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Neverwinter Nights runs natively under Linux which means you don't have to worry about using Wine. There are a few steps involved and quite a lot to download, but once it's done, it's done. This guide doesn't require you to have installed the game in Windows because many people wanting to do this likely wouldn't have Windows installed anyway.

Bioware have their own Linux installation guide which you may want to look over if all else fails. Keep in mind that their guide doesn't let you download the Linux binaries without logging in first.

Before we start, you will need a working Internet connection (obviously) and the CDs of Neverwinter Nights, Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark with their respective keys.

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Installing Neverwinter Nights

The first step is to download the Linux Client Resources (which are the core files for the game). You can find those here. They weigh in at roughly 1.12 GB so it may take some time to download depending on your internet connection. Once you have downloaded that file, extract the nwresources129.tar.gz archive to somewhere inside your home (~) folder, this will act as the game's installation folder. It should extract everything automatically to a folder named nwn.

You will now need to download the Linux Client Binaries which are used to actually run the game, they can be found here and weigh in at a much smaller 5.3 MB. Extract the nwclient129.tar.gz archive you have just downloaded into the nwn folder that you made earlier when extracting the Client Resources archive.

If you're not sure how to do what has been mentioned above, the following should give you a rough idea of what to do:

cd ~ wget "" tar zxvf nwresources129.tar.gz cd nwn wget "" tar zxvf nwclient129.tar.gz

cd ~ changes your location to your home folder, wget downloads the file and tar zxvf extracts that files from the archive you downloaded.

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Installing The Shadows of Undrentide

Shadows of Undrentide comes next which requires you to directly copy the files from your Undrentide CD to the nwn folder. This can be done in a few easy steps shown below:

cd ~/nwn unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ rm data/patch.bif rm patch.key ./fixinstall

This assumes a few things, firstly that you've got the nwn folder in your home directory and secondly that your CD-ROM drive is mounted as /mnt/cdrom. If either of those aren't true then you simply need to change those locations to where things are located on your computer (the CD-ROM drive is often /media/something on Ubuntu).

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Installing Hordes of the Underdark

Now onto installing the second expansion, Hordes of the Underdark. The first thing you need to do is remove the files patch.key, data/patch.bif, xp1patch.key, data/xp1patch.bif from your nwn folder if they exist.

You now also need to remove any files in the 'override' directory. If you're feeling lazy, the command below will do both this and the other key files mentioned above for you (again assuming the nwn folder is in your home directory, if not then just change the ~/nwn line to the correct location):

cd ~/nwn rm patch.key data/patch.bif xp1patch.key data/xp1patch.bif override/*

Next step is to copy the data over from your HOTU disc to your new install. You need to copy the contents of three archives from the CD to your nwn folder:, and

If you have inserted the HOTU CD into your CD-ROM drive, you can use the following commands to do this:

cd ~/nwn unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/

With that installed you now need to download the Hordes of the Underdark Client Files from this location and extract the nwclienthotu.tar.gz archive into your nwn folder. It isn't too large at 37.7 MB.

Lastly you need to run one last command from inside your NWN folder to finish the install of HOTU:


Updating the Game

The last stage in the install is to update Neverwinter Nights and the Expansions. To do this, download the English_linuxclient169_xp2.tar.gz file into your nwn folder. You now need to empty your overrides folder again and then extract the archive you have just downloaded. This can be done with the commands below:

cd ~/nwn rm -f override/* tar -zxvf English_linuxclient169_xp2.tar.gz

You've finally finished. You can now run Neverwinter Nights by running the file named nwn from inside the 'nwn' folder.

Simple Script Method

For a rundown on all the commands we've used, I've put them in a list below which should work to virtually automate the process. Let me know how you get on if you do use it!

Insert the Neverwinter Nights CD
cd ~ wget "" tar zxvf nwresources129.tar.gz cd nwn wget "" tar zxvf nwclient129.tar.gz unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ rm data/patch.bif rm patch.key ./fixinstall

Insert the Shadows of Undrentide CD
unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ rm data/patch.bif rm patch.key ./fixinstall rm patch.key data/patch.bif xp1patch.key data/xp1patch.bif override/*

Insert the Hordes of the Underdark CD
unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ unzip /mnt/cdrom/ wget "" tar zxvf nwclienthotu.tar.gz ./fixinstall rm -f override/* wget "" tar zxvf English_linuxclient169_xp2.tar.gz


James S   ~   Posted on 2010-09-11 07:58:34
This is really good Ben, nice job as its easy to follow! I've heard mention of JA2 being native to linux if you can dig that out and do that too you would make my day :P
Benjamin Hodgetts   ~   Posted on 2010-09-19 18:26:55
Seems JA2 should work but you need to install the game under Windows and copy the game files across which is always a bad idea because that assumes you have Windows installed! I'll look into it though.
Michael Tillotson   ~   Posted on 2012-05-24 12:47:10
This is an excellent tutorial -- I really, really appreciate it.
Max   ~   Posted on 2013-06-27 11:32:53
Nice tutorial but it fails - I only have NWN (3 CD version) and the files, ,, do not exist on any of them!

Iv followed the instructions without those files and of course there is an error fixed only by CTRL-ALT-BkSp.

Any ideas?

Benjamin Hodgetts   ~   Posted on 2013-06-27 11:36:00
Unfortunately given how the CD structure changed for the different releases and the general amount of messing around involved, I'd honestly recommend just buying it from (currently on sale for $5) and running it through Wine instead!
Jean   ~   Posted on 2014-01-03 17:47:54
As Bejamin stated: use Wine, it's much simpler and easier. There is no difference in performance or quality.
This only applies if you're using the latest version of Wine. Most games run smooth using Wine, in most cases better than the native version (especially Freespace 2 OS). I even run OpenTTD through Wine, because the Linux version is light years behind in development.
Anonymous   ~   Posted on 2014-08-27 13:55:50
I don't have the Diamond edition. I have the original disks that came as a five disk pack. So I have an Installation Disk 1 and 2 as well as a NWN Play disk. When I get to the command to insert the NWN disk, I don't know which one you are referring to as well that none of those disks that the zip file you are referring to. So these commands:
unzip /mnt/cdrom/
unzip /mnt/cdrom/
unzip /mnt/cdrom/
unzip /mnt/cdrom/
are not working for me. Where do I get them?
Benjamin Hodgetts   ~   Posted on 2014-08-27 14:03:25
Unfortunately you're on your own there. Nothing in this guide will really apply to the multi-disc version as it's completely different and likely (from what you're saying) doesn't have any of the files needed for the Linux installation.
Gee   ~   Posted on 2014-09-06 19:00:54
Any chance of updating the scripts to pull the relevant files from a GoG install instead of using CDs? (Good Old Games). GOG installs the game using Wine.
Benjamin Hodgetts   ~   Posted on 2014-09-07 02:38:35
That may be a possibility, I'll check to see how they work and if they have any of the Linux files inside still (although if they've modified the install to use Wine then that's unlikely).
Craig   ~   Posted on 2014-09-11 09:48:45
I went through your walkthrough, but the game won't run. It only opens up in gedit. Is there a way around this?
I'm on a fresh install of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
Benjamin Hodgetts   ~   Posted on 2014-09-11 09:54:05
You need to make the file executable or change how your desktop environment works. That or run it from the shell. It's somewhat outside the scope of this article. It's a script so it's essentially a plain text file, you need to make sure it's run, not "opened".
Craig   ~   Posted on 2014-09-11 10:29:02
How do I do that?
reznorms   ~   Posted on 2015-03-01 21:32:23
I know this is old but maybe it's still usefull for someoneThe nwresources129.tar.gz and nwclient129.tar.gz should contain everything neede to run the base unpatched games, and replace the files on the original disk. Other guide never mentioned unpacking from CD if not for the expansion pack. Actually, even this guide doesn't do that, its only the script at the end, wich makes me think the author made an error copy&paste the command for SoU twice.
Benjamin   ~   Posted on 2015-03-02 00:27:06
reznorms: I may have screwed something up here. Unfortunately I only have the Diamond Edition from GoG now so I can't test so see if the instructions actually work. I'll see if there's some way to double check them at some point though.

The unzip bits may indeed be unneeded.
Oded   ~   Posted on 2015-06-02 19:02:17
The install instructions worked fine for me, but unfortunately in newer Linux operating systems, the 32 bit compatibility libraries are not installed by default.

To get this working on Fedora 22, I had to install glibc.i686 and mesa-libGLU.i686 . I hope that helps people.

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