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[tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ?

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[tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ? - 1/12/2015 8:29:40 PM   

Posts: 386
Joined: 1/28/2007
From: Mons, Belgique
Status: offline
I tried today to install and play WitW on a Linux installation... and it was surprisingly easy !

So, this is not a post to ask for help, but rather a small tuto explaining what I did. Beware, different configurations may cause very different outputs, but if you encounter a problem please explain it and maybe we'll find a solution for you.

My configuration

Hardware : processor Intel Core I7 2600k, 8 GB RAM, graphic card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770, sound card SB0570 Audigy SE
Software : Linux Mint 17.1 64 bits Cinnamon, NVIDIA-340 graphic drivers, Wine and PLayOnLinux

How to do it

I use to run Windows applications on Linux. It is based on Wine and automate a lot of the work. PlayOnLinux can install and run as many Wine virtual disks as you want, so you can set up each application exactly like you want.

To get PlayOnLinux : (I use Ubuntu packages for Linux Mint)
To get Wine : (idem)

Start PlayOnLinux. I already have one installation of WitW, I'm just running the installation a second time to take screenshots.

Select "Install a program", then "Install a non-listed program" in the bottom left corner.

You'll see a "Welcome to PlayOnLinux manual installation wizard" screen. Click next.

Then select "Install a program in a new virtual drive" and click next.

It will then ask you a name (without spaces) for your virtual drive. Thats the name of the folder which will contain your Wine prefixe for WitW in [home]/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix. Just write a name you remember, you'll need to find that folder later on. I choose "warinthewest".

The next screen asks what would you like to do before installation. Select nothing and click next.

Then you have to select "32 bits windows installation" or "64 bits windows installation". I choose 64 bits because my "Windows" WitW runs on Windows 8.1 64 bits. I think it would work on 32 bits too, I saw nothing about WitW being 64-bits only. Click next.

At this point, PlayOnLinux will create the Wine prefixe (= virtual disk) for your WitW. You'll see a Wine pop-up and a few messages in the PlayOnLinux window.

Now we are going to install WitW in this brand new virtual disk. PlayOnLinux asks to "Please select the install file to run". Click "Browse" and go find your installation file, the same you donwloaded on purchase. It's called "GaryGrigsbysWarInTheWestv100.exe". Click next.

At this stage, I have an error message because my installation file is located on an external HDD. I just click next and it works.

Now we come back on a familiar ground : the good ol' Matrix installer !

It works exactly the same as if you were on Windows. Accept licence, enter serial, say where you want to install it. The difference is that, instead of installing it on C:/[path to your WitW install], it will install it in [home]/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/[your virtual disk]/drive_c/[path to your WitW install]. It is important to remember how you named your virtual disk and what path you choose inside the virtual disk. Note that shortcuts will not work based on what you chose during the installation, you'll have to set it up later.

When Matrix's installer has finished its job, click finish in the "Installation successful" window to go back to PlayOnLinux.

Last step is setting up the shortcuts.

Why doing it like this ? Remember Linux can't directly run .exe files, so you can't just create a shortcut to an .exe and hope it will work... You have to call Wine first via PlayOnLinux, and that's what's being configured here.

The procedure is simple : click on an .exe, click next, chose a name for the shortcut, click next and it's ok, you have a working shortcut on your desktop. But which .exe ? Two possibilities :

- WarInTheWest.exe will directly launch the game without the launcher -> faster, but no easy access to the manual.
- autorun.exe is the Matrix launcher with its usual links.

You can chose one or the other or both.

When you're done, just select "I don't want to make another shortcut" and click next.

Now you can launch WitW from the desktop or from PlayOnLinux. Congratulations ! (If everything works )

For those who already know about Wine/PlayOnLinux, note that I didn't need to setup any Winetricks or particular configuration. Everything works straight from the box : graphics, sounds, functionalities... No problem encountered so far.

Patching the game

Well, there is something left. We have installed a 1.00.00 WitW, and obviously we want to use the latest patch.

We can't use the auto-updater : it's an .exe file trying to download and install another .exe file, this cannot end well on Linux. So here's the trick :

First, download the installer .exe file for the patch. Matrix usually provide a link in the announcement (see here for WitW 1.00.08 or in your member's space.

Then, go to the folder where you downloaded it, right-click on the file and select "Open With -> Wine Windows Program Loader". This will tell Wine to launch the installer as if you were on Windows.

Then it's as if you were updating WitW on Windows. One difference : the installer won't auto find your installation, because it has no access to a Windows registry. That's where you need to remember where your WitW is : [home]/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/[your virtual disk]/drive_c/[path to your WitW install] <- that's the information you need to tell the installer.

Keeping your saves

If you already have another installation of WitW on Windows and you want to keep using your saves, it's easy : the saves are always stored in [path to your WitW install]/Dat/Save, so you just have to copy the content of this folder from your previous installation to the current one.

Anything else ?

If something is unclear, wrong (it may certainly happen ), missing... Or if you have some other useful tips, please comment and I'll add it to the OP.


Post #: 1
RE: [tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ? - 4/8/2015 6:16:05 AM   


Posts: 865
Joined: 1/8/2009
From: Devon, England
Status: offline
as a sometimes linux user but certainly no expert its atuff like this that make life a lot easier - many thanks

(haven't got a linux box set up at the moment so haven't tried it yet though)


(in reply to Nico165b165)
Post #: 2
RE: [tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ? - 3/17/2016 8:28:30 AM   

Posts: 118
Joined: 12/29/2006
Status: offline
Many thanks. I've been thinking seriously about going back to Linux but wasn't sure how/whether Linux could handle Matrix games - to which I'm badly addicted.

Take care,


Free men do not ask permission to bear arms.
GnuPG public key available at:

(in reply to sanderz)
Post #: 3
RE: [tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ? - 1/7/2017 6:28:27 AM   


Posts: 3
Joined: 2/29/2016
Status: offline
Any luck getting this to work with the latest patch (1.01.37). The 1.0.0 version allows you to pick and play a scenario, but the latest patch crashes when clicking the "Pick Scenario" button or the "Load Saved Game" button. This makes me think it has a problem with accessing files or something. Any help would be appreciated.

EDIT: Actually, it is any button pressed on the main window that crashes the game.

< Message edited by dhorkoff -- 1/9/2017 5:09:34 PM >


(in reply to Nico165b165)
Post #: 4
RE: [tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ? - 1/9/2017 7:24:24 PM   


Posts: 3
Joined: 2/29/2016
Status: offline
Unfortunately it is still crashing after a button press when using the latest beta patch, 1.01.48.

My hope was that the 'Works again with Windows XP' change log entry would have made the difference, but no luck.

Hopefully something can be done and us Linux users can play the game once again in our favourite OS.


(in reply to dhorkoff)
Post #: 5
RE: [tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ? - 11/1/2017 8:52:36 PM   


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Joined: 9/29/2013
Status: offline
I found that the crashes seem to be caused by attempts to play a sound: After renaming/deleting ./drive_c/Matrix Games/Gary Grigsby's War in the West/Dat/sound they disappeared for me

There are several graphical issues though, e.g the lines visualizing flight paths are not drawn at all and there are several transparency-related glitches. I find those issues pretty annoying, but in theory the game seems playable this way...

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(in reply to dhorkoff)
Post #: 6
RE: [tuto] How to play WitW on Linux ? - 11/1/2017 9:42:47 PM   


Posts: 6
Joined: 9/29/2013
Status: offline
I managed to get rid of the glitches by installing the original DirectX libraries. I am using Crossover Office, but the same may also use on default wine.

Unfortunately, the graphics got a lot slower after this, there's a noticable delay on each mouse click... Might be tolerable though if you have a fast computer.

Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Strobe2 -- 11/1/2017 9:52:49 PM >

(in reply to Strobe2)
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