Lord of the Rings: Online can install and run well on many Linux systems.  For this tutorial I’ll be walking you trough installing LOTRO on a Ubuntu/Debian based system.  Since I myself have little experience outside of the Ubuntu/Debian bubble of Linux Distributions I cannot guarantee that the steps will be 100% accurate on another Linux System such as a Redhat based installation such as Fedora but the concepts should be similar.    Where I do have information that is relevant to other Distribution bases I will do my best to include links and work around methods.


First Things First:  Preparing your system for installation

There are a few things you can do to make the installation of Lord of the Rings: Online as painless as possible.  Since LOTRO was designed for use on Windows, we’ll need to find a compatibility layer that works well with LOTRO.   You have a few options for this, but the one that will be most familiar to the avid Linux user is WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator).  Other options include Crossover Linux.  For this tutorial I’ll be using WINE, most Linux distributions include WINE in it’s software repositories so installation is simple and easy.  Simply fire up your systems package manager and do a search for WINE, I recommend installing installing the latest version of WINE which will show up as wine 1.3 in your package manager.  Alternatively you can install this via a terminal by typing.

$sudo apt-get install wine1.3

If you are on a 64 bit installation of Fedora 15 you will have to compile and install a 32 bit version of WINE for your system, 64 bit WINE packages still do not support all the additional software required by LOTRO and 32bit packages are not available from the Fedora 64bit release repositories, for other non-Ubuntu/Debian systems please ask your distribution provider if 32 bit packages are available for 64bit releases.

Once you have WINE 1.3 installed you should install a small utility called Winetricks.  Winetricks simplifies the installation of many common runtimes, and software packages into WINE.  You certainly could install all these manually and separately, but I strongly suggest you use Winetricks to simplify the process.  To install Winetricks open a terminal and enter the following.

wget http://winetricks.org/winetricks

Never install Winetricks as root or with a superuser command, this will make it unusable without superuser access, and software installed by it without being logged in as root

Now we are ready to install runtimes required by Lord of the Rings: Online.   While still in your terminal enter the following command.

sh winetricks vcrun2005 vcrun2008 dotnet11 dotnet20 d3dx9 d3dx10 fontfix

This will install various runtime requirements for Lord of the Rings: Online, if you receive an error message while they are installing saying:

This product is not supported on a 64-bit operating system. Setup will now exit.

The above message means you have a 64-bit installation of WINE, you have three options at this point.

  1. See if your distribution repositories provide a 32-bit release as well as a 64-bit (this is not common)
  2. Attempt to force the installation of the needed runtimes for information on how to do this check WineHQ or your distribution’s support forums.
  3. Compile and install a 32-bit version of WINE on your system, instruction on how to do so can be found HERE.

If all goes well you should now be ready to install Lord of the Rings: Online on your Linux system.

Installation Methods

You have two options for installing Lord of the Rings: Online.  The first option requires you to move an installation from a Windows system into your WINE directories c_drive/program files/ folder.  This is the simplest if you have access to a Windows machine with LOTRO installed and a means of backing it up and moving the folder.

Your other option is to download the installer program for LOTRO and install it normally.  While you can get LOTRO to install using the Pando Media installer, you cannot launch the game using Turbine’s default launcher. We’ll cover patching and launching LOTRO next.

Patching and Launching Lord of the Rings: Online

Since you cannot use Turbine’s game launcher to start LOTRO you need a different method, the easiest is to use PyLotro.  The designer of this launcher allows you to patch and launch Lord of the Rings Online on your Linux System.  To assure you have the most recent version it is recommended you add the PyLotro repository to your list of software resources.  To do this open a terminal and enter:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ajackson-bcs/ppa
sudo apt-get update

Now installing the PyLotro launcher is as simple as entering

sudo apt-get install pylotro

Configuring PyLotro

Launch PyLotro and it will not automatically find your LOTRO installation, you’ll need to set PyLotro up!  To do this open PyLotro and do the following.

  1. Click on Tools
  2. Click Options
  3. In the Game Directory Box enter the path to your LOTRO installation (example: /home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Turbine/The Lord of the Rings Online
  4. Click Save
  5. Click Tools
  6. Click Settings Wizard
  7. Click Find Games
  8. Click on your Game Installation if detected, if it isn’t check the path to the installation and go back to No. 3
  9. Click Apply

PyLotro should now be configured for your LOTRO installation.

To patch LOTRO

  1. Click Tools
  2. Click Patch
  3. Click Start on the window that opens.

You should now have a working installation of Lord of the Rings: Online installed on your Linux machine.  Enjoy playing and see you in Middle Earth.