$ apt-get install wine (as root) $ winecfg
The winecfg (graphical) utility will setup some config file defaults in your ~/.wine directory. Click on Graphics and activate Allow DirectX apps to stop the mouse leaving their window. Also, click on Audio (a dialog will pop up, just click OK). This will autodect your soundcard and setup Wine to use it. Under Drives click Add (this will add D:) and change the path to /media/cdrom, so that Wine knows about your CD-ROM drive. Finally click OK to close winecfg and save the settings.
The next step is to insert the Starcraft CD-ROM into the drive and start the installer using Wine:
$ mount /media/cdrom (as root) $ wine /media/cdrom/setup.exe
Follow the instructions in the installer until the Starcraft install is finished (you'll need your CD key number), then exit the installer (don't start playing Starcraft right away).
The next step is to get the latest patch and get rid of the need to insert the CD-ROM every time.
$ wget http://ftp.blizzard.com/pub/starcraft/patches/PC/SC-1161.exe $ wine SC-1161.exe
After the patch is installed click OK and Starcraft will be started (very annoying). Leave the game again. We'll get rid of the CD-ROM requirement now:
$ cp /media/cdrom/install.exe ~/.wine/drive_c/Programme/Starcraft/StarCraft.mpq
That's a pretty big file, it may take a while. You might have to change "Programme" in the path (I have the German Starcraft version). That's it. You can now play Starcraft (without needing the CD-ROM) using:
$ wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Programme/Starcraft/StarCraft.exe
A good thing is, it even works nice and fast with the open-source nv NVIDIA driver (no need to install the proprietary driver).
I noticed one very annoying "bug" with the mouse behaviour at first. The mouse would sometimes just get stuck during the game (which is a total disaster of course, if you're in the middle of a fast-paced game). Left-clicking somewhere would "unstuck" the mouse, but it's still very bad. After many, many hours of reading bugreports and trying various patches I finally found out the root cause for the problem.
It's somehow related to my window manager (IceWM); whenever you move the mouse to the bottom of the Starcraft screen (where the IceWM status bar is, even though it's not on top or even visible, and even though Wine/Starcraft runs in full-screen mode!), something funny happens with X11/IceWM and the mouse gets stuck. I haven't yet found out if/which IceWM option could fix this behavior, but I have a small work-around. Just start Wine directly on a second X11 server with Starcraft (without any window manager being involved):
$ xinit -e '/usr/bin/wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Programme/Starcraft/StarCraft.exe' -- :1
No patches needed (stock Wine from Debian unstable works fine, that's version 1.0.1 right now). I hope this saves other people some debugging time...
In order to play the Brood War expansion you can follow a similar procedure. Insert the Brood War CD-ROM, then:
$ mount /media/cdrom (as root) $ wine /media/cdrom/setup.exe $ cp /media/cdrom/install.exe ~/.wine/drive_c/Programme/Starcraft/BroodWar.mpq $ wget http://ftp.blizzard.com/pub/broodwar/patches/PC/BW-1161.exe $ wine BW-1161.exe
After you've done that, you can start both Starcraft (classic) and Brood War via:
$ wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Programme/Starcraft/StarCraft.exe
You will be asked in the game whether you want to actually play the Starcraft or Brood War variant.
As of version 1161 for the Starcraft / Brood War patch, there's a new game option which can drastically lower the CPU load while playing Starcraft. First fire up Starcraft and start any game. Then, press F10, select Options / Game speed, and check the "Enable CPU Throttling box". You'll probably need to restart Starcraft afterwards.
Multiplayer LAN games work just fine (didn't try BattleNet that much yet), but if you use a strict firewall rule set as I do (which blocks most ingress as well as egress traffic) you have to open a number of different ports. Here's what I added to my firewall script:
$IPTABLES -A OUTPUT -m state --state NEW -p udp --dport 6111 -j ACCEPT $IPTABLES -A INPUT -m state --state NEW -p udp --dport 6111 -j ACCEPT $IPTABLES -A OUTPUT -m state --state NEW -p udp --dport 6112 -j ACCEPT $IPTABLES -A OUTPUT -m state --state NEW -p tcp --dport 6112 -j ACCEPT # BattleNet
Starcraft works just fine on various netbooks; for instance, I tested it on my One A110 netbook (VIA VX800) with 256 MB of RAM, and the whole .wine directory being on a USB thumb drive (thus slow; but my internal SSD was already full). I bet it'll also work fine on the
Audio works fine, and game speed is quite OK, the only minor "problem" is that you should use an external USB mouse, the touchpad is just too small (and too slow to use) for such a fast-paced game.
The full Wine package (and all dependencies) consume quite a lot of space on the (usually very small) hard drive or SSD of a netbook, but luckily you can get away with only a minimal Wine install for playing Starcraft:
$ apt-get install wine-bin libwine-alsa (as root)
That's sufficient, and a lot smaller than installing the full wine package.
Update 2010-06-23: There's a contributed Hungarian translation now (thanks!)
Update 2009-03-04: Added info about patch 1161 and CPU load reduction.
Update 2008-12-19: Added Starcraft-on-netbooks section.
Update 2008-12-13: Added BroodWar and multiplayer info.
The NVIDIA Binary Graphics Driver for Linux is vulnerable to a
buffer overflow that allows an attacker to run arbitrary code as
root. This bug can be exploited both locally or remotely (via
a remote X client or an X client which visits a malicious web page).
A working proof-of-concept root exploit is included with this
The only possible solution (as NVIDIA still hasn't fixed the issue, although they know about it since 2004):
Disable the binary blob driver and use the open-source "nv" driver that is included by default with X.
Yes, you won't have 3D acceleration any more if you do that. Yes, that sucks. Complain to NVIDIA that they don't provide documentation so that free drivers can be written.
Luckily I stopped using the NVIDIA binary-blob quite a while ago, and I don't intend to ever use it again. This exploit clearly shows me that that's a good decision. For now, I'll have to live with the fact that I must use software-rendering for 3D (which is slow). When I buy my next computer it won't have an NVIDIA card, that's for sure.
But maybe there's hope. Maybe, just maybe, NVIDIA releases proper documentation one day (but don't hold your breath).
Alternatively, I just learned about the nouveau project: a project which aims at producing Open Source 3D drivers for nVidia cards. I don't know what the current status is and whether it's usable already, but this is definately a project which is worth trying out and worth supporting!