Computer Reboot: How To's:

How to run games on Linux

Author: karl

 There are basically three ways to get games that will play in Linux. The first is to use the games that are in the Software Center or the Synaptic Package Manager. (To learn how to use these tools, see our Topics "How to install software with Linux" avaialble here: Synaptic Tutorial

and this tutorial may be helpful if you need help finding a program: Each of these methods has a way to browse the entire "Games" category, and they even allow you to see screenshots of the games you are looking at.


These games were all specifically written for Linux, so there is almost no chance that a game you install from these sources won't work, as long as your computer has enough power to play them. There are a lot of good games that can be installed this way, from basic side-scrolling adventure games, (Think 'Mario Brothers', except with Linux Penguins.) to RTS games, city simulation games, even first person shooters.


The second way to get games for Linux is just do a search for them online. There are a lot of games that were written for Linux, but aren't in the Software Center or Package Manager yet. A popular example of these kinds of games would be “Urban Terror”, a first person shooter. To play these games, you usually just have to download them from the developer's website and then run the files that you download. I like to create a “Games” folder in my /home directory for downloaded games, so that they all end up in the same place. (NOTE: These games generally require more power to play them, so you may want to try to find out the minimum requirements for each game.)


For a list of some of these games, check out the Linux Games Tome as


And here are a couple more lists of games available on Linux:


The final way to play Games in Linux is for games that you buy on CD, and that are designed for Windows. To play these games, you need to install a Linux program called “Wine”. Once Wine is installed, you can install the game within wine, and the first step to do this is to just inserting the disc. This will add an icon for the disc onto the desktop. Double-click that icon to see the contents of the disc. Now just right-click on the setup program (Usually “setup.exe” or something like that) and chose “open with Wine”. From this point on, the installation will continue just as it would in Windows. After it is done, you will be able to find the game in your “Applications->Wine->Program Files” menu. (NOTE: Not all games work in Linux, even with Wine.) Using this method, I've been able to get games as old as Homeworld ('99) or as new as Supreme Commander 2 ('10) to play perfectly in Linux.


And as always, if you have any problems or questions about gaming in Linux, please feel free to give us a call for assistance.

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