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Homecoming Launcher - Linux Advice


GM Tahquitz
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  • Retired Lead Game Master

  

LINUX METHOD TO INSTALL HOMECOMING LAUNCHER

Part 1 of 2: Using Lutris, Vulkan and Wine Together.
 

ABOUT LINUX AND HOMECOMING...

Support Matrix:
This chart summarizes our support for patchers and operating systems as a generalization; HC Developers may alter this at any time. 
 

Compatible Patcher for HC Windows 8,8.1,10
1️⃣
MacOS Sierra and Newer
2️⃣, 3️⃣
Linux
(Any ver./distro)
Tequila Confirmed Working Not Supported Confirmed Working
Tequila Support Community Only Not Supported Community Only
Island Rum Confirmed Working YES Confirmed Working
Island Rum Support Community Only Full Support Community Only
HC Launcher YES YES Confirmed Working
HC Launcher Support Full Support Full Support Community Only

 

Legend:

YES = This patcher is actively developed and will receive bug fixes and updates.

Confirmed Working = The patcher was tested to work, but issues with stability or manual fixes may/will be needed to keep it working.

Not Supported = This patcher is not recommended. Tech Support & Bug Fixes are not offered for this combo.


Full Support = Homecoming staff will answer support issues concerning this combination, including needed bug fixes and improvements for hardware.
Community Only = Homecoming staff and the City of Heroes Community at large can give advice on how to run it, however bug fixes are not offered by the Homecoming Staff.


Compatibility notes:

 

1️⃣ = Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista and Windows 7 are on a Community Only support basis; they are no longer supported by Microsoft but will continue to run Homecoming.  (If you use Windows Vista, color me impressed.)   We strongly recommend moving to at least Windows 8.1 for security purposes, but if you can get a client to work on older PCs, you can play it.  XP SP2 and older were dropped when Paragon Studios worked on the client, and that limitation does remain on Homecoming.


2️⃣ = Mac OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) and older systems are under Community Only support, however, we do recommend using HC Launcher on those systems.  We strongly recommend moving to MacOS Sierra if your system can support the OS. 

 

3️⃣ = Apple Silicon (Apple M1 Devices) support is not listed above: it is working with a development branch of Wine, which means it is not stable yet.  We are asking users to please wait for the Wine 7.0 Stable release before telling users to go ahead with installing Homecoming Launcher on Apple M1.

 

If this is about Linux, why the Windows and Mac chart? Any of the above hardware can have a Linux installation present.  This is meant to help for those considering a dual-boot setup on what to pick for where.  Tequila above may come as a bit of a surprise, but it's an Open Source launcher that was not developed by Homecoming Staff.  This has been the case for Tequila since Homecoming started.  Island Rum's system requirement shift to macOS 10.12 and newer is due to Unity Player's own system requirements, which is the basis of Island Rum.

 

As the title states, this is for running Homecoming Launcher only. With that in mind. I'm not going to discuss Tequila or Island Rum past this point.

 

FULL DISCLOSURE - OR, WHAT DOES "COMMUNITY ONLY" SUPPORT MEAN....

This guide is intended ONLY for hobbyists and enthusiasts to give an idea how to approach playing the game on their system.   There is no native Linux client for City of Heroes.  This guide is about using Wine to shoe-horn the Windows client into running on Linux anyways.

 

If you don't know if this is for you or not, consider the following skills required:

  • Operating System Installation & Bare Metal Recovery - putting your computer back to normal with a fresh OS install.  You will need to be able to do this at any time if needed.
  • Linux Package Management - not ALL of them, just the one specific to your distribution: APT, YUM, RPM, PACMAN, etc.  You should not need to compile anything from source code, however, at worse, knowing how to remove a package and recover your installation from a failed install avoids need for a Bare Metal Recovery.
  • ... BASH, in any flavor (Most folks see this as the Terminal app).  YOU MAY BE REQUIRED to edit config files across the file system when needed, especially when installing a video card driver.  Be ready for it.

 

And generally, navigation through a zero-promise, no-guarantees, self-support driven experience that Linux users would basically consider a normal Tuesday...  This is an example of one of these places.  Our assumption is that you know how to do all of the above.  You don't have to be a master at it, necessarily, and we can give pointers. But those three areas listed are completely out of scope for this forum.

 

Finally, a note on bugs and issues in Linux.  To be clear from the start: there is nothing stopping you from running ANY of the patchers on Linux. However, if you find a bug in the client that doesn't work in Linux as it should in Windows or Mac, developers will not fix them.  Turning in tickets for something that doesn't work in Linux will be responded with a form-letter stating that we don't support Linux client issues.

 

Last Chance: If any of the above bullet points are not in your wheelhouse, or if that last paragraph discourages you, please stick to Windows or MacOS.  We CAN help you with that.


PREREQUISITES

Read that?  Good.  If that didn't turn you away, let's continue.  This procedure has been tested with the latest distributions of the following Linux spins during early Phase 1/2 testing:

  • Ubuntu 18.04 LTS - This version is supported by Canonical until April 2023.
  • Ubuntu 20.04 LTS - This version is supported by Canonical until April 2025.
  • Fedora 33 - This is the current Fedora installation at the time of this guide.  Fedora versions only last as long as the next release.

 

For other distributions based around Debian (APT) and RPM setups, other distributions may work if you're willing to fill in the gaps for what is needed.  For users with other package manager distros, you are encouraged to make guides to help folks along, but if it's APT/RPM, this SHOULD cover it.

 

In addition, this does NOT change the System Requirements.  This is NOT going to work on devices such as Raspberry Pi, Arduino, ATMEL devices, Chrome OS, Android, iOS/iPadOS, and the like.  Your computer will need to be compatible with City of Heroes in the first place if it's able to play it in Windows or Mac.  Also, Mac systems not under Intel processors (the upcoming Apple ARM processors, etc.) or that couldn't run it in the first place (Intel Core Solo) are not going to work with this guide.  Finally, using these instructions for a Virtual Machine is not advised.  City of Heroes runs best under native execution, with Wine being a close 2nd Place.  (Remember, Wine stands for WINE Is Not Emulation.)

 

VIDEO CARD

This part of the guide works best with recent Video Cards released in the latter half of the 2010s up to today.

A lot of your prep will be concerning your video card in use.  This will determine your path to installation more than any other section.

 

Vulkan is required to use Lutris.  DXVK/VKD3D is reliant on Vulkan, a hardware standard, so it's all or nothing.  Upgrading to a newer video card (if possible) is the only possible fix.  All of the below minimums should have native Vulkan support by default.

 

AMD: Radeon 7000/8000 or newer should be used to play COH.  I can't verify personally as I don't have any cards on hand, but the open source drivers have been reported to work on Homecoming by various users with no special effort needed.  So this should be far less of a hurdle to jump.

 

NVidia (and a word about Nouveau):  You will need a NVidia GeForce GTX 400 series card or newer.  The Open-Source video driver, Nouveau, is installed by default on most Linux systems with NVidia hardware.  The game will run on Nouveau, but it will be generally unplayable.  For the best experience, YOU NEED the proprietary driver (Version 440 for the above minimum).  For the two most popular distributions:

 

Ubuntu: open "Additional Drivers" in the Activities pane, pick the version number you need, then click OK and wait a few minutes.  Reboot, done.  (Ubuntu 20.04 is STRONGLY recommended for NVidia users if you're new to Linux gaming.)

Fedora: you'll need to use RPM Fusion to install NVidia drivers as an outside repository.  You can read more on https://rpmfusion.org.

 

This isn't a be-all, end-all for Nouveau, but the current state of affairs.  If for ethical reasons you refuse to install proprietary binary blobs on your system, I'm all ears.  I could not manage to get City of Heroes playable under Nouveau.  I'm willing to learn if someone else figures it out.

 

Intel: You really should use a dedicated card for this game, even on laptops.  Barring that, Intel Skylake and newer does better on COH than prior processor versions of Intel Graphics.  If your system has 4GB of RAM or LESS, you may need to turn down the "3D Resolution Scaling" option in "Graphics & Audio" under Settings to get acceptable performance.  Remember: Intel graphics SHARES system RAM.  It doesn't use a separate RAM bank from other programs like a discrete card does.

 

Unlike AMD and Nvidia, Intel graphics are covered more or less with the Mesa drivers (co-developed with Intel and AMD) which is pretty standard in most Linux Distributions.  Pro: no separate Intel Graphics driver should be needed, which saves time and effort.  Con: like on Windows, expect the heavier post-processing options of Ultra Mode to remain greyed out.  If having all the sliders turned up to full on Ultra Mode matters to you, you'll need different graphics to do that, just like on Windows.


CAUTION: Do not install drivers "by hand".  This includes using a shell script or package from your video card manufacturer.  Using a package manager assures that updates coming down will be recompiled to work on newer kernels, keep any modules in check, and automatically handle your GUI setup.  Otherwise, you'll run into problems when you get updates and the video driver 'breaks', which can result from anything between falling back to Nouveau for video support or failing to start XWindows/Wayland and going to a shell prompt when you boot.  For this reason, if you use NVidia for a Video Card, it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED to use Ubuntu to simplify things.  (No command line needed to switch drivers, can be done on the fly.)

 

IF YOU DO NOT MEET ANY OF THESE REQUIREMENTS...

Stop.  Skip all of this and see the next post for Part 2 of 2.  You still might have a shot, but Lutris and Vulkan support won't be involved.  Don't quite give up at this point, you may be able to still play the game.

 

PROCESS - SETUP SUMMARY

 

The sequence to get it working goes something like this. 

 

1.) Install Linux.  This process needs to happen in a traditional hard-drive install.  This will not work to put Lutris and Wine on a USB Live stick of your favorite Linux flavor, as video drivers require kernel modules to work.  We're not going to go over this part, as it will vary GREATLY across users.  (Bare metal, dual boot, EFI and Secure Boot signing vs. CSM, GPT vs. MBR... all are past the scope of this guide.)  And ultimately, as long as you can successfully and consistently boot after each step, it doesn't matter.


2.) Update your system.

     Ubuntu/Debian/Linux Mint: "sudo apt update".  Enter your password, then when updating is finished, "sudo apt upgrade" to carry it out.

     Fedora/Mandriva/Suse: "sudo dnf check-update".  Enter your password, then when updating is finished, "sudo dnf upgrade" to carry it out.

     Arch: "pacman -Syu" Enter your password.

     GET USED TO THESE COMMANDS.  You will be running them frequently as once a week or more to keep your system up-to-date.  Finish all pending upgrades before continuing, especially Kernel and Kernel Header updates.  If the system asks to reboot, do it, and check for updates again.  Missing any of these will cause headaches/heartbreak.

3.) Install Video Drivers (required for NVidia.)  See above for advice.  This part will be specific to your operating system and hardware, so I can't make a specific guide for your system.


4.) Install Wine, use the Stable Branch - https://wiki.winehq.org/Download


5.) Install Lutris - https://lutris.net/downloads will have instructions for systems with various package managers.

 

If you got this far and are still looking good, we can take you the rest of the way.

 

STEP BY STEP - THE HOMECOMING PORTION

 

So, assuming you have Linux installed, the system all updated, video drivers appropriate for your card installed and working, and Wine & Lutris doing their respective things, this is the part specific to Homecoming Launcher.

 

6.) Install Homecoming to the Wine C Drive.  Download the HC Launcher Public Beta here.

  • Open Lutris.  Click the plus in the upper left to add a game.
  • GAME INFO.  This is all labelling, except Runner, make sure Wine is picked.  Write whatever you want for Name (which will appear in the list) and Release Year (2004, or 2019? You decide.)
  • GAME OPTIONS.  Executable, click Browse and find the HCInstall.exe file.  Doesn't matter where it is saved, you'll only run this once.
  • RUNNER OPTIONS.  Make sure DXVK/VKD3D is checked.  It should be by default.
  • Click Save.  Now run the launcher you just made.
  • A first time use window will appear asking you if you want to pick the directory.  The default should be fine.  Click Install.
  • IF YOU RAN TEQUILA on your copy of Wine before, it'll ask if you want to import the files.  Say Yes, because this migrates costumes, power customizations, screenshots, and all the Issue 24 files you already have over to the new Installer for use. 
  • If this is a fresh system, you'll see the Launcher window.  Press Play on Homecoming to begin installation.
  • Once the Launcher says "Ready", close it.  One last part to do...

 

7.) Configure Homecoming Launcher to start from the Wine C Drive.

  • Now that Homecoming is installed, if you try to launch the same Homecoming entry in Lutris again, it'll return to the Installer.  That's because the Installer isn't needed once the program is installed. 
  • GAME OPTIONS.  Executable, click Browse and find the Launcher file.  It'll be in your Wine C Drive, which can be found by heading to your home folder, then showing Hidden Files.  The folder is named ".wine", then inside there, "drive_c" is the root of your Windows Programs.  Navigate from there to your installation (which should be in "Games/Homecoming", then open the "bin" folder, and "win64".  Launcher.exe is the file you need.  (If you're a fan of full paths, it should resemble "/home/NAMEHERE/.wine/drive_c/Games/Homecoming/bin/win64/launcher.exe" ...replace NAMEHERE with your username.)
  • Click Save.  Only one thing left to do...

 

8.) Profit. 

Edited by GM Tahquitz
Apple M1 note after initial testing on hardware, Intel GMA/Iris notes concerning shared RAM.
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LINUX METHOD TO INSTALL HOMECOMING LAUNCHER

Part 2 of 2: Using Wine Only.

 

This procedure is for the following cards:

  • AMD: Radeon 6000 and older.
  • NVidia: cards in the GeForce 8X00 GTX - GeForce GTX 300 series.
  • Intel: Haswell/Broadwell and older.

This procedure is intended for older graphics cards.  If you are on newer hardware than the list above, DXVK is worth the added headache because of the performance increase for the extra steps taken.  The procedure is right above this one.  Go do that instead, you'll be happier.

 

If for some reason you have a hangup with the first part, even on newer hardware, this is essentially the same procedure minus Lutris.  You'll be relying on your OS's native support for the video card only (aka the Mesa OpenGL Library).  There is no bottom on this guide as I won't list the minimum hardware specs required to play the game.  But if your hardware is older than four years (bought before 2016), you may have a harder time getting everything to come together. 

 

FULL DISCLOSURE

 

Homecoming: City of Heroes OFFICIALLY supports Windows and Mac installations.  You've read this already above. 

 

Specific for this part of the guide, especially NVidia, if they discontinue driver support it affects the system kernel.  When a kernel update is passed down, there's a chance the kernel module needed for that driver to work will not compile on the new kernel due to changes that break the video driver. 

 

And when that happens, there's a few possibilities (PAY ATTENTION, because this situation is unique to Linux gaming):

  • Graceful fallback to an open-source driver, like Nouveau.  This is the best possible situation, but it means City of Heroes will stop working for you.  The rest of your computer will be fine, however, and keep plugging along.  That is, without gaming on Homecoming as a possibility any longer until you upgrade hardware (particularly, your video card).
  • X.Org Server/Wayland Server failure.  The broken driver could stop XWindows or Wayland from starting successfully.  This means booting the system sends you straight to BASH.  This can be freaky to someone who has never seen a command-line interface before, but it's not the end of the world.  You can still use nano, wget, and other tools to get the files you need to the system and restore the GUI.  But it might be less work for you to reinstall and start over.  Even after getting your desktop back, the first condition (COH is dead until you upgrade) may still apply.
  • Kernel Panic.  This is the Linux equivalent to the Blue Screen of Death, with diagnosis needed if there's files to be saved.  Depending on how and where this happens, this may make your installation unusable and starting over could be your only choice.

 

Linux can save an old computer from going to the dumpster.  But it can't necessarily promise it will work for every single use case you have in mind.  This situation does mean that  it is possible that a system that doesn't run COH on Linux CAN run it on Windows 10 on the very same hardware.  (This shouldn't be a common expectation, however.)

 

While a possible fix involves 'freezing' your installation to an older distro of your preferred Linux and halting any updates to drivers or applications, just like Windows or MacOS, we do not recommend this approach for any operating system actively connected to the Internet.

 

PREREQUISITES & VIDEO CARDS


Same as Part 1 above. 

 

PROCESS

 

Without Lutris, you'll need to be a little more forward with your shell and OS skills.

 

1.) Install Linux.  Same as Part 1.


2.) Update your system.  Same as Part 1.


3.) Install Video Drivers (required for NVidia, use Version 435 or 440 depending on your card.)  See Part 1 again.


4.) Install Wine, use the Stable Branch - https://wiki.winehq.org/  Download and follow the steps for your OS.


5.) Install Homecoming to the Wine C Drive.  Download the HC Launcher Public Beta here.  (Wine will self-configure and ask to install Mono and Gecko as a first-time use fix.  Do it... it'll make other apps you put on like Mid's Reborn and such easier to deal with.)

  • Navigate to where you downloaded the installer and right-click "hcinstall.exe".  Choose "Run with Another Application" then pick "Wine Windows Program Loader."
  • When asked install the Gecko and Mono libraries.  Even if Tequila needed Mono and neither is needed on the Homecoming Launcher, it's still handy for other apps.
  • Follow the normal instructions to install.


6.) Make a shortcut to Homecoming Launcher.

  • Gnome (Ubuntu/Fedora use this by default) - Right click the Homecoming icon when the Launcher is open and click "Add to Favorites".  The icon won't leave the sidebar even if closed.  You can drag it to change the order in the Favorite sidebar.  (Fedora, the sidebar only appears when you hit the Activities button.  Ubuntu, it's always visible.)
  • For other Desktop Environments (KDE, XFCE, LXQT, MATE, Cinnamon, Budgie, etc.) see below, "Extra Credit."


7.) Profit.

 

NONE OF THIS WORKS.  I'VE TRIED PART I AND II TO NO AVAIL.

This is going to be likely an issue in one of three camps:

 

1.)  Older Hardware.  You might be using newer versions of Linux on hardware that has been 'left behind' a bit.  This is especially true on hardware that lacks 64-bit support, video cards released before 2016, or you have an issue somewhere in your system that is causing errors.  One possible approach at this point: use an older Linux release (Ubuntu has 20.04 and 20.10 as the latest and greatest, but 18.04 and 16.04 are still supported too) and see if you can install older graphics drivers, older Wine packages known to work with the distro, and then try loading HCLauncher in an attempt to get the game running.  The downside?  There is no guarantee how long this will last if it works.

One absolute to keep in mind: if for hardware reasons, the game does not start or run well in Windows, Linux won't fix that.  For computers older than 2012, it might be time to let the system go.  Older than 2008, hardware failures becomes a more likely cause than support.  In both cases, it doesn't matter that the system COULD run it when it was brand new.

 

2.) Older OS Install.  You're using a Linux you've been comfy with for years, and want to install HC Launcher into that Operating System, but are hitting walls.  You don't have to kiss your supported distro of choice goodbye!  This is where Open Source prides itself on saying it's "free as in speech, not free as in beer."  Just like here, when you try something and it doesn't work, visit the distribution's forums and mention Wine/Lutris/Graphics Driver issues you're having.  Detail what you've been doing and what hasn't worked. 

 

Also, just like here, Linux support is self-help centric.  Telling people what you've done upfront is more likely to get answers over visiting and demanding results where no money has changed hands.  Don't think "I'm your customer", but rather treat them like a Math Teacher... show your work.  Accept their clues and keep looking for YOUR answer.  Remember that your distribution does NOT program the graphics drivers, helper apps, or other parts of the OS, and you'll need to visit those respective "houses" if you want to address an issue not working, too.

 

3.) New Hardware.  You may have found a quirk on newer devices that developers in hardware circles might want to know about.  Three choices are possible:


a.) Get involved, just like with older installs, reporting to a distribution forum what's going on may be of use.  They can give advice on pulling logs and basic error checking.


b.) Version Rollback.  If the drivers you picked don't work, try older ones.  Especially NVidia, each driver version number has a range of cards it works with.  (Find them out here.)


c.) Dual-Booters, especially... You can just be patient.  If the game doesn't work on your bleeding-edge card with all sorts of letters, metal and pluses attached to the name, boot back into Windows/Mac and play on.   Then give it a few months and see if a new version of your Graphics Driver, Wine, Lutris, DXVK, Mesa or other packages that run City of Heroes improve over time.

 

A possible clue that may get better advice: chase installation guides for playing in Linux with other games released around the same time as City of Heroes, which involve Open GL and similar libraries.  These include: World of Warcraft, Portal, Dungeons & Dragons Online... and yes... Lineage II.  Fixes that get these games working may well help with your system.  This doesn't mean re-upping your WoW sub or dusting off your PlayNC account.  But try those fixes out and then try HC Launcher and see if there's a difference.

 

Like most troubleshooting advice, these are generalities, not absolutes.  Feel free to go off script and try out hunches.  In general, if you're doing this because you have no other way to get into Paragon City, have a Windows/Mac solution on standby.  If this is for a 2nd or 3rd system, remember that if it all goes wrong, you can start over and try again without impacting your gameplay... which should help reduce urgency and stress hopefully.

 

EXTRA CREDIT: DESKTOP SHORTCUT

This works for either method: if you are or aren't a fan of Lutris, this will still launch the game.

 

Here is a template "City of Heroes.desktop" file that should be usable across most desktop environments - copy the text below into a file, plonk it into your ~/.local/share/applications/ directory, and it should appear in your applications menu so that you can start it up from there:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=env WINEPREFIX=~/.wine wine /home/[username]/.wine/drive_c/Homecoming/bin/win64/launcher.exe
Icon=homecominglauncher
Type=Application
StartupNotify=true
GenericName=Homecoming: City of Heroes
Comment=Superhero MMORPG
Name=Homecoming: City of Heroes
Path=/home/[username]/.wine/drive_c/Homecoming/bin/win64/
StartupWMClass=launcher.exe

You'll need to include this image file (named homecominglauncher.png) to make it have an icon for cosmetic's sake, and place it in your ~/.local/share/icons/hicolor/256x256/apps directory:

 

homecominglauncher.png.dffd2ccc3d95a06660ec047700314623.png

The /home/[username]/.wine/drive_c/Homecoming/bin/win64/launcher.exe and /home/[username]/.wine/drive_c/Homecoming/bin/win64/ section may need modification to point to the right place to start up the launcher.

 

Refreshing your application menu may be required to see this.

---------------------------------------------------------------
Special thanks to GM Korvin for additional work on this guide.

 

Edited by GM Tahquitz
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APPENDIX: DISTRO REPORTS

The following distributions have been tested in the community and have been checked by our players.  If there are any catches or special considerations, or if a different guide is needed, a link is available below in Notes.

 

Last Updated: March 2021 - Download links subject to change without notice.

 

Distribution Version Tested By Working? Notes
ArchLinux* 
(
Download)
2020.10.01
(Rolling)
GM Korvin Yes Wine-staging 5.20 works, both 32/64 bit.  This means you can use the Wine built-in to Arch and skip installing Wine Stable.
Manjaro*
(
Download)
20.2 Mechahamham Yes Slow loading performance on Linux 5.10 kernel on BTRFS disks, resolved in 5.11.
Fedora*
(Download)
33 GM Tahquitz Yes Fedora 33 comes with DXVK by default, works, both 32/64-bit.  (Using the 2nd method above works if removing DXVK first for older cards.)
openSUSE*
(Download)
Tumbleweed
(Rolling)
Klypso Yes

64-bit support on Wine 5.18 has issues with rolling release distros, use 32-bit instead.

 

64-bit support works on Wine 5.14-2 (Staging) and under, crashes if higher.

openSUSE
(Download)
Leap 15.1 Sonarr Yes Using Wine Staging 3.7 instead of Stable.
Linux Mint
(Download)
19 Archviste NO Driver restrictions on 32-bit are end-of-life for NVidia.
Linux Mint
(Download)
20 gypsyav Yes UsingWine/Winetricks setup, no Lutris.
Ubuntu
(Download)
20.04 LTS GM Tahquitz Yes None.
Ubuntu*
(Download)
20.10 Klypso Yes Using Wine Staging 5.20 instead of Stable.


Linux Decoder Ring (Source) --

Distributions with Installers (as in insert USB/Disk, boot, install):

  • Debian Distributions are gold.  (Sorry Ubuntu fans.  Gentoo was purple first.)
  • Redhat... well, red.
  • Slackware Distributions are green.
  • Arch Distributions are blue.

Hard Mode: (Same as above but minimal or no OS installation "wizard" script included in initial setup)

  • Gentoo Distributions in purple.  From the lack of user reports, Gentoo fans are especially welcome to report (I tried and gave up, you get points and respect from me if you succeed at this.)
  • Independent Distributions (Linux From Scratch, Purpose-Driven Distros like SliTaz, OPHCrack if you're really adventurous, etc.) will remain white.

 

Why does this matter?  Common distributions should have a similar experience in installation.  Debian based distributions, such as Ubuntu means anything downstream of a reported version above (current versions of Pop_OS, Elementary OS, Zorin OS, etc.) as well as the "spins" of different UIs (Kubuntu, Lubuntu, UbuntuMATE, Ubuntu Budgie, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Studio) should all work as well.  Upstream reports are definitely welcome (Debian Buster, for example.)

 

Distributions with an Asterisk are on a rolling release or non-Long Term Build cycle, so only the latest version will be reported here.  Builds with LTB (Ubuntu Long Term Support, Debian, etc.) are not asterisked.  Reports are welcome for LTB variants for any non-deprecated versions. (No extended maintenance, please: users should not need to pay to get security updates.)

 

I don't see my version listed -OR- I really like "X", make a guide for it!  Use this Linux Distribution Map.  See where your distribution lies and if it's in one of the four major upstreams, give this guide a shot first.

 

Contributing to this table:  Reply below with a distribution you've tried to run HC Launcher on.  Include the following --

  • Distribution Name
  • Version (Please only report on versions released in the last 12 months.)
  • Working?  (Can HC Launcher run using the methods above, or did you get it to work on your own?) 
  • Notes: if there's a couple of 'gotchas' concerning installation, name them here.  If it's past two sentences or 50 words, I'll link to your report post.  I also welcome links to a forum thread if you've written a guide (Either Help & Support or Guides work for this purpose.)


This is a "distro report", so issues with Graphics Drivers are not included in the above. (Too many combinations to consider.)  Still, any advice you can give for specific cards that are problematic under Linux is helpful, even if they're not a part of the above table.

 

APPENDIX: WANTED - FURTHER EXPANSION

  • Steam Proton is a Wine library built for Valve's Steam Platform.  If an enterprising user wants to toy with using Proton the advice would be welcome here.  (Write a guide and I'll link to it, or when I have time to play and tear it apart myself, I'll give it a try.)
  • Interested in Asahi Linux.  This is a version of Arch Linux that is being developed for the Apple M1.  Of course, Apple's processor firmware, microcode and other important details are not available for the public, but it is ARM-based, so it's a matter of time, guesswork and luck before it comes to pass.  I have access to an Apple M1, but firmware is a step too far as the system isn't mine.  Any news from those who can install it is welcome.

 

Edited by GM Tahquitz
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Lucid, well-written, and dead-on AFAICT!

 

Thanks for the extra effort!

And blessings upon you for including Fedora! So many companies claim their programs run on Linux, then you find out it means "install this Ubuntu PPA and trust it implicitly."

...

Again, many thanks!

 

Edited to add:

I had the fun of following your directions at work on Fedora 32, on a ThinkPad 440T, I believe.

Initially, I got caught out by the fact that Fedora 32 shipped with Wine 5.1.2. This seemed to work, but as soon as the actual game launched, black screen followed by your new crash client. (Nice, btw.)

 

Once I noticed the Wine version, a quick trip to WineHQ to add their repo, followed by

 

sudo dnf erase wine\*

 

(was required, otherwise had conflicts) and a

 

sudo dnf install wine\*

 

soon had me up and running, 64-bits wide and treetop tall!

(Your launcher really, really likes Wine 5.0.2! Do those two want to be alone?)

All told, a stellar job, folks!

Edited by DoctorDitko
test results added
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Disclaimer: Not a medical doctor. Do not take medical advice from Doctor Ditko.

Also, not a physicist. Do not take advice on consensus reality from Doctor Ditko.

But games? He used to pay his bills with games. (He's recovering well, thanks for asking!)

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Should I delete my guide since there's an official GM guide on how to do it now + the launch of the new launcher?

 

I've tested HC (Tequila) on a bunch of Linux distros / flavors, and they all work(generally w/o fuss) as long as your gcard supports DXVK. The only issue I've had recently in the past few days is on Arch / openSUSE with WINE 5.18 where the game won't run on the 64-bit client, but will on the 32-bit, so that may be something to add to your post.

 

Typically, as long as you have WINE installed and Lutris setup, HC should work without fuss as I've tested it on a bunch of different gcards + CPU combinations from AMD / NVIDIA / Intel. Also, some distros may require Feral Gamemode to be enabled, while the majority don't.

 

EDIT: I've just tested the BETA launcher with a copy of my HC folder, and the game still needs to be set to use the 32-bit client within your new launcher, which should be a given since there's been issues with WINE 5.18 for a while now. I haven't tested this issue on other PCs / Distributions, but I know so far that it mainly pertains to rolling release distros like openSUSE Tumbleweed and Arch, which are on WINE 5.18

 

EDIT 2: Been messing around with your .desktop file, and in order for it to run on Arch, I need to set it to

Exec = wine /home..../Homecoming/bin/win64/launcher.exe

instead of how you have it, as when I use your way, it just crashes right away / doesn't launch, + I can remove the StartupWMClass and it still works.

 

Also, the /win32/launcher.exe works and can run the game, but cannot display shard status, while the /win64/launcher.exe version does. I just wanted to let you know about that, even though it isn't really that big of a deal 🙂

Edited by ColdZero
Worked on .desktop file
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Tequila and Island Rum aren't going anywhere.  Please don't!

And this isn't an official guide, just advice.  If the instructions don't work, forum and Discord pointers is as far as we can go.  In fact, I haven't tried HC Launcher with Linux Mint, and I know that's a really popular distro.  I am willing to update the above with other distro info if other Linux users want to post updates here.

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Just now, GM Tahquitz said:

Tequila and Island Rum aren't going anywhere.  Please don't!

And this isn't an official guide, just advice.  If the instructions don't work, forum and Discord pointers is as far as we can go.  In fact, I haven't tried HC Launcher with Linux Mint, and I know that's a really popular distro.  I am willing to update the above with other distro info if other Linux users want to post updates here.

For sure then!

 

I'll give it a shot with Linux Mint, but since it's based on Ubuntu, and Ubuntu is based upon Debian, it shouldn't have any issues!

 

Honestly, as long as WINE is properly installed, the other distros shouldn't have any issues, but I'll continue testing for you 🙂

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I remember in your last guide mentioning a change upstream in Mint broke Wine gameplay, but that might have been resolved by now.  It was earlier in the year.

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Oh man, I'm trying to remember what it specifically was as that was quite some time ago, but I believe that user had an issue with their Kernel + libomesa6:i386. Their hardware was quite dated at the time, and, as far as I know (having been in contact with them to give them support when issues pop up) they haven't had any problems so far. Their Spouses' PC worked just fine, though.

 

Edit: I also remember that the main thing that was causing issues for them is that they were using a different program to burn Mint to their USB, and that was also causing issues.

Edited by ColdZero
Etcher issue
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Yes it does! Sorry for the late response as I had to go do something. I'm currently setting up Linux Mint 20.04 that's using wine-5.0.2, and will edit this with an update when the HC installation finishes.

 

Edit: Yep, that's the issue! Rolling release distros' WINE versions are currently unable to run the 64-bit client, so they need to use the 32-bit one (these may just be randomly fixed as they're rolling release). Stable versions of distros that are on WINE 5.0.2 (and slightly above) can launch the 64-bit version of the game AND the 32-bit version without any issues.

Edited by ColdZero
WINE
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I've actually been staying on Wine 5.14 (Staging) on Arch myself - any versions higher than that cause the 64-bit version of the game to crash for me (I haven't tried the 32-bit version). Could you try confirming that, @ColdZero?

3 hours ago, ColdZero said:

EDIT 2: Been messing around with your .desktop file, and in order for it to run on Arch, I need to set it to

Exec = wine /home..../Homecoming/bin/win64/launcher.exe

instead of how you have it, as when I use your way, it just crashes right away / doesn't launch, + I can remove the StartupWMClass and it still works.

Actually, I can take credit for that! The StartupWMClass is used for associating windows to a specific application. On Linux desktops, that's used to allow for the tracking of application start-ups, among other things. You can read more about it here. Needless to say, most .desktop files will have this, and it can be important for making applications behave as expected - for instance, Latte Dock.

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Just now, GM Korvin said:

I've actually been staying on Wine 5.14 (Staging) on Arch myself - any versions higher than that cause the 64-bit version of the game to crash for me (I haven't tried the 32-bit version). Could you try confirming that, @ColdZero?

Actually, I can take credit for that! The StartupWMClass is used for associating windows to a specific application. On Linux desktops, that's used to allow for the tracking of application start-ups, among other things. You can read more about it here. Needless to say, most .desktop files will have this, and it can be important for making applications behave as expected - for instance, Latte Dock.

Hey there Korvin! Sorry for the very late response. I'm currently on WINE 5.18, which I did upgrade from the earlier version of WINE. After downgrading to 5.14-2, I can confirm that the 64-bit client now works 🙂 So you're correct there that that's the last stable one for Arch atm for HC.

 

Also, I didn't know that about StartupWMClass! I'll definitely read about that later tonight! The reason why I removed it is because I already had HC pre-installed and so I just pointed to the old directory with the BETA launcher and it (the Desktop file) kept crashing, so I just ran WINE directly (in said Desktop file) and removed the StartupWMClass as I wasn't using it hahaha. I'll keep working on it if I get more free time though!

 

Edit: Maybe we can append the list from above to add the part about 5.14-2 for openSUSE as well, since that had the same exact problem? 🙂

Edited by ColdZero
Added in EDIT for WINE
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Updated the Appendix from PM feedback, parties credited above as given. 🙂

 

As mentioned, I welcome any reports and feedback, but if somebody uses a Gentoo variant to play please let us know how it's working.  If not, I'll wipe and retry my laptop install of Homecoming from Fedora to Gentoo for completeness-sake.  (All five major versions of Linux tested means offshoots should have similar results.)

 

Also in the works, I might be going back on my own advice at one point... stay tuned.

Edited by GM Tahquitz
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Launcher runs, downloads, and launches the game perfectly on FreeBSD 12.1 using WINE version 5.0, i386-wine! 

 

So, as I thought, as long as you can run WINE (and can downgrade if the current version has issues), the game will run fine 🙂 Issue is then of just finding out which ones don't work, which seem to be anything past 5.14-2 currently.

 

Edit: Although it isn't Linux... but is Unix... ah, that's a discussion for another day! I just wanted to see if it ran, and it does 🙂 Lutris doesn't exist on *BSD, so you need to use pure WINE to run it. Also forgot to mention that it only runs in 32-bit mode, and it's the only option, but I think that's due to how I installed it with the usual "pkg install i386-wine", but maybe it's fixable? Either way it ran w/o any issues!

Edited by Klypso
32-bit
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20 hours ago, Klypso said:

Fedora 33 with wine-5.20 (Staging) works, runs launcher, downloads and installs the game, and can run  both 32/64-bit!

Arch Linux works as well - the relevant bug was fixed here, by the looks of it.

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NTM Fedora 33 packs DXVK by default... this makes it competitive with Ubuntu for newer hardware for sure.

 

List updated above with new versions.  Looks like I need to get out the gas and test Ubuntu 20.10 soon. 😄

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2 hours ago, GM Tahquitz said:

NTM Fedora 33 packs DXVK by default... this makes it competitive with Ubuntu for newer hardware for sure.

 

List updated above with new versions.  Looks like I need to get out the gas and test Ubuntu 20.10 soon. 😄

 

20.10 works as well, even with the 64-bit client! I tested it before I swapped on over to Fedora 33 to try it out. 😄

 

Edit: If you install WINE through just "sudo apt install wine", it defaults to their "wine-5.0 (Ubuntu 5.0-3ubuntu1)" just so you know!

Edited by Klypso
WINE Edit
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9 hours ago, GM Tahquitz said:

Did you use the wine provided in Ubuntu's repos then to test, or did you use WineHQ's build?

Apologies for the very late response, but I tested in Ubuntu's repo itself. Testing out the WineHQ build itself runs into errors where it can't find their "winehq-stable", but can find "winehq-devel" and "winehq-staging". I've purged WINE, removed its repos, refreshed the machine by reinstalling Ubuntu 20.10, 

 

using "winehq-staging" and Ubuntu's variant both work. "winehq-staging" is at "wine-5.20" currently, and from what Korvin stated earlier with the patch that's already upstreamed, both 64-bit and 32-bit now work + launch / run the game right away! 

 

It just may be an error on my end, but you can try it out yourself if you get the time to try to fix "winehq-stable" 😄

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WineHQ Stable is what I've been using all along.  But my daily driver is still using 20.04.  I don't intend to change that for a while.  I'll trust you on the 20.10 part, though.

 

Gentoo (first time user of it here) turns out to be a bit rougher than I thought... no installer, on purpose.  You are expected to carry out all the steps.  Unless there's a variant that goes against that grain (apart from Chromium or ChromeOS spins... saw Hexxeh's finally came down after being ignored for 6+ years), that's going to be harder to get right for the casual Linux user.  I'll have to do more work on that.

Edited by GM Tahquitz

Homecoming: City of Heroes -- Want to play now? Get started here. - Got an issue?  File a Support ticket. - Enjoy helping others? Consider joining us as a GM.

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On 10/22/2020 at 3:22 PM, GM Tahquitz said:

Tequila and Island Rum aren't going anywhere.  Please don't!

And this isn't an official guide, just advice.  If the instructions don't work, forum and Discord pointers is as far as we can go.  In fact, I haven't tried HC Launcher with Linux Mint, and I know that's a really popular distro.  I am willing to update the above with other distro info if other Linux users want to post updates here.

I use Linux Mint 20 and just installed the new launcher a few days ago. I did not need Lutris or do anything beyond having the newest version of wine from WineHQ. I did add dotnet 4.8 and the 2017 visual C++ libraries through winetricks for other apps before I installed the HC Launcher so one or both may be needed. If I get a chance I will try install it to a fresh wine container and see if it works without those. Prior to installing the HC Launcher I was using Tequilla with no issues with the same set up.

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On 10/31/2020 at 5:43 PM, GM Tahquitz said:

WineHQ Stable is what I've been using all along.  But my daily driver is still using 20.04.  I don't intend to change that for a while.  I'll trust you on the 20.10 part, though.

 

Gentoo (first time user of it here) turns out to be a bit rougher than I thought... no installer, on purpose.  You are expected to carry out all the steps.  Unless there's a variant that goes against that grain (apart from Chromium or ChromeOS spins... saw Hexxeh's finally came down after being ignored for 6+ years), that's going to be harder to get right for the casual Linux user.  I'll have to do more work on that.

Same here. I haven't used Gentoo as much as I should have, and I still need experience with that... which is why I tried it on FreeBSD instead, where it runs good as long as you have WINE and the proper packages.

 

Let me know if you do get it up and running! Gentoo has always been a cool idea to try out for me, but I've never given it the proper amount of time to truly test it out!

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