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Trying to install/run old windows programs

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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April 6, 2010 12:51:10 AM

Hello,

I've currently got a windows 7 64bit box and I'm trying to install/run some old games I've got lying around of the windows 95 era. And, since I'm running the 64bit version of windows, it doesn't work, even in compatability mode. So, my question is... is there a version of linux that would be best suited to running old games, such as simtower, simcity 2000, etc.

Thanks for your help.

X
April 6, 2010 1:36:01 AM

If you've got some patience and dos knowledge you might be able to get them to run under Linux with DOSBox, WINE, Cedega, CrossoverGames or inside a FreeDOS VM.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DOS_Box

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wine_%28software%29

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cedega

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CrossOver_Games

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeDOS


Your mileage will vary, some games may run just fine, others may have minor glitches, some major glitches and some may not run at all.

You're in luck though, some of these games may have native Linux remakes or native Linux versions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source_games

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_open_source_games

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincity#LinCity-NG

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_games

http://www.tuxgames.com/browse.cgi?&category=all

Fedora and Ubuntu are two of the most user friendly distros, both have lots of free games and can run DOSBox, WINE, the WINE derivatives and are perfect for VMs.

http://fedoraproject.org/en/get-fedora-all

http://www.ubuntu.com/

Fedora 13 and Ubuntu 10.04 are coming soon, they're due to be released next month and later this month respectively.

64bit Linux distros can run both 32bit and 64bit software at the same time on x86_64 CPUs, all you've got to do is install both the 32bit and 64bit libraries. Fedora makes this particularly easy.

Good luck :) 
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April 6, 2010 7:08:16 AM

Or, you could always run a older version of Windows in a virtualization program such as VMware or VirtualBox, but I will warn you, the 3d performance in VMs is very low.
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April 6, 2010 5:53:01 PM

amdfangirl said:
Or, you could always run a older version of Windows in a virtualization program such as VMware or VirtualBox, but I will warn you, the 3d performance in VMs is very low.


True, but if the games are from the windows 95 era, i don't think the low 3d performance will be an issue.
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April 6, 2010 7:10:42 PM

Strangely you might be better off with a VM that's capable of providing very old virtual hardware.

If you've ever tried to run very old software you may have noticed that sometimes very old software can't run on new hardware very well, if it runs at all.

The original windows 95 didn't even have USB or AGP support, those were introduced later with OSR2.1 and didn't work too well.

It's very difficult or impossible to get drivers for windows 95 any more for new hardware or even old hardware.

Semper Fi :) 
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April 6, 2010 9:08:30 PM

Thanks for the advice, everyone. So, I installed Ubuntu 9.10(I couldn't get Fedora to work.. not sure why) and I'm running Wine Windows Program Loader 1.1.41. When I run the setup.exe file, It installs fine until the end, where you expect it to say "Installation Complete" or something like that, then it just hangs. I finally just restarted and tried running the program anyway, but it just gave me an error on the menu screen. I'm struggling a bit with Ubuntu and have no idea what to do. Please help!

Thanks,

X
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April 7, 2010 2:25:46 AM

kyeana said:
True, but if the games are from the windows 95 era, i don't think the low 3d performance will be an issue.


Yes, but the majority of VM programs don't have 3d acceleration for Windows 95 era games.
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April 7, 2010 3:24:05 AM

exentrick said:
Thanks for the advice, everyone. So, I installed Ubuntu 9.10(I couldn't get Fedora to work.. not sure why) and I'm running Wine Windows Program Loader 1.1.41. When I run the setup.exe file, It installs fine until the end, where you expect it to say "Installation Complete" or something like that, then it just hangs. I finally just restarted and tried running the program anyway, but it just gave me an error on the menu screen. I'm struggling a bit with Ubuntu and have no idea what to do. Please help!

Thanks,

X



There's reports the SimCity 2000 installer fails to terminate properly, yet the game apparently works. Simtower has a similar installer that fails but may still work.

Check out the AppDB http://appdb.winehq.org/ and FAQ http://wiki.winehq.org/FAQ

http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=versio...

http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=versio...

Crossover has a trial version http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxgames/ that might work a little better than Wine itself.

Lincity and other similar games http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lincity have native Linux versions and ought to run nearly flawlessly, especially if you install them from the official repositories.

Good luck :) 
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