Thursday, January 04, 2007

HOWTO Starcraft/Brood War on Ubuntu Linux Edgy Eft with Wine

One of the (very very very) few things for which I use my Windows partition anymore is playing Starcraft /Brood War. Of course, as anyone that dual-boots knows, restarting your machine just for one Windows application and then back to Linux is highly annoying and time-consuming. One solution to running Windows apps on Linux is Wine, which I will describe how to configure to play SC/BW in this post. I'm using Ubuntu 6.10 (Edgy Eft). Thanks to JTerry for his help with this.

First, you're going to need a few things. Open a terminal and run sudo apt-get install wine to get wine. After that finishes, insert the Starcraft CD. cd to whatever cdrom drive you put the cd in (under the /media/ directory). Use Wine to setup SC with wine setup.exe. You'll get the install screen for SC -- enter your CD key and install the software. The SC executable will be installed under the path of ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Starcraft/starcraft.exe. If you try and play SC now, you might notice that the sound does not work. Run winecfg and go to the Audio tab. Set Hardware Acceleration to Emulation. The sound should now work fine. If you want to play Brood War, read on; if not, skip to the next paragraph. Eject the SC CD and insert the BW CD. Again, cd to the appropriate /media/ directory and run wine setup.exe. To play SC/BW, run wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Starcraft/starcraft.exe.

Playing online over requires a little bit more work. First, you'll need the proper fonts that uses... sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts for this. You'll also need the newest patch for which updates BW to version 1.14. Get this patch here (other patches, for instance for regular SC, can be found here). Use wine to run the downloaded file, BW-114.exe. An updater should run, after which you'll be able to play online using It works, but all is not perfect -- the display of the interface is kind of screwed up (it never refreshes when you change views). However, if you're familiar with the interface you should be able to get into a game after which SC/BW runs without a hitch.

Some tips: tweak your mouse sensitivity and acceleration to play SC/BW. It runs at a low resolution and your cursor will be uncontrollably flying all over the place if you don't. Change this in System->Preferences->Mouse->Motion. Also, sometimes (rarely) the screen resolution doesn't change back to what you had it at before playing SC/BW. Change this in the System->Preferences->Screen Resolution menu. If you hear a lot of static from your speakers, try switching from OSS to ALSA in winecfg->Audio.

More information on this topic can be found at the Wine Application Database page for SC/BW.

Update: here's another good page on Ubuntu forums

Another update: yet another good page from the Ubuntu community detailing how to enable the 'no CD' patch

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