How to Install and play Ruiner in Linux Mint 18

The GoG DRM-free release of this awesome shooter can be played sans Windows using PlayOnLinux, Wine, and Winetricks. This guide will help you skip the pain and frustration of hours of experimentation.
Saturday, February 17, 2018 - 1:45pm
"After many months obsessed with making this game install and run on Linux via Wine (which, when not basically out-of-the-box-easy is usually a mind-destroyingly frustrating nightmare of complexity and potential configuration errors), this week, for episode 173 of the Best Linux Games Podcast, I *Finally* *Got It* *To Work.* And, by following these instructions, the odds are good that you will be able to as well."


"Ruiner" is a radical, psychotic, glorious, violent, carnage-fueled festival of slick and addictive action-octane. Set in a dystopian future, you take on the role of a meat-puppet assassin in a cybernetic gimp mask with a terrifyingly obtuse reader-board for a face as your only means of direct communication with other people. Your brain having been hijacked and turned into a cybernetic mish-mash of hallucinogenic memories and brief flashes of electro-punk static, you must win your freedom in the hopes of saving a loved one before it's too late. But first (and as ever) you're going to have to do a lot of killing.

Sadly, there is no Linux port of this title yet offered by the developers, and while that usually means I am forced to pretend the game has never been released (cause I only cover games for the GNU/Linux OS), something about the game's menacing visuals and ultra-dark creepy murderous central character wouldn't leave me alone.

Thus, after many months obsessed with making this game install and run on Linux via Wine (which, when not basically out-of-the-box-easy is usually a mind-destroyingly frustrating nightmare of complexity and potential configuration errors), this week, for episode 173 of the Best Linux Games Podcast, I *Finally* *Got It* *To Work.* And, by following these instructions, the odds are good that you will be able to as well.

These instructions have been tested three times on Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia, using Cinnamon 64-bit for desktop environment. My 4 monitors are driven by an NVIDIA 1080 Ti, and I'm running the nvidia-390 (390.25) binary driver, using the PPA method and installed through the normal Mint 18 Driver Manager interface. Other than that, the other basic requirements you'll need before getting cracking on installation are:

-Install Wine

sudo apt-get install wine

-Install PlayOnLinux

Either use sudo apt-get install playonlinux, or go to their website and follow their instructions for installing

-Install wget

sudo apt-get install wget

-Buy "Ruiner" From Good Old Games:

-You will also need to buy and download a copy of the game from Good Old Games ( Their games (including this one) are DRM free, and after completing your purchase, you are able to download and copy, save, install, and etc. the .exe files with the full authority of actual ownership, almost as if you had bought and ripped a boxed copy directly from optical media like in the old days.

You'll need to grab all the files available from the downloads page, and put them all in a GOG_ruiner directory for installation later, after setting up your wine prefix to make the game run. If you have no idea what that means, by the time you finish this How-To/Step-By-Step Guide, you still may not REALLY know, but have a pretty good chance that you will understand HOW it all works.

This guide may look long, but it's really not, it's just very painstakingly explicit. Like I said, I have executed and checked each of these steps, reproducing the entire, working and installed result no less than 3 times. I've done this in the hopes of making as sure as possible that even the most clueless neophyte to running Windows games in Linux via Wine ("Wine" "Is" "Not" "Emulator") with the best and most reproducible chance for successful install and running of a playable copy of "Ruiner," a game which, even by my somewhat seasoned-by-pain veteran-of-wine sensibilities has proven to be a legitimately unique and specifically difficult game to get working using wine.

Wherever possible, all detailed technical explanation of the exact "why" of these steps has been entirely omitted in favor of including only the best and most concise-yet-hopefully-clear and easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions necessary to successfully accomplish the "how" of the setup and configuration. So don't be intimidated by the at-first intimidating/off-putting size of the scroll bar; if followed carefully, this entire process should take about 30 minutes to an hour to complete, and those with any prior experience or familiarity with running Windows games in Linux using Wine should be able to complete it in a fraction of the time. So let's get cracking!

Overview of Major Steps:


1.1: Add Wine 3.2 (amd64) to PlayOnLinux's installed and available wine versions.

1.2: Create a new 64 bit Windows wine prefix (aka "wine virtual drive," aka "wine bottle," more or less, these terms for our purposes are essentially interchangeable) set up to run wine version 3.2

2: Get the latest version of the winetricks script for your new prefix

3: Set the default version of Windows for your prefix to run Windows 8 using winetricks to launch winecfg from GUI

4: Install vcrun2015 in your new prefix using winetricks from the CLI

5: Install Ruiner on your now ready-to-use prefix using PlayOnLinux

6: Run the Game

1.1: Installing wine 3.2 amd64 in PlayOnLinux's usable wine versions


-We will be using PlayOnLinux's GUI to create and configure essential aspects of our new prefix so it will be ready to have Ruiner installed on it, so launch PlayOnLinux (find it in your main menu button in Mint 18).

Before we actually create our new wine prefix, however, we first have to make sure that PlayOnLinux has the correct version of 64 bit wine ready to use.

From the top of the main PlayOnLinux window, click on "Tools" and select "Manage Wine versions" from the drop down menu (it should be the first item on the list)

->in the new window that appears, there are two tabs at the top. Click on the tab on the right, labeled "Wine versions (amd64)."

->from the left pane on the amd64 tab ("Available Wine versions"), click on 3.2 to highlight-select that version, then click on the ">" button between the two panes to install wine 3.2 and make it available for use in PlayOnLinux. After a brief wait as PlayOnLinux installs the new version, 3.2 should now appear in the right pane under the "Wine versions (amd64)" tab, under the "Installed Wine versions" side on the right.

->You're now done with installing the new version, and can close this window, returning you to the main PlayOnLinux window

1.2: Create A New 64 Bit Wine Prefix/Virtual Drive:


-From the main PlayOnLinux window, click on the big "Configure" (gear icon) at the top, from the bar with the big "Run," "Close" "Install" "Remove" buttons; "Configure" should be the last on the right.

->From the new window that opens, look at the bottom left corner and click on the big "New" button

(under the side-pane showing your virtual drives/prefixes).

->Select "64 bits Windows" from the next window and click "OK"

->Select "3.2" from the next window and click "OK"

->Name your new prefix/drive "ruiner64" in the text input field on the next window and click "OK"

-This should return you to the "PlayOnLinux configuration" window where we previously pressed the "new" button in the bottom left. In the pane above the two buttons in the lower left, there should now be a little gray icon named "ruiner64." If you look closely at the little gray icon, you should be able to see a number there (either 32 or 64); if icon for our new ruiner64 prefix says "32," close the configuration window, and then reopen it again from the main PlayOnLinux screen. This should refresh the entries in the configuration window; if it still says "32" instead of "64" next to our new entry, you did something wrong and should start 1.2 over again, making sure to select "64 bit windows" during the creation process.

-Once you get it right, close the configuration window, and then select "Tools" from the top of the main PlayOnLinux window, and select "close all PlayOnlLinux software" from the drop down menu. This is just out of paranoia and to be super safe. After PlayOnLinux is finished closing down it's software (none of which should have been running in the first place, but one never knows, and the tool exits silently so there's no real way to tell anyway), we are done with PlayOnLinux (for now) so close the main window (it is kind of important to exit the program before moving onto the next step as I have had some weird results during testing when I've left it open and running).

2: Get latest winetricks:*


-We will now be working on the command line in the terminal, so open a fresh one (CTRL-ALT-T) and type the following to change to the directory where our new ruiner64 prefix lives:

cd ~/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/ruiner64

sudo apt-get install winetricks


chmod +x ./winetricks

-These commands will install winetricks system-wide for you as well as drop the latest version of it in your new prefix directory and make it executable.

*(thanks go out to Carlos Rafael Ramirez for his answer paraphrased here from

3: Set the Windows version for your new prefix:


-Enter the following command in the terminal to launch the latest winetricks GUI to modify our new prefix:

WINEPREFIX=~/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/ruiner64 ./winetricks

-this will launch the winetricks GUI main menu screen; from this first window in the GUI:

->Select "Select the default wineprefix" bubble, click "OK" ->

->Select "Run winecfg" bubble, click OK:

-this will launch the winecfg GUI utility window, "Wine configuration," and you should be looking at a window with 7 tabs at the top, with the currently selected tab being "Applications." At the bottom left of the Applications tab, it should say "Windows Version:," followed with a drop-down selection field. Select "Windows 8" in the drop down menu, click "Apply," and then leave the Wine configuration GUI by clicking "OK."

-This should return you to the same menu in the Winetricks GUI where you selected "Run winecfg." Now that we are done with winetricks, click the "Cancel" button twice to close both screens of the GUI.

NOTE (tip/trick): Making sure winetricks is configuring the prefix you want (how to check):

this should launch the Winetricks GUI main window... we're going to make sure that winetricks is using our new prefix by looking at the directory it sends us to when we try to browse the files of the currently selected prefix:

From the first Window in the GUI:

Select "Select the default wineprefix" bubble, click "OK" ->

Select "Browse Files," click "OK"

-this will open up your normal file browsing window; press CTRL-L to see the full path bar at the top; make sure it is the path to your ruiner64 prefix

4: Install vcrun2015 in your new prefix:


-Back in the terminal, once again, and still inside our new prefix directory (if you've opened a new terminal or something you can get back to the correct dir by: cd ~/.PlayOnLinux/wineprefix/ruiner64), enter the following two commands:


bash ./winetricks vcrun2015

-if this command hangs in the terminal (after something like "fixme:advapi:DecryptFileW"), wait 30 seconds (just to be safe) and then press CTRL-C and the command should jump back to life, completing with a message similar to the line below before returning you to your terminal prompt:

vcrun2015 install completed, but installed file /home/skookie/.wine/dosdevices/c:/windows/syswow64/mfc140.dll not found

-Congrats! Theoretically, we are now ready to finally actually install Ruiner using our now-configured prefix! You can leave the terminal open or close it, but we are done with the command line now, so start up PlayOnLinux (again); we'll be using the GUI to install the game.

5: Installing Ruiner:


-This is fairly straightforward, but involves lots of different screens and stuff, so I'll try to explain as carefully and concisely as possible. Starting from the main PlayOnLinux window, click on "Install A Program" from the top of the side pane on the left);

->in the new window, select "install a non-listed program" (bottom left);

->in the wizard window that opens, click Next, then select "Edit or Update Existing Application, and click "Next";

->click the checkbox on the bottom left labeled "Show virtual drives," and select-highlight our ruiner64 prefix. Click "Next";

->check all 3 of the boxes in the next window ("use another version of wine," "configure wine," and "install some libraries") before clicking "Next;" even though we should already have everything set up more or less ready to work, the next few windows will give you the opportunity to check your work in rapid succession;

->make sure "3.1" is selected from wine versions window, click "Next";

->select "64 bits windows install" and click "Next";

->click "OK" in the winecfg window, which should still show "Windows 8" at the bottom of the "Applications" tab;

->The next screen will be new to you, and should show a long center menu of check boxes. This is the "install additional libraries" screen, and there should be entries that look something like "POL_Configurator_runparts" and other arcane options that you can scroll up and down through. Scroll down until you find the entries that start with "POL_GOG_"; there should be a handful of them. Check all the "POL_GOG" entries, then click "Next";

->Click the big "Browse" button in the center of the next window, and navigate to where you stored all the Ruiner .exe files you downloaded from Select the one with a name that starts with "setup_ruiner_[other stuff]" and ends in a .exe extension and click on "Open," and then click "Next";

->This will launch another window that will run the GoG Ruiner Setup install wizard; check the box in the bottom middle saying that you have read and accept the EULA. You don't need to change anything from the installer's defaults, so just click "Install";

->This will begin installing Ruiner, and the window has a progress bar at the bottom. Be patient while it installs (it takes a few minutes);

->Just before the progress bar reaches 100 percent completion, a few windows saying something about "Microsoft Visual C++" should pop up and automatically close without requiring your intervention (you may not even notice them depending on how fast your computer is), all of which should culminate in a very scary-looking and unpleasant series of dire-looking "Runtime Error" boxes. Don't panic; this is normal. Just click "OK" on each of them, finally clicking on the "Exit" button inside the GoG installer window once it's finished *DO NOT CLICK "Launch;" click "Exit";

->PlayOnLinux will then ask you to select an icon entry for shortcut creation, so scroll down till you see "Ruiner.exe," select it, then click "OK." For some reason, this process will repeat, so on the next window (which should be identical to the previous one), just click "Cancel" to escape the endless loop.

CONGRATULATIONS! Theoretically, you have successfully installed "Ruiner" on your Linux box!

6: Run the Game:


From the main PlayOnLinux window, you should now see an entry on the right pane named "Ruiner"; click that icon, then press the big "Run" button at the top of the window. Be patient, especially the first time you try to run the game, as it can take some time to warm up and get going, but once you are in the game, adjust your video settings (I like to bump the resolution up to 100, otherwise it looks like pixel-trash expressionist art lol); depending on the hardware you are running, you may need to adjust other in-game options (some people like to run it windowed instead of fullscreen cause they say it makes the game more stable; your mileage may vary).

-Generally speaking, this has resulted in a reasonably stable and dependably playable game, but there is one sequence shortly after the tutorial that has this weird visual bright green blinding lense-flare-gone-insane visual artifact that makes seeing kind of hard, but it goes away after that sequence which only takes like 5 minutes to get through... One other thing I have noticed (and my only super major complaint) is that - especially when livestreaming and recording my play sessions in the game, the game has a tendency to run out of video memory after an hour and twenty minutes or so, and grinds to a slow (but inevitable) absolute locked-up-tight halt from which I have found it impossible to escape without hard resetting my machine (far from ideal, but once this happens, I can't even escape the game's focus using CTRL-ALT-F4 or whatever other virtual terminal numbers that are usually available, and ALT-F4 won't kill the process cause Mint 18 seems to think that I have been trapped to a doomed and abandoned Windows universe that has consumed all resources and is now a prison, lol)... yes, this is inconvenient and undesirable, and there may be ways to work around this behavior through tweaked settings and stuff, but just getting it to run and be playable has been our goal for this how-to. Check in for future episodes of the podcast, where I'll be sure to mention any tips and tweaks and stuff for the game as I find and figure them out.

If you have any problems or feedback, the best way to reach me is via twitter direct message (@Vegaswriter), or simply friend me on steam and send me a chat message (Steam handle: skookiesprite). Have fun playing this awesome, insanely violent festival of old-school hi-res (and surprisingly clever and engaging) Windows title on your Linux Mint 18 box!

-Seth "Fingers" Flynn Barkan is the author of "Blue Wizard Is About To Die," and is the host of the Best Linux Games Podcast, a weekly audio podcast covering only the best games available for the GNU/Linux Operating System. Which will own you, SUCKAH! (he can be contacted via twitter @Vegaswriter or by sending a message directly through Steam to "skookiesprite")