You can run the game Command and Conquer: Red Alert 2 on Ubuntu by using Wine. Unfortunately, the game's installer does not run in Wine, although there are several procedures that you can follow to get the game itself working. The procedure detailed in this article requires the use of a working Windows installation, although it does not have to be on the same computer as your Ubuntu installation.
Also, the game has a copy-protection system which causes problems when trying to run the software through Wine. Unfortunately, we must resort to using a crack to make the game playable. See the Legal Issues section for more information.
This procedure has been tested on an i386 computer running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS (Hardy Heron), with wine 0.9.59-0ubuntu4. The Windows computer was running Windows XP SP2.
Install Red Alert 2 normally, on a Windows computer, using your game CD. Make sure that you install the Westwood Shared Internet Components, as these provide the auto-updater.
Update the game to version 1.006. If the auto-updater fails, you can download a standalone patch, which you should scan with your Windows anti-virus software before running.
Follow the instructions in the .nfo file which should have been extracted from the file you downloaded. It is important to copy the .mix files listed from both the Allied and Soviet discs to the game directory (normally C:\Westwood\RA2). Three of the .mix files are the same, so it does not matter which disc you take them from.
- Still on Windows, try to play the game without a CD in the drive. If it does not work, you cannot continue.
Copy the game directory (normally C:\Westwood\RA2) to a removable drive or similar, so that it can be copied onto your Ubuntu installation. With all of the .mix files, the game directory should be around 1GB in size.
- Copy the game directory to your Ubuntu computer.
Install the wine package.
Open a Terminal (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal) and type the following to run the game:
(Make sure that you replace /path/to/ with the path to the directory that you saved the Westwood folder in.
See the WineHQ entry for Red Alert 2 for troubleshooting advice and performance tweaks.
This section does not constitute legal advice, and is only intended to inform you of potential legal issues.
It is unfortunate that a no-CD crack must be used to get the game working, but it seems that few people have been successful in running the game through alternative methods. If you do choose to follow these instructions, please do not abuse the use of the no-CD crack. That is;
- Only copy the cracked game directory to one computer. Do not 'lend' it or sell it to anyone else.
- Make sure that you own at least one genuine Red Alert 2 CD while you are using the cracked game directory, 'as if' you were playing the game from CD as intended.
Even by taking these steps you are on legally dubious ground, since circumventing copy protection in this way is illegal in some countries. If you are in any doubt of the law in your country, do not use these instructions.
After completing a "skirmish" game, you may find that the button on the game summary screen doesn't work. In order to work around this, run Red Alert in a Terminal and, when you reach that screen, click the button and then press Alt + Tab a few times to update the screen.
This guide is mostly based on the advice found in the WineHQ entry for Red Alert 2.