Monday, March 3, 2008

World of Warcraft on Kubuntu Linux

I was looking at my site referrals and I've noticed that my biggest referrers (aside from Google) seem to be screenshots that I took of myself playing on Linux. Well... those screenshots are quite outdated and there were only two of them. So I figured I'd take some more, hopefully demonstrating a little bit more than just "Look I can boot it up"!

I'd like to note that I normally play in the fullscreened version of Windowed Mode, but I decided to take my screenshots using a much smaller window size so you can see a little more of the Linux environment.

The screenshots have also been resized to 1024x768 (my normal size is 1280x1024) so I apologize if some of the text is hard to see!

It's true-- I never logged into Tawyn on Windows until after she hit 70.

Latency and framerate in Stormwind on a fairly busy day. 27fps is more than playable. Also I would like to note that I don't quite understand why, but I experience more latency natively on Windows than via Wine in Linux.

The program in the background there is Amarok, which is definitely my favorite music-playing software (and is currently only available for Linux/Unix, although I hear a Windows version is in the works). I wanted to demonstrate that I can listen to music and play WoW (with sound effects intact) at the same time. Note: If you are using Linux and wish to do this too, you have to go into winecfg and make sure you are using ALSA and not OSS. Some people have issues with ALSA though, so be warned!

Framerate while flying in Netherstorm; it's gone up to 51fps. It was actually up to about 60 but the screenshot program slowed it down just a bit.

Linux, meet massive quantities of sustained ranged DPS! While listening to Scatman, of course. (It actually randomly happened to start playing here because my playlist is always on randomize. Good timing, I thought.)

So there you have it-- not only can you play World of Warcraft on Linux, but you can listen to music while you're doing it, and, judging by what I've got minimized, you can also chat on IRC, Instant Messenger, and browse the web. All at the same time. Really the only thing I've yet to do on Linux is chat on Ventrilo. =( Someday, though. Someday!

For more information you can check out my previous posts on WoW/Linux:

The Linux & WoW Q&A
Answering Questions (Mostly of the Linux Persuasion)

As well as The Official Ubuntu WoW Guide (Very helpful!)

And remember, no matter what Blizzard says, there is indeed a Cow Level:


Nina said...

I love your Ubuntu set up -- very sleek looking!

I too, am an Ubuntu Linux nerd who has been trying for a long time to get WoW to run with Wine. I have SO many problems getting it to work though, and it's so irritating! Grr!

I've never used Amarok before -- I will have to try it out. Currently, my favorite is Banshee, but I'm open to try new things. ^_^

Nialla said...

Great Screenies. I was wondering what your music setup was like.What's your fps like when you pvp?

Pike said...

Nina - Getting WoW and Wine to play nice seems to be very luck-based and hardware-based, there are some people who simply can't get it to work no matter how hard they try. I sort of think I just got lucky myself. I haven't tried Banshee-- Amarok came default with Kubuntu and the KDE interface, but it's quite hard for me to use anything else now!

Nialla - I haven't seen any specific numbers but I gonna guess 40-50fps when I PvP. I'll have to look into that next time though. The exception would be gigantic battles in AV when everybody is in one spot, but I imagine everybody experiences some slowdown there...

Faeldray said...

27fps on a busy day in a city? I'm lucky if I can get 12fps on my laptop on a slow day while running around in the back country somewhere. I'm definitely using inferior hardware. :(

Llanion said...

Amarok just rules. I used to be a die-hard Winamp fan and was upset there was no Winamp on Linux.

Then I found Amarok and upset went away.

Anyway, the other reason I'm here is to do some shameless and blatant promotion- I just wrote a blog post about Vent under Kubuntu that you might find helpful.

Enjoy Karazhan- it's truly amazing fun in there.

Zach said...

I am curious on your hardware specs if you could please give me the list. I'm looking to compare my specs to yours and see how I would be in linux.
atm i'm at 15 fps on a good day in Windows XP. I'm hoping and praying that linux can get me something higher.

Intel Core 2 Duo 1.5 Ghz
2 gigs ram 667 MHz
384 MB Integrated Video(Shared)
200 gig Sata HD

Pike said...

Processor: AMD Athlon(tm) 64 Processor 4000+, MMX, 3DNow, ~2.4GHz
Memory: 1022MB RAM
Hard Drive: 250 GB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 6800 XT
Sound Card: Realtek AC97 Audio

Indigo said...

(1) Good choice of system name, but beware it walking to the kitchen and eating unbaked cake batter.

(2) The reason some people have problems with ALSA with their system is they're using "crap" hardware. Trying to get most on-board sound cards to work properly with multiple audio sources fails because the hardware doesn't have Hardware Mix available as a channel (either hardware doesn't support it or the ALSA drive doesn't on that hardware). It's what made me install an old SB Audigy soundcard when I played via Linux back during 1.09

How long have you been playing via WINE? I started at around 1.06 and got better performance from Linux than Windows (even when doing major system compiles in the background) but 1.10 and 1.11 killed the performance pretty badly for me. I never looked back after 1.12 as I was in an upper-end raiding guild at the time and needed my system to work (and single digit FPS was not "working" when you're talking BWL and AQ40)

Pike said...

@ Indigo - I began using Linux in January 2007 and began playing WoW in May 2007 so I have been playing via Linux/Wine for thirteen months now. I have never experienced any problems other than the occasional issues with new Wine versions and those have lessened so much as time has gone by that they are essentially non-existent now.

Indigo said...

Interesting. I guess that gives me no reason to not dump Linux on my box again. ;)

I wasn't too thrilled about trying it again (P4 Prescott 2.8 w/HT, 2048MB, GF6800GT 256mb) but I recently got all the parts in for my new system and I know XP is going to be crap on it (AMD Phenom 9850 (Quad Core 2.5ghz), 4096gb RAM, GF8k series vid chipset onboard (512mb Shared) so I've been digging around looking for info.

Have you come across anyone using a distro other than (K)Ubuntu? I'm used to using Gentoo (it's what I used before and it's what I use on my servers) but I'm not opposed to switching for the 'Desktop'.

Pike said...

@ Indigo - I saw a help guide once...

I do not have any experience with Gentoo myself (I would love to start branching out into other distros, once I get a hardwired internet connection-- wireless and Linux just are not reliable at the moment! =P) but I am sure there are people who run it fine on Gentoo.

WoW Gold Guide said...

good post