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How to play the classic Fallout games on Linux

Though the classic Fallout games (1 & 2) are ancient, there are lots of places you can get them to play on modern computer systems. Specifically, they can be found on Valve’s Steam game store, Bethesda Game’s launcher (the company that currently owns and makes new Fallout games,) GOG, and many other places.

It’s no secret that these games are very old. The first Fallout game came out in the late 90s and the second one not long after that. Despite this, they run incredibly well on Windows, and even Linux, via a technology called DOSBox.


DOSBox is a cross-platform technology that many game developers integrate into their products to allow it to be possible to play old, MS-DOS video games on modern computers. The releases of the new Fallout games include this technology as well.

If you want to get classic Fallout working on Linux, you’ve got a few choices. However, the single best way to get this game working is by using the GOG release. The main reason is that you will not need to tinker with setting up a game launcher (Steam, etc.) and you’ll just get the game files.

Download Fallout 1 & 2

To get a copy of Fallout 1 & 2, go to gog.com. Then, when you’ve made it to the website, click the magnifying glass icon to start a search.

When you’ve selected the search button, type in “fallout” into the search box. It’ll show several results. As this guide is focusing on getting Fallout 1 & 2 working, you’ll need to scroll through and find the games and click on them.

Clicking on Fallout 1 or Fallout 2 will take you to a purchasing page. Look for the purchase button and buy it. It’ll then generate a download link, which you can click on to get the EXE file on your Linux PC.

Note: Don’t want to get the classic Fallout games on GOG.com? Try installing the games via Steam Play instead, by following this tutorial!

Set up Wine

Though Fallout 1 & 2 run with the help of  DOSBox, you’ll still need a Windows-to-Linux translation layer to make the Exe files work. On Linux, the best tool to use is Wine. It creates a translation layer that allows Linux to read and execute Windows code.

Wine is not a very difficult program to install. Just open up a terminal window, search for “wine” with the package manager you use and install it. Or, search Gnome Software/KDE Discover and install that way.

Finding installing Wine on your own difficult and confusing? We can help! Check out our guide on how to set up Wine on Linux!

Install classic Fallout games

There are two ways to install the GOG Fallout games on Linux through Wine. In this section of the guide, we will cover both methods.

Note: during the installation, you may see an error saying that a Microsoft Runtime file failed to install. Please ignore it, the games don’t need them to run.

Method 1 – GUI

The easiest way to get the Fallout EXE files set up and running on Linux is with the GUI options that Wine offers on most Linux desktops. To start, launch your file manager and click on the “Downloads” folder.

Once you’re there, locate the Fallout EXE files and right-click on them. From there, find “open with Wine windows program loader” and select it to start up the installer in Wine.

Go through the GOG installer and set up Fallout 1 & 2 on your computer. When done, click the “Finish” button.

Method 2 – Terminal

Having some issues launching the Fallout EXE files through your file manager (aka the GUI method)? Try the terminal way below.

The terminal method is much quicker, as you call Wine directly from the command-line, rather than relying on the file manager. To start out, press Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T to open a command-line window. Then, use the CD command to move to the “Downloads” folder.

cd ~/Downloads

Once in the downloads folder, run the ls command and view the files in the directory. Be sure to add a * to filter out only EXE files.

ls *.exe

Take note of the Fallout EXE filenames and start them up like the example below.
Note: do not launch them both at the same time.

wine name-of-fallout-1.exe

wine name-of-fallout-2.exe

Follow the GOG installer and get both Fallout 1 & 2 set up the game on your Linux PC with Wine.

Play classic Fallout games

After the classic Fallout games are up and running on Linux, there should be no tweaking involved with Wine to get it to run. To play either of the games, open up the application menu on your desktop, search for “Wine,” and click on it. Then select “Applications,” followed by “GOG.com”.

In the GOG.com menu, click on the game’s icon and start it up by double-clicking on it. Alternatively, double-click on the Fallout icons that the installer places on your desktop.

Like Fallout? Check out our collection of Fallout 4 wallpapers.

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