Get Your Game On - Running Windows Games in Linux

Windows gaming on Linux has its ups and (mostly) downs, but there are viable options for some games.

I've saved the most appropriate choice for last among the Windows-gaming options, so this section can end on an upbeat note. TransGaming's Cedega product (see Resources) is essentially a subscription service where you pay a monthly fee for access to the latest versions of the program in binary form, the ability to vote on the games that you would like to see prioritized and more. Because this product focuses on games and implementing the DirectX APIs and other Windows features heavily used by game programmers, the likelihood of a Windows game working under Cedega should be better than under the other options. However, it is not guaranteed.

I'll give the Point2Play interface a shot even though I tend to have hit-and-miss luck with it. On Fedora Core 4, my CD drive shows up as /media/cdrecorder, and even when a disk is mounted onto the system, Point2Play can't see it—even though running the built-in Point2Play tests says that my CD drive is fine. A quick ln -s /media/recorder /mnt/cdrom fixed that problem. However, the Install button still doesn't become visible, so I gave up. There's no other fixes listed in the documentation that I haven't already tried.

There's no Cedega to install the program directly without bothering with the extra GUI. To do so, I mount the CD (in this case, the first CD-ROM for World of Warcraft) and change to its base directory. Then I type cedega Installer.exe and immediately get hit with a stream of errors. Going to the TransGaming Forums and running keyword searches doesn't help, so I post a query; we'll see what comes of that. I had World of Warcraft working under Cedega and Fedora Core 3 so I know it's doable.

Instead, I'll try Diablo II. Point2Play still won't see the CD, so I go to /media/cdrecorder and type cedega install.exe to launch the installer, and it launches just fine. When it gets to the video tests, it recommends Direct3D: DirectDraw HAL, so it does pick up the 3-D functionality on the system. The game also launches fine, though if I run it in windowed mode, I can't click on any other windows or it crashes. Again, none of the potential fixes I find on the boards helps with this.

Figure 4. Diablo II in windowed mode through Cedega.


There is no perfect solution for playing Windows games under Linux. The best solution is to look and see whether a Linux binary is provided for the game, or to go find games that are written to play under Linux. Id Software and Epic Games both release Linux binaries for their games. Keep in mind that if you opt to use a solution such as Win4Lin or VMware, you have to own a valid copy of the Windows version you intend to use. Solutions such as WINE, CrossOver Office and Cedega implement the APIs without requiring the operating system to be installed.

Still, as you can see, there are many options if you are really determined to play a Windows game in Linux without having to dual-boot.

Resources for this article: /article/8640.

Dee-Ann LeBlanc is the award-winning author of 13 computer books (mostly focused on Linux) as well as an award-winning technical journalist with more than 200 articles behind her. Her latest book is Linux for Dummies, 6th Edition, and you can learn more about her at



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Anonymous's picture

asd is lliek wow, and she said who yer i was like u know adnd yer thats how i did it, increadibly it suad shse swas a fool wofr fo it and like yer, wtf is a sheep

im in shit

Anonymous's picture

how can i get age o empires 2 work on xfce window manager,(linux) i need help t_t im sad

Had an Idea, though it may

Anonymous's picture

Had an Idea, though it may be hard work. I won't try! But, if someone here have time, give it a try !

There it goes:

1 - Install WinXp and World of Warcraft(WOW) on a Machine in the same drive. Ex.: On Drive C. Configure everything so you can run WOW normally under WinXP.

2 - Install "Ghost Software". Ghost this Drive C and keep the Partition Image in another partition.

3 - Install VM in your machine. Create a WinXp VM Guest in it.

4 - UnGhost the previus "Partition Image Ghost" into the VMs Virtual Hard Drive.

The idea would be to have a copy of the host's OS into a VM that is running inside it !!

5 - Try to run WOW inside the VM. Shall it work ?

I belive it won't. But, who knows it !

Guild Wars

Arda Gunes's picture

I've tried your settings on VMware to play Guild Wars. Although there were some graphic corruption, its still playable with all settings on High. My guess is, they have improved 3D functionalty of VMware with recent versions (considering this article is written in 2005-11-29. I am currently using free-beta 6. 2007-04-10).

With the success of Guild Wars, i also tried Warcraft 3, Warhammer 40k Dawn of War. They were a bit slower, but that was expected. Other then that, games run fine with VMware.