Friday, May 25, 2012

wine crashing on ubuntu 10.10


downgrade wine, like so:

  1. uninstall the current version of wine
    sudo apt-get remove wine1.3 wine1.3-gecko ttf-symbol-replacement-wine1.3

  2. install the older stable version of wine
    sudo apt-get install wine1.2


I was recently trying to install steam on ubuntu 10.10 using the latest wine (1.4 something I believe). it kept crashing X windows right as it tried to launch steam.exe, or when I tried to launch it manually. here's the end of the terminal output:

err:wgl:is_extension_supported No OpenGL extensions found, check if your OpenGL setup is correct!
fixme:iphlpapi:NotifyAddrChange (Handle 0x453d95c, overlapped 0x4353d20): stub
fixme:winsock:WSALookupServiceBeginW (0x453da5c 0x00000ff0 0x453daa4) Stub!
[0525/] WSALookupServiceBegin failed with: 8
fixme:toolhelp:CreateToolhelp32Snapshot Unimplemented: heap list snapshot
fixme:toolhelp:Heap32ListFirst : stub
ALSA lib pcm_pulse.c:1008:(_snd_pcm_pulse_open) Unknown field handle_underrun
err:winediag:AUDDRV_GetAudioEndpoint PulseAudio "default" -22 without handle_underrun. Audio may hang. Please upgrade to alsa_plugins >= 1.0.24
../../src/xcb_io.c:385: _XAllocID: Assertion `ret != inval_id' failed.
XIO: fatal IO error 11 (Resource temporarily unavailable) on X server ":0.0"
after 150 requests (144 known processed) with 0 events remaining.

I'm not sure which part of that caused the crash. I googled the third-to-last line, and came across this still unfixed bug that's been in ubuntu for the last four versions (please try to convince me the ubuntu developers care about stability):

after I downgraded wine (see solution above), steam installed just fine:
winetricks steam

if, for some reason, you removed the wine PPA or need to install winetricks manually, this should do the trick:

cd /usr/local/bin
sudo wget
sudo chmod +x winetricks
cd ~

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Playing Half Life 2 on an old/slow computer

I wanted to play Half Life 2 on an old laptop with Intel GMA 900 graphics (910GML/915GM chipset), but with the default settings the game would often become unbearably slow. So after doing some googling and lots of testing, I found some settings that seem to work.

  1. First, create a text file named autoexec.cfg and place it in the hl2/cfg folder. Give it the following contents:

    // see for more information
    // also see

    // ***** major stuff *****
    mat_compressedtextures 1
    mat_forcemanagedtextureintohardware 0
    mat_softwarelighting 0
    // in pixels
    // specific number
    // level of detail at a distance: -8 to 8

    // ***** minor stuff *****
    cl_ejectbrass 0
    cl_show_splashes 0
    dsp_slow_cpu 1
    mat_bumpmap 0
    mat_dxlevel 70
    muzzleflash_light 0
    r_drawflecks 0
    r_waterforceexpensive 0
    sv_robust_explosions 0
    violence_ablood 0
    violence_agibs 0
    violence_hblood 0
    violence_hgibs 0

    // these are newer source 2007-based variables and may be unrecognized by older
    // versions of half life 2
    ai_expression_optimization 1
    mem_max_heapsize 768

  2. In your shortcut that you use to launch Half Life 2, add the following parameters:
    -novid -window -dxlevel 60 -heapsize 786432 -console

    The end result will look something like this:
    "C:\Program Files\Games\Half-Life 2\hl2.exe" -novid -window -dxlevel 60 -heapsize 786432 -console

  3. (Optional) Create valve.rc in the hl2/cfg folder, or edit the one that already exists, and make sure the startupmenu line is commented out by ensuring there are two slashes (//) in front of it.

  4. Lastly, read this article to get more information on what these tweaks mean and how to customize them for your system:
If you're playing on a machine with integrated Intel graphics, GMABooster may help some as well.