Gentoo Wiki



Hardware Requirements

The minimum system requirements for World of Warcraft are as follows:

Software Requirements

To run World of Warcraft on a Gentoo system, you will need, at the very least, an X server, graphics drivers, and wine.

While any version of Wine will work to an extent, it's better to use the newest Wine package available in portage.

As of this writing, the newest version of Wine is 1.0. This version provides many performance benefits over previous versions.

This same principle carries over for video drivers. If you own an nVidia or ATi video card, you should consider unmasking and installing the newest drivers available in portage.

If you are working with a non-standard configuration and find that you want to attempt some of the patches mentioned in this HOWTO, you will need to create a portage overlay. If you are not familiar with this process, please read Create an Updated Ebuild.

Installing wine

When installing wine, it's highly recommended that you use the most recent version available. Every release of wine includes fixes and patches from previous versions, as well as an added performance benefit.

To install the newest version of wine, you will need to unmask it in portage:

echo "app-emulation/wine" >> /etc/portage/package.keywords

Before you start the emerge, make sure that wine has the opengl, alsa, and oss USE flags enabled. This can be done via /etc/make.conf (for system-wide), or via /etc/portage/package.use (for package-specific):

File: /etc/make.conf
USE=" [...] opengl alsa oss"
File: /etc/portage/package.use
app-emulation/wine alsa oss opengl

Installing WoW

For most users, installing direct from CD works without a hitch. Others report that installing locally or using the trial installer works better. All of these options are covered here.

Note: If you are installing Burning Crusade, you must install it after installing WoW. Note that the installation process has not changed for Burning Crusade, so these instructions are still accurate.

Installing via CD/DVD

Installing via Collector's Edition DVD

Note: While the Collector's Edition provides both CD's and DVD's, it's recommended that you install via DVD. The installation will go faster and you won't have to switch out discs during the installation.

To start the installation, just run wine {YOUR_DVD_MOUNT_POINT}/Installer.exe

Installing via CD

To install via CD, you must first set up a mountpoint in wine.

  1. Start by opening the wine configuration utility: winecfg
  2. Switch to the Drives tab. Click Add to create a new drive (be sure to remember the drive letter you selected).
  3. Highlight your newly created drive entry and expand the info by clicking on Show Advanced.
  4. Enter the path of your CDROM's mountpoint in the Path field. UnderType, select CDROM.
  5. Finish the setup by clicking Apply, then exit the configuration utility by clicking OK.
  6. Insert the first WoW disk and mount your CD. Now you can open a Console and type in the command to launch the install:

wine X:\installer.exe

Where X:\ is the drive letter you selected in step 2.

When you are prompted to insert the next CD, simply unmount the drive (umount CD_MOUNT_PATH), insert the next CD, mount it, and click OK.

Installing via Local Store

Note: This installation method will take some time, as it involves copying the installation files off the discs, then starting the install.

This installation method involves copying all of the necessary files off the installation discs and running the install locally. This elminates some troubleshooting steps, and also may increase the installation speed.

The files required from each disc are the Installer Tome #.mpq files and the Installer program.

Note: Your cdrom mount point may differ. Consult your /etc/fstab if you are not sure where the mount point is located.
Note: Appending the -g option to the cp command shows a progress bar, while can be very useful in this scenario.
Note: The "-g" option for the cp command no longer exists in portage, thus most users will need to omit the "-g" option.
Note: Instead of putting quotes around the path (e.g. "/mnt/cdrom/Installer Tome...", you can use the escape character instead before each space (e.g. /mnt/cdrom/Installer\ Tome\ ...).
  1. Create a folder to store the installation files: mkdir ~/WoWinstall
  2. Insert the first installation disc and mount it.
  3. Copy the contents of the disc to the folder: cp -rg "/mnt/cdrom/* ~/WoWinstall/
  4. When the copy is finished, insert the next disc, mount it, and copy Installer Tome 2.mpq: cp -g "/mnt/cdrom/Installer Tome 2.mpq" ~/WoWinstall/
  5. Repeat this process for CDs 3, 4, and 5, replacing the X in Installer Tome X.mpq with the CD number you are on.
  6. Once this process is complete, you can now start the installation: wine ~/WoWinstall/Installer.exe.

Installing via Trial Download

Trial Download Links

Included are the links for installing WoW with the trial download. There are two methods of downloading: with the Blizzard Downloader, and with a BitTorrent client. Both download methods are covered below.

Note: Open/Redirect port 3724 for those downloaders to work.

Using the Blizzard Downloader

Downloading the trial with the Blizzard Downloader should proceed with no problems, as this program is supported with wine, and (as of this writing) there have been no reported problems with the Blizzard Downloader.

Using a BitTorrent Client

If you do not want the Blizzard Downloader to take up all your up- and downstream, do the following:

  1. Open a hexeditor (like khexedit or vim in binary mode) and search for the ASCII-string d8:announce within the downloader.
  2. Copy everything from that point (including the d8:announce) to the end of the downloader into a new file.
  3. Cut the last 8 bytes off of that new file (the file should then be ending with a lower e), and save it as a .torrent
Note: There may be multiple BitTorrent files in an executable.

You can now download the patches with the BitTorrent client of your choice!


Now that the necessary files are downloaded, navigate to the folder where the files are located and start the installation: wine Installer.exe

Note: If you cannot read text during the setup process (EULA, end-of-setup text), copy the text to another program.

Creating an Icon

To extract the icon from WoW.exe to create a launcher, do the following:

  1. Emerge icoutils: emerge icoutils
  2. Extract the image:
wrestool -x --output=. -t14 /{PATH_TO}/WoW.exe

You will have an icon file. Use eog or another program to convert it to a png, and add a launcher to your desktop.

Performance Tweaks

Kernel Boot Parameter

Users of nvidia 8800 GTS and GTX cards have reported significant performance increases (around 10-30 fps improvements) by adding the vga=normal boot option on kernels 2.6.22 and 2.6.23.

OpenGL Registry Edit

A common performance tweak for wine and opengl games is a registry edit. While your results may vary, many users report up to a 100% increase in framerate with no loss of stability. To make this change, do the following:

  1. Open regedit (regedit)
  2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\
  3. Right click on the wine folder and select [NEW] then [KEY].
  4. Replace the text New Key #1 with OpenGL (case sensitive).
  5. Right click in the right panel and select [NEW] then [String Value].
  6. Replace the text New Value #1 with DisabledExtensions (case sensitive).
  7. Now right click on DisabledExtensions and select Modify
  8. A dialog box should appear. In the value field type GL_ARB_vertex_buffer_object

Startup Script

The idea for this tweak is to create a script which will allow you to launch WoW on a dedicated X server, and will give you a little FPS boost (up to 10-15fps).

Code: ~/

 export WOW_PATH=~/".wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft" # Installation path

 X :3 -ac -terminate &   # Launch on a new X session on display 3
 cd "${WOW_PATH}"        # Goto WoW dir 
 sleep 2
 DISPLAY=:3 `which wine` Wow.exe -opengl # Launches WoW

Enabling hardware rendering

You should verify that you are actually rendering the game with OpenGL, not just software. If you are getting 1 FPS or the game is virtually unplayable, you're probably using software rendering. To switch to hardware/OpenGL rendering, run the following command as root:

For nVidia Cards: eselect opengl set nvidia

For ATi Cards: eselect opengl set ati

Exit X, Log out and back in, then start X again. Startup WoW, and you should be fine. See Tweaks

Warning: You need to run WoW at least once and log into a character so a file can be created.

The file is located in the WTF folder in your WoW installation. By default, this location is /home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/World\ of\ Warcraft/.


Instead of launching WoW with the -opengl switch, you can make the change permanent by adding the following line:

SET gxApi "opengl"

Updating WoW

To begin the update process, you must first start WoW. The default location is ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/World of Warcraft/WoW.exe -opengl)

Warning: Remember the -opengl switch! Without it, the game might still run, but it'll use the Direct3D engine, which wine doesn't support very well(textures will be missing, and a heap of other ugly stuff). However, if you've followed this wiki thusfar, you've probably already set the gxApi to "opengl" in your, eliminating the need for the -opengl switch. ;)

When you run that and log in, the updater should start downloading the patch.

Warning: As of patch 2.1, the WoW Launcher will automatically download and start patching without starting WoW. If you haven't already done so, try launching WoW by using the Launcher.exe program, found in the WoW directory.
Note: If the download speed is too slow, there are many sites on the web which offer HTTP/FTP downloads of the same patch. You can download these to your WoW directory and run them with wine to perform the update.


See World of Warcraft/Troubleshooting

Special Thanks

The following people have done a lot in order to get WoW running on Wine. Thank you for helping ensure this wonderful game runs on wine.

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Last modified: Thu, 25 Sep 2008 16:36:00 +0000 Hits: 189,549