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Telltale + Linux: A Definitive Guide

posted by covox on - last edited - Viewed by 63.5K users
[MOD EDIT: Previous Linux guides on this forum: Sam & Max and SBCG4AP]

As a Linux guy who loves his adventuring, I'll try and keep this updated as best I can. These instructions were developed for Wine 1.1.29, under Ubuntu Jaunty 9.04, but should work under the newest build/distro. The example is for installing TOMI, but can be adapted to pretty much any downloadable Telltale title. This guide assumes you have set up your computer with the proper ATI/NVIDIA 3D drivers; most distros will ask you if you want them, the answer is hell yes! So let's get cracking!

  • Sam and Max Series 1
  • Sam and Max Series 2
  • SBCG4AP Series 1
  • Wallace and Gromit Series 1
  • Tales of Monkey Island Series 1
  • Sam and Max Series 3

1.) Visit WineHQ and get the latest build for your distro.

You should know by now that Wine is the de-facto way of running native Windows apps under your Linux of choice. What may not be obvious is that the copy bundled with most distros is freaking ancient; why, tens of thousands of fixes and improvements have potentially been committed since then! To put it in perspective, the "stable" one in your distro was sent out around the time colour television was first invented. The Wine guys release a new one literally every fortnight. So the first thing you should do is visit this page and follow the instructions for your distro to fix yourself up with the latest.

2.) Download WineTricks and install the d3dx9 package.

Wine hasn't replicated the Direct3D extension DLLs (e.g. d3dx9_41.dll) yet, and they're needed by some Telltale games. There's a quick way to fix this:
sh winetricks d3dx9
This will download the DirectX 9 installer and rip just the good bits out of it; you'll probably see a EULA or two, click yes. Congrats, you now have all the libraries you need.

SPECIAL STEP FOR SAM AND MAX SERIES 3 OWNERS: Telltale have finally taken their old IE6 based launcher and lashed it to a canoe, set it on fire then left it to slowly drift down a canal. The replacement is a nicer, faster, cross-platformier QT/WebKit deal. However, with WineTricks, you need to install the Visual Studio runtime files before the game will start.
sh winetricks vcrun2005

3.) Run the game installer. When it asks if you want to update DirectX, just say no.

Easy as. Most distros let you double-click the EXE to start Wine; I prefer the terminal.
wine LaunchOfTheScreamingNarwhal_Setup.exe

SPECIAL STEP FOR SAM AND MAX SERIES 3 OWNERS: You're done! Enjoy the game :)

4a.) Enter your purchased serial number into the box.

Grab it from here and paste it into the box. The launch window will switch to a white page after doing this; that means it's working! With luck, you can quit the launcher now by running in a terminal
wineserver -k
Next time you start the game up, you'll get a "Click here to run the game" link instead of the serial box. Congratulations!


4b.) Download this patching script and launch the demo with it.

Originally you needed this script to make the serial number entry work, but that regression got fixed! If you want to just play the demo, you'll need to crack open a terminal:
cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Telltale\ Games/Tales\ of\ Monkey\ Island/Launch\ of\ the\ Screaming\ Narwhal
python MonkeyIsland101.exe
If all goes to plan, you should see some text in the launcher window offering a link to play the demo. Congratulations!

  • You only have to use once to register a serial number, but every time you want to play the demo.
  • If you're having trouble getting rid of the Telltale window after quitting the launcher, run "wineserver -k" to kill it.
  • If you're having trouble with sound (e.g. skipping, not being there at all) and you use a reasonably new distro, it's probably PulseAudio. It's pretty much always PulseAudio. Do yourself a favour and run "pulseaudio -k" to murder it before starting the game.
  • If the game crashes just as it loads into fullscreen mode, you can force it to load in a virtual desktop. This can be done either by running winecfg and changing the global setting, or on the fly by running Wine like the following example:
    wine explorer /desktop=Wine,800x600 MonkeyIsland101.exe

But I use a Mac! It has a UNIX logo on the box!
Telltale is porting stuff to Mac now. Did you miss the memo?

But if you mean specifically using Wine to play Windows-only titles...
Short version: Seeing as you guys don't mind paying $39.95 for a fancy lending list, you can take my word that investing the same amount in a copy of CrossOver Games would be the bargain of the century.
Long version: Apple's version of X11 is pretty crap and breaks with WineD3D. Apparently some fixes have been made to Xquartz, so I'll try it again soon.

What about Monkey Island's treasure-hunting feature?
Too much black magic.

NEW: I tried running Sam and Max Series 2, but instead of getting the serial number box I got a grey screen saying "Logging you in"! Also, the script complains about a missing noScriptDiv! What gives?
I just tried out S&M 201 yesterday, it appears to be slightly different in that it doesn't have any fallback HTML (like every other Telltale game) for entering the serial number and starting the game. To work around this, grab the latest copy of, which can now inject the missing bits of HTML. Unfortunately, you'll need to use it every time to run the game. Believe me, I'm crying as much as you are.

Well, I hope that worked for you guys. If it didn't, post here!
210 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • All the Telltale games can be run on Linux and Mac using VMWare Workstation 7 and VMWare Fusion respectively.

    Why should you bother setting up a VMWare solution instead of just sticking with Wine?
    Well because once you have it figured out, your virtual Windows if going to useful for a LOT of other stuff than TTG games. You can get a boatload of other stuff working that Wine has problems with.

    What do I need to make this work?
    -The new VMWare
    -Windows XP (7 or 2000 might work but I am totally unsure)
    -A PC with some muscle and a minimum of 2GB of RAM.
    -A processor that supports the AMD-V or Intel VT-x instructions.
    I have an AMD Phenom X4 9550, 4GB DDR2 Ram and a GForce8800GT. Tales of MI runs PERFECTLY fullscreen on 1680x1050 with graphics settings 6 out of 9.

    How do I know if my proc has AMD-V or Intel VT-x instructions?
    In Linux, open a console and do "cat /proc/cpuinfo".
    The report you get should mention either "hvm" (for Intel) or "svm" (for AMD) in the "flags" section.
    Look in your BIOS for a option to enable the virtualisation instructions. They are turned off by default. If you DO have the hvm or svm flags but DONT have an option in the BIOS to enable them you are screwed....unless the laptop manufacturer has a BIOS update for you.
    These are Linux instructions. I am totally unsure how this works on a Mac.

    Anything I need to know about the installation?
    Install VMWare and install your virtual XP.
    Make sure you enable the 3d acceleration of the guest, give the guest at least 1GB of RAM. Giving the guest 2 processor cores is a good idea.

    What do I need to install on the guest XP?
    Just the VMWare tools that come with VMWare. You may need to update DirectX and then reinstall VMWare Tools.
    Don't bother with Windows update or anti-virus or anything. Just keep your guest offline, unless you need your TTG game activated.

    Have fun with your fake windows!
  • Ok figure i'd post a quick oddity i've had. i've got a funny setup in /etc/asound.conf that lets me have seperate devices for my headphones (which are hooked up to the side speaker out on my card) and the default stereo speakers. I've been struggling to get the Wallace And Grommit 103 running, but sound wasn't working. I'd hit test in winecfg and it'd make the test sound and everything is fine. Running both at the same time (e.g. winecfg & wine WallaceGrommit103.exe) seems to get the sound working. Has to be a strange bug in wine, if i can track it down i'll file a bug report, but until then, maybe this'll help someone else.
  • I've encountered the exact same sound situation but didn't realise that would fix it, thank you so much. I know have it running perfectly on karmic which amuses me a lot as it kept freezing and running slow in vista! Thanks all.
  • Has anyone managed to play through TOMI5 on wine? For me it crashes right after Guybrush steps through the portal at, what I assume is, the end of act 1. I'm using wine-1.1.34.
  • No issue here.. (wine 1.1.34 ubuntu amd64, Geforce + some patches for Dragon Age)
    (well, I'm not far yet, still around the crossing, oops so I guess my reply is not relevant, I'll come back later :-)
  • Has anyone managed to play through TOMI5 on wine? For me it crashes right after Guybrush steps through the portal at, what I assume is, the end of act 1. I'm using wine-1.1.34.
    I'm having the same exact issue. Tried using both wine-1.1.33 and wine-1.1.34, and various nvidia driver version. I might give some older wine versions a try.
  • I managed to finish the game with wine 1.1.33, so it is possible (and I didn't do any dirty tricks beside installing directx and winegecko).
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    I just downgraded to 1.1.33 and now it doesn't crash after the portal for me.
    /me runs back to the game
  • Thanks. I downgraded to 1.1.31 and everything works for me.
  • So, Wine 1.1.39 introduced MSHTML support (or more support).

    + You can see "the background" of the ToMI game launcher.

    - The button for entering the game is missing, so no more ToMI in Linux with 1.1.39.

    I cannot enter the game anymore. I can downgrade (and will), but... How do you guys now try to enter the game?
This discussion has been closed.