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"Wine" redirects here. For in-game drinks, see Drink#Alcoholic Drinks.
For dealing with common problems while using wine, see Wine troubleshooting.

Wine is a free software application which aims to allow Unix-like operating systems on the x86 architecture to execute programs written for Microsoft Windows. It is not officially supported for World of Warcraft and users have sometimes run afoul of Blizzard Entertainment policies with it.


This article primarily talks about setting up Wine for running the MS Windows version of WoW Icon update World of Warcraft. Wine also runs on Macintosh computers with x86 CPUs under Mac OS X, but since Blizzard makes a Mac OS X native World of Warcraft client, running it under Wine is unnecessary and even silly.

World of Warcraft had a client for Linux while it was in the beta phase of development, but it was later dropped and never officially released.[1] Currently, WoW is run on Linux by use of Windows compatibility layers. Given that the World of Warcraft client is no longer officially developed to work in Linux, the installation of it on Linux is a somewhat more involved process than on Windows, which it is streamlined to install more easily on. However, with some careful research, and a bit of patience, it's very possible to do so.

Alternatively a streamlined process of installation and windows installation conversion is available via Play On Linux.

System Requirements[]

To play World of Warcraft on Linux, you need:

  • A 32- or 64-bit version of Linux on an Intel-compatible CPU.
  • A reasonably recent video card with working 3D accelerated graphics on Linux.
  • A recent version of Wine, or something derived from Wine (such as CrossOver or PlayOnLinux).

Most Linux distributions should work fine; these instructions don't assume any particular distro unless otherwise indicated.

Video support[]

3D-accelerated video generally means something made by NVidia, AMD (formerly ATI), or Intel. All of these drivers use the Direct Rendering Infrastructure (DRI), so you want to make sure the driver has that enabled. Most distributions provide a utility called glxinfo which can tell you whether the drivers on your system are set up properly. Run this command:

glxinfo | grep rendering

and look for this response:

direct rendering: Yes

If direct rendering is not enabled, or if the command is not present, consult your distribution's documentation for instructions on how to get it working. Distributions which use packages to organize their software may provide glxinfo in a package named mesa-utils or glx-utils.

In general, video on Linux will run more slowly than on Windows, so avoid video cards that only barely meet the minimum system requirements advertised by Blizzard.

NVidia and AMD graphics chipsets have two sets of drivers available: open-source drivers, and closed drivers usually provided by the manufacturer. In general, the manufacturer's drivers will provide better performance, though this is not universal. Some distributions provide a way to install the closed drivers, but they are sometimes old, out of date, and may not support some newer chips. Open-source drivers will nearly always be installed and working without any special configuration.


This guide will only cover the Wine compatibility layer. It is however fully compatible with CrossOver, and may also work with other derivatives of Wine.

Different GNU/Linux distributions use different methods of installing software, which oftentimes makes it hard to make easy installation options available for all distributions, especially for large and complex projects like Wine. Luckily a lot of energy has been put into making the distribution native installation methods available for a large variety of popular distributions. Please see and follow the installation directions for your particular distribution.

If you were unable to install Wine with a method found on that site, or if you are an experienced user wanting more control over the installation, then you may want to look into compiling Wine from source code. See the WineHQ wiki for information:

Installing WoW[]

There are three basic methods for installing WoW within Wine. They are listed here from the easier to the more difficult methods. If one seems not to work, try the next.

Method 1: Download client[]

Blizzard provides a generic installer for World of Warcraft (and their other games) which downloads the entire game over the Internet. This is generally the easiest method to install the game, since it sidesteps issues with swapping discs, and you will generally have to download updates anyway after completing an install from media.

All European WoW clients in all languages:

US Version:

After downloading the installer, run it under Wine, using a command like:

wine ~/Downloads/World-of-Warcraft-Setup-enUS.exe

Use the path and name of the file as downloaded from Blizzard, if it's not the same as the above.

You may be required to open certain ports on your firewall, or enable port forwarding on your router. Blizzard's documentation for configuring your router should work equally well for Linux. If you don't have an external router, you shouldn't have any issues, but check your distribution's documentation if you do need to reconfigure your local firewall.

Older versions of this installer will do the install directly, but when the new Launcher goes live, this will only install the Launcher. If you install the Launcher, run it (using the instructions below, if needed), and select "World of Warcraft" in the game list. Click "Install" from there, if needed, to finish the install.

Method 2: Install from CDs[]

If you have installation media, you can also install from that. Simply put disc 1 in the CD or DVD drive, and do the following (replace /media/cdrom0 with wherever you mount your cds):

wine /media/cdrom0/Installer.exe

Some dialogs during installation may appear blank or garbled, and the installer may even hang for up to 5 minutes at 100% CPU, while appearing to be doing nothing. Simply wait and click next when possible.

Note: If the text is too small, and it annoys you: Please install the Microsoft core fonts per instruction of your distribution.

If everything works like it should, then the installation will run for a while and then ask for disc 2, you change CDs and it should continue until it asks for the next one and so forth, if it doesn't work, however, you will continue to receive the "Please insert Disc 2" Warning repeatedly. An easy way is to unmount Disk 1 then insert disk 2, it will take a few seconds for it to load and mount, but it will load. Follow these for the rest of the disks and it should be ready to go.

If you have problems ejecting CDs in wine try: Start winecfg, then select Drives, auto detect drives The you'll probably get a Drive Letter like L: /media/WoWDisc1/ Now you can use wine eject L: Then press the eject button on your CD/DVD drive. For the next CD you'll have to run wincfg again and substitute /media/WoWDisc1/ to ... WoWDisc2 and so on. So the wine eject will work without a Problem.

No Installer.exe?[]

This may primarily be a Fuse problem, but may appear on other systems not using Fuse as well. Run the following command from a terminal:

 sudo mount -o remount,unhide /dev/cdrom

Note that your CD drive may not be /dev/cdrom! Check by running the command mount without arguments and look for a reasonable device (cd#, sr#, etc...)

Problems mounting the DVD (collectors edition for [Vanilla] and [TBC] and standard for [WotLK])[]

The issues might be related to either a defective (auto-)mount for the Hybrid Disks used (ISO 9660 and HFS+) or defective (auto-)mount without UDF support. For the Hybrid disks please refer to the specific documentation available on the internet. However the most likely cause is the missing UDF support when mounting the disc. In case it is mounted please unmount it

umount /dev/drivename (e.g. cdrom)

then use the following line to mount it again with UDF support:

mount -t udf -o ro,unhide,uid=1000 /dev/drivename /mountpoint (e.g. /mnt)

Copy CDs to HD[]

One way to avoid problems with media swaps and read errors is to copy the installation media to your local hard disk, and install from there.

To do this, create a new folder on your computer. Copy all of the files from the first CD and all but the Installer.exe file from the rest to this directory on your hard drive (overwrite when prompted). Copying the Installer.exe from the other CD's will cause the install to fail with

Unrecognized key "options". (AttributeParser::Parse)

Then run:

cd /<path-to-directory>/
wine Installer.exe

Replace <path-to-directory> with the right path to the directory where you copied all the files. You should now have the installation running, but make sure the CD media is out of the drive or it will check there and you'll be stuck in it again.

Method 3: Copy a working Windows install[]

If you're migrating to Linux from Windows and don't want to reinstall and repatch your client, it is possible to copy your existing installation to Linux.

To do this, make sure your Wine environment (called a "bottle") is set up properly by running winecfg. Click OK to save the default settings, which should be good enough for now.

Once this is done, you will find your Wine bottle in your home directory under .wine. This directory will contain a drive_c directory, which will contain a drive layout similar to a typical Windows system. Find the directory "Program Files (x86)" under drive_c, and copy two directories from C:\Program Files (x86) on your Windows system to this directory:

  • World of Warcraft

Note 1: Some computers might experience low FPS while trying to run WoW in OpenGL mode. In that case, removing the file (located in the WTF folder), running WoW to generate that file again and then making changes (to OpenGL mode) might help. Make sure to give read/write access to the WTF folder (otherwise WoW will crash). Add this line to your file using your favorite text editor:

SET gxAPI "OpenGL"

This may not work as well with the Intel 945 integrated video chipset. If your game crashes frequently with this graphics chipset, try not using OpenGL.


World of Warcraft is typically started using a launcher. In 5.x (Mists of Pandaria) and previous, the game had its own launcher, but in 6.x (Warlords of Draenor), Blizzard will be using a single launcher for all of its games. Thus, these instructions assume that the launcher is present.

The first 6.x pre-patch is due to be released sometime in October 2014. For the short period of time before then, it's probably best to install and run the Launcher separately. It is downloadable from the same place where the online World of Warcraft installer is made available (see above).

Start from the Desktop Icon[]

Wine will create an icon for you on your desktop called "World of Warcraft" or "". Double-click this icon to start the game.

When running the game for the first time, you may be prompted to download and install the Gecko rendering engine. This is required by the Launcher to display news and other information.

Start from the Terminal[]

You can start WoW from a terminal window using either the Launcher or the game itself.

To start the Launcher, run:

wine "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\\\ Launcher.exe"

To start the game directly, run:

wine "C:\\Program Files (x86)\\World of Warcraft\\WoW.exe"

Desktop menu icon[]

To make an icon for the desktop menu in your desktop environment:

  • Download the application icon to some directory.
  • Open the menu editor by right-clicking the menu button on the GNOME/KDE panel, and create a new application entry. Choose the newly downloaded icon as the application icon. In the "Command line" field, you will need to write:

where LAUNCHER is the full path to the application .exe file, either the Launcher or WoW.exe (see above).

  • Or instead create a text file in ~/.local/share/applications named wow.desktop, and paste this:
[Desktop Entry]
Name=World of Warcraft
Exec=wine LAUNCHER

Remember that you should also edit the Exec= line to reflect your WoW installation path, if you've installed to a special location.


See Wine troubleshooting.



External links[]