User Avatar Image

Telltale + Linux: A Definitive Guide

posted by covox on - last edited - Viewed by 64.7K 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
  • I'm very impressed. This solution is way better than the "ies4linux-method". Also it is the only way (I can think of), to get the demo running.

    Great job!

    (Also confirmation, that it works with Arch Linux.)
  • User Avatar Image
    any luck with the treasure hunt mode?
  • Oooh goodness. :):D
    Thanks alot for writing these instructions!!

    I can confirm that these instructions work on an Ubuntu Karmic Koala (9.10beta) installation.
    "Aptitude install wine1.2 "
    installed the 1.2.27 version of Wine for me.

    The computer is a Dell M4400 with a nVidia quadro FX700m.
    Running the stock Karmic installation with the nVidia driver.

    Fullscreen video and sound is working perfectly.
    One snag: On exit the program crashed and left my desktop at 1024x768.

    Any luck on the treasure hunt thing?

    - PP
  • User Avatar Image
    anyone got it working for episode 2?
  • yup.
    Used the same patch as mentioned by the OP.

    I had a problem with the fonts garbled on the initial launch screen.
    But the buttons are in the same place.
    Just click the new game button and off you go.

    And then when you press esc in-game and return to the pause menu the fonts are ok....
  • User Avatar Image
    ok.. good , ill try installing again. I just got a blank launch screen, not start link och textbox for serial number...:(
  • User Avatar Image
    I had the blank page too (with wine 1.0.1, which worked for episode 1). I've now installed version 1.1.27 and got the text box for the serial number. I had to change the index.html file (as also done by the script) for submitting the serial number. Otherwise it works fine.

    Note to Telltale: I know that Linux is not a supported platform, but it would be nice if you could change that form element in the index.html in the next games to include the action="index.html" attribute (which is a required attribute for the form element).
  • I had a problem with the fonts garbled on the initial launch screen.
    But the buttons are in the same place.
    Just click the new game button and off you go.

    And then when you press esc in-game and return to the pause menu the fonts are ok....

    That didn't work for me. :( I hope, someone knows, why this happens.
  • Good to hear that the script works for you cool kids too :)

    I've been investigating the treasure hunt mode; it appears to be tied with the SecuROM activation process, which must have an internal flag for whether you've activated with TTG login credentials or not. The upshot is you can't just activate with a serial then add registry entries with your login details, as the game will not use them.

    Working around this means hooking up some of the Javascript functions used to trigger the submit process, as well as a deactivation option for people who've played some Telltale stuff already (every SecuROM product is stored in the same reg key, so manually deleting that is a terrible idea). I'll keep working on it when I get some time.

    UPDATE: I've hit a bit of a snag. See, the serial number checks ask the backend software to do the HTTP request. The TTG login check does it at the browser level with AJAX.
    IE's reaction: "Ah, a locally-hosted Javascript is trying to send lots of user data to a completely unrelated computer over the internet! That sounds cool to me. Yep, no problems whatsoever."
    Gecko's reaction: "HOLY SMOKES! A dastardly cross-site scripting attack! Quick, get the taser! GET THE TASER!!!"

    The next version of the patcher might change a security setting in Gecko to work around this.

    UPDATE 2: I'm out of ideas. Even after tracing the logic used when logging into an account, I can't find out what activates the treasure hunt mode; all it seems to do is pull a serial number from your account, run the normal serial number check, and add the login/pass to the registry. Arrghghg.
  • Has anyone tried this in the Ubuntu LTS? (8.04 LTS, Hardy Heron)

    (I see that there do is a repository of the latest wine releases for Hardy.)

    My GPU lacks 3D support in Jaunty :(

    Thank you!
This discussion has been closed.