World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft (WoW) is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG) by Blizzard Entertainment taking place in the fictional world of Azeroth, the world that previous Blizzard titles in the Realtime Stategy (RTS) Warcraft series. For more information about the game itself, visit the Official World of Warcraft website.

This article will describe how install and run in on Arch Linux using Wine.

Some of this information was provided by which is the best general source of information on WoW on Wine.


As Blizzard so kindly created World of Warcraft with OpenGL support, we don't need Transgaming's Cedega, which is a non-free version of Wine with better DirectX support. Wine has as good, or better, OpenGL support than Cedega, and doesn't cost you a penny.

Running WoW is slightly more difficult than some other games with Wine, but still relatively easy. It's quite possible that you will need to patch Wine to work with WoW, however, even this process is rather simple with Arch. The following guide will explain it all, step by step.

Installing Wine

Wine now no longer requires it's own special "World of Warcraft" version. The one in the repositories works fine (currently Install both wine and unzip, which you will need later.

pacman -S unzip wine

Installing the Game

There are three options for installing World of Warcraft.

Copying the CDs to a folder

My preferred method is to copy the 5 install CDs to a folder. This seems to solve problems with deciding whether a CD is mounted and needs changing or not ; I think this is a fundamental problem because Windows doesn't have the basic concept of mounting and unmounting drives.

mkdir /mnt/temp
cd /mnt/temp
mount /mnt/cdrom
cp -R /mnt/cdrom/* /mnt/temp
umount /mnt/cdrom
(repeat above for each of the 5 CDs)

Then run the World of Warcraft Installer with :

 wine Installer.exe

Copying an Existing Installation

The second is to simply copy an exisiting WoW installation from a Windows drive to Linux.

NOTE: If you do not alreay have Wine installed, or have not run World of Warcraft with Wine before, you should skip down to #Installing Wine, then come back to this section. Please DO NOT SKIP this section unless you are absolutely sure you know what you are doing.

Copy the C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft directory from Windows to ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft.

Example (assuming your windows partition is mounted at /mnt/windows and you are in your home directory) (Quotes are needed because of the spaces in the file names):

 cp -R "/mnt/windows/Program Files/World of Warcraft" ".wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft"

This will ensure that Wine knows about your WoW and will be able to configure it properly, and also ensures that WoW won't notice it has even been moved at all.

Now that you have WoW installed, skip down to #Post-Installation.

New Installation from CD

NOTE: We will assume that your Wine CD-ROM drive is "D:\" for this guide. Please use the correct letter as set up in the #Installing Wine section.

Insert the first CD, mount it, and start the installation with:

 wine "D:\Installer.exe"

When it asks for the next cd, simply unmount your CD drive and mount the next CD. Make absolutely sure that you mount the CD before telling the installer to load the CD, or it may make the installation fail. If you have any issues installing using the CDs, please read the next section.

The WoW installation uses all 5 CDs, so it will take a while. Go outside and get some fresh air while the CD loads, because soon you won't have any "free time". :P

Installing Patches

Now we will need to update WoW. As of today (8th June 2007), the latest version of WoW is . This will change over time, of course. The best place I have found to access the latest patches is

I think the simplest way of updating World of Warcraft is to download the patches (links are at the Patch Wiki) and copy them into the working directory for World of Warcraft. I have had problems with the Blizzard Downloaders either not working at all, or working very slowly. If you download them, you can reuse them if you reinstall or have an accident.

The current patches which are needed for are listed below


I am British (pauses to sing "God Save the Queen"), so I use the enGB patches. There exist other patches for other versions of the game in the USA, France, Germany and Spain.

When you have downloaded the files into their own folder for neatness, copy these patches into the World of Warcraft working directory (paulr is my user name, you will need to use yours)

cp * /home/paulr/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/World\ of\ Warcraft/

The 1.12.x patch needs to be unzipped into the working directory

 cd /home/paulr/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/World\ of\ Warcraft/

The simplest way to install the patches seems to be to run World of Warcraft. It detects that you have downloaded the patches and doesn't do it again.

 cd /home/paulr/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/World\ of\ Warcraft/
 wine WoW.exe

You have to keep going round 5 times, it does get a bit dull, but it's fairly reliable. Accept the offer to Install the Gecko renderer when it comes up on your first patch install.

The original Wiki says you can install patches with Wine as follows:

wine wow-VERSION-LANG-patch.exe

I haven't tried this, so I can't say if this works, and I don't know how to install the zip file this way :)

If the Launcher (it displays a little box with News and Play) seems to stop when downloading, close its window and re-run WoW.exe


The World of Warcraft configuration file is kept in the WTF directory (do Blizzard have a sense of humour ?)

Edit it with

gedit WTF/

Using OpenGL

Add the following line which makes WoW run in OpenGL (hurrah !) instead of grotty old DirectX Mode (boo).

SET gxApi "opengl"


Resolution and Colour depth

You can change the following two lines to set the default WoW resolution. I have a 19" Monitor so I can use the following

SET gxColorBits "24"
SET gxResolution "1440x900"


You can run in a Window by setting this, but I haven't tried it.

SET gxWindow "1" 

Sound Issues

Configuring the Buffer

If the sound makes a horrendous racket with squeaks and white noise try :

SET SoundOutputSystem "1" 
SET SoundBufferSize "100"

Stuttering or Static Sound

Run winecfg, and in the "Audio" tab, selected "OSS" as the sound driver, using "Standard" hardware acceleration and driver emulation enabled.

You can also set WoW to run at a higher "nice level", which will usually improve sound performance (renice must be run as root):

sudo renice -15 `pidof WoW.exe`

A customised version of Wine

If you wish to compile wine from source yourself, you will need to edit the Wine PKGBUILD.

First, update your ABS with this command:

 pacman -S cvsup

Next, copy the Wine PKGBUILD to /var/abs/local/wine:

 cp -R /var/abs/extra/x11/wine /var/abs/local

and edit the PKGBUILD so that it looks something like this:

# $Id: PKGBUILD,v 1.12 2006/04/04 17:10:07 tpowa Exp $
# Maintainer: Dale Blount <>
# Contributor: Matt Smith (Majik) <>
pkgdesc="Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs"
# don't add arts, it's only a dep if configured
depends=('x-server' 'libjpeg' 'libungif' 'alsa-lib' 'glut' 'openldap' 'libxslt' 'lcms' 'libxxf86dga' 'freeglut')
makedepends=('alsa-lib' 'arts' 'sane')
source=($pkgver.tar.bz2 \

build() {
  cd $startdir/src/$pkgname-$pkgver
  msg "Patching Wine..."
  patch -Np0 ../$pkgname-0.9.11-wow-fixes.patch

  msg "Done patching, starting build..."
  ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --enable-opengl --with-x
  make depend || return 1
  make || return 1
  make prefix=$startdir/pkg/usr install || return 1
  # expand conflicts with textutils ( doesn't exist anymore ? )
  # mv $startdir/pkg/usr/bin/expand $startdir/pkg/usr/bin/wine-expand || return 1
  mkdir -p $startdir/pkg/etc/wine
  # mkdir -p $startdir/pkg/etc/profile.d
  # cp -r $startdir/src/$pkgname-$pkgver/documentation/samples $startdir/pkg/etc/wine
#md5sums=('b21d359b75f07255bb5cd34384bdc3cf' 'a65f6f2d422e5ee50af8492ebd38470f')

NOTE: You can get the wine-$pkgver-wow_fixes.patch from here:

Now execute the following commands to build and install your custom wine:

cd /var/abs/local/wine
makepkg -w `pwd`
pacman -U wine-*.pkg.tar.gz

You now have a working version of Wine!

Performance Tweaks

1. Here is a performance tweak that can boost your FPS significantly (everything without quotes):

 - Open wine's version of the registry editor by running "regedit"
 - Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\ 
 - Select the "Wine" folder, right-click onto the folder symbol and select  New-> Key and rename it to "OpenGL"
 - Select the OpenGL-Key, then right-click into the right-hand pane, chose New-> String Value and hit enter
 - Rename "New Value #1" to "DisabledExtensions"
 - Double-Click on the renamed Key and enter "GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object" into the "value" field

That was it, close the registry editor again, your changes will be saved automatically.

2. If you are finding it annoying that turning your character by let's say 90 degree takes n seconds normally, but n+m seconds in pupolated areas (in other words: that the polygon count of your surroundings affects the camera turning speed), apply something to "GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object", like let's say a "2", so it looks like this: "GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object2". You will still have the performance boost of the above tweak, but with a smoother feeling.


World of Warcraft in the wine APPDB


Patch Mirrors