Running GOG.com’s Heroes of Might and Magic 2 under Linux (Ubuntu 10.04)

Heroes of Might and Magic II (HoMM2) is an all-time favourite of mine, and while there’s no native Linux port, HoMM2 can run under DOSBox. So I downloaded a copy of it from GOG.com (Good Old Games) and installed
it with Wine. The game installed fine but it failed to run. After scouring the Internet and finding that no specific solution fixed my problem, I developed a new solution. See references for other solutions.

Setup

  • Ubuntu 10.04 (but it should work under any Linux distribution, provided you have a similar version of DOSBox)
  • Wine 1.1.42 (from the Ubuntu 10.04 repositories). I try not to use Wine, but in this case it’s required to install HoMM2. You can remove Wine after installing HoMM2.
  • DOSBox 0.73 (from the Ubuntu 10.04 repositories).

Guide

  1. Install HoMM2 using Wine
  2. Go to the install directory (on my system this is: /home/edin/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/GOG.com/Heroes of Might and Magic 2 GOLD/), and edit dosboxhomm2.conf.

At the bottom of the file, edit the settings so that they look like this:

@ECHO OFF
mount c "."
c:
z:\imgmount d "./homm2.inst" -t iso -fs iso
cls
heroes2.exe
exit

You can then launch HoMM2 using either Wine (i.e. launching the Heroes of Might and Magic 2 GOLD executable) or launching dosbox with the new dosbox configuration (i.e. dosbox -conf dosboxhomm2.conf from my HoMM2 directory; /home/edin/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/GOG.com/Heroes\ of\ Might\ and\ Magic\ 2\ GOLD/)

Improving performance

Two performance improvements that I found while scouring the Internet are listed below, in addition to instructions on how to set windowed for those who prefer it to fullscreen mode.

The first performance improvement involves using OpenGL for output, editing dosboxhomm2.conf, edit the “output” option so that it looks like this:

output=opengl

The second improvement involves capping the number cycles that DOSBox attempts to emulate, edit the “cycles” option so that it looks like so:

cycles=50000

Windowed mode

I prefer to play windowed mode, to do this, edit the “fullscreen” option in your dosboxhomm2.conf file, so that it looks like this:

fullscreen=false

References

Conclusion

That should be it. If you’re launching HoMM2 using DOSBox (preferred), you can now uninstall Wine but make sure you move the HoMM2 directory first.