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Cedega 4.2.1 Review
LinuxLinks Review
By Kevin E. Glosser


Over the past eight years, my reliance on Microsoft products has dwindled greatly. The last "chain that binds me" is my fondness for playing cutting edge games. Although some of these (mostly first person shooters) have Linux ports, most require Windows to run.

Like many in our community, I rely on a dual boot scenario to solve this problem. This is not necessary, however. There is an alternative. And that alternative is using the commercial version of W.I.N.E. for gaming known as Cedega. Cedega, previously known as W.I.N.E. X, allows you to install and run Windows games in Linux.

Cedega is something I have looked into previously, it's not new to me. I've come close to buying it a few times, but never done so. I'm not sure if it was my disbelief in its claims or the monthly pricing plan that kept me away; perhaps it was both. I'd love to believe it works. I couldn't help but be skeptical, however.

The technical hurdles to overcome are steep. TransGaming, the makers of Cedega, get NO help from Microsoft whatsoever. The main programming interface for Windows games, Direct X, does not exist in Linux. Third party libraries will likely have to be ported.

I don't even have to delve into all the possible issues Linux itself brings to the equation. There are various desktop environments one might run. There are even multiple projects of X Windows itself. What kind of driver are you going to find installed? Did I mention people use different versions of the kernel? It's easy to see why one might be a little pessimistic.

Still, when Steve asked me if I wanted to review Cedega, I jumped at the chance. I was excited to see if it was possible, Windows gaming in Linux! Clearly the product must work to some extent, so discovering just what extent that is will be a big part of this review. Can a customer expect an "out of box" experience? Will "TransGamers", as they are called, be required to be expert Linux users? Is it somewhere in between?

After putting Cedega through its paces, I discovered several things that surprised me. Although I can not guarantee your experience with the product will be identical, I can give you an idea of what to expect. To accomplish this we'll test four popular programs and compare them to how they run in Windows XP on the same hardware.

Test Environment

Read ahead

1. Introduction
2. Test Environment
3. Installation
4. World of Warcraft
5. Half-Life 2
6. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
7. BlitzIn
8. Conclusion
9. Known Issues
10. Fixes
11. Glossary

Last Updated Wednesday, October 19 2005 @ 10:46 AM EDT

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