Ultima Online on Linux

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Ultima Online on Linux Orginal Guide by Hugo of Napa Valley, Updated Guide by Nexus of Chesapeake, April 2010.

Ultima Online: Penguin Powered

For many of us, a Linux distribution is the Operating System of Choice, we don’t like wading through the battle field of virus’ that target Windows Operating Systems, or we simply like the flexibility and customization level of Linux based OS’s, and for a few we simply prefer and support the Open Source Software Community and movement. Unfortunately Windows continues to hold a majority market share in the computing world and that makes it simply financially and chronologically unsound for Game Studios to focus on multi-platform support in most cases. This leaves the Linux user with only a few options if they wish to enjoy many of their favorite games: Find a work around, or Dual Boot Windows and Linux.

In this article I plan to help the Linux user properly setup and install WINE, Winetricks, Ultima Online (Both Legacy and Enhanced Clients if desired), and UOAssist. I personally use a Debian Based Distro called Linux Mint currently on release 8 often simply referred to as “Mint Helena”, if you are using a RedHat, Slackware, openSUSE, FreeBSD or any other distribution model I’ll give links to all the software developers pages used in this guide, and ask that for non-Debian based users, please Read the Installation Instructions of these pieces of software when necessary. Additionally if you are a Mac user the instructions for installing Ultima Online on a Mac should be similar to these, with necessary changes due to Mac OS’s differences.
If you are using Debian, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Kubuntu, or one of the many other Debian based releases this guide should work well for you.
I’m using Debian experience as the base for this guide while the previous guide was done for a RedHat based Fedora, this change is for many reasons First I prefer Debian based, it’s all I have installed, secondly half of the top 6 most used Distributions for desktop or laptops are Debian or Debian based while openSUSE, Redhat based Fedora, and Mandriva make up the rest of that group, this means it is more likely for users who read this to actually have a Debian Distribution installed. So lets get started shall we.

& Winetricks

Most major Linux Distributions will come with WINE

pre-packaged, while this is a good thing most use WINE 1.0 and not the latest release. To fix this there are several options, first you can go to your distro’s package manager such as Synaptic and do a search for WINE and install WINE 1.2. Or you can simply open a Terminal and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install wine1.2

You should at this point be prompted to enter your super user password do so and hit enter and wait till  WINE has completely installed. You should have a new option on in your menu’s called “Wine”. Please search through it and find the “Configure Wine” link and open it. Use the drop down Menu on the window that opens to set the Windows Version (located at the bottom of the window) to Windows XP, as I’ve found it works best with the rest of this guide.

For non-Debian users please go to http://www.winehq.org/download/ and find the installation instructions for your distro.

Winetricks is an add-on to simplify installing many pieces of software for use with WINE, I recommend installing Winetricks as it is extremely useful in setting up Direct X for WINE.
To install Winetricks once again in the terminal enter the following command:


This will download Winetricks, to run it type in the following in your terminal:

You should get a popup with a list of software available to be installed, for this tutorial go ahead and go  through the list and check corefonts, d3dx9, d3dx10, and fontfix. Click OK and winetricks will set up Direct X 9 and 10, install and setup the basic Windows Fonts to help with graphical errors in text on your Windows Forms when running programs with WINE.

Ultima Online Legacy or Enhanced Client

My how times have changed, it is now as easy or, easier to install Ultima Online’s Enhanced Client with WINE than it is to install the classic or legacy client, that is unless you have access to a legacy client install on another computer you can copy over, or a Ultima Online CD you can install and patch to the latest  version. To make things easy I’ll start with instructions on how to install the Enhanced Client first, and then help with the Legacy Client.

Enhanced Client Setup step by step as taken from. http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=17380&iTestingId=45078

The above link is the official entry on WINE’s app database, where you can look up and search for windows based software to check on compatibility with WINE.

This method does work I have verified it myself, it can be annoying at times to accomplish but well worth it if you prefer the Enhanced Client.

  1. Download UOSASetup_105.exe
  2. Run UOSASetup_105.exe. The installer will extract files and present you with a ‘welcome’ screen.
  3. DO NOT SHUT DOWN THE INSTALLER!. If it asks you to update DX, say ‘no’.
  4. Navigate to .wine and go to drive_c -> windows -> temp. There should be a folder in that dir called ‘RarSFX0′ or something close to that.
  5. In that folder is a dir called ‘data1′. Those are the only files (2) you need to install the client. Move ‘data1′ to your desktop. The rest of the files are just fluff.
  6. Cancel the installer. It will delete all the install dirs in windows -> temp, which is why you need to move ‘data1′ first.
  7. Rename ‘data1′ to ‘UltimaOnline’ and move it to your Wine folder. You can put it wherever you like, just INSIDE drive_c 😉
  8. Open the folder you moved and there are two files: uopatch.exe and patch.cfg. Run uopatch.exe. It should create some files, uopatch.bin being one of them. If it doesn’t start, just run it again. uopatch.exe must kick off uopatch.bin. If it doesn’t (you can check in your System Monitor), just run another copy of uopatch.exe (don’t close the one already running). For some reason that kicks uopatch.bin into starting.
  9. The game will begin patching.
  10. When the game is done, just run it and enjoy :-)

Note: If you run into patching errors, make sure you don’t have more than one copy of uopatch.exe running. While that helps getting uopatch.bin to start, it causes errors DURING patching. You may have to kill the process and restart.
You will have to create your own shortcut to the executable, or you can start the Enhanced Client by browsing to it’s installation folder and manually starting it there.
You will probably have a few Sound distortions and stuttering from time to time with the Stygian Abyss Client this is actually Normal on Linux Installations.

1: Ultima Onine Stygian Abyss Client running on Linux Mint 8

The Legacy client now uses a much different installer than in the past, but it can be installed on Linux. First Download the new installer and then right click the download and “Open with WINE Windows Program Loader”. The setup will start just like on Windows, if it crashes don’t worry because Linux and Wine operate differently than Windows, it is much easier for a program to basically “hang up”.
If this happens try again, it may take several tries to get it to successfully install. Once again make sure you have set WINE to Windows Version > Windows XP”, as I’ve found this helps.

If you absolutely cannot get Ultima Online to install with the new installer, you still have options. You can see about obtaining a copy of Ultima Online that is already installed on another computer and then copy this into the .wine/drive_c/ directory located in your home folder. If you can’t find .wine when you open your  home folder don’t worry it’s there, it is a hidden directory just click View and check the box for Show Hidden Files. Another option is if you have a UO Installer Disk, simply pop in the disk, browse the disk contents, and right click Setup.exe and choose “Run with WINE Windows Program Loader”. You’ll have a lot of patching to do but it should install without issue.

uo on Linux

2: Ultima Online Running With UOAssist in Linux Mint 8 “Helena”


A couple of years ago if you wanted UOAssist to work with Linux you were pretty much out of luck. These days thanks to improvements to WINE it is now possible, with a little bit of extra work. First off you’ll need an install of IE6 or IE 7 which is easy enough to manage if you use winetricks (see I told you it’s a useful  program). Simply enter “sh winetricks” in a terminal hit enter and select IE6 or IE7 from the pop-up menu. Now go to the Tugsoft website and download a copy of the UO Assit installer. Open the downloaded installer by right clicking it and picking “Open with WINE Windows Program Loader” and when prompted navigate to your Ultima Online Install folder, usually it is /home/[your user name]/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Electronic Arts/Ultima Online Stygian Abyss Classic. Let the install finish and then run UOAssist from the WINE section of your Menus. Don’t click Continue on the UOAssist window yet! Instead pick “Settings” in the lower Right corner of the window and set UOAssist to Load with “Method Three” as this is more stable on Linux distributions. If you already have a UOAssist registered account you can recover your key by copying the Seed from the Registration Menu and then manually pasting it into the box on the Tugsoft Locate Key page.
The only thing with UOAssist I have not seen working is you cannot use the counters in the Title Bar as with Windows Installations.

uoa Seed

3: Location of the seed in UOAssist’s Registration Window

At this point you should have a working Ultima Online Installation, and if desired UOAssist operating on  Linux, along with some other helpful software such as winetricks, that not only helped you get UO set up,  but will be useful in the future.

Other Options

If you don’t want to install WINE and would prefer a more fleshed out Windows compatibility Layer you can look into purchasing a license and installing Cegeda. Cegeda is a fork in the WINE project and at one point absorbed the WINEX project.

Dual Booting, if you have a valid windows installation but also want to use Linux, it’s easier than ever to set up a Dual Boot System. The latest versions of the GRUB boot loader will automatically detect for Windows installations and configure a boot loader for you during it’s (GRUB’s) installation. This makes switching back and forth as easy as restarting your PC. Several Linux Distributions now also include something called a wubi on their Live CD’s this allows you to install that version of Linux from inside Windows, this makes installing Linux even easier, and it can be removed like any other windows based program through  Add/Remove Software in the Control Panel. To switch from Windows to Linux, just reboot.

once again this would require a Valid Windows Install Disk and Activation Key, but it is possible to run  Windows on a Virtual Machine on Linux and then install UO on this Virtual Windows Desktop. If you wish to go this route I’d recommend Sun Virtual Box, it is one of the better Virtualization software solutions available. The only real restriction to this is Virtual Box doesn’t emulate a 64-bit environment very well in it’s Linux version.

I hope this guide has been helpful to those of us that Don’t wish to rely on Windows, or for those that are interested in making the switch to a Linux distro, but were concerned about their ability to continue playing Ultima Online. So without further ado, Well met and see you in Britannia!

Last modified: September 13, 2013

2 Comments to “Ultima Online on Linux”

  1. Burt Slorp says:

    I installed UO as described above. I ran the patcher and such just fine. Game started but text boxes were flashing and buildings wouldn’t render. Players, creatures and music worked just fine, but was unplayable. Help?


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