Running Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds on Linux

OMG! Good Old Games has the amazing Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds available for a mere £3.99. That was the game which introduced me & my wife to collaborative gameplay, so I was incredibly excited to see it available again.

This is a brief guide to getting the game working on Linux - including multiplayer and widescreen.

I'm using Ubuntu 14.04 - but the steps should be broadly similar on any distro.

Install the latest version of WINE.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install wine1.7

Install the game as normal, the installer will probably crash at the end, ignore it. You can now run the basic version of SWGB without any fuss.

I found that on quitting the game, my desktop wouldn't always revert back to to the correct resolution. To solve this, run SWGB in a Virtual Desktop :

wine explorer /desktop=name,1024x768 swgbg.exe

The virtual desktop will expand and shrink depending on the resolution of the game.

I did find that running the virtual desktop at a lower resolution occasionally gave graphical glitches like this :
SWGB Graphical Glitch
A quick restart fixed it.


To get multiplayer working, I followed this advice and installed DirectPlay from Microsoft (you can ignore the stuff about disabling your network adapter).

winetricks directplay

On restarting the game, you should now be able to play across a LAN. Our two laptops communicated quite happily over WiFi.
SWGB running on Linux

Remember, Microsoft Zone doesn't exist any more - so you'll either have to play with people on a LAN, or ask for their external IP address. I've no idea which ports need forwarding.

Widescreen Patch

This game was originally designed for a 4:3 screen. If you've got a laptop or modern monitor, you'll probably want to make use of all that extra space.

There is a Wide Screen Patch available. Follow the instructions in the .zip file to apply the patch. Tell the game options that you want to play at 1280*1024 - this will switch it to widescreen.

I didn't notice any graphical glitches - but this game is over a decade old, so the graphics are quite low resolution.

One thing to note, if you're using the Virtual Desktop, you may find the game doesn't take over the whole screen - leaving you unable to access the lower portions.

Virtal Desktop Overlay

In which case, I recommend running without the Virtual Desktop.


It's still just as good as I remembered! The music is epic, the voice acting is adequate, and the game mechanics are perfectly tuned.

Everything works well on Linux - even if it does take just a little bit of fiddling to get it right.

Totally worth a go for four quid. Buy it on

5 thoughts on “Running Star Wars Galactic Battlegrounds on Linux

  1. Todd says:

    Hey I tried doing this on Gallium OS, i'm not very good with how linux works but i've managed to get wine 1.8 and steam through command line. I was having no luck getting this game to even show up on wine 1.8 in installing games, and I feel like even if I did I wouldn't be successful getting it to install. I was wondering if you could email me and help me figure out what I did wrong or if need to install a different operating system than GalliumOS for this game to run? Its also on a acer chromebook

    1. @edent says:

      Hi Todd, I've never used Gallium, so I'm afraid I can't help. Can you try Ubuntu?

      1. Todd says:

        I have tried kde but where could I find the code to get Ubuntu throuh the terminal? Also the code you used is apparently deprecated, so idk maybe you could do an updated version? For ubuntu?

      2. Todd says:

        Also, what version do you use? Cause kde xfce and gallium don't work for installing wine or anything else

        1. @edent says:

          Sorry Todd, I just use a regular version of Ubuntu - I don't have a Chromebook. This blog post is 3 years old.

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