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Running World of Warcraft on Ubuntu
Mar. 08, 2006

OK, we all know the real reason many of you are hanging on to your Windows machines -- it's because you can't live without your daily World of Warcraft raid. And, who can blame you?

While you can use Cedega to run many Windows games on the Linux desktop, including World of Warcraft (WoW), some users don't like using it because of its open-source-unfriendly licenses while others object to its monthly fees.

However, you don't need Cedega to run WoW on Linux. Good old Wine (Wine is not an emulator), everyone's favorite way to run Windows apps on Linux, can do the job.

It is, however, not easy to do. That's a big reason why Wine's commercial supporter, CodeWeavers, can make a living from selling the cleaned-up version of Wine, CrossOver Office

CrossOver Office, like the name says, is more about running Microsoft Office, Quicken, and the like on Linux than games.

However, thanks to a new How-To on the Ubuntu forum, and its follow-up messages, Ubuntu users should be able to get Wine and WoW up without ripping too much of their hair out.

The How-To goes into a lot of detail about how the writer was able to set it up successfully on his Ubuntu system. Equally helpful, though, is the message thread that goes with his message.

In fact, if you're going to try this, read not just the How-To, but the entire message-thread. There's a lot of useful information about graphic cards and setup difficulties already on it.

Before charging into this project, let me just add that WoW is incredibly popular. It just went over 6-million users. This has caused so many problems with its servers that it's not uncommon for players to wait for more than half-an-hour just to get into the game on the weekends and other popular gaming times. Therefore, Linux users who want to test out their Wine/WoW rigs would do well to try them during relatively idle times, so that a server problem won't be mistaken for a problem with your setup.

Finally, Wine .99 has just come out. While none of the Ubuntu WoW players have tried it yet, its new features and improvements sound like they be useful for would-be Linux WoW players.

-- Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols

About the author: Ziff Davis Internet senior editor Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols has been using and writing about technology and business since the late '80s and thinks he may just have learned something about them along the

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