[All Clients] Useful info for running our mods under Linux

Most people attempting to run a Windows app on Linux may have already found that the only way to do so easily would be to run it through with the Wine program.
This post is meant to be read by client users and not server owners attempting to host a dedicated server on Linux. If you wish to host an IW4x server on Linux, please read this guide. For any other client, please consult the appropriate forum category or ask in a support channel on the Discord server.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Older versions of Wine tend to run our clients with fewer problems than newer versions. Version “5” seems to be the most popular version among our users (server owners survey) at the time of writing this post.
  • Our mods can work on a Steam Deck if you know what you are doing with “Lutris” or “Proton”
  • Our mods can also work on other platforms such as macOS and BSD as long as Wine is officially supported, although the most tested platform would be Linux using a Debian-based distro and Arch (Steam Deck).
  • The AlterWare launcher is available for the Linux platform (amd64/arm64), the Windows platform (Win32/amd64) and macOS. If you are using another OS like BSD, you may want to compile the launcher from source. The Linux port of the AlterWare launcher is compiled with ubuntu-22.04. If you get any errors regarding glibc such as: version GLIBC_X.YY not found, please attempt to compile the launcher from source. As a last resort, you may want to try to use WINE on the Windows port of the launcher.
  • If your Linux distro does not come with glibc (like Alpine Linux), you can try to install a glibc compatibility layer for musl called gcompat. gcompat might make the Linux port of the launcher work. Alternatively, you will need to compile the launcher from source. As a last resort, you may want to try to use WINE on the Windows port of the launcher.

The various ports of the AlterWare launcher can be found here.
You should know before running it that, under normal circumstances, it will try running the game as a native Linux/macOS application after the update process. This will cause the application to crash because our modded clients are Windows programs and can’t run under other operating systems under normal circumstances (this is why you need software like WINE). There are two possible workarounds.

  1. Use the launcher simply as an updater like this ./alterware-launcher --update. This will make the launcher perform a self-update and a client update. Then it will gracefully exit. Proceed by manually opening the client of your choice with WINE or another app of your choice like Proton.

  2. Make the appropriate modifications to your OS that will make it so when you attempt to run an exe it will use WINE or another app of your choice like Proton.


IW5-mod, IW6-mod, S1-mod and T7x have a builtin-launcher that looks like this:

We are sorry to report this kind of launcher will NOT work with Wine, and running our clients “under normal circumstances” will make the client crash. You will need to bypass the built-in launcher by adding a few extra command line arguments when you invoke Wine.

On IW5-mod and IW6-mod you can do the following from the terminal (IW5-mod will be used as an example):

wine iw5-mod.exe -singleplayer or wine iw5-mod.exe -multiplayer to open either singleplayer or multiplayer respectively.

On S1-mod you have more options to choose from: singleplayer, multiplayer, survival and zombies.

Let’s use zombies as an example:

wine s1-mod.exe -zombies

With the help of this post, you should be able to open any client with Wine.