me??

    i discovered this files and downloaded them:


    wine_gecko-1.3.5-x86_64.msi (don’t know onde to put)

    chek this to!! can help:

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