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Old 03-19-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
panton41's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Jeffersonville, Ind.
Default GURPS Character Assistant under Wine for Linux

I'm going to summarize my install routine for GCA under Ubuntu with the current (1.20-RC2 as of right now) version of Wine. It should work with most major distros as well virtually unchanged:

1) Install Wine repositories and install latest version of Wine. How this is done depends on your distro but Wine HQ has current builds for most major distros.

1a) Be sure to install the wine-gecko and cabextract package if it's not automatically enabled.

2) Download winetricks and change the permissions to be executable. Note, the official repo might have installed it automatically.

3) Create a directory to hold the GCA install. I use "/home/myusername/Software/GCA".

4) Run Winetricks with the command:
WINEPREFIX="/explicit/path/to/your/directory/" winetricks
Check "riched20", "vb6run", "native-oleaut32) and "fontsmooth-rgb" or "fontsmooth-bgr" depending on your display.

4a) For the post-March 2011 update to winetricks follow these selctions:
1) Choose "Select the default wineprefix" (which will be the one explicitly entered).
2) Choose "Install a Windows DLL or Component."
3) Select "riched20" and "vb6run." (Control click to choose more than one line.)
4) Choose "Change Settings."
5) Select "fontsmooth-rgb" or "fontsmooth-bgr" and "native-oleaut32."
6) Exit out by choosing "cancel" until window closes.

5) Use the command line to install GCA and patches to the same WINEPREFIX.

6) Run winecfg (once again with WINEPREFIX first) and choose libraries. Verify that riched20, riched32 and oleaut32 have been set as "native, builtin". Also choose Windows version Windows XP as this as been shown to run slightly better.

8) If needed copy the "GURPS Character Assistant" folder from the Document/My Documents folder off your Windows partition/disk into your home folder.

9) Cross your fingers and run GCA.

Following all of that will not only allow it to run, but also eliminate the ugly fonts seen previously. Some displays have a pixel order of RGB and some BGR play with the two to see what works best for you.

I use a WINEPREFIX since other programs, notably DirectX that many games install, will mess up a GCA install. In general it's good practice when you're installing anything with Wine to do it that anyway. I use a non-hidden folder with Wine just because it's easier to navigate to, but if you prefer hidden folders just put a "." before your directory name.

You can speed up GCA by adding:
To the menu item for GCA. It will cause Wine to not throw back debugging comments to the (probably unseen) console and make it run slightly faster.

I've found GCA under Wine to be quite a bit faster than natively under Windows, but, of course, your mileage may vary.

Sometimes I copy the Steve Jackson Games directory from the AppData/Application Data folder in Windows user account into the equivalent folder in Wine. It helps keep many of your settings intact, but chances are the GCA.ini file inside of it will cause a crash on start up. Simply remove it (copying it) and once a new one is made you can transfer over settings that might not "take" once set.

Also keep in mind the legalese of having a valid Windows license when doing this. I have two computers (including the one with Linux) running Windows 7 and a legal copy of Windows XP, which most likely keep me in the clear, but for people who only have Linux you're technically violating the EULA.
The user formerly known as ciaran_skye.


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Last edited by panton41; 05-17-2011 at 08:41 AM.
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