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Telltale + Linux: A Definitive Guide

posted by covox on - last edited - Viewed by 62.8K 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
  • Just so you know: I tried doing all of that, and it's not working.

    The only thing I can think of that's different is that the game is already installed, rather than installing it later on like you do in the guide.
    I thought I might uninstall it and re-install it but the uninstall thingie doesn't work any more than the launcher does.
  • As far as I know, Sam and Max season 1 work perfectly without patching for me on Ubuntu Karmic, so it can be removed from this sticky. One small last note, though: running the game in full-screen kinda messes up your panels, so I just run in windowed mode.

    By the way, wouldn't it be great if Telltale supported Linux like it's starting to support Mac? Same thing (in a sense), right?
  • Yeah, definitely, I tend to stop playing games with wine ; although it usually works pretty well, the games may always stop working with a wine update, new dll installs etc. So I prefer to support native games.

    They could just support & provide packages for a few major distros... It's probably easier now that TT's frameworks is meant to build on OSX :)
  • Sloshy45 wrote: »
    By the way, wouldn't it be great if Telltale supported Linux like it's starting to support Mac? Same thing (in a sense), right?

    There's an exploring thread here ;)
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    ttg_patch was broken for me, since the temp directory used by the program was "file://C:\\windows\\profiles\\ido\\Temp\\1B58505EB9864D30A0CF53A184313AE6\\launcher\\index.html"
    and not the expected "file://C:\\windows\\temp\\1B58505EB9864D30A0CF53A184313AE6\\launcher\\index.html"

    I've patched up ttg_patch and now it is working for me.
    the diff file is
    < grep = subprocess.Popen(["grep","-o","-m1",r"temp\\\\[A-Fa-f0-9]\{32\}\\\\launcher"], stdin=proc.stderr, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
    > grep = subprocess.Popen(["grep","-o","-m1",r"file://.*\\\\[A-Fa-f0-9]\{32\}\\\\launcher"], stdin=proc.stderr, stdout=subprocess.PIPE)
    < tempkey = grep.communicate()[0][6:][:32]
    < print "- Launcher found! Temp key used: " + tempkey
    > tempkey = grep.communicate()[0]
    > print "- Launcher found at: " + tempkey
    < lpath += "/drive_c/windows/temp/" + tempkey + "/launcher"
    > lpath += tempkey.replace("\\\\",'/').replace('file://C:','/drive_c').strip()

    this should theoretically work on both versions of temp directory.
  • Hi,
    I'm having trouble registering the activation code on Episode 2.
    I have tried to launch it with the ttg-patch and without.
    What happens is I get graphical "Please wait logging you in". After a second or two the screen changes to gray one with telltale logo on it. But no place to put the serial number.

    Any solution?
    Is there any other way to unlock the darn thing?
    My wine version is 1.1.41.


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    try to downgrade wine to ver. 1.1.31
    version 1.1.41 is buggy for telltale games, and the above version is the latest version which is still working for me.
  • Hey,
    Thank you very much. Downgrading really worked =)

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    Thanks v. much for your guide, I got everything working... up until the game loads (Logo with "Avast!" beneath it). Then it crashes and logs me out of my (computer) account. I tried it in window mode as suggested above, same result. Any idea why?
  • hi guys 'n gals,
    first off, thanks for the great wine-support! i was so happy to find this, after i purchased ToMI, knowing i didn't have to set up a dual boot.

    i'm sorry for hijacking this thread, but i have a question, :)
    some time ago my primary computer broke down, and getting it fixed costs too much, so i'm now using two hand-down notebooks from friends, one of which has a via unichrome chipset, which is only capable of opengl 1.2, which seems to be a no-go.
    the other has a mobility radeon, and it gives me weird glitches (like the ones mentioned on page 2 of this thread.) i haven't found a fix to this yet.
    now i'm looking to buy a new notebook, and i'm probably gonna go for the acer aspire timeline 1810tz. now i know it's specs are good enough to play the telltale games on windows, but i can't afford windows (and wouldn't want it)

    so my question is:
    would these specs be sufficient for playing the games (i.e. Strong Bad & Wallace 'n Grommit, the ones i haven't finished yet):
    Intel Pentium Dual Core SU4100
    Intel GMA X4500M HD

    (actually, i'm pretty sure the processor should be, i mainly want to know if the GMA X4500M HD is sufficient)
    thanks :)
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