Monday, June 25, 2012

Ubuntu and WoW

Turns out I was wrong when I said that nobody in the Debian ecosystem is providing Wine 1.5.6, the version required to run World of Warcraft.  Wine 1.5.6 is prominently listed on the press release for PinguyOS 12.04 LTS, an Ubuntu derivative that emphasizes extra software and features, at the expense of leanness.  The target user is anyone that's really used to Windows and wants to try Linux.  To this end, they've built a customized GNOME interface with a variety of themes meant to resemble various releases of Windows.  They've also included the usual captive software suspects: codecs, drivers, and such.  The ISO is around 1.7 GB

I've never tried PinguyOS. The developer likes a much more featureful (or bloated, from my POV) desktop experience than I do.  But I'm a special case, trying to wring the most performance I can out of elderly hardware that's well behind the curve. 

Pinguy reviews are generally positive, and it is Ubuntu at its heart.  If you have a powerful machine and/or are willing to seriously prune your installation, are used to Ubuntu, and are also disappointed at Wine 1.5.5, give PinguyOS 12.04 LTS a try. The developer claims that system requirements are the same as for default Ubuntu.

I may install and recklessly prune it; I may just see if I can add Pinguy's repos and/or PPAs to an install of Lubuntu or Madbox, or I may just stay with openSUSE 12.1 for the time being.

edit: So of course I post this 26 hours after the Ubuntu PPA moves to Wine 1.5.7.... I'm going to have to try it, and see if it works.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Back

I've returned to World of Warcraft.  A friend sent me a Scroll of Resurrection, and a free upgrade to Cataclysm is pretty hard to pass up.

The state of WoW in Wine is not at its best.  Debian (and Ubuntu) are stuck in v1.5.5, which unfortunately runs WoW as garbage.  The last previous version that looks good is 1.5.2, which you would have to compile from source.  Apparently, Scott Ritchie, the Ubuntu PPA maintainer, is waiting for Kai Wasserb├Ąch, the Debian maintainer, to upgrade.

Currently, your best bet is probably openSUSE 12.1 or SalixOS 13.37 (or its Slackware base, if you're that hardcore).  Right now for me, it's a 32-bit openSUSE 12.1 netinstall with LXDE, Wine 1.5.6, and ATI's Catalyst driver.  I'm now running on an AMD Socket 939 dual-core 2GHz 64 bit processor (now dual-core), 3 GB of RAM, the same ABIT KN8 Ultra v1.1 mobo, and a 512MB ATI Radeon 4670 PICe GPU.  The new client is more graphically demanding, so framerates are a little worse in my tests than my 128MB nVidia 7100 did back in WOTLK.  I'll be reposting my "How to install Linux" guide next.

Even with 3 GB of RAM, swap has become an issue, so I edited /etc/sysctl.conf and added the line vm.swappiness = 100 to the end in order to disable swap. If you worry that you don't have enough RAM to run without swap, either get Conky going and add something like:  ${memgraph 40,150 000000,666666}
and/or:  RAM: $memperc% $mem/$memmax
to your ~/.conkyrc file.  A post on Conky is something else I'm going to have to do.