World of Warcraft

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World of Warcraft (WoW) is a MMORPG by Blizzard Entertainment taking place in the fictional world of Azeroth, the world that previous Blizzard titles in the RTS Warcraft series.

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


There are two options for installing World of Warcraft. One 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.

Copying an Existing Installation

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

CD Installation Issues

Some users have reported that World of Warcraft will only start the installation from the first CD, then will crash when attempting to change disks. An easy work around is to copy all of the data from each CD to a temporary directory, then install WoW from the directory. This will take a while, but the installation will run faster off your hard drive, and you are much less likely to get errors. The process would be something like this (our temp dir will be called /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)
wine Installer.exe


Now we will need to update WoW. As of today (2006-04-18), the latest version of WoW is 1.10.1. You can always find the latest patches at World of Warcraft Patch Notes.

The easiest way to update WoW is will a full patch, then let the WoW Updater take care of the minor updates. The latest patch can be found at the above Patch Notes link, or various places online. Note that you MUST get the proper patch for your language. If you are installing a enUS version of the game, you must get enUS patches. If you have a jp version of the game, you need jp patches. Always double check to make sure you are getting the proper language version of patches.

Once you have the patch, simply run the patch with Wine, like this:

wine wow-VERSION-LANG-patch.exe

If you have set up Wine properly, there should be no issues at all with the patching process, however, it's can be extremely CPU intensive and may make your desktop fairly unresponsive. So, once again, go outside and get some fresh air for 10 minutes.

Running World of Warcraft

After patching and installing the wine package (see further down on this page) and fixed the sound, run the following command to play WoW:

wine "C:\\Program Files\\World of Warcraft\\WoW.exe" -opengl

Run WoW in a Window

Some people perfer to play WoW in windowed, rather than fullscreen mode. To enable this, edit your ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft/WTF/ and add these lines:

SET gxColorBits "24"
SET gxResolution "1024x768"
SET gxWindow "1" 

The gxColorBits bit is important. Make sure that it matches your desktop bit depth, or you may get strange rendering errors while running the game.

gxResolution can be any standard resolution. This will be the size of the window when you run the game.

If for some reason the game still runs in fullscreen after this, run winecfg and click on "Graphics" and enable the "Emulate a virtual desktop" option and change the "Desktop size" to match gxResolution.

Sound Issues

If have no sound, edit ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft/WTF/ and add or change:

SET SoundOutputSystem "1"
SET SoundBufferSize "100"

NOTE: You can set the SoundBufferSize to anywhere between 75 and 200. For most users, 100-150 will be best.

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`

Installing Wine

There are several ways to go about installing Wine with Arch Linux, but the standard versions of Wine will most likely not work properly. The possible ways to install a working version of Wine:

  • wine-cvs from Shadowhand's repository (binary)
  • wine-cvs-wow from the AUR (compiled)
  • wine custom package (compiled)

Wine-cvs from Shadowhand's repository

In order to install wine from Shadowhand's repository, you will need to edit /etc/pacman.conf and add the following line:

Server =

Run this command to install wine-cvs (will remove other versions of wine as well):

pacman -Sy wine-cvs


Compiling wine from source

This is an old section, it still needs to be updated. The recent versions of wine will not work with the patch below. If you wish to compile wine manually, use the files provided here.

First, we need the wine package from ArchLinux, which we get by running:

# pacman -Sy cvsup
# abs

Then begin the creation of the new custom wine package.

# cd /var/abs/local
# mkdir wine
# cd wine
# cp ../../extra/x11/wine/PKGBUILD ../../extra/x11/wine/wine.install .

Now we need the patch,

0.9.4 Patch can be found at Wine-0.9.4-wow_fixes.patch

Before we edit the PKGBUILD, get the md5 sums for the Wine 0.9.4 WoW Patch.

# md5sum wine-0.9.4-wow_fixes.patch
# 15bbfc8b6e205406c16d99fa39b05cd4  wine-0.9.4-wow_fixes.patch

What you need to modify in your PKGBUILD (as we copied it from the ArchLinux abs tree) is the source & md5sums variables.

The following edited PKGBUILD is based on the 0.9.4-1 package.

# $Id: PKGBUILD,v 1.4 2005/12/23 18:51:45 dale Exp $
# Maintainer: judd <>
# Contributor: Matt Smith (Majik) <>
# ugh, have to use the force switch to work around the version format
# change -- remove the force switch after an upgrade or two
pkgdesc="Emulator of the Windows 3.x and Win32 APIs"
depends=('x-server' 'libjpeg' 'libungif' 'alsa-lib' 'glut' 'arts' 'openldap' 'libxslt' 'lcms')
md5sums=('73205d83a5612a43441a8532683c0434' \ '15bbfc8b6e205406c16d99fa39b05cd4')

build() {
  cd $startdir/src/$pkgname-$pkgver
  ./configure --prefix=/usr --sysconfdir=/etc --enable-opengl --with-x
  make depend
  make || return 1
  make prefix=$startdir/pkg/usr install
  # conflicts with textutils
  rm -f $startdir/pkg/usr/bin/expand
  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

Now we run:

# makepkg

After the makepkg completes, if you have a previous installation of wine, best to remove it prior to installing the new patched version.

# pacman -R wine

Then to install the new patched version. For the above package build the final patched version of the file is wine-0.9.4-1.pkg.tar.gz. So to install, we use the following command.

# pacman -A wine-0.9.4-1.pkg.tar.gz

After this command completes, you have a 0.9.4-1 Wine patched for World of Warcraft installed!


1. MMORPG: Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game 2. RTS: Real-Time Stategy