FreeSO on Linux using Wine

Discussion in 'Support' started by Tepiloxtl, Jul 10, 2017.

  1. Tepiloxtl

    Tepiloxtl New Member

    I've spend a few hours figuring out how to run this game on Linux using Wine. Before I go into detail on this I'll let you know one thing: It is mostly stable... as long as you managed to join a lot. Otherwise it likes to crash at any given moment. Crash when launching the game. Launch when logging in, crash when joining world, crash when joining a lot. You'll see a lot of crash dialogs and a lot of these notifications:
    (or at least that's whats happening on my PC most of the time)
    I'm not saying that to discourage you, just so you know, a lot of things can go wrong, but otherwise it's solid.
    You also probably noticed that game installator does not work(there's a few reports in old MacOS thread about that), and it's true, so we won't use installators and do everything ourselves, isn't it fun?
    As for MacOS support, it might be working with wineskin? I'm not fluent in using MacOS, so I can't say, some help here?
    Anyway, if you know what you are doing, tl;dr version is at the bottom, if not, here's step by step tutorial

    0. Gather neccesary software
    So, obviously, we'll be using wine to run FreeSO, so we need to grab it. We won't be using PlayOnLinux there, because there's no need to, and it went kinda bad lately, with lack of updates to additional components, it can be hard to figure out why something failed. We'll use a helper application called winetricks which have to be installed separately most of the time. As of writing of this, current wine version is 2.11, and I suggest using at least this version or newer, because I can't speak for compatibility with older versions, but newer should be fine. So go on, use your package manager of choice and download wine and winetricks. If you use ubuntu, it'll be something like this:
    sudo apt install wine winetricks
    You also have to make sure that you're running latest version of wine, so when it's installed type in:
    wine --version
    If it says "wine-2.11" or better then you're fine. Otherwise go to and read on how to get more recent release for your distribution(installing wine-devel or wine-development might help as well)
    We'll also use wget which if you use very minimal distribution might not be here, so if you run into a failure later on, download it as well

    1. Configuring wine, installing prequisites
    We'll be mostly running commands in terminal. I'll explain what what every command do if you want to know what we're actually doing :)

    export WINEPREFIX=~/FreeSO/
    This command sets working directory for wine for current terminal window. We don't want to mess with default wine installation(we'll be installing stuff later that you should keep from any wineprefix as long as you don't need it), so this command sets current wine working directory to FreeSO in your home directory. You can choose your own folder instead.

    WINEARCH=win32 winecfg
    This command initializes wine into folder we choose, and also tells it we want 32bit installation (we want 32bit installation, don't worry about that). This will take a while. It'll also open Wine configuration window, but we don't need it right now, you can close it

    cd ~/FreeSO/drive_c/
    We're going into our virtual drive c directory, we'll do most of our work from here

    winetricks dotnet45 wininet
    Using winetricks we'll now install .NET framework 4.0 and 4.5, as well as some windows networking components. This will also take a while to complete, and you'll have to progress through installation of both .NETs like you would on Windows
    It will throw a lot of notifications at you in terminal window, but it should finish succesfully as long as you're using 32bit installation.
    After finishing it'll ask you for restarting your PC. Click "Restart later", we don't need it

    2. Installing game components
    Downloading original The Sims Online installer, as we need files it provides

    It's not neccesary, but you should go back there and enable "Emulate a virtual desktop", because TSO installation will force us into fullscreen mode, and with this it'll not mess with our resolution

    wine Setup\ The\ Sims\ Online.exe
    Now we're running The Sims Online installer! Firsty we need to wait for download to complete, have fun waiting!
    When it's ready it'll automaticly run itself, and ask some simple stuff. So we need to accept license first, then we'll be presented with option to choose instalation location
    Installation need to be done in default directory. You can also uncheck "Place a shortcut..."
    Then installer will show us this screen
    [​IMG]. Now we need to wait here until installation will be completed(seen on progress bar at the bottom), and when it's ready, press cancel. Game will ask you if we're sure, press yes, then no. Installer will now hang. Click on the X button on wine desktop window bar and wait for "Waiting for program" window to appear
    [​IMG]. Press Terminate Process.

    Now you can go back to winecfg and disable Virtual Desktop.
    Now we need to grab FreeSO files. Unfortunately I have no idea how to grab it without using browser, so it's exactly what we'll do.
    Open your browser, go to and choose "Log in as guest". Then choose "master" under "tso.client" section. Now under "Recent history" find latest version of the game and mouseover on dropdown arrow under artifacts. Choose

    Now go to newly generated FreeSO directory in your home directory(or whatever directory you choose to use in first part of tutorial), and then into drive_c. While we are on it, delete the "The Sims Online installation files" directory. Create new "FreeSO" directory here, move our downloaded file inside and unzip it. Now go back to terminal window

    cd FreeSO
    Entering out newly created directory

    wine FreeSO.exe
    Now we're running FreeSo for the first time. If it fails, try again, as I said before, it likes to crash. Login into your account and it'll ask you to download an actual latest version of the game(because what we download is I don't know, some testing release), so let it update and
    Oops, now what?

    cd PatchFiles/
    cp -r * ..
    rm -rf *
    cd ..
    This goes into PatchFiles directory, where new updates are downloaded, unzips which contains our update, copies all files and then deletes it(because we can't move recursively), and exits this directory. Now try calling "wine FreeSO.exe" (few times), and if it works, shows FreeSO logo and don't ask for updates, it's basically ready to run.

    Now we want to have easy way of running the game, so open a notepad application you have in your system and paste this inside
    export WINEPREFIX=~/FreeSO/
    wine FreeSO.exe
    Save it as inside FreeSO/drive_c/FreeSO directory.

    chmod +x
    Giving our script permission to execute

    Now we'll be able to run our game by going into this directory and running If you want to have a shortcut on desktop, go to your desktop, right click on it and choose "create activator" or something similar, depending on your desktop environment of choose. New window should appear looking something like that.
    You need to fill it in as on this screenshot. I was able to extract icon from FreeSO.exe using Archive manager, but if you're unable to do so, you can download it from here. Check if it's working properly, if it is, congratulations, you can now play FreeSO(hopefully).

    Sorry for any odd wording and stuff, english isn't my native language, but I'm trying my best. If you have any objections about anything here (or want to help translating it to "proper english"), send me a message. If you still have problems, or any questions, post them here.
    I'll still work on how to make the game more stable (because I think it's possible) and how to fix some oddities happening in-game(broken cursors, some audio effects not working right), but that's all for now...
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2017
  2. jimla

    jimla Member

    Thanks so much! I was able to get it running on my Mac from your instructions. You weren't kidding about it liking to crash, though - I got an IOException about 50 times before I was able to successfully run FreeSO.exe for the first time. To the point where I figured I was crazy for trying again and expecting different results. :p If anyone else gets stuck here...don't give up.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2017
    mrpenguinb likes this.
  3. planetarium

    planetarium New Member

    Hi, thanks a lot for this post - I think I'm getting somewhere. I'm fairly far through these instructions but I just tried executing "wine FreeSO.exe" for the first time and I'm being told C:/Program Files/Maxis/The Sims Online/TSOClient/Tuning.dat is an invalid path. I just double checked in the folders and it's all there and present so I'm not certain what I'm doing wrong. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    EDIT: To anyone having the same issue I had (MacOS Sierra), I went ahead and deleted the Maxis folder so I could reinstall The Sims Online. Also be sure to check your winecfg, I'm not sure if it's related but for whatever reason mine was set to Windows 7 when I had the above error. I set it to windows 2003 before reinstalling and it worked a treat. I'm now able to enter the client just fine although so far I have been unable to join a lot. I'm not sure where the log files are stored as of right now but I'm going to look into it and hopefully I can solve my issue... Fingers crossed!
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2017
    jimla likes this.
  4. Tecnomaster

    Tecnomaster New Member

    I get this error:
  5. mrpenguinb

    mrpenguinb Active Member

    Make sure that your date and time are correct, I am not sure if that is the problem that you are having though. (But it seems likely since whenever I use linux, it changes the time to AM or random)

    EDIT: The time changing was due to Windows' s fault with the clock not setup properly as it needs to use UTC (Coordinated Universal Time)
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2018
  6. nalina

    nalina New Member

    I created a Lutris script (basically less bloated PlayOnLinux) that runs through this process more easily. There are some errors although the game is pretty playable besides the occasional annoyance. 3D mode works great. Here's hoping for an official Linux FreeSO release!

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