This thread is a simple, yet complex enough, guide to help you get the most out of running World of Warcraft on Linux.
Keep in mind, I cover a lot of stuff in this thread and it IS NOT this complicated to get World of Warcraft running in Linux- don't get intimidated because of the length.
So, essentially If you want to skip to the meat and potatoes and just get it going, you can jump right to the blue text.
I will do my best to keep this thread updated as time goes on and things change with the game, expansions, updates and Linux in general.
***I assume no responsibility for any damages done to your systems, loss of data, etc***
***If you're going to install an operating system, know what you're doing***
Firstly- I'll cover some general concepts and reasons to run WoW in Linux
Again, the actual set up is the blue text below.
The pros to using a Linux distribution:
-Worry MUCH less about viruses and intrusions
-Due to the way Linux runs Windows programs, there is very little, if any, performance degradation
-The most advanced and customizable desktop environment anywhere, hands down
-If you can use a Mac, you can use Linux. (they're both Unix based and very similar at the core)
-The overall concept of software and where you obtain Linux software is a completely different approach to what you're used to (this is a good thing)
The cons of using a Linux distribution:
-It does take some tweaking to get it to run most Windows programs (typically no more than 5 min more than a Windows install)
-If you're coming from Windows there is going to be a learning curve (no more than going to a Mac however)
-It's not going to run 100% of your Windows games (or other programs)... know that before just jumping right in
That being said, I have used Linux for about 5 years and, honestly, have tried going back to Windows but it never seems to stick, it's stable, it works, it works well.
Okay, to get started. (Assuming you're going to install Linux on your system) If you already have Linux installed, skip to the blue text.
Pick a good distribution. I recommend Ubuntu http://www.ubuntu.com/, or Kubuntu http://www.kubuntu.org/ but, OpenSuse http://www.opensuse.org/en/ and Fedora http://fedoraproject.org/ are fine distros too.
You can go to their websites and download the image files to burn to a CD or DVD.
Ubuntu will allow you to install it inside Windows so you can try it out first (Probably can't run games in this environment however, haven't tried it, but you could get an idea of what a starting point would look like) http://wubi-installer.org/
Also, keep in mind, you will typically have a choice on which desktop environment you want to use. Gnome (Ubuntu) is going to be more like Mac, KDE (Kubuntu) more like Windows.
There are ways to have them both, pick the one you like, roll with it.
Burn the downloaded image to a cd (or dvd) and boot your computer with it.
Every installer, depending on the distribution you choose, will be different. Again, know what you're doing before you write any changes to your hard drive.
Once Linux is on your system- Get your WoW folder over there.
**Different install methods can be used to install WoW.**
Since WoW is portable, your best bet on getting WoW on your Linux box is to copy the files directly onto your Linux partition from a Windows install. (typically WoW is installed on your windows system in C:\Program Files\World of Warcraft)
You can use traditional install methods to install WoW, (put the dvds in your drive and wait) but who does that any more? Unless you enjoy spending an entire day downloading patches, etc. (PM me if you really want to do this I guess)
If you set up a dual boot system, where you have a Windows partition and a Linux partition, you can either drag and drop the folder right over (recommended) or run WoW while in Linux directly from your Windows partition. (Doable, not recommended due to the way NTFS indexes files)
THE MEAT AND POTATOES (the blue text)
After you have your WoW folder copied over (or installed) to Linux, you will essentially need two things (typically) to run WoW
1. --An up-to-date video driver (saw that one comin)-
Linux Nvidia drivers share 95% of the code their Windows counterparts do. Excellent drivers, good config interface similar to Windows.
ATI does not offer as good of support for their Linux drivers, but there are many people who have had good success and you're not out of luck if you use ATI
A good, modern distribution will typically install video drivers for you when the system is installed and set up.
(If not, google this, and install your video driver)
2. --Wine (The windows compatibility layer used to run Windows programs in Linux)(Wine Is Not an Emulator)
Keep in mind, there are various front end programs you can install on your Linux system to run Windows programs- Cedega http://www.cedega.com// is probably the most popular. It still uses Wine as a backend however, and it costs money.
A Wine install by itself will suffice just fine for a program as simple as WoW (in the sense of its portability and lack of dependencies)
To install Wine in (K)Ubuntu—open a terminal and type:
sudo apt-get install wine
After wine is installed on your system, type:
This will create your .wine folder and a virtual C drive (drive_c) on your system and open the Wine configuration menu.
***Methods for configuring Wine to get the most out of WoW on Linux***
Of course, I've tried about every setting known to man in here so I can share that info with you to get your precious Wow running as well as possible- typically better than Windows for me-- why is this possible people? That's right, very good. Because Wine is not an emulator... moving on-
Wine can save various setting environments for your programs to run in, specific to each program
click the 'Add application' button, browse to where you copied Wow.exe to, click 'open'
Now when you have Wow.exe selected from the list, you can configure settings that will remain specific to that program. (You can, of course, do the same for other programs as well)
With Wow.exe selected, click the Graphics tab
The settings I have selected work very well. (Note: some people may have better luck with the "Emulate a Virtual Desktop" option selected. (Enter your native resolution in the boxes below it if you use this option)
click the Audio tab
The settings I have selected work very well.
You are done with the Wine configurations!
***One last thing***
In your file browser, locate your Config.wtf file (located in World of Warcraft/WTF/)
Right-click it and select edit. (or 'open with' 'kate' or 'gedit')
add this line anywhere in the file:
SET gxApi "opengl"
save the file.
(You can play WoW without doing this, but your performance will likely suffer.)
TIME TO PLAY!
Basically, you can open a terminal and browse to your WoW folder
LiNuX iS cAsE sEnSiTiVe (just like Mac. Remember? they're related)
You can use the Tab key to finish the line you are typing in a terminal. For example, you can type ‘cd /hom[TAB] and it will auto-complete to /home/ for you (this is handy for when you're browsing to the actual World of Warcraft folder, trust me)
Once you're at your wow folder (should look something like $/home/user/World\ of\ Warcraft/
**Keep reading, once it's running for more tips**
If it prompts you, select yes to reload default settings, this will re-write your old Windows settings in your config.wtf file, which is good. (It will also start WoW in a low graphics mode, so don’t freak out when it looks ugly.)
Before even logging in, you can click Options and then Video. You can reference my screenshots if you like. Just make sure to leave triple buffering turned off one way or the other, or you'll likely experience occasional tearing.
Also, many people (including me) have better luck playing in Windowed mode (unless you chose to emulate a virtual desktop from Winecfg (see above))
There you have it people. Have fun and play away!
***Things to make your life easier*** (and maybe improve performance)
I have included here http://eriksplace.com/shared/wow (right-click, save-as) a startup script that I've modified several times to get good results with.
You can use this script (like a batch file) if you'd like. Simply edit the path to your World of Warcraft folder and save it. (to edit files, see above)
(might have to rename back to 'wow' depending on how your browser saved it)
Make it executable-
Open a terminal and browse to the folder where you downloaded this file and type:
chmod +x wow
(now you can just click the file to run wow)
Here is a good scalable icon you can apply to the file as well if you'd like http://eriksplace.com/shared/wow-icon.svg (right-click, save-as)
***Native Ventrilo client***
Note: this is not Ventrilo, niether is it associated in anyway with Ventrilo. It's a native Linux client written by a private party that simply works... and works good. (Including push-to-talk)
The Quick Connect option is awesome for connecting to random pug servers.
***Other cool Linux stuff***
Will add stuff here as needed.
My Desktop (When rotating over to see my who's talking in vent)
One of my favorite Linux videos (check it out and tell me that's not hot!) (OpenSuse with Compiz enabled)
[edit: If it's going to be a sticky, it might as well adhere to posting standards. Chopped the larger images down to thumbnails linked to full-size images. - Cilraaz]