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Telltale + Linux: A Definitive Guide

posted by covox on - last edited - Viewed by 41.8K 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
  • I don't quite get, why Telltale is supporting Mac OSX and OUYA, but not Linux. What is holding Telltale back? Linux gamers, that play Telltale games? Ouya doesn't have that many paying customers and a "tool" like Steam for Linux already exists. So why not Linux?

  • I just played The Wolf Among Us in a clean Wine v1.6, and it worked great :) No extra libraries required!

    First Telltale game that didn't break while playing the game as well!

    Well, I say "didn't break", the last scene had a lot of trouble loading, and it crashed while loading the credits... (knowing Telltale, this probably wasn't a Wine bug) but at least I got to play the game without getting annoyed.

    Well, I say "without getting annoyed", the fact that they hardcoded qwerty controls (where I have an azerty keyboard) and that the game relies on QTEs meant I failed A LOT.

    But despite that, I enjoyed this episode greatly.

  • I just played The Wolf Among Us in a clean Wine v1.6, and it worked great :) No extra libraries required!

    Good to hear you had some success! Was that via Steam or a Telltale installer?

    Now, how does one subscribe to a thread in these new fangled forums?

  • User Avatar Image
    DjNDB Moderator

    By replying you automatically "Follow" a thread. That means you get notifications, and it shows up in the "Followed Discussions" list on the Community page. You can also manually Follow a thread by clicking on the Follow button above the first post.

    There's no E-Mail notification yet though.

  • Was that via Steam or a Telltale installer?

    Both, actually. I finished the game once in each.

    I might replay the last chapter again soon with wine1.7, to see if the loading problem in the final scene is gone.

    EDIT I just replayed the ending with 1.7.4, and it was perfect (aside from a small lighting glitch in the trailer). So I definitely recommend using the latest wine :)

  • Looks like we may be getting native Linux support in the future, Kevin Bruner posted this on reddit:

    SteamOS and Steam Machines look really cool! We pride ourselves on how many platforms we support and are adding new ones all the time (Ouya most recently). We'll of course support the next gen consoles from Sony and MS, and I'm sure we'll add more Android support in the future. Steam and Linux are on the radar, but perhaps a little further out.

    I wonder if Ryan "Icculus" Gordon's offer still stands?

    I would port The Walking Dead to Linux for free. Hell, I would pay Telltale for the right to port The Walking Dead.

    It might help speed things up a bit ^_^ *keeps on dreaming*

  • You can also manually Follow a thread by clicking on the Follow button above the first post.

    Would be super neat if you didn't have to mouse over the first post for that button to appear. It feels like a pretty significant usability issues (and explains why I was having so much trouble locating it).

  • Looks like we may be getting native Linux support in the future, Kevin Bruner posted this on reddit:

    Fantastic. I hadn't spotted that. Thanks for sharing :D

  • Has running The Wolf Among Us under Wine worked for other people? I want to buy TWAU, but first I'd like to know that it works on my system (Debian GNU/Linux). Has there been any more information about when a native port might be coming out?


  • It worked for me before, but I can't get it to start episode 2 now.

    As far as I know there haven't been any updates on the possibility of a native release :(

    EDIT It was the crappy fullscreen code that stopped it from working, ticking 'emulate a virtual desktop' in winecfg did the trick :) Played through the whole game without a single glitch, but just like last time, it crashed on the 'next episode' trailer.

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