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Installing and running a game in a WinePrefix game specific folder - Administration

Do you play a lot of Windows-based games using Wine? You may have found that some games don't play as well as others (or possibly at all). This article explains why this issue exists, and how you can solve the problem with WinePrefix.

  1. How to Use WinePrefix in Ubuntu to Optimize Gaming
  2. Installing and running a game in a WinePrefix game specific folder
By: Codex-M
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November 16, 2010

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You are now ready to install the game in its newly-created wineprefix folder.

Step 1. Copy the game installer folder (those folders with the .exe file) to /home/user directory.

Step 2. In the terminal, below you'll find the command you need to use to install the game Grand Theft Auto San Andreas into its specific wine prefix folder, created earlier:

codex-m@codex-m-desktop:~$ WINEPREFIX="/home/codex-m/grandtheftauto" wine "GTA/gtasampleinstaller.exe"

In the above example command, the installer folder is named GTA and contains the installer file gta_sa.exe

Note: For those games installed using a CD, you need to mount the CD and then proceed to Wine installation. More details here: http://www.thelupine.com/content/wine-and-wineprefix-variable

Some games do not need to be installed and ready to play (you can manage simply by double clicking the application .exe). In this case, it will be very easy. Just place the game folder inside “Program files” in /home/codex-m/grandtheftauto/drive_c/Program Files

To launch or play the game using the default Wine registry settings, go to the game folder path:

/home/codex-m/grandtheftauto/drive_c/Program Files/GTA/

Right click on the application (.exe file) and then click “Open with Wine Windows Program Loader.”

Configuring the registry for WinePrefix games

Of course, now that it is installed or running, the last step is the optimization of the game for best game experience. This is done using Wine registry tweaks.

The following are the suggested steps:

Step 1: Launch and play the installed game first, and then jot down the problems. These may include things like a laggy/low FPS, no sound, poor video, and more. It is also important to take note of your Wine and Ubuntu version.

Step 2: Go to the Wine application database: http://appdb.winehq.org/

Step 3: Click “Browse Apps.”

Step 4: In the “Name contains,”, enter the name of the game, and then press “update Filter.”

The main objective of going into the Wine application database is to get some tips on how to solve the common game problems mentioned in step one.

One you are on the game application page, feel free to read a lot of information pertaining to improving the game's performance.

At this URL: http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?bIsQueue=
, look under “Warning – Graphics and Performance.” The following registry tweaks are suggested:

a. Setting “Vertex Shader Support” to “None.”

b. Unchecking the “Allow Pixel Shader.” This also means disabling the pixel shader.

To implement these registry tweaks in a game specific Wineprefix installation:
(using the example of “Grand Theft Auto San Andreas”)

1. Go to /home/codex-m/grandtheftauto/drive_c/windows.

2. Find regedit.exe. Once you find it, right click on it and click “Open with Wine Windows Program loader.” This will launch the Registry editor.


4. Expand “Software.”

5. Expand “Wine.”

6. Click “Direct3D.”

7. Double click “VertexShaderMode,” set the value data to “none” and then click OK.

8. Double click “PixelShaderMode,” set the value data to “disabled” and then click OK.

The Direct3D registry entries should now look like those in the screen shot below:

9. Go to “Registry” and then click “Exit.” You can even implement more tips as provided by users in the Wine application database.

Here is another useful trick that can improve your game's performance, particularly if you are using the Nvidia video card. Go to System –> Administration –> Nvidia X Server Settings. Click “OpenGL Settings” and adjust it to “High Performance.” Of course, some of the most important settings that you can change to improve your game's performance are the game's own video settings.  Things like setting video quality to “low” and turning off any fancy video effects can really speed up gaming and reduce lag.

>>> More Site Administration Articles          >>> More By Codex-M

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