StarCraft in Ubuntu? YES, Drink the WINE!


In keeping in step with my new found love of StarCraft, I wanted to play it on my laptop. One problem… my laptop doesn’t run on windows or mac, its powered by UBUNTU!

I love running Ubuntu, and I have never found a reason why I would need windows on my laptop. Ubuntu does everything I need it to, that is until I wanted to play a PC based game on it.

I did a little google searching and I found out that WINE on Ubuntu will play StarCraft perfectly! I gave it a go, and was surprised at how easy it was, and how well it all worked together.

Here are the steps I took:

  • Open a terminal and run sudo apt-get install wine to get wine.
  • After that finishes, insert the StarCraft CD into the computer
  • In the terminal cd to whatever cdrom drive you put the cd in (under the /media/ directory). Mine was /media/cdrom0
  • Use Wine to setup StarCraft with wine setup.exe. You’ll get the install screen for SC – enter your CD key and install the software. StarCraft will be installed under the path of
    ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Starcraft/starcraft.exe.
  • In the terminal, run winecfg and go to the Audio tab. Set Hardware Acceleration to Emulation.
  • What is StarcCaft without the Broodwar expantion? I eject the Starcraft CD and insert the Broodwar expantion CD.
    cd to the appropriate /media/ directory and run wine setup.exe.
  • To play StarCraft, run wine ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Starcraft/starcraft.exe.
    I was also able to find a link to it from the Applications menu in Ubuntu.
  • Lastly, I downloaded the latest patch to BroodWar from, and ran that with no problem.

There it was, a fully patched and running copy of StarCraft on my Ubuntu laptop. Can life get sweeter? I submit that it can not!


  1. Hey Dude, if you seriously want to get into gaming in linux, you gotta check out Transgaming’s Cedega. It used to be called WineX back in the day. Its basically a version of wine that they tweak the hell out of to ensure the most demanded games run in. Its awesome stuff!

  2. When you say you installed the latest patch, do you mean the no-cd patch? If so, did you get it to work in wine without the CD?

  3. I just went to and downloaded the latest patch for broodwar. I have to have the cd to play the game every time under wine. On my windows machine, I use an ISO file and a virtual drive.

  4. This was probably the ONLY thing keeping XP on my dual boot system…now I’m running 100% Ubuntu and can STILL play Starcraft! Cool!

    You don’t have to go into command mode if you do the default install of Starcraft. I just go to Applications >> Wine >> Programs >> Starcraft then click the program icon, wine loads it by default.

  5. im having problems loading… i keep getting an error where it says that the version of starcraft can not be recognized…any thoughts?

  6. I’m having the same problem with battlenet, I thought it might me a key code thing because I’ve had trouble with this key code before.

  7. Josh, what can I say… It Damn Works !!!! Thank You very much.
    Last night I suddenly missed my old StarCraft. So I spend half of today to figure out how to play it on my Ubuntu 12.04 LTS box. I was surprised that you wrote this instruction more than 5 years ago and it still works right now.

  8. I got StarCraft and Broodwar to install under Wine; I even got the NO CD patch to work in wine by doing the identical thing in Windows to Wine. I copied the Install.exe of StarCraft file into the StarCraft folder in Wine and then renamed it StarCraft.mpq. Likewise for Broodwar; to BroodWar.mpq. Both play; however even before I did this, under the CD, Video is choppy, loses frames, and when I get to the game itself, it runs rough and choppy too. Mouse movement jerks and goes all over the board.

    I’m on Ubuntu 12.0.4. Any help would be greatly appreciated. My comp. is an OLD Athlon XP 2200+ on an ASUS A7V400 MX mainboard. I have 512 MB RAM and the hard drive is 41 GB.

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