Playing Need For Speed Most Wanted on Ubuntu

23 Aug 2010 18:07

There is a bunch of problems when installing and running Need For Speed Most Wanted game on Linux. We'll cover them one by one, but first what I'll tell you want you need:

  1. Need For Speed Most Wanted — I recommend having an original DVD, otherwise you shouldn't play
  2. Computer with NVIDIA graphics card (maybe others also work, Intel doesn't)
  3. A bunch of time, to do all the stuff listed here

Getting NFSMW installed

You would normally mount the DVD and run the AutoRun.exe with wine, but it's not really working, because it detects you have no DirectX and installs it, but after this does nothing.

We'll install DirectX ourselves and then work on the installer to not detect and install it.

Install DirectX with winetricks:

sh winetricks d3dx9

Then foul the installer: copy the DVD to some folder in the filesystem and edit AutoRun/autorun.cfg in the following way:
* find StartMenuDXEULA=1 line and replace it with StartMenuDXEULA=0
* find DirectXVersion=9.0c line and replace it with DirectXVersion=0

Now start AutoRun.exe from copied installer.

Running NFSMW

The version of wine that works for me is 1.2. Upgrade wine and then run speed.exe from ~/.wine/dos_devices/c:/Program Files/EA GAMES/Need For Speed Most Wanted (or similar dir, depends on your configuration of course).

Launch winecfg and set Windows version to Windows 2008 (maybe others work as well, this works for me).

Problem with not recognizing DVD

Even when you have an original DVD NFSMW may not recognize it correctly under Linux — you'll get "please enter DVD". You'll need NoDVD crack then.

The version that worked for me was one for NFSMW version 1.3. You need to upgrade NFSMW first, by using this file: (just run it with wine to upgrade).

Then replace the speed.exe binary with one from this crack: — unrar and replace speed.exe.

Choppy sound

From time there is pulseaudio daemon installed on my Ubuntu, I've been having problems with audio in wine. The solution to problem in NFSMW is:

  1. run winecfg, set audio driver to OSS only (remove tick from ALSA)
  2. run game through pasuspender, like this:
pasuspender wine speed.exe

It works pretty nice for me when running like this. The only drawback is that pulseaudio queues all sounds to be played during your game, so after you quit it so can get sound notifications from Pidgin or other applications.

UPDATE: recently (12 Sep 2010) it's not even needed to run game through pasuspender, probably due to some updates in pulseaudio.


I'm getting really nice graphics and reasonable FPS (about 30 I think) — just good enough to perceive it smooth, but bad enough to see the flickering from time to time (when there are many objects to render).

The special effects are really nice: raindrops on camera, colors of nature during sunset and finally the "I'm running so fast, that things are going blurry" effect.

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