Installing WoW on Linux

This is a tutorial I wrote some time ago to help others that faced issues when trying to install World of Warcraft on common linux distributions from CDs. It should be noted that for this tutorial, I’m using Ubuntu with AMD display drivers.

Install Vanilla WoW

This will give you problems because the installer.exe on the disc is a hidden file. But the reason it’s a problem is that it’s a Windows hidden file, not a Linux hidden file. Most people will tell you to simply mount the CD or DVD using the “unhide” option, but there’s a more permanent and simpler way to accomplish this: editing your fstab file so that it automatically uses the unhide option. After you unmount the CD or DVD (if you popped it in before doing this), open up a terminal window and use a text editor to open fstab:

sudo nano /etc/fstab

Once the text editor opens, add the following line to the very bottom:

/dev/scd0 /media/cdrom0 udf,iso9660 user,unhide,noauto,exec 0 0

This makes it so all Windows hidden files mounted from that mount point will be shown, making your installer.exe accessible. If you are mounting the CD from a different mount point, then change it accordingly.

Install Burning Cursade

I don’t know the reason for the problem and have still yet to figure it out, but after searching around a bit I came across an easy workaround for people who have a separate Windows partition or networked Windows machine.

Once in Windows (somewhere), create a folder in which you will store the contents of your install CD. Then, insert the CD or DVD. If you have the 4 separate CD’s, copy the entire contents of the first CD into the folder then only the Installer Tomes from each following CD. If you have the DVD, then copy the entire contents into the folder. If you are on a Windows partition and the destination install point is a Linux partition on the same drive, then hop back over to Linux and skip the following paragraph.

If you are using a networked Windows machine, be careful. If you have a strong, uninterrupted network connection, then you can simply point Wine to the remote installer.exe and install from there. However, if your connection to the network hiccups at all during the install, you’ll have to uninstall and start over, so I’d recommend copying the contents of the folder onto your Linux machine. In Ubuntu, opening up a Nautilus window and typing smb://<Windows Machine>/ in the location box will show you all of the Windows shares on the specified Windows machine.

From here, you should be able to navigate to the folder and use Wine to run the installer.exe.

For those of you who don’t have separate Windows machines / partitions, some people have said that just copying the contents of the CD onto their hard drives and trying it from there worked out, so this might be an option.

Install Wrath of the Lich King

This comes with a few problems. First and foremost, not being able to do anything. You pop in the CD or DVD, open it up and attempt to run the installer.exe using Wine, but nothing happens. No matter what you do, nothing happens. This is because you don’t have permission to use the files on the CD/DVD. This, however, is an easily solvable problem.

First you are going to have to copy the files from the CD’s or DVD onto your hard drive as root. Note: if you are using multiple CD’s, make sure you copy the entire contents of the first CD into whichever directory you have created and only the installer tomes from each CD after.

Create a folder on your Desktop called Wrath (for simplicity). Insert the CD and open a terminal window, entering the following command:

sudo cp -r /media/cdrom0 /home/<user>/Desktop/Wrath

Obviously, make sure to insert your username in place of <user>.

This will copy the entire contents of the CD into the Wrath folder as root, which is important. If what you copied was the DVD, then it will take awhile (with no progress bar, so be patient), and you’ll be done copying. However, if that was only the first CD, then insert the next and copy the next Installer Tome in Wrath as root:

sudo cp /media/cdrom0/Installer\ Tome\ 2.mpq /home/<user>/Desktop/Wrath

Do that for each CD, obviously putting in the correct Installer Tome number as you go along. After you’re done copying and have all of your installer tomes and your installer.exe, it’s time to change ownership of the files to you, the user. Go into Terminal and type:

sudo chown -R <user> /home/<user>/Desktop/Wrath

Again, making sure you insert your user name for each instance of <user>.

After you’re done claiming ownership over the files, you can navigate to the installer.exe and run it using Wine.

The second problem some of you may encounter, depending on your Wine version, is the actual installer screen. The user agreement screen won’t allow you to hit “Agree” until it senses that you’re at the bottom of the text. However, this feature does not work correctly in Wine 1.0.1. There are other very complicated ways to work around this, but the easiest way is to install the most recent version of Wine (1.1.14 for me). Visit www.winehq.com to grab and install it. Wine will ask you to download Gecko in order to display the HTML correctly, so just let it do it’s thing and you should be golden.

As a side note for those of you who have subsequent problems downloading patches using the Blizzard Downloader: the easiest way to solve this problem is to download the patch elsewhere and run it using Wine. The best way I’ve found is to grab the appropriate “mega patch” from FilePlanet. This updates you from wherever you are to whatever the most recent is.

Hope this helps some people!


Originally published at seanwragg.com on October 1, 2010.

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