How to install World of Warcraft on Linux with Lutris and Wine
22 November, 2020
World of Warcraft (Classic or Retail) is one of the few MMOs that, with a couple of open-source tools, will run flawlessly on a Linux box. The setup is relatively straight-forward, so if you'd like to lose your friends and life ambitions, read on.
We will be using the open-source gaming platform Lutris to install and run World of Warcraft. The actual compatibility layer is provided by Wine. I've seen a few different guides for setting this up, and they often either have too much information (making it seem like a lot of configuration is required, which is not true, at least in my experience), or too little information. Hopefully this is a nice compromise.
This process has been tested on Ubuntu 20.10 and 20.04. You will need to install the correct versions of Wine and Lutris for your distro.
If you're a Linux gamer you probably already have Wine installed. If not, it's a pretty simple process. The documentation for Ubuntu is here (find the correct page for your distro). The first things we need to do are the following:
- Enable 32-bit architecture
- Download the Wine repository key
- Add the key
To do this, in your terminal, run the following commands:
sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 wget -nc https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/winehq.key sudo apt-key add winehq.key
Next, we need to:
- Add the Wine repository
- Update the package index
- Install Wine
While I've seen other people recommend the development or staging branches, my first inclination is to try the stable branch first. We can always try other branches if the stable doesn't work. Make sure to add the correct repository for your Linux distribution and version:
sudo add-apt-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ groovy main' sudo apt update sudo apt install --install-recommends winehq-stable
Next, we install Lutris, following the instructions here. Similarly to Wine, we add the Lutris repository, update the package index, and install the program. Of course, use the commands appropriate for your distro:
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:lutris-team/lutris sudo apt update sudo apt install lutris
Install World of Warcraft
Finally, we install World of Warcraft (and Blizzard's Battle.net) using the Lutris installation script here. Lutris gives you the option of viewing the installation script, so if you're so inclined, absolutely have a look at what it's doing! In any case, all you need to do is click "Install".
From here, you follow the GUI prompts. I've left everything with the default options, and it seems to work fine. Simply open up Lutris, select World of Warcraft, click play, and watch your hopes, dreams and aspirations fade away!
Add-onsI don't know exactly how this works, but Lutris seems to create a Windows environment for each (Windows-native) game you install. So, you can use add-ons in the same way that you would on a Windows PC, simply by downloading the zipped file and unzipping it into the add-ons folder. You can probably do this using Twitch, but I've never bothered trying to figure that out.
So, for example, for the Bartender add-on, after downloading the zipped file, simply do something like this (making sure to use the correct folders and file names):
unzip ~/Downloads/Bartender-<version>.zip -d ~/Games/world-of-warcraft-classic/drive_c/'Program Files (x86)'/'World of Warcraft'/_classic_/Interface/AddOns
The -d flag allows you to provide the directory to unzip into, and I've assumed that the Bartender zip file is in
It is very possible that differences in hardware, drivers and distros will mean that the above process doesn't work for you. For further reading and troubleshooting, check out some of these resources:
- How to play World of Warcraft on Linux - AddictiveTips.com
- Install and run World of Warcraft on Linux - Silicon Gadget
- How to Install and Play World of Warcraft on Ubuntu - Make Tech Easier
- How to Play World of Warcraft on Linux with Wine - LinuxConfig.org