Gaming via Wine tools

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Nowadays, it's possible to run many Windows games directly from GNU/Linux. While Linux doesn't support .exe files, there is a solution named Wine. Wine comes in several flavor, each tailored to specific needs. E.g. geared towards business applications, or gaming. For gaming you have the choices of Wine/Cedega/CrossOver Games. Wine, Cedega, and CrossOver Games are projects that, in a nutshell, tries to substitute the Windows API's with it's own API's, in such way that the application run inside it, will be fooled into thinking they are running on a Windows machine. For gaming, in many cases DirectX is required to run the software, Luckely for us, Wine (and other based on projects) have made it possible to substitute the DirectX API's for most part (DX7/8/9).


Wine, (made by WineHQ), is the project where it all began. It's not solely geared towards gaming, but windows applications in general.


Cedega is a wine based project, made by Transgaming. It's completely geared towards running Windows games on GNU/Linux. Where Wine is free, Cedega (formally known as WineX) is proprietary, and needs a license for utilizing it. The main difference with Wine itself, is that Transgaming added some proprietary code to the Wine base, and therefor exending the functionality. Pricing information can be found here.

CrossOver Games

CrossOver Games is a fairly new product made by CodeWeavers based on their famous CrossOver products. CrossOver Games is tailored for gaming, and less for generic applications. They tweaked the Wine project code, for gaming. CodeWeavers and WineHQ work very closely. CodeWeavers frequently submits their code back to the original project, while Transgaming does rarely. CrossOver Games is a commercial product, but the license costs are mainly to fund development and provide support.

Currently supported games

Games that have been reported to work on Wine/Cedega/CrossOver games include

  • Starcraft
  • Warcraft III - Reign of Chaos
  • Warcraft III - The Frozen Throne
  • GTA 3 - Vice City
  • Jedi Knight 2 - Jedi Outcast
  • Half Life2 and its many modifications, including
    • Counter-Strike, and many more.

Note that games coming from ID Software, such as Quake 3 Arena, Return to Castle Wolfenstein and Enemy Territory, run natively on Linux (i.e. without the need for Wine). Unreal Tournament 2004 also runs natively on Linux out-of-the-box.

System Requirements

For 3D games to work on Linux, you must have 3D graphics acceleration.

A simple way to determine if your graphic drivers are setup correctly is described in Direct RendeRing. If they are not correct, you need to install the drivers from NVIDIA or ATI.

External Links