Saturday, June 09, 2012

Homeworld 2 on Ubuntu 12.04

After so many years, I'm finally giving this one a go. I couldn't get it up and running with the HD3200 IGP. Let's see how things go now with the new Sapphire HD 7750. This game is so old the new GPU should not break a sweat even with all settings maxed out.

Of course, running under Wine always has a certain overhead but that shouldn't be a problem here. There's plenty of headroom left over.

System specifications

Processor: AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6GHz
Memory: 2.5GB PC2-4300 DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics: Sapphire Radeon HD 7750
Wine Version: 1.4
Operating System: Ubuntu 12.04 (64-bit)

Installation

Installation is simple and straightforward.

~$ wine /media/HOMEWORLD2/HW2_Setup.exe
~$ wine ~/Downloads/homeworld2_update_en_10_11.exe

I installed the v1.1 patch. You can get it from Game Front. Homeworld 2 setup will ask you to install DirectX 9 after installing the game. I cancelled it. Wine's DirectX is enough.

You'll also want to get a No-CD patch to get rid of the DRM. I didn't try running the game without cracking it, but most DRM'd games don't work well with Wine (in my experience).

Playing the game

The game runs smoothly, though it defaults to a low 800 x 600 resolution with mostly low video settings. I maxed everything and upped the resolution to something closer to my LCD's native resolution.

The game gives an alert about the GPU drivers, but I just ignore it and things ran just fine anyway. More likely the GPU's too new for this old game.

I took my time playing the first two missions, and didn't notice any issues. Graphics work great. The game ran nice and smooth. Homeworld fans will love this.