(I'm a long-standing Linux geek of 17 years, and a system administrator/programmer by trade. Although my knowledge and experience has helped me in this project, setting up BGS in Linux WINE is not that difficult.
And why bother? Why not just run BGS under Windows? Reacting to one of too many bad experiences with MS Windows over the years, I am on a campaign to rid Windows from my computing life. Also, and without the complexities of virtualizing Windows, I want a way to play the BGS (and other John Tiller/Talonsoft-now-Matrix games) games for years and years to come without having to worry about Windows XP expirations, licensing hassles, etc. Hence BGS on Linux WINE.)
I recommend using the latest version of Ubuntu Linux (see: http://www.ubuntu.com/). Although it's possible to use other Linux distros (I run my servers under OpenSUSE Linux), Ubuntu is the simplest and most user friendly distro for ordinary user and gaming purposes.
You will need to install WINE, of course. DO NOT USE Ubuntu's default Add/Remove software function, as that will get you an old, much outdated version of WINE. With the outdated WINE version, you will have to do added, messy steps to achieve satisfactory results.
and follow the instructions there to get the very latest development version (currently 1.1.25; if you use the default Ubuntu Add/Remove function, that will get you WINE version 1.0.1.)
If you already have an earlier version of WINE installed, just upgrade over the existing version.
With the latest WINE installed (or upgraded), select the Ubuntu Applications/Wine/Configure WINE applet to Autodetect your Drives. You probably shouldn't have to tweak the other settings under ordinary circumstances.
If this is a new WINE installation, doing the above will create a .wine subdirectory in your home directory, if there isn't one there already (due to a previous WINE installation).
Before installing your game, make note of the Serial Number on the CD. You will need the SN for the installation a bit later.
Insert your BGS CD (either ACW or Napoleon) in your CDROM drive. Go to the CD directory, e.g.,
$ cd /media/cdrom0
List the contents of that directory, e.g.,
Run the installed program:
$ wine battleground-civilwar-setuprelease-drv1.exe
If Ubuntu complains about insufficient privileges, run this under sudo:
$ sudo wine battleground-civilwar-setuprelease-drv1.exe
The CDROM drive will begin to whirl, and continue doing so for a minute or two. Don't worry. It's just uncompacting the setup program.
By and by, you will see the familiar BGS setup dialog. Follow the usual setup routine. I recommend installing everything under C:\Program Files\Matrix Games\...
The install program will then do its thing.
After the program has successfully (hopefully) installed, be sure to check for program updates. Go to the program directory
% cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Matrix\ Games/John\ Tiller\'s\ Battleground\ Civil\ War
Run the update program:
$ wine update.exe
Amazingly, and impressively, the update program and process work.
Note: (a) the update program will update itself, and relaunch; and (b) you will need to re-enter your user info and game Serial Number.
Hopefully, everything has gone well to this point. You are now ready to run the game.
Move to the game directory of your choice, e.g.,
$ cd Shiloh
And run the game:
$ wine bgs.exe &
Miracle of miracles, the game starts up, and you are prompted for a scenario selection.
When the full game comes up, you will probably begin in window maximized mode. Click on the Unmaximize Window control to shrink the window.
Important: You should anchor your window in the upper left corner of your desktop. Resize the window, but only enough to the right in order to display the complete Toolbar but not much farther to the right than that. The reason is because if you extend the window to the right edge of your display, this will cause annoying graphical artifacts in the Unit List at the bottom right of the game window.
Before too long, you might notice some graphical annoyances:
- Some or all of the Toolbar icons will be monochrome black, not in color. Minimizing then restoring the window might correct this, but I recommend against it, because it might mess with your carefully sized window setup. Unless you/we discover a permanent fix for this Toolbar color problem, just live with it for now (and maybe forever).
- Using the Jump Window, and a few other game functions/actions, might seriously mess with your display. The fix for this is to toggle the Full Screen (crossed arrows) Toolbar button between Full Screen and ordinary display mode. Remember, and get used to this. You will probably be toggling into and out of Full Screen mode alot.
- If you are using an earlier, outdated version of WINE, fonts in the Unit List might be garbled. There are work-arounds for this, but if you use the very latest version of WINE, you shouldn't see this problem.
There might be other graphical annoyances, but we really haven't encountered any yet. Just be sure to
- Run the latest version of WINE.
- Run your Unmaximized Window properly sized.
- Toggle the Full Screen on and off as often as needed.
That's it! I have loaded up many of the games, and run through at least one complete game. (And not even one of the stock scenarios, rather, one of the modded scenarios from the Napoleonic Archives.)
Caveat: Your Mileage May Vary. You may or may not see the same graphical glitches as I have, depending on your video card. (On this system, I have a NVIDIA nForce2 (?).)