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Telltale + Linux: A Definitive Guide

posted by covox on - last edited - Viewed by 64.5K 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
  • Ah, you beat me to it :) yeah the Wine guys have patched Gecko to make the quirk not break, so you only really need my script to get at the demo.

    On that subject sorry to anyone trying to get at the script, my webhost has taken a dive. Will try and add a RapidShare link or something.
  • For those, who have problems with the font in TMI, please confirm it on the bug-report I created, so the bug will be fixed faster (I hope so).

    I found the problematic commit and reverting it solves the problem.
  • do all ubuntu users have no treasure hunt option? how do I get treasure hunt work with ubuntu?
  • do all ubuntu users have no treasure hunt option? how do I get treasure hunt work with ubuntu?

    That's a good question. I think, only possible on windows at the moment.
  • Hmm, although the script does work with Sam'n Max Season 1 and Tales of Monkey Island (I think it's not required anymore since wine 1.1.29 except when playing in demo mode ?), here's what I get with Sam'n Max Season 2 (before getting the chance to type my serial nr or login) :


    Any idea ?
    Cheers !
  • Just want you guys to know that chapter 3 runs "out of the box" on my Ubuntu 9.10 development branch powered laptop (Dell Precision M4400).
    It has a nVidia fx770m gfx chip that is run by the closed source nVidia drivers v185.
    Desktop is Gnome with Compiz Fusion enabled.
    Wine version is 1.1.30
    All of it is standard repository stuff from Ubuntu.

    LOVE IT!!!! Yayyh!

    It might be me hallusinating but I think the game actually runs better on this setup than on my other boot with W7 and XP.

    Happy happy happy :D
  • Apologies if this has been asked or fixed already but I haven't yet found it...I've completed the install as instructed, but at the serial number entry I am prevented from entering any characters. The submit query button does refresh the page however. The demo works also. Thanks for your help
  • Episode Three works out of box on 9.04 with an ATI graphics card, just like it did for Episode One. Now if only there were a fix for the text being broken in Episode Two.
  • Hi,
    I am getting this message when trying to start the demo with the python ttg-patch. Any ideas?

    [email]kim@ubuntu:~/.wine[/email]/drive_c/Program Files/Telltale Games/Tales of Monkey Island/Launch of the Screaming Narwhal$ python MonkeyIsland101.exe
    Unofficial Telltale Wine Patcher v0.1
    (C)2009 moral recordings
    Starting Wine...
    Waiting on the debug channel for the Launcher to load...
    - Launcher found! Temp key used:
    Checking for index.html...
    - Expected to find cool stuff at /home/kim/.wine/drive_c/windows/temp//launcher/index.html, but found nothing. Except maybe disappointment.

    Edit: Reinstalled everything, and I could get to the html screen. where I could choose between serial number or play demo. After selecting demo it hanged. Now, when restarting with the same command "python MonkeyIsland101.exe" I get the above message again. I tried the "wine explorer /desktop=Wine,800x600 MonkeyIsland101.exe" cmmand as well. But it just hangs also...

    Thanks, and best regards
  • clarsthemight: No treasure hunt option as of yet.

    tofumeister: What version of Wine are you running (use "wine --version" at the command line to find out)? Chances are it's a bit old, as the Wine guys have fixed that regression. Either use the script, or upgrade to the latest version as per the instructions (1.1.32 or thereabouts).

    desmoo: What graphics card do you have in your PC? Can you run any other GL software under Linux? When you use /desktop=Wine,800x600 , does the console log freeze up at any particular debug messages?
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