Free card games
for Linux

Vincent Brévart
Vincent Brévart

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Huntington's disease

Software
Belote

Bridge

President

Whist

Besides Windows
Mac OS X

Linux

Useful information
Rules of the game

Tips for Leaders

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  Versions running on Linux DeutschItalianoEspañolFrançais

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Free card games for Linux

Belote - Bridge - President - Whist

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All my programs have been written for Windows, and therefore in principle they can run only with this operating system. However, some inspired programmers have written a program called WINE (Wine Is Not an Emulator) which, as the name indicates, is not a Windows emulator but allows to run Windows applications on a different operating system. Wine is a free program that can make Bel Atout, SimiliBridge, Élysée and Far Whist run on Linux, in the following way :

  1. Download the WINE program, install it and configure it    (only once)

  2. Download and install the Linux version of your card game

     Belote  belatout560e_linux.exe    2.53 MB
     Bridge  similibridge340e_linux.exe    3.54 MB
     President  elysee470e_linux.exe    1.76 MB
     Elevator Whist  farwhist162e_linux.exe    1.76 MB

  3. Download and install the sounds and voices that go with the program    (once per game)

     Belote  BelAtout_SoundsVoices102.exe    3.08 MB
     Bridge  SimiliBridge_SoundsVoices102.exe    4.28 MB
     President  Elysee_Sounds102.exe    1.56 MB
     Elevator Whist  FarWhist_Sounds100.exe    1.51 MB

  4. Download the program icon and change the launcher    (once per game)

     Belote  BelAtout_Icon1.gif  (1 KB)

    BelAtout_Icon2.gif  (2 KB)

    To download the image, use the right click and the Save image to Downloads menu
     Bridge  SimiliBridge_Icon1.gif  (1 KB)

    SimiliBridge_Icon2.gif  (2 KB)

     President  Elysee_Icon1.gif  (2 KB)

    Elysee_Icon2.gif  (2 KB)

     Elevator Whist  FarWhist_Icon1.gif  (2 KB)

    FarWhist_Icon2.gif  (3 KB)

  5. Other little comfort settings (optional)    (only once)

You'll find the details of each procedure below. In case of trouble, contact me and describe your problem.
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1. Download the WINE program, install it and configure it

This step is not required if you have already downloaded and installed Wine. Once is enough for running all the Windows applications you want. It is only when a new version of Wine is available that you need to do the installation again.

1a) Download and install WINE (free)
Go to the Wine official site where you will find all the information you need to install the program according to your Linux distribution :
http://www.winehq.org/site/download

1b) Configure Wine
- Applications menu (or equivalent)
- Wine / Configure Wine menu
- Audio tab
- Uncheck ALSA Driver
- Check OSS Driver
- Finish by clicking OK

Anyway, this setting concerns only your Windows applications that use Wine. The OSS driver is then advised. In Bel Atout for example, the ALSA driver can make the program crash when short sounds are quickly interrupted. The OSS driver seems better but it doesn't exclude any risk. If in spite of that you get a crash, disable the sounds and voices and wait for a more satisfying solution to be found. Thanks for your understanding.

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2. Download and install the Linux version of your favourite card game

An example is shown with Bel Atout, but the procedure is the same for the 4 games. Click the belatout560e_linux.exe link given above, and download the program. Then :

- open your Downloads folder
- Double-click belatout560e_linux.exe
- Let yourself be guided

The default installation folder is "C:\Program Files\Card games\Bel Atout". You can change it if you want, but it may be advisable to keep all your Windows applications in the "C:\Program Files" folder.

The real location of "C:\Program Files" is :
/home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/Program Files
or if Wine is installed on root :
/root/.wine/drive_c/Program Files

The .wine folder is hidden, but Wine allows you to easily browse its files by :
- Applications menu (or equivalent)
- Wine / Browse C:\ Drive menu

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3. Download and install the sounds and voices that go with the program

Only the sounds in the Wav format seem to be heard properly with this version of Wine. This is why you also need to download them. They are not included in the basic version, so as not to make the package too big. But once you have installed them, you won't have to do it again for the next versions of your program.

Beware, you must have first of all installed the program (step 2) so that the installer finds the right installation folder.

An example is shown with Bel Atout, but the procedure is the same for the 4 games. Click the BelAtout_SoundsVoices102.exe link given above, and download the file. Then, open your Downloads folder and :

- Double-click BelAtout_SoundsVoices102.exe
- Let yourself be guided

And that's it! Your program is installed. There must be an icon on the desktop, which is always the same one used by Wine (as the Windows icons are not in the right format). But you can change it at step 4. And you can also move to trash the Bel Atout.lnk launcher, as it is of no use.

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4. Download the program icon and change the launcher

4a) Download the program icon
An example is shown with Bel Atout, but the procedure is the same for the 4 games. Click the BelAtout_icon1.gif link given above, and download the file. It is a simple image in the gif format.

4b) Create a new launcher
To be sure that the launcher of your desktop is not changed when installing a later version of the program, do a Copy-Paste of the Bel Atout launcher first. And then change the launcher that you have just created. Generally, this is done by :
- Right click on the new launcher
- Properties menu (or equivalent)

4c) Change the launcher icon
The procedure may vary according to your Linux distribution. By clicking the launcher icon, you can probably select a new image from your hard disk. Choose for example the icon that you have just downloaded.

4d) Change the command line of the launcher
This modification is not necessary if you opt for the direct opening of the help pages from a browser (Firefox for instance) that you will have installed as a Windows application (
see 5c). But in the opposite case, it is essential that you change the command line of the launcher, or else Bel Atout will not manage to build the correct path of the help pages. For that, proceed in the following way :
- Right click on the Bel Atout launcher
- Properties menu (or equivalent)
- Launcher tab (or equivalent)
- In the Command line, replace the unit name
  C:\
  by its real Linux path .
  /home/<username>/.wine/drive_c/
  or, if Wine is installed on root :
  /root/.wine/drive_c/

Now you can move to trash the first launcher (the one with the Wine icon). If when installing a later version, you forget to uncheck the Create a desktop icon box, your initial launcher will not be lost and you will just have to move to trash the extra launcher created by Wine.

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5. Other little comfort settings (optional)

5a) Fonts
Certain fonts used by my programs may not be installed with your Linux distribution. It is not important as Wine always gets a substitute font, with more or less success. However, if you want to improve the display, you can install new fonts, knowing that my programs only use :

arial.ttf    arialbd.ttf    ariali.ttf    arialbi.ttf
times.ttf    sserife.fon

If you own these font files, you probably know how to install them in Linux. But you can also simply paste them to the Fonts folder of Windows. These fonts will then be accessible only from your Windows applications. But this may be enough to make you happy.
- Applications menu (or equivalent)
- Wine / Browse C:\ Drive menu
- Windows Folder
- Fonts Folder

5b) Menu size
Wine allows you to increase the font size in menus and tooltips, as well as in the Open and Save boxes of your Windows applications. This is done by selecting a new screen resolution through :
- Applications menu (or equivalent)
- Wine / Configure Wine menu
- Graphics tab
- Move the slider in the Screen Resolution trackbar

Note that in my programs, the font size used on the screen and in the dialog boxes can be set in the general preferences at the Display tab.

 

5c) Direct help by installing a Windows browser
It is more convenient to open the help pages directly by clicking the help button or by pressing F1 (when it is your turn to bid, for example). This is possible, provided that you install an Internet browser as a Windows application. The free browser called Firefox 2 for instance seems stable and is quite enough for displaying Html pages. Its installation will not interfere with your Linux browser, since it will be reserved for calls from Windows applications. Prefer version 2 to version 3 which with Wine has trouble memorizing the window opening position.

Once your browser is installed as a Windows application, you also need to make sure it is the default browser (always meaning : for your Windows applications). In Firefox version 2, this setting can be done by :
- Applications menu (or equivalent)
- Wine / Browse C:\ Drive menu
- Program Files / Mozilla Firefox menu
- Double-click firefox.exe (to launch Firefox for Windows)
- Tools / Options menu
- Main tab
- Check the box : Always check to see if Firefox is the default browser on startup
- Click the Check Now button

Finally, select HTML in the list of help file formats, in the general preferences of Bel Atout at the Display tab. And then you will have a proper and direct access to the help pages.

Little defect : After having opened a help page, it is better to close Firefox rather than to reduce the window, because otherwise opening the next help page will be done in a new tab (what is not very user-friendly), and moreover the help window will not be activated automatically.

5d) Resetting the sounds
If you had already installed one of my programs as a non Linux version, don't change your ways and install the new version over the previous one. It is the same program anyway, with the same preferences. Only the help pages in the Html format (better displayed) have been added. Install the sounds too, if not yet done. And if you had given up the sounds because they would not work, now you just have to reset them :
- Launch the game (Bel Atout for example)
- Preferences / General preferences menu
- Sounds tab
- Click the Reset button
- Finish by clicking OK

If needed, do the same with the voices. And then you will get the sounds back to a format readable by Linux.

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Warning, useful links and acknowledgement

Warning

Be careful, don't call it a miracle and remember that the authors of Wine give their program with no guarantee. You must not think that all the Windows applications will run on Linux properly. First, ask the authors whether their application can be used safely.

I have tested my four card game programs on Linux Ubuntu 8.04 and Wine 1.0. A few changes have been made in them to fix or circumvent the bugs that were found. But now, as far as I know, one can play with no problem at all.

List of the Linux distributions that allowed a successful installation :
(will be built up as I get your test reports - thanks to all !)
- Ubuntu 8.04 with Wine 1.0
- Fedora 8 (with Wine 1.0) and Fedora 13
- SUSE 11 386 and X64 (with Wine and Wine-doors)
- Centos 5.5

               

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Useful links

Wine's site is located here :
http://www.winehq.org/

Direct link to this page (that you are free to use) :
http://vincent.brevart.free.fr/english/_lin/card-games-for-linux.html

               

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Acknowledgement

Of course, I thank the authors of Wine (many programmers have contributed to these programs) without whom this page would not exist. And I also thank the few enthusiast users who helped me to prepare the Linux version of my card games (without having to reprogram the whole of it!).

Feel free to report your finds (new versions of Wine, successful installations according to the Linux distribution, unknown bugs, solution tips, etc.), so that it can be of benefit to other users and help me to improve my different card game programs.

Thanks to all for your help.
Vincent

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