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How To Play The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind On Linux With OpenMW

Did you know that you can play one of the greatest role-playing games of all time natively, on your Linux desktop? That’s right! Thanks to the OpenMW project, you can play Bethesda’s Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind On Linux.

OpenMW is a complete re-work of the old game engine. It adds lots of features like higher resolutions, mod support, and cross-platform capabilities.

Install Morrowind on Linux

Before you can play The Elder Scrolls III:Morrowind on Linux, you’ll need to download it. As of now, there are two places to get a copy of Morrowind that are confirmed to work with Linux. Steam and GOG.com.

Note: for best results, try the GOG.com version, as you won’t need to deal with Steam.

Steam Version

To get the Steam version of the Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, you must install the Windows version of Steam. To do that, you need Wine. Using your package manager, install Wine and Winetricks. Don’t know how to install these programs? Follow our guide on running Windows app on Linux!

Note: If you do not already own Morrowind on Steam, buy it here.

Once Wine is working on your Linux PC, it’s time to install Steam. Launch a terminal and use the Winetrick commands to install Steam for Windows.

winetricks steam

During the Steam download process, Winetricks may fail. This error usually happens if the MD5 signature is unresolvable. Bypass it by running the following operation:

wine ~/.cache/winetricks/steam/SteamSetup.exe

Executing SteamSetup.exe with the Wine tool will bring up the Windows installer dialog. Follow the prompts and install Steam as you would on any Windows computer. When it’s complete, let Steam load up and log into your account. Then, search for Morrowind and click “install.”

GOG.com Version

The GOG version of Morrowind is an excellent choice for Linux, as it doesn’t require working with Steam. Instead, you only need to install Wine, purchase the game and download it.

After downloading Morrowind, open up the file manager on your Linux desktop and click the “Downloads” folder. Find the Morrowind EXE installer, right click on it and select  “open” and it’ll launch in Wine. If it doesn’t, find “open with” and select “wine windows program loader.”

Alternatively, open up a terminal and run:

cd ~/Downloads
wine *.exe

Go through the installation process and install the game as if you were on Windows. Be sure to read the installation notes carefully, and accept the EULA. When the game installer finishes, close it and return to your Linux desktop.

Install OpenMW

OpenMW is a re-designed engine for The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind. It adds in dozens of features and with it, Linux users can enjoy this excellent RPG game natively, with no fuss. To install it, open up a terminal window and follow the instructions that correspond with your Linux distribution.

Ubuntu

sudo apt install openmw*

Debian

sudo apt-get install openmw*

Arch Linux

sudo pacman -S openmw

Fedora

Fedora users can install the OpenMW engine, though it’s not available in the official software sources. Instead, if you want to play this game, you’ll need to use the RPM Fusion software sources. To enable RPM Fusion, open up a terminal window and install the latest RPM package.

Note: change X to your Fedora release number.

sudo dnf install https://download1.rpmfusion.org/free/fedora/rpmfusion-free-release-X.noarch.rpm -y

Install OpenMW in Fedora with:

sudo dnf install openmw -y

OpenSUSE

The OpenMW engine for Morrowind is on OpenSUSE via the games software repository. Enable it in the terminal with:

sudo zypper addrepo http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/games/openSUSE_Leap_15.0/ opensuse-games

Do you use Tumbleweed? Add this repository instead.

sudo zypper addrepo http://ftp.gwdg.de/pub/opensuse/repositories/games/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ opensuse-games

Install on OpenSUSE with the command below.

sudo zypper install openmw

Flatpak

Those using a generic Linux distribution, or one that doesn’t have direct support for OpenMW will need to install the Flatpak version. To install it, enable the Flatpak packaging system on your computer. Then, in a terminal window, install the OpenMW Flatpak package.

flatpak install --from https://flathub.org/repo/appstream/org.openmw.OpenMW.flatpakref

Run Morrowind With OpenMW

Start up the OpenMW program. As soon as the program opens, you’ll see a welcome wizard. Click the “Run Install Wizard” button.

In the OpenMW wizard, select the “Existing” installation option, and click the next button to move on in the wizard.

The installer will automatically detect a copy of The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on your Linux PC. Select it in the list, and choose it for OpenMW to use.

Note that If you have issues getting OpenMW to load your installation of the game, you’ll need to add it manually.

Click “browse” to find your installation manually.

After detection, OpenMW will set up the environment for your video game, finish up the installation and give a “success” message. Assuming everything is successful, the game launcher will appear on your desktop.

Play The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind on Linux by clicking the “Play” button. Happy gaming!

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