Via Lasse (in Norwegian) I discovered TrackMania Nations, a free arcade racing game for Windows. Partly as a challenge to him and myself, but mostly because it’s been a while since I took my PC for a spin, I decide to install it on my fresh installation of Ubuntu 8.04, AKA Hardy Heron. Below is the procedure I followed, which worked well except for lack of proper sound effects. Of course, before I did anything, I checked out the Wine AppDB to make sure that my work wouldn’t be in vain.

  1. If you haven’t done so already, install Wine. When it works, it’s a brilliant way to run Windows applications on Linux. Get it via the Applications/Add/Remove menu, System/Administration/Synaptic Package Manager or open a terminal window and type “sudo apt-get install wine
  2. Download the Trackmania Nation install file (its about 500 MB). I couldn’t get the website to work properly with my Linux browsers, but from Lasse I got this handy torrent link (which also is a nice example of legal torrent use, BTW).
  3. Install Trackmania by double clicking on the .exe file, or open a terminal window and type “wine tmnationsforever_setup.exe” . After installation, the files can be found in the directory /home/user/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/TmNationsForever/ .
  4. Trackmania also needs DirectX to run. You’ll find an excellent installation guide here. It’s actually easier than it looks at first sight, and well worth the hassle as so many Windows games depend on DirectX. (BTW: the two DLL files you are asked to copy to the Wine directory, can be found in C:\WINDOWS\system32)
  5. If TrackMania failed to install a desktop icon, you can open the folder mentioned above and double click TmForeverLauncher.exe . This starts the configuration utility, where you set screen resolution, sound, language etc.
  6. Double click TmForever.exe, and follow the instructions on the screen.

With a bit of luck, you’ll log on to the network and see something like this:

Yes, of course it works full-screen as well. With full resolution. 🙂
Problems to resolve:
1. The sound doesn’t work on my install
2. I can’t seem to get softlinks to the application to work – no desktop icon, in other words
3. How to stop playing TracMania – it’s horribly addictive! 😉