How To: Run Team Fortress 2 (TF2), Portal, Half-Life 2, HL2 EP 1&2, and Counter-Strike In Ubuntu Using Wine

For those of you who are not familiar with The Orange Box, it’s five games in one box. It contains Half-Life 2, Half Life 2 Episode 1, Half-Life 2 Episode 2, Portal, and the one everyone has been waiting for: Team Fortress 2. My god! For 50 bones this IS the best deal in video game history.

Let’s start with a overview of what we need to accomplish: Copy DVDs to Hard Disk, Install & Configure Wine (including obtaining a proprietary, non-free font), and finally, configure the game to run properly.

I highly suggest finding some music to listen to while you do this. It takes about 30 minutes total, but well worth the time invested, as you could conceivably spend hundreds of hours playing these games.

May I suggest some Led Zepplin? OK, now that you’ve got something to kill time with, let’s get down and dirty.

    1. Copying DVDs to Disk

is a piece of cake.

Pop in either disk 1 or 2, then open up a terminal (Applications | Accessories | Terminal).

Make a directory on your desktop:
mkdir ~/Desktop/Orange_Files

Then run this command to copy the files over:
cp /media/cdrom0/* ~/Desktop/Orange_Files/
Expect copying a DVD to Hard Disk to take approximately 6 minutes. This would be a good time to make a sandwich.

Eject the DVD, and repeat this step for the next one. When finished, you should end up with 20 items that amount to around 7.8 gigabytes. Go ahead and remove the DVDs, you wont need them from here on out.

Easy so far, huh?

    2. Installation & Setup of Wine

is a little more involved, but is still pretty easy.

First we need to grab it from the Ubuntu apt repository:
sudo apt-get install wine
Then we need to install the Gecko browser for it.
wine iexplore
Click install when prompted, as soon as you can view the website, feel free to close the browser.

Next, we need to configure Wine to use the ALSA sound driver, which works like a charm. Go to Applications | Wine | Configure Wine. Goto the Audio tab and uncheck OSS. Check ALSA, then press OK.

Lastly for Wine, we need to install the Tahoma font. It’s a hop, skip, jump and Google query away:
tahoma filetype:ttf

I will not be more specific than this. Save the file you find to the Desktop, then run this command:

cp ~/Desktop/tahoma.ttf ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/fonts

Note: this command is case sensitive. If you find something called “Tahoma” or “TAHOMA”, modify the above command to reflect the change.

    3. Installation of the actual game.

Where’s my “That was easy” button?

Open up the Orange_Files folder on the Desktop, and right click on Setup.exe, choose Open With Other Application, scroll to the bottom and select Wine Windows Emulator then press Open.

You should be looking at something like this:
The Orange Box Installer
The next few steps should be familiar to anybody who has ever used Windows before: Install, next, you own my soul, next, next, install, and finish.

Now, we come to the part that is for lack of a better word, annoying. We have to activate the software before installing. Plug in your Orange Box CD Key and login to your steam account.

Now we get down to business. Select what games to install:

The Orange Box Installer Select Which Games To Install

Next, then next again. Keep both of those boxes checked, so that you have icon files already on your desktop if you want to make shortcuts, and entries in the Applications menu to launch the game.

Now, it prepares files to install (presumably decrypting them), then copies them over. Takes about 7 minutes on a 10k RPM Raptor, your results may vary.

The Orange Box Installer - Installing From Disk

This is a good time to grab a smoke, make a sandwich, AND sleep with your woman (or man).

Finally, we’re Finished! Hooray!

And we’re looking at all our new shiny games from a video game developer (Valve) that said “Fuck the man, we’ll create our own distribution platform and get rid of the middle men that take 60% of our revenue.” And on the seventh day, Steam was born. Kudos to Gabe Newell, he won my respect with that move years ago.

Alright, now we get to launch Team Fortress 2. Cue spotlight, heavenly music, and WHAT? Video Driver Outdated? Check a box, Continue Anyway. I think this is an inside joke from Valve.

The Orange Box - Video Driver Outdated

Hit Play game, and if you’re lucky, everything looks great. If you’re me, it looks like this:

The Orange Box - Not Quite Full Screen

If you get this, just ignore the fact that it’s half-way off the screen, goto Options, then to the Video tab and set it up to use the same resolution as your Desktop.

Press OK. Quit the game, then open it right back up again. Everything should be looking MUCH better now, with no more system menu bars all over the top and bottom of the screen.

Oolala - Team Fortress Configured Properly and Running!

Performance seems to be perfect using the latest nVidia binary blob with a generation old video card. On average, I’ll get around 40 frames per second when there is some really intense action, like 5 or more players all fighting in the same room. In most other areas I see about 80 fps. There is an occasional audio stutter, seems to happen most often during the beginning of a match, when all the textures for the level are being loaded.

I recorded a ghetto video for all of you to enjoy. I used a digi-cam for video, and used a voice note recorder on my iPhone for audio, then slapped em together for a half-second audio delay – but certainly watchable. Enjoy!

  • Penguin

    After a lot of fiddling I figured out the following:

    1. Do not install Wine from repo and already made packages.
    2. Instead download source and compile it yourself and install.
    3. Works at once with latest RC5. Still FT2 is a bit slow but I think some of the above options will solve that.
    Other than that.. EQ2 want to install suddenly.. yay!
    WoW still run VERY nice (what the frack did BLizzard do wrong?!? lol 😛 ).
    4. Make sure you got hardware acceleration aka Direct Rendering configured for your card.
    5. opengl switch might very well be your friend.
    6. Patience.. :)

  • clint

    i had previously installed the same copy of orange box on my windows system (same computer dual boot) and when i sign in to steam the games already show up but are not installed. The problem is when i click install for halflife 2 it starts downloading. I dont understand since i copied the dvd to my hard drive

  • nate

    tf2 will not work on my computer it starts up and gets to a loading screen and gos black

    and i get this err
    “your graphics hard ware must support at
    least pixel shader 1.1 to play this game”

    is Thar any thing i can do about this ??

  • Malice

    Get a more uptodate graphics card.

  • Kemet

    well.. i have a special problem that my laptop haults when i start the game-just after the valve logo apears. th point is that when i get to wine configuration & uncheck the allow pixel shader the game’s main screen appears with loading written at the southeast corner of screen but it quits with a message that the game has a minimun requirement of directx 8.0 or higher.isn’t direct x supposed to be already there as i have wine version 1.0
    hope to get somehelp

  • Rasmus

    Hey! How do I unsubscribe to this blog post? The url in my mail doesn’t direct me to a page for subscription handling as advertised. I want to get off from this post.

  • Sendaii

    Thanks for this. I’m assuming that this applies for any game?

  • ntw

    Hey wyane.
    I’m on suse 11.
    I’m using Latest wine ( think 1.1.smthn )

    Now I bought Steam TF, only without the DVD’s. I bought it thru VISA over the net. I Never thought I’d need the CD’s.

    Impossible to download TF2 With steam, cause steam now thinks that I don’t have TF2 in my game list.

    Anyway, I’m installing now cracked version, cause there is no other way for me to install TF2.

    Of course if someone would publish the iso files, then I could Install and run ( i think ).

    Anyway, its a kewl toot, but sucks for people like me, who just dont have the CD’s :(

  • jim

    I had some trouble getting this to work. But I just cheated and used playonlinux. I use steam as well and sometimes it says that I don’t have any games even though I bought the orange box through steam. Usually if I click on other tabs and then click on the games tab it will come back, it just takes a little while.

  • Kris

    Thanks for this… no problems here. I’m well into Portal already. One question: can I remove the Orange_files folder from my desktop now that it’s installed

  • hyperhopper

    Hello, I only have team fortress 2, not the orange box anyway, i used wine to set up steam and did all the stuff, but when i try to run it, I see a guy with a valve in his head, then get a black screen with music and some *tkc**tkc* noises when i move my mouse on the left side of the screen
    im using a geforce 5200 graphics card…..
    can you please help me?
    [email protected]

  • Turbo

    So I’ve mostly got TF2 up and running. I can get into games, and play, and move around. However, the framerates are pretty bad. Not unplayable, but very… disorienting. Sometimes I get killed by people in front of me before they even show up on my screen. I don’t know how to check framerate, so I can’t give you an exact number.

    Also, and interesting problem I haven’t seen covered yet, I can’t see Soldiers… Everyone else is there, but rockets from soldiers just appear out of thin air.

    Very odd…

  • gabe

    do i have any chance of playing with GOOD resolution and FPS using a GeForce 7300GT?

    need to know that *before* buying the game. thanks.

  • kronie

    just download it.. just to see if you can run it..

  • tim

    ive downloaded tf2. it loads to the valve screen with the fat dude with the valve on his dome. after that it closes to the deskop. then a screen comes up telling me i need pixel shader 1.1 for it to run. what should i do?

  • http://... poepenopdewc

    i have the same problem,
    u need a up to date graphics card

  • grillinman

    Why won’t this work for me? I’m stuck on the 2nd command, where you copy the files from disk to directory. It keeps saying
    cp: cannot stat `/media/cdrom0/*’: No such file or directory

    don’t know what i’m doing wrong

  • Lint

    That’s because you don’t have the /media/cdrom0/ directory indeed. Be sure to have the cd-rom drive mounted some place, often is /mnt/cdrom or /media/cdrom.

    Then try /mnt/cdrom/, /media/cdrom/ or whatever you feel like, /media/cd[TAB] or /mnt/cdr[TAB] are also good tries.

  • linux n00b

    i spent a good 8 hours today trying to get this shit working. I have a pretty goddamned decent computer, if you ask me. 3.2GHz CPU, ATI 4890, 4GB DDR2, the works. I did plenty of installing through the terminal, spent at least an hour and a half copying ALL of my steam shit over to my new steam folder (after following EXACTLY every step in this tut first, CD’s and all, and having it fucking FAIL), and you know what? eight hours into it and i finally get to the loading screen. guess what type of general computer message i get when the loading screen finishes “sending client info?” some bullshit about vertex shader overload or some shit! i found a shit ton of reasons why linux isnt the norm when it comes to gaming.

    it’s because it’s a fucking nightmare to set up.

    I’m actually a pretty patient guy when it comes to setting up computers. the only reason i did this was because my MBR went corrupt and I thought this would be fun to do! boy oh boy, ive never been more in the wrong.

    here’s a tip, on the house: if you’re a gamer, game on the platform,and by platform i mean windows. sorry, i know it sucks to get locked into the platform, but your alternative is a frustrating hell of error messages in unfamiliar territory. not only that, but if you actually kill one of the bugs, four more come to it’s fucking funeral.

    i mean, i could have proceeded, continued to readjust and readjust my system until it worked, but be realistic. is your $20 copy of TF2 really worth the hassle?

    to all of those who got it working, and working correctly even, congrats. that shit is cool. and to those who did it as simply as the guide made it seem, double congrats! but really, it’s easier to just download a cracked version of windows and use that. you dont need a tut for that, do you?

    and you know

  • stackcats

    frustrated guy is frustrated

  • Terrence

    I love helpful tips like “lol use teh windowz!111!!”.

    Here’s a better tip on the house: Stop buying games with only native Windows clients.

  • Fee’e

    Works, but not like a charm, I have serious performance issues… is there anyway I can tweak?

    GPU: nVidia Corporation Quadro FX 570M
    using the NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-180.60 driver..

  • pl4y3r0n3

    Ugh!! Too many big words! Now I must lay down somewhere.

  • Hooray

    For those of you who still can’t get this working, there’s now a package manager for Wine called wine-doors. All you need to do is install it.

    sudo apt-get install wine-doors

    Run it (wine-doors) and select the Windows software you want. For TF2 (or any Steam game) you need Steam, DirectX, and the Tahoma font. So you click “install,” next to those three items, wait a few minutes, and you’re done. Open Steam (it even adds itself under “games,” in the main menu and you can launch it from gnome-do), install your games, and go to town.

  • n1md4

    I’ve an nx8220; which the following spec:-

    model name : Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 2.13GHz
    MemTotal: 2062744 kB
    01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc M24 1P [Radeon Mobility X600]

    Is this spec likely to be adequate to use with this hack?

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  • blah

    ok, that video at the top showing him “playing” is totally false, all he did was sit in spectate mode the whole time, that is nothing more than watching play, you won’t get the same effects from the game that way. wow, this is why linux is a joke, you have jackasses falsifying information to make people believe that it is possible to run TF2 in any way on any linux, when in fact it is NOT! linux is a nerd platform for nerds that do nothing but surf the web and calculate the mathimatical equation of how ridiculous this lame OS is.

  • Ubunerd

    i play tf2 on ubuntu it works fine with wine. Mathematical.

  • http://nowebsite monding23

    super game gogogo !! team fortress clasic is no easy lolzedingpelr

  • Mikey

    when i try to open my tf2, it comes up with a message saying “hl2.exe has stopped working”. How could i fix this?

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