This game was the first release from a rather unknown Polish developer, and quickly became a favorite among RPG fans worldwide. There is a maturity to the story and characters that makes it very easy to truly live yourself into the world as you play. The developer gained the hearts of fans even further be releasing the Enhanced Edition of the game, which was available as a free patch for those who had already purchased the game.
This guide will explain how to install the DRM-free digital edition available on GOG.com
Tips & Specs
To learn more about PlayOnLinux and Wine configuration, see the online manual: PlayOnLinux explained
Arch Linux 64-bit
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:
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:
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 with no extras and no cover artwork, just the actual installer:
lgogdownloader --download --game the_witcher$ --no-extras --no-cover --directory /path/to/folder
Note the $ sign I put on the end of the game name. If I had just typed "the_witcher" then it would download both the first and the second game (provided you own both), since the_withcer_2 also contains "the_witcher" in the name. However, by typing the full game name is it appears with the --list command, and ending it with the $ sign ensures you only download that one specific game.
Launch PlayOnLinux and select 'Tools' and 'Manage Wine versions'
In the new window that appears, scroll through the 'Available Wine versions' box to find '1.7.9' 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
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 "witcher" 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 1.7.9 and click next. Make sure you select '32-bits window installation' if you are on a 64-bit system
When the wine configuration window appear, 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 two libraries:
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 --> witcher --> drive_c
Here you could simply create a new folder and name it the_witcher, 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 "witcher", when you find it, select it. Then 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
The game installer is pretty straightforward, just click next, and make sure to agree to UELA when you come to that step. When you are asked to select components for install, make sure "Full" is selected.
When the installation is done, exit the installer
Now make sure the GOG installer shortcut is selected in the main PlayOnLinux window, then click on "Configure". Click on the "Display" tab, here you should change three things.
Set GLSL support to "disabled"
Set Video memory size the the memory size of your GPU
Lastly set Offscreen rendering mode to "fbo"
Now select the "General" tab and click on "Make a new shortcut from this virtual drive", now select "launcher.exe" and name the shortcut "The Witcher", then select "I don't want to make another shortcut"
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.
You can now play the game from the shortcut called "The Witcher", and it should be set to your desktop resolution by default when you first start it. You maybe want to go into advanced options to set some graphics options. Turning off anti-aliasing is a good way to improve performance, and on high resolutions there is not much point to it. I can play the game with all settings on maximum on my Asus laptop with Nvidia Geforce GTX 670 MX, just anti-aliasing off.
This is a truly great game, and it runs very very well on Linux.