One of the most popular video games in recent memory is The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. It has sold countless copies and is one of the most played single-player PC games out there. Unfortunately for Linux users, there are no plans to port it over to the platform. Luckily, it is possible to run Skyrim on Linux with Wine.
The prerequisite for running Steam games like Skyrim on Linux is Wine, and more importantly Winetricks. Winetricks is a script that users can run to automate installing things like Steam, DirectX, etc. Keep in mind that each Linux distribution is different, and you may run into issues. Try at your own risk!
There are many versions of Skyrim, but the best version of the game that will run on Linux is the initial 2011 release. If you’ve got any issues running this version of the game, be sure to comment on it in detail at the official WineHQ thread on the game. Checking this page is essential, as it may help Wine developers figure out the best way to solve the problems you face. In addition to that, you may come across fixes to the game there too.
The vast majority of Linux gamers looking to run Skyrim will be using Steam. It is by far the easiest way to quickly install this game on the Linux desktop. To get Steam, open up a terminal window and use it to install Wine, and the Winetricks tool.
sudo apt install wine-stable winetricks
sudo apt install wine winetricks
sudo apt-get install wine winetricks
sudo pacman -S wine winetricks
sudo dnf install wine winetricks
sudo zypper install wine winetricks
Install Steam With Winetricks
Use the Winetricks tool to get the absolute latest version of Steam:
If the Winetricks tool errors out, and won’t download/install Steam, consider uninstalling the tool, then reinstalling it and try it again. Alternatively, head over to the Steam website, download the latest version of Steam (for Windows) and open it directly with Wine (by right-clicking it and selecting open with Wine Windows Program Loader).
Once installed, use Steam to log into your account like normal. After that, close and exit the Steam tool entirely, and press Alt + F2 on your keyboard. In the command box, type in “winecfg.” Alternatively, search for “winecfg,” or “wine configuration” in your applications menu.
Inside the configuration tool, look for “Windows version,” and change it to “Windows 7”, and click the apply button. Then click on the “Graphics” tab. In this area, click the check-box next to “Emulate a virtual desktop.” After that, go to “Desktop size” and enter the exact, native resolution of your monitor.
For example: if I were to run Skyrim on my Linux PC, I’d need to set the virtual desktop to 1920×1080 because I have a 1080p monitor.
When you’ve set the resolution, click the “Apply” button and exit winecfg.
Install Skyrim On Linux
Now that Wine is working right, we can install Skyrim on Linux. Start off by opening Windows Steam again, search your game library for “Skyrim” and install it. The installation will take some time, so be patient. When it completes, exit steam once again.
Note: Skyrim should automatically install DirectX, and all other runtime items you need during the installation process. If for some reason you haven’t installed them, run:
winetricks --gui browse for “Directx,” and install it. Again, be sure to refer to the WineHQ thread on Skyrim for Linux to help with any missing libraries and files that refuse to install.
Open up the file manager, and go to this location: /home/username/.wine/drive_c/Program Files (x86)/Steam. Once there, right-click and select the option “open in terminal.” If your file manager doesn’t support this, consider installing the Nautilus (Files) file manager from the software store.
Inside the terminal, open up the Nano, text editor:
Then, paste this code:
cd ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ \Files\ \(x86*/Steam/ PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=50 wine steam.exe
Press Ctrl + O to save the file, and Ctrl + X to exit.
Create a shortcut to the script in your home folder with:
ln -s ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ \Files\ \(x86*/Steam/skyrim-audio-fix.sh ~/
From here on out, whenever you’re trying to run Skyrim, open up a terminal, and enter the following:
It should fix all of the annoying audio cracking issues.
We’ve done absolutely everything possible to make Skyrim work under Linux, and for the most part, it runs quite well. If you’re still having trouble, consider installing “PlayOnLinux,” it has a script that will automate the installation of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim (along with other Windows games) if our guide didn’t work.
PlayOnLinux is located in most Linux distribution software stores and repos. It’s also available for download via their website.