Play Baldur’s Gate On Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx With Wine

If you hear the phrase “The Lord of Murder shall perish”, and immediately think “but in his doom he shall spawn a score of mortal progeny”, then you might remember the Baldur’s Gate series from the late 90s and early 00s.

What you see here is Baldur’s Gate running on a Ubuntu 10.04 virtual machine with the Wine compatibility layer. Basically, I wanted to run Baldur’s Gate in windowed mode, but the graphics performance in windowed mode on Windows 7 is abhorrent (not surprising, since Baldur’s Gate was written for Windows 95/98), and I wanted something better. The logical answer, of course, was a Windows 95/98 virtual machine, but I lost my Windows 98 disc years ago, and frankly I’m not going to pay money for a copy of a 12 year-old OS.

But Ubuntu 10.04 is free. Virtualbox, which lets you host virtual machines, is free. And Wine, which lets you run Windows programs on Ubuntu, is also free. And Wine tends to focus heavily on backwards compatibility, which means that it doesn’t always run so well with modern Windows programs…but it works just great with a 12-year old game.

And so, here you see Baldur’s Gate running on a Linux virtual machine hosted on a Windows 7 system, a technological feat that would have been impossible when the game actually came out 12 years ago.

So, basically, I spent my free time this weekend resurrecting a dead video game. Performing technological necromancy, if you will.

-JM

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