Black & White 2 + Ubuntu = Woohoo!!!

Lately, I’ve felt a very strong desire to revisit Black & White 2 (does that make me a retro gamer?).  When I first bought my Windows 7 licence, it was so I could play Windows games without getting frustrated with the patchy experience of trying to run those games using Wine under Ubuntu.

For a small time, Black & White 2 worked, and all was good with the world.  Eventually, a Windows Update came through, and it stopped working.  I tried the XP and 2000 compatibility modes, admin and non-admin access, and got no joy.  I tried upgrading to Windows 7 Professional for its greater XP backwards compatibility, and joy eluded me.  I started looking seriously into buying a Windows XP licence, purely to run the games that Windows 7 now denied me.  Given that I’d just recently blown money on a Windows upgrade that only saw me poorer, I was loathe to fork out even more cash.

So, it’s been a while since I last tried getting Black & White 2 running with Wine.  The last attempt  (maybe a year or two ago?) was not great. However, WineHQ’s AppDB entry had some interesting things to say on getting the game running with more recent revisions of Wine, so I plunged on in, and found immense joy.  Here’s some key points on my getting it working:

  • I’m using the Wine 1.3.19 development release
  • Ubuntu 10.04 , running NVidia’s propietory 3D graphics driver
  •  I needed to switch from my preferred TwinView display to a separate X display per screen.
  • It wouldn’t work out of the box until I extracted ‘d3dx9_25.dll’ out of the archive (found on install disk #1), and dropped that dll into “Program Files/Lionhead Studios/Black & White 2”.

How do I extract a file from a Microsoft CAB archive under Ubuntu?  The answer is a wonderful little utility called cabextract.  Get it thusly:

# sudo apt-get install cabextrac

And done. Where Windows 7 failed me in playing a Windows game, Ubuntu and Wine came to the rescue! Now, please excuse me as I continue me squee-fest with my favourite giant lion!

Ehh!?  What? Don’t believe me?!?  Heathens!  Ok, here’s a small gallery of me playing it in a window, with some ubuntu desktop surrounding it to keep the disbelievers from leaving nasty comments:


One response to “Black & White 2 + Ubuntu = Woohoo!!!

  1. Nice, I use Linux Mint myself, just got the urge to stick BW2 in again, haven’t tried Win7 yet, but if that fails I’ll know where to look to find the answer 🙂


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