Guide to Installing Diablo II LOD with PCLinuxOS and Wine

by Misfit138

Even if you don't run LOD (Lord of Destruction), you may find this guide has some useful pointers for Wine in general, and older games.

This quick guide is assuming that you have Wine installed through Synaptic (or apt-get), that it is version 0.9.23, you are running PCLinuxOS 0.93, are using Alsa, and have your proprietary 3D video drivers installed. If you have no 3D drivers, the 'nv" drivers should work with Nvidia cards, and the game should work in 2D mode, if you follow these instructions. I have also installed on the Intel 810 onboard video chipset, with 100% success, in 2D mode only.

The game runs velvety smooth on my newer machine, even better than in Windows.


  • EPoX EP9NPA+ Ultra
  • x2 3800
  • 2gigs RAM
  • eVGA 7600gt
  • Crummy old dumpster-diving Compaq S700 CRT monitor

Also works quite well in 2D mode on:

  • Compaq Presario
  • Celeron 733
  • 256MB RAM
  • Intel 810 onboard video
  • Crummy old dumpster-diving Compaq S50 CRT monitor
  • Step 1. Launch Wine's configuration tool.
  • Step 2. Click on the graphics tab. Enable desktop double buffering, allow the window manager to control the windows, and emulate a virtual desktop at 800x600 resolution. Uncheck pixel shader support and scroll down to vertex shader support. Choose "NONE," then click apply. (Note, if you cannot see the "apply" button, you are probably at 800x600 resolution on your 'true' desktop. Just hold down the alt-key and click on the configuration window to move it up a bit, so you can click it)
  • Step 3. Click on the applications tab. Scroll to Windows version, choose "Windows XP," and click apply.
  • Step 4. Click on the Audio tab and choose ALSA, uncheck OSS.
  • Step 5. This is perhaps the most important step. Change your PCLinuxOS Desktop resolution to 800x600. This can be done by right-clicking on the desktop and choosing 'configure desktop'. Scroll down to "display". If 800x600 is not available, then you must edit your /etc/X11/xorg.conf file to allow 800x600 resolution.
    WARNING: If you fail to change your desktop resolution to 800x600, Wine will crash during a patch update, as it will fail to be able to communicate with your video card and you will get an error message stating that the patch archive is corrupt. The install will be unusable at this point.
  • Step 6. Have some coffee, take a break. Read some Mark Twain, read the Gentoo install manual. We will be installing the game in 2D mode, using virtual desktop. "Why," you ask? The answer is a bit elusive, however, my best guess is that the original version of the game only supports 640x480, and Wine has a hard time communicating with the video card when your true desktop resolution is above 800x600. Only after you have upgraded to the Lord of Destruction Expansion Pack, will you be able to get the game to have 800x600 support, then the virtual desktop will be at 800x600, your true desktop can then be set to 1024x768. You may then disable the virtual desktop option and play the game in full screen mode! Next, we can enable vertex and pixel shader support, and 3D. You may experiment at your leisure with various desktop and virtual desktop resolutions, (AFTER THE INITIAL INSTALL!) but the following steps are known to work with my hardware. Note, if the desktop resolution is at 1024x768, Wine will crash during the patch install and you are stuck! I cannot stress this enough!
  • Step 7. Install the 'full' base version of the game (1550MB) through the Wine file manager, from virtual drive D. Register, or read the readme if you wish. (It does a body good, and somewhere a baby dolphin dies if you don't.) Run the video test. Ignore the recommendation and choose the 2D driver.
  • Step 8. Launch the game in single player mode to make sure you are getting video. Run around a little to make sure you do not freeze.
  • Step 9. Launch Battlenet. The game will detect there is a newer version and will patch you up to the latest version. If you followed my instructions, then you should see a progress bar during the patch installation process because Wine was able to shut off your 2D video. You can stop here and enjoy your new 2D install through Linux! What is better than this? (Well, 3D I guess.)
  • Step 10. If you purchased the LOD expansion, install it now, and launch battlenet once more. Again you will be patched up to the latest version.
  • Step 11. Go into single player mode and hit the "esc" key for options/video. Choose 800x600, apply, and exit. (Note that 3D perspective is unavailable.)
  • Step 12. Run a video test through wine/start/programs/diablo II/video test. Skip the test and choose 3d driver.
  • Step 12 ½. Run the Wine configuration tool and choose vertex and pixel shader support under the video tab.
  • Step 13. If you are feeling lucky, restart the game and you will notice that under video options, 3D perspective is now available!

Now that you are done, you may use up to 1024x768 resolution for your PCLinuxOS Desktop, and the install will still work. I have not tested above that resolution. You may also want to disable the virtual desktop option in the Wine configuration tool at this point. This yields the most realistic playing experience, as the game will truly be full screen. You can also launch the game from a terminal, through KDM, and play in full screen mode! Just enter the command: wine 'c:\Program Files\Diablo II\Diablo II.exe' (exactly as typed, at the command line.) This option also works better for older machines with 256MB RAM, the game will run quite smoothly.