Saturday, March 12, 2011

Homeworld on Ubuntu

Every now and then the itch to revisit an old PC game arises. This time it's for good ol' Homeworld. For those not familiar with it, it's a 3D space RTS. I think not many gamers wouldn't know the name StarCraft. Just think of it as a StarCraft-style game in three dimensions. It's set in the vast emptiness of deep space.

Being the first release, it's somewhat rough around the edges but that doesn't make this game any less fun to play. I played one of the successors (Homeworld: Cataclysm) and that improved greatly on the groundwork laid with this original game. I haven't tried my hand with Homeworld 2 though.

As usual, Windows games can be played on Linux using Wine. There's a Linux native client available but it doesn't look well maintained. The last client release is way back in 2007, and even that is a alpha version. The latest stable release is even older dating back to 2006. Also, it looks like you'll need to install (and patch) the Windows client anyway since the game data isn't redistributable.

Since it's much simpler to just run the Windows client with Wine, that's what I'll be doing here.

~$ cd /media/cdrom0
~$ wine HWSetup.EXE

Then, install it like any typical Windows software (next, next, next,.. finish, you get the idea). You'll want to get the latest (and last) patch from Gamefront and update the game.

Homeworld running under Wine

That's it. You're ready to go.

Known issues

There's a resolution setting bug, so don't bother changing the game resolution. You'll just end up seeing your desktop. If you check out System Monitor, you'll see the game's still running though. You just can't see it and, therefore, can't interact with it in any way. Your only choice would be to kill the process. If you absolutely must change the resolution, the workaround is in there with the bug report.

Related posts:

StarCraft on Ubuntu
Diablo II on Ubuntu
Playing Black & White 2 on Ubuntu 10.10