Revive your Inner Carjacker: GTA2 on Linux

Date September 13, 2007

GTA2 - Installed

Rockstar Games has been kind enough to release some of their classics for free download– including Grand Theft Auto and Grand Theft Auto 2. All you need to do is supply some basic information, and download away. Here’s a quick howto on how to get GTA2 running under WINE. So get ready to blow up some hummers and hos!

The first thing you’ll want to do is install WINE. On Ubuntu, Debian, or PCLinuxOS, this is as easy as sudo apt-get install wine. On other distros, you’ll want to use your supplied package manager, or visit the home page to install from source or contributed package.

Now, we configure Wine. Once installed, run <em>winecfg</em> from the command line. If this is the first time you’ve run WINE or winecfg, your fake C drive will be created and you’ll see this as output in the console:

[mshade@gobot ~]$ winecfg
wine: creating configuration directory '/home/mshade/.wine'...
wine: '/home/mshade/.wine' created successfully.

Now that your base config has been created, it’s time for a couple tweaks. We want to do two things:

  1. Enable sound
  2. Tell WINE to run in a virtual desktop

WINE can run either in a simulated desktop or with each window as its own entity, handled by your existing window manager. For GTA2, I recommend running within a virtual desktop to avoid video problems.

  • Click the Graphics tab
  • Select a Desktop size of 1024×768, or other suitable parameters. You want the virtual desktop to be approximately one step down in resolution from your actual resolution

winecfg - video tab

Now, let’s enable audio. Chances are your driver is set up with ALSA. If, however, you get no sound when you fire up the game try setting this to OSS instead. When clicking the Audio tab, I’ve noticed there is usually a sizable delay while it probes hardware.
winecfg - audio tab

Great! Wine should be configured the way we need, now. Time to install GTA2!

Unzip the archive, and then run the installer with WINE:

[mshade@gobot Desktop]$ unzip GTA2INSTALLER.ZIP
inflating: GTA2_README.TXT
inflating: GTA2.exe
[mshade@gobot Desktop]$ wine GTA2.exe

GTA2 - Installshield(click to embiggen)
This is what you should see. The installshield program loads up in our virtual desktop, and all you need to do is click next > next > next.

When the installer is through, go ahead and click ‘Finish’ without checking ‘Launch GTA Manager’. I may as well show you how to launch the game now, rather than later. You can also create an icon launcher for this to ease the process. From your home directory:

[mshade@gobot ~]$ cd .wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/Rockstar\ Games/GTA2/
[mshade@gobot GTA2]$ wine gta2\ manager.exe

You should now see the GTA2 manager pop up. Choose your settings, and then click GTA2! I find it best to tell GTA2 to use fullscreen mode, though we’ve already told WINE to use a virtual desktop. This just seems to work better.

GTA2 - Installed

9 Responses to “Revive your Inner Carjacker: GTA2 on Linux”

  1. deadcabbit said:

    I love these “howto install” for dummies articles… yeah, winecfg and the desktop fix might not be obvious, but if someone ever used apt-get from the command line, he or she will be able to figure that in a couple of minutes at least by trial and error…

  2. Jonathan said:

    I don’t see a link to download the zip file for the game…

  3. JJMacey said:


    Cool! I’ve bookmarked your post.

    Thanks for this.

    JJMacey aka Adler

  4. stephen said:

    I’ve known this for ages, was so surprised the first time i tried it in wine and realised it was just as good as in windows :p :D

    I love that game :D

    @jonathon, found here

  5. Rockstar Games libera varios clásicos para Linux (GTA2 entre ellos) // menéame said:

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  7. Grand Theft Auto (GTA) para PC de graça, free, na faixa :) - said:

    [...] Apesar do pacote ser distribuido em forma de executáveis Windows normal, para quem utiliza o sistema operacional do pinguim, pode rodar o jogo facilmente e sem nenhum problema utilizando o Wine e seguindo esse tutorial. [...]

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  9. XxxBREWxxX said:

    Cheers mate! I’m downloading GTA2 right now, and I’ve got Wine fully installed.