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The Witcher 2 Guide

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Daerandin, Mar 24, 2014.

  • by Daerandin, Mar 24, 2014 at 8:31 PM
  • Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

    Oct 18, 2013
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    Northern Norway
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    This is a very good sequel to the original Witcher, and in my opinion improves on the original in every aspect. The story progresses in a very satisfactory manner, combat is much more involving and exciting and the quests are also a lore more fun. This game features more environments than the previous game and excellent graphics.


    This guide will explain how to install the DRM-free digital edition available on GOG.com

    This game suffers from a slightly annoying graphical bug on Linux, more on that at the end of the guide.

    Tips & Specs

    To learn more about PlayOnLinux and Wine configuration, see the online manual: PlayOnLinux explained

    Arch Linux 64-bit
    PlayOnLinux 4.2.2
    Wine 1.7.5

    Downloading from GOG

    GOG games can be downloaded on Linux by using a web browser, just make sure the "GOG.com Downloader mode" is OFF


    Or you can use the lgogdownloader, which is my personal preferred choice. It is a very useful program for downloading GOG games. There is no graphical interface for it, but it is very fast and provides error free downloads.

    For some Linux distros it may be found in community repositories or similar community provided packages. Installation and usage instructions are located here: lgogdownloader

    On first use, you must log in by opening a terminal and using the command:

    lgogdownloader --login

    You will be prompted for your gog.com account email and password, which you must type in correctly before you can use lgogdownloader to download games.

    To list all games you own, type:

    lgogdownloader --list

    If you only want to see specific games you own, for example any games with 'witcher' in the name, then type:

    lgogdownloader --list | grep witcher


    To download The Witcher 2 with no extras and no cover artwork, just the actual installer:

    lgogdownloader --download --game the_witcher_2 --no-extras --no-cover --directory /path/to/folder

    Setup PlayOnLinux

    Launch PlayOnLinux and select 'Tools' and 'Manage Wine versions'

    In the new window that appears, scroll through the 'Available Wine versions' box to find '1.7.5' and click on the right pointing arrow to install it, now it will be visible under 'Installed Wine versions' on the right side
    If you have a 64-bits system, make sure you have selected the 'Wine versions (x86)' tab above, however note that you can install the game with these exact same steps using a 64-bit wine version if you so wish. It will work just as well.


    Just close the window. Back at the main PlayOnLinux window, select 'Install'

    Click on 'Install a non-listed program'


    Select 'Install a program in a new virtual drive' and click next


    Name the the virtual drive "witcher2" and click next


    Select "Use another version of Wine", "Configure Wine" and "Install some libraries" before you click next


    On the wine selection window, select 1.7.5 and click next. Make sure you select '32-bits window installation' if you are on a 64-bit system, unless you wish to install it in a 64-bit virtual drive.


    When the wine configuration window appear, change the Windows version to 'Windows 7'


    Select the 'Graphics' tab, and click the checkbox for all four options. Make sure that you set the resolution to your desktop resolution. My desktop is at 1920 x 1080, so I set that for the wine virtual desktop resolution.


    Note: Even though the language is Norwegian in my screenshot, the layout will look the same for you

    When you come to the selection of libraries to install, select three libraries:

    • POL_Install_dxfullsetup
    • POL_Install_gdiplus
    • POL_Install_vcrun2005

    The click Next


    When you are asked to select an installer, click on Cancel


    The virtual drive is set up properly now, and we have to perform some additional steps for the GOG installer to work properly. Certain GOG installers that take a long time to install, tend to encounter certain errors during the installation procedure, but there is a method to workaround this.

    Now you should move all the files for the GOG installer into the virtual drive. The virtual drive can be found by opening your home folder, then navigate to:

    PlayOnLinux's virtual drives --> witcher2 --> drive_c

    Here you could simply create a new folder and name it the_witcher_2, then either copy or move the GOG installer files here.


    Back at the main PlayOnLinux window, click on "Configure", it does not matter what game shortcut is selected so don't worry about that.

    On the left side, find the virtual drive you just set up, it will be named "witcher2", when you find it, select it. Then click on the 'Display' tab.

    Set 'Video Memory size' to reflect the memory of your GPU.

    Then set 'Offscreen rendering mode' to 'fbo'


    Now select the 'General' tab, and click on 'Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive'


    Select the GOG installer


    Just let it name the shortcut with the default name, then select "I don't want to make another shortcut", now make sure you select the new shortcut on the left side, this make the "Arguments" box available, where you should type:



    Note: It is possible to install the game without using the /nogui argument for the installer, however you may encounter problems if installing normally so you should do it this way.

    Check my screenshot to make sure you got it correct. Once again, it is important that you have selected the proper shortcut on the left side. Now you can close the configuration window, and start your shortcut back at the main PlayOnLinux window


    Installing the Game


    Click 'Next' and select to accept the agreement


    Continue and make sure 'Full' is selected before clicking 'Next'


    Now just click next until the installation start. This game take a while to install.


    Once the installation is done, just click on 'Finish'


    Now make sure the GOG installer shortcut is selected in the main PlayOnLinux window, then click on "Configure".


    Click on "Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive", now select "witcher2.exe" and name the shortcut "The Witcher 2"


    Now select the "Configurator.exe", and name the shortcut "The Witcher 2 - Configurator"


    Lastly just select "I don't want to make another shurtcut"

    Close the configuration window. On the main PlayOnLinux window, select the GOG installer shortcut, and click on "Remove" to delete this shortcut which is not needed anymore


    You can delete the GOG installer files from the virtual drive now if you wish, since they serve no purpose remaining there and only take up space.

    At this point you should run the Configurator to set up graphic settings and keyboard shortcuts for the game


    The above screenshot display my graphical setttings, which I can run smoothly on my Asus G75VX laptop with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 670MX.

    The only really important thing is "Cinematic Depth of Field". This does not work on Linux and MUST be set to "Disabled", otherwise cutscenes will not display properly.

    You can now run the game from "The Witcher 2" shortcut from PlayOnLinux. This game plays very well on Linux, however there is one graphical bug that primarily seem to affect Nvidia users. Grass is rendered black at a distance, and certain areas in the game with lots of ground grass and foliage might look very odd. The black rendering also sometimes appear through your character's head. The screenshot below illustrate the issue.


    So far there does not seem to be any way to fix this. I have looked through WineHQ and also googled quite a bit with no luck on finding a fix. I will keep looking for possible workarounds and will update the guide if I find a suitable way to circumvent this issue.


    witcher_25.png witcher_26.png
    witcher_27.png witcher_28.png
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
    henrique likes this.


Discussion in 'Guides' started by Daerandin, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. allenskd
    eON is not a consumer product you can buy like CrossOver as far as I know. I think they are just like TransGaming, they will make your application SHINE in linux but they won't port them over (natively).

    eON right now is just optimized for The Witcher 2. If WINE is better than eON it just shows that they are failing at their goal of providing a decent port of the game.
  2. booman
    Interesting, I'll have to do some research on eON if there is anything out there.
    Just out of curiosity, not like I'm going to use it
  3. Daerandin
    So I finally got around to testing the Linux version of this game. The performance is noticeably worse, but I am still able to play the game with most settings on max without any issues. Loading times are a little longer too. I made sure to apply to the patch that is available for the Linux version.

    I think I might play through this game again soon, using the Linux version so that I can see if there are any other issues.

    The game does depend on certain specific library versions, and since most library versions in Arch is newer than most other distros I could not use normal system libraries. Instead I had to use the Steam runtime libraries.

    In case anyone else bump into these issues, make sure to launch the game from the terminal. When the game fails to launch, the output in the terminal will tell you what libraries is missing. In case the libraries your distro use does not offer the specific .so versions this game wants, just find the files within the steam runtime.

    I had to find libraries within:




    It was nice to see the game without the black grass bug, so I think I'll give this an honest try despite the somewhat worse performance compared to running in wine.
  4. allenskd
    I just hope they don't make the same mistake and hire those guys to "port" The Witcher 3.
  5. Daerandin
    If not for the black grass bug, I would probably stick with the windows version in wine.

    As for TW3, there's still no word on it. I really doubt there will be a Linux version on initial launch of the game, but hopefully they will get to work on a proper Linux version shortly after.
  6. booman
    If you are running everything on max, how much worse is the performance?
  7. Daerandin
    The settings I use are almost same as the preset Ultra settings, which actually does not give you the absolute highest settings. I make a few changes to the Ultra setting. I set Shadows and Number of shadowed lights to medium. I disable anti-aliasing and ubersambling and leave the rest like the Ultra preset sets it.

    Most of the time it runs smoothly, but I get noticeable drops in fps sometimes. Certain angles in cutscenes run slow, but thankfully they are few. The worst I notice is that a few times the mouse movement is lagging behind. Not enough to affect gameplay, but still enough that I notice it. But all of this is rare enough that playing the game is enjoyable. I have played through the prologue and am well into Chapter 1 now.

    I play this on a laptop with a nVidia GeForce GTX 670MX card, with 3GB ram.
    booman likes this.
  8. Daerandin
    I am going to update the guide with a note saying that there is a Linux version available now. I could write a separate guide that I link to from this guide in case others have the same problem with requiring specific library versions that are not available in their distro.
    Aryvandaar likes this.
  9. Aryvandaar
    The Linux version runs very well now, and it doesn't have the black grass graphical bug.
  10. booman
    Wow, that is a heafty GTX 670MX in your laptop!
    I'm surprised it can run The Witcher 2 on high settings.

    I'm still impressed with Wine and its ability to compete with Direct X in Window$
  11. allenskd
    I heard the directx9 implementation in Mesa might make it mainstream. All that's left is for the WINE guys to finally accept such implementation as viable.

    I'm going to be really excited if they did.

    I wish NVIDIA provided their DirectX implementation into linux drivers... just imagining it give me goosebumps.
  12. booman
    When you say "implementation" you are referring to reverse technology correct?
    Otherwise, wouldn't it be a major copyright conflict without Microsofts permission?
    Or they would have to pay MS a lot of money to do it...
    mrdeathjr28 likes this.
  13. allenskd
    There's still talks on that. Most of it is bouncing on and off with Google vs Oracle as case example. Do know that this is a very large grey area in terms of reverse engineering and reimplementations of things. Another weak examples would be emulators (PS2, GameCube, etc). They shouldn't have any problems implementing directx9 on linux but... I don't know man, I'm no lawyer so if MS decides to pursuit it we will have to see.

    That said, the purists are going insane.
  14. booman
    Of course, no surprise.
    The only reason I'm curious is because most of my games are direct x ONLY games.
    A lot of them run on OpenGL, but I would love all of them to be OpenGL compatible.
    The only way for that to happen is developers.
    I've read it's a lot of work to convert Direct X game to OpenGL when it wasn't implemented from the beginning.

    I wonder if Direct X compatibility with Wine is controversial?
  15. mrdeathjr28
    Wine devs dont accept this because dont work in all hardware, all drivers and all plataforms supported in wine

    Nvidia DirectX implementation* maybe good idea because in this drivers runs most titles

    *Still many titles works good in actual drivers

  16. mrdeathjr28
    This question stay around dome time ago, if M$ wants can hurt this type efforts

    However for now can used but not know for how much???

  17. booman
    If M$ wants to stop Wine it will be difficult. They can probably stop Crossover because they are "for profit" but Wine development is community based. So who do you prosecute?
    Also, Wine "Terms of use" is very clear that you need to own a copy of Window$.
    These days, who doesn't own a copy of window$?

    As for Direct X compatibility, Doesn't Wine developers just make Wine more compatible with Direct X?
    They aren't creating their own direct x for Wine correct?
  18. mrdeathjr28
    Exactly for now wine use grey area of buyed windows copy (for now works)

    Also crossover maybe can fall first for you said profit if M$ change of mind

    However meanwhile works

  19. Daerandin
    I have never anywhere seen these Terms of Use that specify you need to own a copy of windows to use Wine. Wine is developed completely independently of Windows and as such there really is no way Windows can shut down Wine. There are also no laws about running software on other operating systems than the intended operating system.

    I think maybe you have seen the terms of use for the windows font set. You must have legal access to the windows fonts in order to use them in Wine, same as you need to have legal access to a game in order to play in in Wine. So to use the Microsoft fonts, you need to own a copy of windows.

    But there are no laws prohibiting you from installing stuff in Wine as long as you have legal access to it.

    If you can point me to where you saw this, I'd very much like to see it.

    This link here should be useful on this topic:

  20. booman
    It appears you are correct: Wine License
    I remember reading it somewhere, but I was absolutely wrong. This is good news!

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