Diablo II under Linux

For a while now I’ve been trying to get Diablo II to run under Linux. This was the only remaining program that I was still using in Windows and I really, really wanted to get it running, via an emulator, in Mandrake or any one of a number of different Linux distributions.

I’ve finally managed it.

I’d tried installing a program called WINE, which has had a lot of success at running Windows program in Linux – couldn’t get it to work, plus I’d never been able to get the nVidia drivers installed correctly in any Linux distribution. However I’d managed to get some time to have a good run at it, and with a bit of help from an on-line friend (Subwolf) and another helpful chap at an IRC channel I visit (#blogshares at Wyldryde.net) I managed to get it all done and working.

Initially I had to install the kernel source in my Mandrake 10.1 installation – this is easy using the RPMs but there were a couple of commands that I hadn’t run subsequent to this (make mrproper and another one which I can’t remember…) and this seemed to make a difference to the next bit – installing the nVidia driver.

This worked for the first time – every other time I’d tried to install it it just errored out because it couldn’t compile it. No problems this time, plus I managed to actually read the README to get the X11 config sorted out. A quick modprobe later, a vi of /etc/modprobe.preload and the nVidia driver was loading on boot as well. Sweet. I was getting a fps of over 1500 on the gears test – not sure if that’s any good or not, but it’s good enough for me.

The next problem I had was getting Cedega working properly. No matter what I did I always got the “Please make sure that the Expansion Disk in the the CD Drive” message. I’d read in various places that in order to make this work I’d have to use the crack that gets round the copy-protection for Diablo II so that I could play without using the disk in.

I don’t like using cracks though, so I looked into it a bit further. I removed “noauto” from fstab for both drive entries which didn’t seem to make much difference. I also installed the Cedega “front-end” application Point2Play. I reinstalled Cedega through this, then installed Diablo II from there (onto my Linux partition rather than the Windows one) and after a bit of faffing about with the game configuration it bloody well worked!

I gave the game a good testing and it seems wo work exactly the same as it does under Windows. No lag, no jerkyness just the same gameplay. Now my Windows installation is pretty redundant.

More power to the Penguin! I just wish it was a bit easier to configure.

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