View Full Version : Ubuntu, Wine and IL2 1946

03-25-2009, 05:54 PM
I recently polished off some code as concerns IL2 1946 for contribution to Wine, intended for Ubuntu distributions, and you will see this in already in Wine 1.1.17 and more so in the upcoming 1.1.18 release, in which I fixed some of the bugs for IL2 1946 users. If you dont know what I am talking about, then Ubuntu is an operating system just like Windows XP or Vista but instead of relying on closed computer code (which means you the home user cannot change or update the source code for XP or Vista, only Microsoft can), Ubuntu is open source and fully adaptable (by both professionals and you, the home user). And the great thing about Ubuntu (which means 'Humanity towards all') is that this open source code is all offered for free as in zero dollars for you to download and use Ubuntu. Ubuntu is based on the Linux kernel, which itself derived from the Unix kernel, and this means in laymen's terms that it just kicks butt. For almost any task, whether bootup, shutdown, program operation, scientific computing, bug-hunting, visualization, etc... Ubuntu is faster while also consuming less resources and allowing you to keep your hair longer. Ubuntu is also mucho resistodante to windows viruses and malware of all types. This is mostly due to the kernel design and also because Linux still only has 1-8% of the market depending upon country. For example, the crappy Aero desktop in Vista consumes about 200 MB just to function but Ubuntu has effects far nicer than this that run with only 20 MB of memory in the back ground. Did I mention that it costs zero, yes zero dollars ?!!!

So what is Ubuntu's weakness if all this is being offered completely free ?

It has two weaknesses as of early 2009: It does not play many Windows games well (like IL2 1946, COD IV, Fallout 3, Crysis, etc..) and many pieces of hardware do not have Linux drivers written for them (some examples would include Logitech webcams, some printer models, newer Creative X-Fi soundcards, Ageia PhysX physics card, etc...). this means if you want to only run Ubuntu, you should check for hardware compatibility first.

Okay, so it is not a great 'gaming' operating system.....yet. But there are work arounds and the best is called Wine. In their own words, "Wine is a translation layer (a program loader) capable of running Windows applications on Linux and other POSIX compatible operating systems. Windows programs running in Wine act as native programs would, running without the performance or memory usage penalties of an emulator, with a similar look and feel to other applications on your desktop."

Will Wine run IL2 1946 in Ubuntu 8.10 ?

The answer is yes, and without too many problems now.

I fixed several problems with the loader, using the 4.08m patch and graphics calls under 4.08m and Wine. You will still notice graphics corruption with more than 8 planes on screen at one time and sometimes during heavy AAA fire. I have not tested for any mods or the Track IR (dont use these yet). Hyperlobby installs fine under Wine but there are some connection problems and I will address these issues later in April, if I get time.

CH Products, the Saitek X-52 stuff, and the Thrustmaster Cougar will all run in Ubuntu 8.10 fine with no problems assigning controls to buttons and hat switches. You will not be able to run the custom driver software (Control Manager, Foxy, etc..) at this time with good results. I have had really nice success with the CH Fighterstick and CH Pro Throttle with Ubuntu 8.10.

I will post here more as I update Wine more (Wine is also open source and any knowledgeable programmer can contribute to changing the source code) but it should work for you pretty well now.


Disclosure - I do not work for Ubuntu or Canonical but I do believe in open source standards and open source development. I am also an infrequent contributor to Ubuntu and the Wine projects.

03-26-2009, 07:50 AM
Hi, and thanks for the informative post!

If IL-2 could be run reasonably well through Wine that would (for me at least) be excellent news, as IL-2 has been the main obstacle for me starting to use Ubuntu as my default operating system.

Thanks for the info, I appreciate it!


03-26-2009, 11:55 AM
Thanks for your work,

Now I understand why it didn't work at all on my Ubuntu 8.10/Wine machine. This is actually the only reason that I'm still using XP on a dual boot machine. Once the Il2 issue / Hyperlobby / X52pro will be fixed, I'll happily get rid of that disgusting piece of crapware and pass 100% under Ubuntu.

Keep up the good work,

03-26-2009, 01:02 PM
Yep, same here fellas. At home, like you guys, I have Ubuntu 8.10 and Vista 64 bit and only keep the Vista/XP for some games (like good ole Morrowind). Once all of us Wine project guys get IL2 1946 fully ported over, there will be little need to use Windows at least for me personally. At our lab, we have about 70 different computers of all stripes, some being very powerful work stations and about 64 of them run Unix or some form of Linux (like Debian). We have a few clients that run Windows of some stripe but its for compatibility purposes only.

The next step will be to convince hardware makers like CH Products, Saitek, Logitech, Natural Point (Track IR), etc.... to start making drivers for Ubuntu (and/or other Linux distros like Debian). It will take time no doubt, but that time is now in view.

03-26-2009, 05:05 PM
Part of what holds Wine back in terms of Windows games (and flight sims in particular) is that the USB support does not emulate windows usb drivers, so things like TrackIR do not work.

03-26-2009, 07:36 PM
Thanks for the info, jayhall0315. I haven't tried IL2 and Wine since Ubuntu 7.10, glad to hear about the improvements. I'll have to check it out.

03-27-2009, 01:53 PM
Thanks for your work with Wine, jayhall!

I would really like to run IL-2 on Linux, it is one of the few things that still keeps me dual booting.

I have been able to run IL-2 with Wine, using OpenSuse Linux 11.1. My Logitech joystick works fine, but I can not get my Track IR to work. My sound card is a Creative X-Fi, and this used to be a problem too, but the beta drivers from Creative works for me now.

Too bad, it does not seem like there is any hope for Linux Track-IR drivers on the short term: http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showtopic=29737

But maybe if more people are asking for it...?

03-27-2009, 02:23 PM
Yes, its all about critical mass. I am not a hardware specialist or driver writer by nature so it would take too much time for me to reverse engineer a driver for Linux from Natural Point, assuming they would release the source code to me (which they probably would not do). But if we can get enough guys to try IL2 1946 on Ubuntu and then thousands start to ask for a Linux Track IR driver, well... you never know... it might happen.

I personally dont own a Track IR yet but I suspect it would not work on Ubuntu just as you found for Suse due to the proprietary driver.

The day when we can play IL2 on Linux with zero problems is coming but it may take awhile to get all the hardware partners onboard.

03-28-2009, 04:29 AM
Edit: Content removed. DD_Crash, stop doing that, you know it's not allowed to be discussed here. If you keep it up I or another moderator will be forced to take action more severe than a public reprimand.

04-03-2009, 10:33 AM
You will still notice graphics corruption with more than 8 planes on screen at one time and sometimes during heavy AAA fire.

Hi, I just replaced XP on my Dell E1505 laptop with Ubuntu 8.10. After reading the above statement, I had decided it wouldn't be worth the bother to "reinstall" IL2 under wine. However I plugged in my external USB drive which had a backup copy of IL2 4.08m, and I ran IL2FB.exe right from the ext drive, and it looked fine. So now IL2 is back on the laptop, and when playing it you would never be able to tell it's not WinXP. It seems to be smoother with 16 bombers in QMB test with lots of flak shooting (Okinawa).

My only gripe now with Ubuntu is that DVDs play with a very bad flickering, and also same with .AVI files. I tried a few different players: Mplayer, and VLC. Maybe I'll try running W32 version of VLC under wine?

04-03-2009, 12:45 PM

04-03-2009, 04:48 PM
This sounds good. I have a Ubuntu install running in VM Server at work for testing and diagnostic purposes and one of these days I'll get into it seriously as a dual boot option at home.

Having Wine and IL-2 work together would be very good indeed. Even for giggles right now.

04-03-2009, 05:04 PM
Thanks for all this info Jayhall.

I have run my Ventrillo server on Ubuntu and have been watching this topic with keen intrest. Next time I get a hand-me-down machine from somewhere with no OS, I'm going to try this http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-happy.gif



04-04-2009, 03:28 AM
A simple question: will the Ubuntu/Wine route work for Windows applications compiled using .NET Framework libraries? That is, can you install .NET on Wine?

The chances are that my home PC will soon be replaced, but the old one is still a capable machine, especially if running a lean Unix kernel. So it could act as an IL-2 coop host with SEOW co-installed. SEOW presently requires a Windows machine with .NET Framework 2.0 for some of the software functions.


04-05-2009, 09:14 AM
jayhall, what a great move forwards! IL2's the only reason I use XP at all anymore.

Thanks very much for your efforts. This could result in a dream come true. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

http://appdb.winehq.org/object...***=version&iId=7102 (http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=7102) - needs updating.

04-18-2009, 05:42 PM
Okay guys, Wine 1.1.19 is out with the new code I added to it. This should allow most of you to use IL2 1946 4.08m with Ubuntu 8.10 without too many problems. Everything seems to work fine. Hyperlobby still does not work correctly but I may work on that this month if time presents. Teamspeak does work fine if you download the Linux specific version.

I have had no problems with my CH Fighterstick, Pro Throttle or Pro Pedals but Control Manager does not install correctly. We will likely have to wait on CH products to fix this. Same for the Saitek X-52 which works fine in Ubuntu although, you will not be able to install the Saitek software. And I have not tested my Cougar much yet or the Foxy software, so I cant speak on that.

I will release a log on IL2 1946 problems with Wine if I run into any errors at the Wine applications database.

I know that not many gamers have picked up on using Ubuntu yet but I believe good things are ahead for Ubuntu and Wine.

Cheers - Jay

Thanks for the kind comments Wilhelm. The day I can fully ditch Windows and all its bloat and security problems for nice open source code that anyone can help improve will be a good one.

04-20-2009, 05:15 PM
Aside from some hardware not working correctly or at all, how does the game perform on Wine? Better frame rates? No audio or video issues?

04-20-2009, 05:56 PM
It works just about as well as it does on Windows Vista and I would roughly say about 5% slower than the frame rates you would find on Windows XP SP2. With a modern ATI 4890 on a test box, I was getting in the mid 300s for frame rates, so no problems there. The main video issue that we are still tackling is noise and some artifacts with more than eight planes in the sky at one time. So when flying a mission offline and combat starts to occur, you start getting problems with 20, 30 planes in the air. You can still fight and fly okay but its also slightly annoying. The sound works fine but you will not get EAX 1.0 effects in Ubuntu since Creative is too lazy to release a Linux driver for their soundcards (that works, I should add). Hyperlobby is designed for the Windows networking stack so it will not work in Ubuntu.

The hardware that many gamers have that will often not work or not work fully is:

The deal breaker here for many is the Track IR which is NOT supported in Linux yet. I dont own one (yet), but I know from Ubuntu posts that it will not work.

Many newer Creative Soundcards
Ageia PhysX PPU
Many different models of webcams
Some models of printers

CH Products and Saitek X-52 stuff work fine. I have not tested the Thrustmaster Cougar much yet with Ubuntu 8.10 or 9.04 beta. All Logitech stuff works fine but their proprietary software, like Setpoint is not supported.

You should give it a try. Ubuntu is very easy to install, requires none of Vista's silly activation crap and, as many laymen like to say, "it just plain works !"

Hope that helps Woke Up - Cheers Jay

PS - I often use Churchill's quote to Lady Astor with a twist if I decide to play IL2 online after having some drinks with my fiance. Its when my adversary goes down with colorful cussing that I will interject with, "Yes, but tomorrow I will be sober, and your flying will still need improvement". There was a funny website that I cant seem to locate at the moment where some psychiatrist had rated Churchill's IQ as roughly 165. Why this is likely a load of hogwash, I would indeed not be surprised if it had been found to be terribly high.

04-20-2009, 06:21 PM
Any linux users who own a trackIR should go request native linux drivers on naturalpoint's forums.

04-20-2009, 06:49 PM
Great tip Na85. Thanks. This was part of the reason I have never big in that big of a hurry to buy a Track IR despite all the rave reviews. I will look into this.

Much appreciated