Category: Main Games 1st Person Shooter Half-Life 2 Episode One: Retail

Half-Life 2

Episode One is the first in a series of games that reveal the aftermath of Half-Life 2 and launch a journey beyond City 17.

Follow HL2 installation howto to install and configure HL2 Episode 1

Application Details:

Version: Episode One: Retail
License: Retail
Votes: 1
Latest Rating: Platinum
Latest Wine Version Tested: 1.1.35

Maintainers: About Maintainership

Test Results

Old test results
The test results you have selected are very old and may not represent the current state of Wine.
Selected Test Results

What works

  • Installing by DVD;
  • playing the game;
  • changing settings.

What does not

  • HDR makes the game extremely slow (unplayable, while on Windows on the same computer it plays well);
  • the first keypress when starting a new game (ie w to walk or e to activate, etc.) always pauses the game; pressing ESC two times resolves this.


What was not tested

Playing the game to the end.

Hardware tested


  • GPU:
  • Driver:

Additional Comments

- The first time the game is started, the resolution is set to 1024x768. The GNOME panels are still visible when you are in the menu. When you change the resolution (in my case to 1680x1050) Episode One appears to hang (or get extremely slow). I need to restart the game and all is well and the new resolution is applied. Also no panels visible anymore. Tested configuration: AMD Athlon 64 X2 4400+ Geforce 9800 GT 1GB Driver version: 180.44 3 GB memory

selected in Test Results table below
Operating systemTest dateWine versionInstalls?Runs?Used
ShowSlackware -currentJan 13 20101.1.35Yes Yes PlatinumBartosz Debski 
ShowUbuntu 9.10 "Karmic" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Oct 27 20091.1.32Yes Yes PlatinumJohn 
CurrentUbuntu 9.04 "Jaunty" i386 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Oct 18 20091.1.31Yes Yes Goldan anonymous user 
ShowUbuntu 9.04 "Jaunty" amd64 (+ variants like Kubuntu)Apr 25 20091.1.20Yes Yes Platinuman anonymous user 
ShowGentoo Linux x86_64Mar 27 20091.1.17Yes Yes BronzeNight Nord 

Known Bugs

Bug # Description Status Resolution Other apps affected
24684 Multiple Source engine based games (Steam): out-of-order rendering, bloom effect and lights are visible through walls when multicore rendering is enabled NEW View

Show all bugs

HowTo / Notes

Half-Life 2: Episode One - Reactor room slowdown bug workaround
In case the game experience a huge slowdown to around 0.5 FPS, most probably you had hit so-called "some other (close) place displayed on the screen" bug. First time you may hit it is in the reactor room just before raiding down on a lift to the core chamber. There would a big screen displaying various parts of the reactor core room. This screen is the bug-trigger.

It was reported that the bug occurs only in case the "Offscreen Render Mode" is set to "backbuffer". To workaround the bug simply set ORM to "fbo" (or "pbuffer", if your GPU supports it) and the FPS will raise back to a playable values.

Keep in mind that setting ORM to anything other than "backbuffer" will break the game shaders dealing with refraction (water and alike) when the AA is on. Another unfortunate effect of setting ORM to "fbo" is that the performance level when using dxlevel 90/95 in Non-HDR mode will be very low, especially in areas where there are a lot of refracting surfaces. For now it seems that the best choice would be to turn off AA, set ORM to "fbo" and switch the game to the dxlevel 81 before entering the bug-triggering area. After successfully passing it redone the changes back to gain more FPS or better quality graphics.


The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. WineHQ is not responsible for what they say.

Bug assignment
by quaker on Friday May 20th 2011, 9:22
Can some maintainer here assign this bug to the application? It's not only TF2 specific.
RE: Bug assignment
by vitamin on Friday May 20th 2011, 21:49
Why don't you submit this bug to all relevant applications and let maintainers assign it?
RE: Bug assignment
by quaker on Saturday May 21st 2011, 5:49
Can you tell me how? I'm new to Wine's bug handling interface. Or at least a wiki article describing this?
RE: Bug assignment
by vitamin on Saturday May 21st 2011, 8:39
Above your posts and below the list of bug there is an input box and button "Submit a new bug link."
RE: Bug assignment
by quaker on Saturday May 21st 2011, 8:46
Oh, thanks a lot! I haven't seen that button, it's kinda hidden :P
by Christoph Haag on Wednesday March 31st 2010, 3:46
With HDR enabled the whole world often gets dark and flickers dark/normal.

I use catalyst 10.4 (for compatibility with xorg 1.7) with radeon HD 4650.

When disabling HDR it works fine but I do like the light effects with HDR. :)

Any tips?
by Christoph Haag on Wednesday March 31st 2010, 6:53
Ah, it works after I enabled the catalyst "AI" option.
Strange, because when I enable it, then warcraft3 does not work well...
by Christoph Haag on Wednesday March 31st 2010, 7:10
Sorry, I was too fast (why can't you delete or edit comments here?

It's not the catalyst AI, it's that I changed the OffscreenRenderingMode to backbuffer.
The problems only occur when using fbo.

For the reactor room I had to choose fbo because of the massive slowdown so there was the mixup. After that I changed it again to backbuffer and now it works really well. (I hope there are no other places with backbuffer causing problems)
Gameplay video
by Jake ward on Sunday March 28th 2010, 3:10

Showing how the game should run : brilliantly :)
Half Life 2 FakeFactory Cinematic Mod 10.10
by Milena on Thursday January 7th 2010, 12:18
Does anybody play it ? The new CM10.10 works only with the 64bit version of HL2 but i can play it in normal 32bit wine. Would a 64bit wine build increase Performance ? The problem is CM10.10 need 4+ GB, I have 8GB but the 32bit wine is limited there :(
by Archlinux on Thursday October 22nd 2009, 12:09
The Episode Two preview won't work either, if nobody has tested that.
ATI R200, bugs
by César Catrián Carreño on Friday October 9th 2009, 11:56
I was playing HL2 and had some bugs, but the game was playable. Now with Episode 1 is hardly playable. This is my configuration:

· NetBSD current 5.99.14, MesaLib 7.4.4, Xorg 1.6.3 with DRI activated.
· ATI R200 with Xorg driver "radeon"
· xorg.conf options:
AccelMethod: XAA
XAANoOffscreenPixmaps: true
backingstore: true
EnablePageFlip: true
mtrr: on
DRI: true
· Wine 1.0.1
· Regedit:
OffScreenRenderingMode: backbuffer (it crashes with fbo)
DirectDrawRenderer: opengl
PixelShaderMode: enabled
UseGLSL: disabled
· Command line:
export WINEDEBUG="-all"
cd "/home/cajon/wine/drive_c/half-life 2 episode one" && \
/usr/pkg/bin/wine hl2.exe \
-heapsize 512000 \
-fullscreen \
-width 1024 -height 768 \
+mat_reducefillrate 1 \
+mat_picmip 2 \
+r_rootlod 0 \
-dxlevel 81 \
-novid \
-steam \
-game episodic

HL2 performance:
Game slowdowns at 1fps while G-man is on screen. Also when Freeman is transportated the first time to the office of the Administrator. Flashlight illuminate the objets and creatures but not the environment (walls). Yellow fonts too big for the display. Playable.

HL2 ep1 performance:
The same with HL2. Also there are some crescients squaregrids over the fires (like an alpha channel texture map without the texture). Platforms are translucents looked from downside (ie, soldiers passing through a bridge look like walking through the air). Hardly playable.
RE: ATI R200, bugs
by John on Monday October 26th 2009, 22:45
wow thats terrible, what wine version are you using, i am running Ubuntu linux 9.10 and wine 1.1.32 and i have no problems exept i get a little less fps and the console font looks funny
Keeps resetting my X server
by Steve on Tuesday June 23rd 2009, 16:09
For no apparent reason this game keeps resetting my X server. It did so when I hit the Citadel after being thrown by Dog, once it was auto-saving it restarted. It then restarted once I tried to change resolutions... I'm not sure what's going on.

I haven't tried the other games in the series with Jaunty (running Jaunty-64 on an AMD 3700, Nvidia 7200GS using the latest drivers).
RE: Keeps resetting my X server
by Steve on Saturday June 27th 2009, 12:05
Okay, so I've solved that without an issue... apparently XRandR needs to be disabled in the registry.

However, the game keeps hanging and freezing in the chapter "Urban Flight" once you've broken through the Combine blockade. Alyx switches off a force field and tells me to go through the doorway. The game tries to load new maps while saving, and at this point the game stalls.

If I load from that point, the loading screen hangs on the last square.

Is there anywhere I can find an output for this to figure out what is going on? I have reinstalled the game from Steam and it persists.
Gameplay video!
by David Stenberg on Saturday May 16th 2009, 4:03
Here is an gameplay video I recorded on Ubuntu 9.04 with Wine 1.1.20:
by JFMR on Sunday November 2nd 2008, 4:08
I just verified there is a regression somewhere between wine version 1.10 and 1.16. In Ubuntu 8.10 (Ibex) running under 1.16 and 1.17 results in a crash (same that was reported by Night Nord on June 23rd, 2008:)

""'Urban flight' crash" (at first seconds of second location in this level - after combine barricade) is back. No workaround was found. Same crash, on same place with the same errors (many of "*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (...) for element" and than 'page fault' glibc error). "

Console output below (from version 1.16 & 1.17):

*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (41) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (42) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (43) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (44) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (45) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (46) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (47) for element
Win32 MiniDump Helper version (c) Copyright 2000-2003 Valve Corporation All rights reserved.

Again, reverting to 1.10 fixes this issue, I'll test 1.11 - 1.15 to see where it first crops up.
RE: Regression
by JFMR on Sunday November 2nd 2008, 5:38
Just verified it, regression occurred in 1.11 and persists through 1.17. I must say 1.15, despite still having the crash bug, did seem very smooth.

So 1.10 is the latest version of wine that'll play through that part.
RE: Regression
by X-Drum on Wednesday December 3rd 2008, 12:07
same problem here:
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (41) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (42) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (43) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (44) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (45) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (46) for element
*** ERROR *** Excessive sizelevel (47) for element

i tested with the following wine versions:
1.1.0, 1.1.4, 1.1.9 and svn build (02 Dec. 08)

i'm running gentoo on an amd64:
default/linux/amd64/2008.0/desktop, gcc-4.1.2, glibc-2.6.1-r0, 2.6.27-gentoo-r3
RE: Regression
by SheeEttin on Wednesday December 3rd 2008, 15:15
Dunno if it helps, but this is exactly how HL2 crashes when you raise the mass limit on the Gravity Gun and try to pick up a mobile Combine APC (and similar physics objects).
fixed it
by Shawn Vega on Wednesday June 18th 2008, 20:26
just had to change the aspect ratio then i could go to 1280 x 800 (my maximum resolution)
resolutions issues
by Shawn Vega on Wednesday June 18th 2008, 19:48
everything in the game works but I can't get it to change resolution above 800x600
DirectX 9
by Stu on Wednesday May 14th 2008, 9:44
When running any Source based game such as HL2 or TF2, I now have to force it into -dxlevel 81 otherwise it will not load (I.e. after the valve-in-the-eye-guy). Strangely enough, it was working in but now I've updated to rc1 and DX9 wont work. It does work flawlessly otherwise, which is why I haven't filed a bug report. I'm just trying to justify spending £45 on a DX10 enabled graphics card which, at present, is not being used to its full potential.
RE: DirectX 9
by Stu on Wednesday May 14th 2008, 9:55
Please disregard this: after adding -novid to the launch options, it loads :|
Reactor room workaround
by Ambro on Wednesday May 7th 2008, 9:32
To get decent performance in the reactor room, set the registry value HKEY_CURRENT_USER/Software/Wine/Direct3D/OffscreenRenderingMode = fbo
Reactor room
by Brian Tubb on Sunday March 23rd 2008, 2:15
Reactor room is still messed up and unplayable in both Dx9 8.1 with .9.58, but there is some good news. I seem to be getting much better speeds as well as a much smoother experience in DirectX 8.1. My card is too slow to handle the overhead that Dx9 brings, but there is also some improvement there.

What I find interesting is that the voices get very patchy and annoying in Dx9. The speed may be a factor (I only get 10-30 fps), but I don't think that is the problem. The voices seem to "run up" on each other, compounding an entire sentence into a second. If anyone else can confirm this it would be appreciated.

Texts are also back to normal.
Explosions fixed
by Flounder on Sunday January 27th 2008, 20:52
Confirm that explosions don't slow down the game anymore since this Wine release but Reactor room is still foobar'd.
Explosion Crashes HL2
by ryanbarnes on Sunday December 23rd 2007, 23:25
After about 5 hours of searching and fussing with settings I've figured out what causes HL2 to crash.

When joining a HL2:DM server, everything goes well as long as nobody blows up a barrel. I've isolated it down to just this one particular event after adjusting so many settings it made my head spin.

At first, I thought it was a sound stutter issue, but I switched to ALSA (vice OSS) and had the same issue. I would join a server and it would start stutter crashing.

I can load the HL2:DM just fine, but can not play. I adjusted the video settings to the lowest possible it would let me. Same issue.

I then changed the directX version to force it to use version 7, and much to my surprise it works just fine. Did not crash... at first. But then I realized I was playing on a map that had no barrels. Grenades work fine, combine balls work fine. Rockets work fine.

Next map loads up, and I watch somebody shoot a barrel and voila! Stutter crash!

So I reset all my settings in game back to what they were and left wine alone.

I tried the whole "set wine to Win98" trick, but steam says "This version is no longer supported" and never loads HL2.

So now that I know what is causing the issue, I really hope somebody has some answers because I'm so lost here.

Oh, here's my stats btw:
Ubuntu Gutsy 7.10
nVidia Corporation GeForce Go 7900 GS
RE: Explosion Crashes HL2
by ryanbarnes on Sunday December 23rd 2007, 23:26
...Stupid back button...

Stats continued:
Intel Dual Core 2.0GHz
1GB Ram
nVidia card has 256MB

if you need my lsmod/lspci outputs let me know..
RE: Explosion Crashes HL2
by Frozen-Solid on Sunday December 30th 2007, 0:13
I was having a similar problem with this and HL2:DM ... but whenever anyone died by Physics (with the Gravity Gun) it would cause a crash.

As of 0.9.52 this seems to be no longer the case and is working perfectly. Try and upgrade to the new build.
Slowdown in Reactor room still present?
by Sam Skipsey on Thursday December 13th 2007, 15:39
Win 0.9.50, Ubuntu Gutsy AMD64, GeForce 8800GT and 169.04 drivers -

I still seem to be getting the unplayable slowdown (about 0.5 FPS or so) in the reactor room, making that section totally unplayable.
This persists with -dxlevel 80, 81 and 90, and regardless of the Windows compatibility mode chosen.

Does anyone have any ideas?
Way to get it started (ver 0.9.49)
by Brent Bowman on Friday November 9th 2007, 22:17
I had trouble even starting it. normally I would start Steam as Windows XP (since it doesn't support 98) but HL2 would not run under wine unless it was Win98. So in winecfg, I designated hl2.exe as a win98 executable. After starting Steam normally (as Win XP), I go into the steamapps directory (in the Steam directory) to the hl2.exe file in the episode 1 directory and run:

wine hl2.exe -game episodic -dxlevel 81 -heapsize 512000

The most important is the "-game episodic" but the heapsize helps to reduce the stuttering bug in HL2.

It runs great this way for me.

also for lost coast, it runs like this:

wine hl2.exe -game lostcoast -dxlevel 81 -heapsize 512000
RE: Way to get it started (ver 0.9.49)
by Gavin on Tuesday December 4th 2007, 23:28
What about windows 2000 mode for all apps? works for me (I only use steam anyway on wine).
RE: Way to get it started (ver 0.9.49)
by scraze on Friday July 16th 2010, 10:12
Thanks a 512000 heap!

Games never run through Steam for me, so this is a lifesaver. Couldn't figure out why hl2.exe complained about a missing gameinfo.txt (lower caps) .. It was looking in the hl2 subdir instead of the episodic subdir. Solved with the -game option, of course :)!

by Michael on Tuesday November 6th 2007, 22:22
Hey guys. I installed Steam fine and HL2-Ep 1 fine but when I try to play it it loads all the way to the last notch and then stops. I don't know what is up with this.

I run Xubuntu Gutsy with Wine 0.9.48
RE: Loading
by Steve on Friday November 9th 2007, 11:33
Hi, had the same issue, downgraded to 0.9.46 and it worked flawlessly.
0.9.47 appears to have the same problem, so skip that one too.
Installer Demands DirectX 9.0c
by Pink Floyd on Thursday October 18th 2007, 8:37
Having heaps of trouble installing Half Life 2 Episode One.
Every time I try to install the install enphaticaly insists that I don't have DirectX 9.0c.

Any ideas would be appreciated :).
RE: Installer Demands DirectX 9.0c
by Nikolay Kukushkin on Thursday October 18th 2007, 14:21
I think, You need just ignore installation of DirecX9.0 and start HL2 with additional parameter "-dxlevel 80". As I know, wine doesn't work absolutely fine with DX9.0c right now.
RE: Installer Demands DirectX 9.0c
by Pink Floyd on Friday October 19th 2007, 2:02
The installer flat out refuses to install the game unless I already have DirectX 9.0c Installed :(.

Is there a way to trick it?
Consistent Crash
by Flounder on Thursday September 20th 2007, 23:39
Game crashes every time time during certain events. For example: In chapter one, soon after you crash into the citadel in the car and as you begin walking down the short corridor there's an explosion and the game grinds down to 1 FPS and crashes soon after with:

Unhandled page fault on read access to 0x00000024 at address 0xd45b423 (thread 005f), starting debugger...
Unhandled exception: page fault on read access to 0x00000024 in 32-bit code (0x0d45b423)

=>1 0x0d45b423 in datacache (+0xb423) (0x00000001)
2 0x00000000 (0x00000000)
0x0d45b423: movl 0x24(%ebx),%eax

This happens without fail with the same exact error whenever theres an explosion. Otherwise the game works flawlessly with great frame rates, settings maxed out. On system:

Xubuntu 7.10 Gutsy
AthlonXP 1800
Nforce2 with 512MB RAM
Nvidia QuadroFX 3000 (NV35)

Now I've spent a good part of a day researching and troubleshooting this. Trying just about everything:

Turning all graphics settings down.
Setting all suggested winecfg option combinations.
Re-writing my xorg.conf with different Nvidia driver options.
(Not running it on compiz even though it works flawleslly on it otherwise)
Lot's more...

It's seems to me that it's a hardware and/or software issue on valve's and/or nvidia's side, exasperated by emulation. Or anything for that matter, I don't know. I'm at my wits end with this. Unless I can engage in some more esoteric debugging methods to pin this problem down. I'm open to suggestions.
RE: Consistent Crash
by Gavin on Friday September 28th 2007, 14:45
same thing happened here.

Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Tribe 5
Intel Core 2 Duo 1.6
Nvidia GeForce 8*00, latest driver.

Had similar effects whenever an "event" occurs e.g. the car falls, etc.

It seems to be whatever happens when an explosion sound or something occurs. I'll experiment more with different WINE settings.
RE: Consistent Crash
by James on Monday November 19th 2007, 14:13
I'm getting this same exact crash, although I am trying to play HL2:DM instead. (I have not tried the single player games).

It appears to be a conflict between 64 bit and 32 bit code.
RE: Consistent Crash
by James on Monday November 19th 2007, 14:39
I have found how to fix the problem (at least for me). Set hl2's exe to run in Windows 98 mode (but have everything else run in XP)
RE: Consistent Crash
by ryanbarnes on Sunday December 23rd 2007, 22:29
I am having the exact same problem. I can join a server that has nobody on it, run around and blast a barrel and voila! game crash!

I have no idea what this is, or why. I know it happened back when I used winXP every now and then. But this is terrible. I cant even join my clan server without it crashing. It's really irritating.

I have very similar specs to yours. Intel Dual Core, nVidia 7900 GS (256mb) 1gb ram. Ran just fine when I had XP.

Has anybody figured this out further? Im a linux/ubuntu n00b so I cant offer much help.

I've tried the lowest settings on everything I can alter. I've given it a 512mb heap size, small window size. I didnt try directx 7 though.. going to give that a try..
Slow down in reactor room
by David Conde on Sunday August 5th 2007, 15:10
I also have the problem of slowdown in the reactor room. The same stuttering also happens when the valve logo appears on game startup so they're likely to be related. Are other people seeing this or does someone have a fix? The game plays fine apart from this and not being able to load the episode 2 preview after the credits on completing episode 1.
RE: Slow down in reactor room
by Tim Froidcoeur on Friday October 12th 2007, 14:55
wine is actually even telling me that it will slow down:

err:d3d_draw:blt_to_drawable Blitting surfaces from sysmem not supported yet
fixme:d3d_surface:fb_copy_to_texture_direct Doing a pixel by pixel copy from the framebuffer to a texture, expect major performance issues
RE: Slow down in reactor room
by William on Sunday November 11th 2007, 3:34
Anyone got a workaround for this? I get the same messages, for what it's worth.
Episode One plays well with 0.9.32
by Ed Welbon on Monday March 12th 2007, 0:42
Fedora core 6 with kernel 2.6.19-1.2911.6.5.fc6. It played all the way through at 1792x1344 resolution with frame rates consistently over 60. No save game crashes or severe stuttering issues, it just worked. Nice to not have to futz with the system whilst playing.