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Information on how to run Morrowind, the expansions, and common add-ons under POSIX (Unix-like) OSes, such as GNU(+Linux), (Free|Open|Net)BSD, and compatible.
- 1 Engines
- 2 Using Wine to run Bethesda's engine
- 2.1 Installation and Configuration Considerations
- 2.2 Wine Configuration
- 2.3 Engine Configuration (Morrowind.ini)
- 2.4 Known Issues
- 2.5 Mods
- 2.6 Installing Python, Wrye Mash and Mlox under Wine
- 2.7 Running Third-Party applications for Morrowind under Wine
- 3 External Links
As of 2017, Wine is no longer optimal, and players would do well to strongly consider using OpenMW, instead.
OpenMW will very likely be the much easier and quicker option by which to play TES3 on POSIX OSes. Much more information about OpenMW is available on its own page, including differences to Bethesda's engine, new features, FAQs, playthroughs, and pointers for those curious about helping to improve it further.
If, however, you'd still prefer to play TES3 using the original Bethesda engine, then continue reading:
Using Wine to run Bethesda's engine
Installation and Configuration Considerations
Much of what has been said in the Oblivion instructions also applies to Morrowind, especially when it comes to Wine installation and drive mapping.
The Morrowind play CD has copy obfuscation that includes deliberate defects on the CD, so making an image with the standard dd command will likely fail.
However, simply extracting the files to a directory and having it marked in Wine as a CD drive works fine, even better than a crack.
The following advice was mostly found at the Wine Application Database — The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind.
Run winecfg to view and change settings in the Wine Configuration GUI.
- To create a configuration profile for Morrowind in Wine, use the Applications → Application Settings → Add Application… dialog. Then select it by highlighting Morrowind.exe before making changes.
- Applications → Application Settings → Windows should be set to Windows 98.
Note: Since Wine 1.7.x it is no longer possible to set the Windows version to anything below Windows-XP (the default) via the winecfg GUI. Since Morrowind runs without problems when using the default settings, this setting should be considered as obsolete. Additionally, it should be noted, that most Co-Executables won't even work properly on a Windows version below Windows-XP. But it is still possible to set the Windows version using regedit if someone has indeed the need to set it to anything below Windows-XP.
See Oblivion instructions on how to add these settings with regedit.
In latest Wine version the default settings can be used without further modifications. However you may want to try setting the
VideoMemorySize entry to the actual amount of video memory on your graphics card, as Wine apparently has no way of finding this out. However it seems that setting this variable to the actual size of your videocard's memory has no noticeable effects at all. To set it, just create a DWORD-entry under
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\Direct3D, you may have to create this entry at first. Name this newly created DWORD
VideoMemorySize. and set its value to the actual size of your videocard's memory.
Note that if you wish to run multiple programs in Wine under different settings, you can instead store Morrowind configurations in the registry under
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Wine\AppDefaults\Morrowind.exe\Direct3D. This will specifically store these Direct3D settings for Morrowind.
Note: Wine 1.7.55 (released 2015-11-13) fixes most of the problems described in this section, so it is possible to modify the default keyboard configuration in-game. However, some problems still remain and, occasionally, it is necessary to press the modified keys a couple of times before changes are accepted.
For versions of Wine prior to v1.7.55:
Unfortunately, Morrowind on Wine currently suffers from an issue where the game freezes when attempting to modify default keyboard controls. Controls can be configured via Registry as a workaround.
- Launch the Registry editor using wine regedit
- Go to
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Bethesda Softworks\Morrowinddirectory. Inside you should find various configuration parameters including control settings (note: on 64-bit Windows, the parent node of the Bethesda Softworks registry hive will be
- The control settings are spread among other settings, you should be able to recognize them by names like "Crouch/Sneak", "Auto Run", "Forward", "SlideLeft" and so on. They all are of type
- The value is a 32-bit hexadecimal number. The top 16 bits define the main control setting, and the low 16 bits define the secondary control; in most cases unused (set to 0000) or used for joystick control (
- The top byte of the setting is the type of control: 00 = disabled, 01 = keyboard, 02 = mouse, 03 = joystick/gamepad.
- The bottom byte of the setting is a DirectInput scan code, incremented by 1. Consider this table as a reference for the keyboard scan codes.
- Example: Forward is set to
0x01120000by default, which corresponds to the key W. To switch it to the Arrow-Up, look up the corresponding code
DIK_UPin the aforementioned table (
0xc8) and add 1. The resulting code to put into registry is, therefore,
As an example, to switch basic controls from WASD to arrows, you can use following changes:
Registry name | Value | Keys Forward 0x01c90000 Arrow-Up Back 0x01d10000 Arrow-Down SlideLeft 0x01cc0000 Arrow-Left SlideRight 0x01ce0000 Arrow-Right Activate 0x011d0301 Enter or Joystick-1 Crouch/Sneak 0x019e0305 Right-Ctrl or Joystick-5 Run 0x01530306 Numpad-0 or Joystick-6 Jump 0x01370307 Right-Shift or Joystick-7
The in-game debug console is tied to the key ~ and cannot be changed via controls configuration. On Non-English keyboard layouts, tilde sign is usually entered through different key combinations and as a result, the console cannot be invoked. In order to use the console, you must switch your keyboard layout to English before starting the game. On GNU/Linux, this can be achieved with the following command (executed as normal user):
setxkbmap -layout us
Engine Configuration (Morrowind.ini)
If you plan on running Morrowind as a different user than the one that originally installed it, change the permissions of Morrowind.ini to be writeable by other users. Invoking the chmod command can enable group write permissions, while the chgrp command can ensure the file belongs to a shared group.
chmod g+w Morrowind.ini chgrp users Morrowind.ini
- Reduce the load on the CPU by capping the FPS. Set it to your monitor's refresh rate, almost always 60 Hz, or a little lower.
;; Reduce CPU load MaxFPS=60
- Increase stability in the game by not preloading the next cell. You will see the 'loading exterior screen' dialog a lot more.
;; Reduce crashes SkipProgramFlows=1 DontThreadLoad=1
- Increase performance in the game by using less RAM and by extension swap. You will see the 'loading exterior screen' dialog a lot more.
Never set these values to 0 or you'll lose your companions, creatures, followers at each zone change !
;; Improve Performance ;; The Buffers are measured in game Cells. Settings these too high will cause slow downs ;; after a bit of traveling. The defaults are 10 and 32, but for better performance try: Interior Cell Buffer=1 Exterior Cell Buffer=9
(Note: Some might not be current issues for very newest versions of Wine
- Applies to Wine 1.7.11 (released 01.17.2014) Morrowind will crash every time when changing from an exterior cell to an interior cell. According to the Changelog of wine 1.7.11 several changes were done to wine's direct3d libraries, which may be the cause for this issue. Users are strongly advised to either stick with wine 1.7.10 or upgrade to wine 1.7.12 or higher.
- Applies to Wine 1.9.10 (released 05.17.2016) and subsequent versions The winegstreamer library causes a game crash either during the initialization of the game data or after a new game has been started or a savegame has been loaded. You must deactivate the winegstreamer library via DLL overwrite in the wine configuration menu, then the game runs fine. Also, if your console gets spammed with warnings like "fixme:quartz:Parser_OutputPin_QueryInterface No interface for...", running
winetricks quartzwill fix this.
On Microsoft Windows, filesystems paths and file names are case-insensitive and on GNU/Linux, filesystems paths and file names are case-sensitive. Avoid creating file or directory names that differ only in character capitalization. Merge mods with the existing files and directories or the redundant files and directories will be ignored.
To quickly find redundant files and directories use the following commands from the Morrowind install directory.
find Data\ Files/ | sort -f | uniq -id
A better way to keep a clean Morrowind installation on GNU/Linux filesystems is by using Wrye Mash.
- Move the files from the archives to the correct Morrowind game directory.
- From the Morrowind Launcher, select Data Files and check the box next to the target ".esp" file.
- Move the directory 'Icons/A/' to 'Morrowind/Data Files/Icons/'
- Move the directory 'Meshes/A/' to 'Morrowind/Data Files/Meshes/'
- Move the directory 'Textures/' to 'Morrowind/Data Files/'
- Move the file 'LeFemmArmor.esp' to Morrowind/Data Files/'
- Move the directory 'Data Files/r/' to 'Morrowind/Data Files/Meshes'
- Move the directory 'Data Files/Textures/' to 'Morrowind/Data Files/
- Move the file 'Siege at Firemoth.esp' to 'Morrowind/Data Files/'
Installing Python, Wrye Mash and Mlox under Wine
If you want to use Wrye Mash, and it is strongly recommended to do so, you have to use v84. The latest Standalone version, Wrye Mash Fork, does not work under Wine 1.6.x or Wine 1.7.x. You have to install Python 2.5 for Windows first for using Wrye Mash and/or Mlox.
- Download Python
- Download wxPython GUI library v22.214.171.124.
- If you also plan to use Mlox you must use v126.96.36.199, instead. Download Mlox v188.8.131.52
Mlox will not run with older versions, while Wrye Mash works with newer versions.
- After you have downloaded both files open a console and type "wine uninstaller", this brings up the Wine-Installer a convenient way to install/uninstall Windows-Applications via a GUI. Use this Installer to install Python 2.5 and afterwards xPython GUI library v184.108.40.206.
- To make things easier by not having to type the full path where python.exe is located, every time you use it, do the following:
- Open a console and start Wine's Registry-Editor by typing regedit
- Search for the key
HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Environmentand create a variable named PATH. Define this variable as
REG_DWORDand set its string to the path of the directory were you have installed Python 2.5, e.g.
C:\Program Files (x86)\Python25
- Close the Registry-Editor
Installing Wrye Mash
- Download Wrye Mash
- Extract the content of the archive into the Morrowind directory
- Change into the Mopy directory inside your Morrowind directory
- Type "wine python.exe mash.py"
Wrye Mash should start-up for the first time and is ready for use from now on.
If you haven't installed Python 2.5 and xPython GUI library v220.127.116.11 yet do this, following the instructions above.
- Download the latest Python-Version (not the exe-Version) of Mlox
- Extract the contents of the archive to a directory of your choice
- Open a console and change into this directory
- Type "wine python.exe mlox.py"
Mlox should start-up for the first time and is ready for use from now on.
Running Third-Party applications for Morrowind under Wine
Based on user experiences, this sections summarizes, which popular third party applications for Morrowind can, or cannot, be run under Wine and how this can be accomplished. These applications are run either under Wine 1.6.x or Wine 1.7.x.
- TES Construction Set — Runs without problems, except you can't create completely new esp files. Changes to esm files or an esp file not set as active can't be saved. Either set a plug-in as active or create an empty esp file in advance using MWEdit before making changes to game files. As a consequence it is also not possible to merge multiple loaded plug-ins into a completely new one.
- Morrowind Code Patch — Can be applied without problems using Wine.
- Exe Optimizer — Does not work under Wine. The application fails while reporting problems with ndisam.exe after making a backup of the original Morrowind.exe.
- 4GB Patch — Can be executed successfully, but applying this patch seems to have no noticeable effect on the gameplay, at last under Wine.
- FPS Optimizer —
- Runs quite well, however using the feature Improve haggle sum increase/decrease speed will result in increasing the total sum to an exorbitant value every time the "+" or "-" button in the barter menu is clicked. Deactivate this feature if you want to barter when buying/selling goods.
- Sometimes the application can not be terminated if you have played for a long time. In this case the only way to end it is by using the command "kill -9 <PID>" or "killall -9 mw_fps_opt.exe".
- If you use the texture-replacer "Better Picks 'n' Probes" two problems occur:
- The game will crash every time you equip a probe or a lockpick.
- The game crashes when the player's field of view is moved in the direction of a probe or lockpick.
- All notes for v1.96a apply to this version as well.
- In addition, the Multimark-Feature will cause a CTD when used. Custom Mark and Custom Intervention have not been tested, but it is assumed they will cause a CTD as well when used. The features Almsivi Intervention and Divine Intervention for companions do work.
- MGE (Morrowind Graphics Extender) and MGE XE — Both applications will not work under current Wine versions. Despite exhaustive tries none of these applications could be run successfully using Wine and MONO. even when using native direct3d dlls. MWGE won't even start at all and MWGE XE comes up with an empty load list when trying to create the distant land. MWGE XE crashes also shortly after it has been started, regardless what is done.
- Morrowind Script Extender (MWSE) — This application does also not work under current Wine versions. The message in the GUI reports when Morrowind.exe is started and seemingly does work, but any script using MWSE-Functions does not work at all.
- Morrowind Enhanced (MWE) — Runs pretty well, but changing keys in the MWE-GUI does not work, the GUI will freeze. Keys must be set in the same way as it is done for Morrowind, by using regedit. The settings for MWE can be found under
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Morrowind Enhanced. This time however you must use the exact Hex-value for the key e.g. if you want to use the "R" key for Rage set the Rage Key Code to 0x13. Using the mouse buttons is a bit tricky but also not too difficult. If you want to use the right mouse button for blocking like in newer TES games, set Block Key Mouse to 0x01 (0x00 is the left button and 0x02 the middle button on a three-button mouse).
Note: Wine 1.7.55 fixes the problems mentioned above, so it is possible to set the default controls while the application is running.
- Wrye Mash — If Python 2.5 and xPython GUI library are installed correctly Wrye Mash runs without issue, except for the occasional graphical artefacts in the GUI.
Wrye Mash is in fact the most efficient way to manage a clean and working installation of additional contents for Morrowind, since any case-sensitive issues on GNU/Linux filesystems can be avoided.
- TESPCD — Runs without issue execept for the occasional graphical artefacts in the GUI.
- TESTool — Runs without any problems under Wine.
- MWEdit — Runs quite well under Wine except for the occasional graphical artefacts in the GUI and some very annoying issues with the scripting feature of MWEdit:
- It is not possible to paste any text into the scripting window, neither by using keyboard shortcuts nor by using the right mouse button. However marking text in the scripting window and copying it does work.
- The internal search and search+replace features don't work correctly. When marking an expression and clicking the search or search+replace button, the previous used expression is still shown in the search field. Repeating the whole process does work though.
- It seems that compiling and saving scripts does not always work, compiled scripts will sometimes not work. To be save it is best to recompile all scripts modified with MWEdit again in the Construction Set.
- TESAME — This application does not work under current Wine versions. It will display an error message every time a plug-in is opened. Afterwards the application freezes and can only be terminated using the "kill -9" or the "killall -9" command.
The "Merge Mods" feature does work for basic plug-ins though, it will create a functional plug-in, although the application will freeze after the merging is completed.
- Enchanted Editor — This Editor will not work under current Wine versions even when using native VisualBasic 6 dlls.
- OpenMW Project — Native execution of TES3 on GNU(+Linux), AppleBSD (MacOS), (Free|Open|Net)BSD and many other OSes. Already much better than Bethesda's original engine, even on MS Windows. Quickly approaching v1; parity with Bethesda's engine. No need to use Wine.
- Wine AppDB entry for Morrowind — Contains bug and status reports for playing Morrowind under the current version of Wine
- CodeWeavers' CrossOver — Contains bug and status reports for playing Morrowind under the current version of CrossOver
- TransGaming Technologies' Cedega — Members Only Area