How to Install OpenMW on Linux

It takes a few steps to be able to play Morrowind on Linux. You need access to the Wine plugin for your Linux Distro. Using the plugin, install Steam as if it was Windows. This will enable you to then download the Windows version of Morrowind. Then install OpenMW natively on your machine and select the location of the Morrowind executable during setup. Congratulations you can now play Morrowind on your Linux Laptop/PC.

What is OpenMW?

OpenMW is a launcher that wraps itself around your Morrowind executable. By doing this, OpenMW allows the player to play the game on Windows, macOS, and Linux. This is a great boon for players on other OS’s and could potentially be allowed to run on other OSes.

According to the OpenMW website there are a number of benefits to using this application:

  • Native support for macOS, Linux, and Windows
  • Improved physics and AI
  • Distant terrain
  • Save/Load dialogs organized by character
  • Quality of life UI improvements, such as being able to search for spells
  • Multiple quicksaves
  • World map adjusts automatically to fit new landmass from mods such as Tamriel Rebuilt
  • Support for up to 2147483646 loaded mods (up from 255 in the original Morrowind engine)
  • Since it was made from scratch, virtually no engine bugs from the original Morrowind
  • And much more

There is really no reason not to use it. Especially with the better handling of save files which only shows save files per character. The search function also is available in your inventory tab.

What You Need

Steam Version of Morrowind:

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Click the above image to buy the game from Fanatical (Affiliate link I receive a small commission)

Desktop or Laptop running Linux.

How to Install OpenMW

Using the guide below, I am going to assume you are running Linux and one of the latest Distros.

  1. Install Wine using your terminal (Usually accessed by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T
    1. On ubuntu just enter: (32bit or 64bit depending on OS)
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install playonlinux
Linux installing various packages.
How to install openmw on linux 15

2. Open PlayonLinux

3. In the search bar, input Steam. And select Steam when it appears.

Playonlinux application, selecting steam
How to install openmw on linux 16

4. Follow the instructions, it will install the necessary dependencies

5. The Steam setup program should appear, again click through the guide.

6. At the end of the guide leave the Run Steam checkbox checked and click Finish.

Finish steam setup.
How to install openmw on linux 17

7. Login using your credentials.

8. When logging in, if nothing is appearing in the main window. Click VIew and Small mode which works flawlessly.

9. Search for Morrowind. Double click

Selecting morrowind in steam
How to install openmw on linux 18

Steam will now install Morrowind, like it would on a Windows PC.

10. Once installed. Open the terminal and input the following:

sudo apt-get install openmw

This will install OpenMW.

11. Once installed, run openMW

12. A setup guide will appear. Follow the guide to install openMW.

13. On the below screen make sure to select Existing installation.

Openmw installation, remember to select existing installation.
How to install openmw on linux 19

14. It won’t be able to detect your installation, so click browse.

15. Make sure to press Ctrl + H which will show all hidden files.

16. Click /home/username/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/Steam/Drive_c/Program Files/Steam/steamapps/common/Morrowind/Data Files and then click on the Morrowind.esm file.

17. Click Next >

18. Once you’ve gone through the rest of the guide, OpenMW will install.

19. To play Morrowind make sure to use openMW.

Openmw, loving my character
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Brendan Freeman
Brendan Freeman

A new dad, who loves his video games. he's been playing games since he was 2. He likes RPGs and racing games.

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