Install Portable RA
What does not
What was not tested
The vanilla Red Alert is terribly flawed for modern hardware. Fortunately there are some community patches to circumvent the issues. I've been using PortableRA (which is perfectly legal since Red Alert is now freeware).
|Operating system||Test date||Wine version||Installs?||Runs?||Used|
|Show||Ubuntu 20.10 "Groovy" (+ variants like Kubuntu)||Jan 05 2021||6.0-rc1-staging||Yes||Yes||No||Platinum||Alexander Schweickerdt|
|Show||Manjaro Linux 18.1.2||Nov 16 2019||4.19||Yes||Yes||No||Silver||Bob Niemöller|
|Show||Fedora 25 x86_64||May 28 2017||2.8||Yes||Yes||Platinum||matkoz|
|Current||Gentoo Linux x86_64||Apr 08 2014||1.7.16||Yes||Yes||Platinum||Manuel|
|Show||Arch Linux x86_64||Nov 12 2013||1.7.6||N/A||Yes||Platinum||P. Neidhardt|
We highly recomment the latest community supported version, which is packaged as PortableRA by Iran and available from http://iran.cnc-comm.com/ra/. It features a lot of bug fixes and support for modern hardware (multi-cores, widescreen, etc.) as well. The installation is straightforward and everything works out-of-the-box.
Should you get an error message "Error - Unable to allocate primary video buffer - aborting", you need to override the ddraw.dll library. Wine will warn you it is not a good idea; you'd be better off to restrict the override to ra95 only by adding a new application in winecfg, then selecting the 'ra95.exe' executable. Now you can safely add the override in the Libaries tab. If the DLL is not listed, enter the name manually.
If the vanilla setup complains about a wrong Windows version, start winecfg and set the global version to Windows 98, then change it back after the install.
Both vanilla setup and game do not run correctly on SMP PCs (more than one CPU core or HyperThreading enabled). HyperThreading can be disabled in the BIOS setup.
Another way to workaround this is to use a tool named schedtool to set the affinity of the wine process to one CPU only.
schedtool -a 0x1 -e wine RA95.exe
Set the Windows version for 'ra95.exe' (can be done with winecfg) to win98 or update to the latest version.
Replace 'WSOCK32.DLL' in the game directory by running CnCNet's launcher one time to get fully working LAN and internet. Add wsock32 to dll overrides for it to take effect.
To get around most of the bugs listed, check out: http://hifi.iki.fi/cnc-ddraw/
Also remember to add ddraw to dll overrides to get it loading, virtual desktop also recommended.
Recommended version of Red Alert is latest 3.03p to play network games. It has many bug fixes (including online crashes) and new features.
If the installer can't find your installation files check that you have the CD-ROM drive set up correctly under winecfg and add this symlink:
ln -s /dev/
Or if you use the .ISO download from EA:
ln -s /path/to/redalert_cd1.iso ~/.wine/dosdevices/