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Thread: Install FS2004 on Ubuntu - it works! Here's how to do it.

  1. #1

    Default Install FS2004 on Ubuntu - it works! Here's how to do it.

    Install FS2004 on Ubuntu - it works! Here's how to do it.

    Like many people, I've tried to yank myself off Windows and have been successfully using Ubuntu Linux for over 11 years. The one program that refused to transfer was my flight simulator.....until today! I've tried several times without success and gave up until I was tempted by the new MSFS 2021 simulator. However, needing a new PC put me off, and I’m not too bothered about the eye-candy, preferring to navigate at night or in clouds/fog. At the same time as this I came across a bunch of flight sim ebooks on this site at:

    https://www.flightsimbooks.com/

    Unfortunately most of the airports no longer exist in the newer FSs including FSX, so I looked at FS2004 and there they were. It seemed like an interesting idea to downgrade to FS2004 to be able to use these books, especially as the underlying flight ‘engine’ in both FSX and FS2004 seemed no different when ‘flying’.

    Next step was to re-visit the 'WINE' shop's application database (AppDB) to see if any progress had been reported on getting FS2004 running on Linux with WINE. Not much, and the version of WINE tested was very old, V2.

    https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManag...rsion&iId=2819

    With the latest version being V6.3, and a clean install of Ubuntu 20.04 made me think it might just work. I began trawling the Internet for anything else anyone had posted and again, most was way out of date and the results were discouraging. Interestingly though, as often happens just by chance, I came across this excellent piece of work on MS Combat Flight Simulator (CFS-2002 for short) by 'booman' on:

    http://www.gamersonlinux.com/forum/t...-3-guide.2158/

    This program, CFS-2002, being dated around the same as FS 2004 and coming from the same stable, Microsoft, led me to believe that it probably had the same basic programming format as FS2004, so I read the article very carefully. The more I read the more enthusiastic I became and so began work immediately.

    Booman wrote this article in 2017 and used Linux Mint 18.1 64-bit, PlayOnLinux 4.2.10 and WINE 2.0, so using more up to date software: Ubuntu Linux 20.04 64 bit, PlayOnLinux 4.3.4 and WINE 6.3 seemed very promising.

    I was not familiar with PlayOnLinux (POL) and still am not that adept at all, but the concepts became easier using booman’s superb description of the steps along with pictures.

    POL is a front end for WINE and each is developed by distinctly separate teams.

    One of the most important things is that FS2004 is a 32 bit program and so you need to ensure that POL is forced to run it as such. As booman describes, it’s not difficult at all, but essential.

    I set up a fresh install of Ubuntu 20.04 deliberately so that nothing else could interfere.

    Briefly, in my own words, and I’m happy to be corrected, WINE does not emulate Windows, but acts as a support system for Windows programs. POL allows you to use a graphical interface to set up a container (folder effectively) with all the WINE support files, FS2004 files and everything else needed to run the program. If you were to install another different program with POL, you would set up another container, except that this new container could be using a different version of WINE and be 64 bit. Clever. These containers reside alongside one another in your POL folder. Each container has a drive:c folder, which contains your program, FS2004 in this case.

    I’m not going to repeat booman’s article here, but will answer any questions anyone has about the method.

    This installation also supports the FS9.1update file and the FS2004 no-disc-4 file, both executables are run with POL having been placed in the same folder as FS9.exe.

    What I have tested so far is:

    SideWinder Precision 2 Joystick.

    Cessna 172 take off, flight around Meigs Field, Seattle, climb, bank, throttle adjustments, land at Meigs.

    Boeing 737-400, Robinson helicopter.

    Flight lessons, missions, historical flights.

    Enough to say …..it works!!!!!!!!!!

    Thanks to the teams at WINE and PlayOnLinux, and also to booman for his excellent article.

  2. #2
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    Hey, neat. Thanks for this article -- I'm happy to see that WINE is now that advanced.

    Briefly, in my own words, and I’m happy to be corrected, WINE does not emulate Windows, but acts as a support system for Windows programs.
    Of course that's inherent in its name: WINE Is Not and Emulator, for those who don't already know.

    I'm pleasantly surprised at how many folks here are into Linux -- that's great. Too bad the Raspberry Pi isn't suitable.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the great write up! Linux is becoming a pretty good option for many computing tasks these days.

  4. #4
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    Great post Tigretto. Thanks for all the info. I too have been wanting to ditch MS and in my house make everything open source i.e. Linux. I installed Ubuntu 16.04 last year and it works great. Am writing this post on it now. Had wondered if MS flight sim products might run on it, and had heard of WINE and read a little about it. But all that fiddling just made me feel tired just thinking about it!

    I just had a trawl through the Forum list and don't see any forum for Linux. I think we should set one up. What do you think guys, you old gurus in flightsim.com - Inus, loki?

    (I've got FS2000 and FS2002, only use FS2002. Presume that if FS2004 can be got running in Linux, then FS2002 can too. But will probably buy a cheap FS2004 CD set sometime once I finish my adventures in FS2002. The WinXP box I've got FS2002 on I've always wanted to convert to a Linux box. So if I could get a MS flight sim running on it under Linux, that'd be great.)

    Will be interested to follow this thread and see where it leads.

    Tigretto, please continue to post here your experiences.

  5. #5
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    I just had a trawl through the Forum list and don't see any forum for Linux. I think we should set one up. What do you think guys, you old gurus in flightsim.com - Inus, loki?
    (Lots of people see my lowercase 'l' as an I, L for Larry)

    It seems to me premature to do that. The various section of this site deal with specific sims and such, not with operating systems, but I think it's appropriate to ask questions and post experiences with FS (various versions) on Linux in the same sections of the forums as the sims you're running, just as you would do for Win XP, Win 7 and Win 10. Note that the Outer Marker is basically for something similar to "hangar flying" which, when you get right down to it, is chatting about most anything related to aviation or sim aviation (basically, what you would talk about if hanging around a hangar with a bunch of pilots).

    This current thread is a good example.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

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    Quote Originally Posted by lnuss View Post
    It seems to me premature to do that.
    I agree. For now the sim specific forums cover threads like this, and the PC Software and Hardware forums can cover more general computer questions.

  7. #7

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    Much appreciated Tigretto... attaboy !!!. I've been using Linux & it's distros since '04. Mainly because Windows on the web, well; it's like an open windows for everyone malicious or not, to crawl inside your PC... your life !, & take a peek, or worst. "steal jobs" Apple, don't let me get started on that cra... , ah; rip off. Even as it is a bit bloated, for general use I settled on Ubuntu, specifically Ubuntu Studio; since as a musician, graphic, video & photo enthusiast; plus a bit of a computer geek too, it fit my needs just right. Awhile ago I tried to install FS9 on a maxed options Dell D-830 Core 2 Duo lappy (put the fastest chip on it), on Ubuntu 16 something; latest at that time POL & Wine, nope. Not enough oomph. Same on a souped up Asus K53e, i7 & Ubu's 18 something, a little better but still not quite right. From your insightful post, it seems like I was missing what you found from "booman". Sometime next week I will try your method on a fresh Win 7, 8 or 10 Pro install (all corporate serial #'s). On a Dell lappy which was "handed down" to me with a proto MB & an AMD dual thread 6 core chip, both tech companies in my neighborhood. Of course, Ubu Studio 20.04.2 (20.04.4 if you consider the "full install). The latest POL & Wine. Tried Ubu 20.10 Studio & hate how slow & buggy it is. Sure, not an LTS yet & maybe in the future ?. Not quite sure about Ubu Desktop or Sever for that matter; but have you souped up your Ubu install with Back Ports & specially the "sudo apt full-upgrade" as described at https://ubuntustudio.org/ubuntu-studio-installer & https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Ub...o/BackportsPPA . Being this quite a powerful AMD PC, I wonder how your set up will fare with FSX or other flight sims like X-Plane or the new MS FS2020. As always or usually the case, the more PC power; the better. Obviously, SSD drives are essential. But I have good results booting Ubu on Sandisk Extreme GO 3.0 & up USB flashies. Somehow other brands that are supposed to have good random seek memory capabilities, as what is needed to run Linux on them... not that great. Actually, I'm writing this right now on a Sandisk flash drvr, one of the Asus K53e I kind of love & hate & with an i5 2.5 gig chip. On the main boot SSD; there you go, my highly mod FS9 on Win. 7 Pro, backups for it & all Ubu OS flashies I plug into this particular K53e. Not a particular high performance SSD, but the FS9 has an around the world scenery tour I planned. Mod scenes & planes, plus sound .wav mods too. Still this lap top can run FS9 at 60 FPS flawlessly. Maybe I'll try your set up here or on another K53e with an i7 processor. Again, much appreciated post Tigratto & maybe next time, I'll tell more you about the "amateur home FM station", 75 Ohm FM transmission experiment (or the "pro" at at 50 Ohms); that I use for band rehearsals, "quiet disco" parties, TV/video watching & of course; Flight Sim audio monitoring... wirelessly & quietly. Hey, since you gave us this great hint; here's a couple of hints for the "home FM" or FM exciter I built. https://www.tonercable.com/pdf/zfmsm..._modulator.pdf (sorry, this one & the identical Pico-Macom FM modulator model, either discontinued or extremely hard to find; plus not $150 anymore. $350 if you can find it). But now instead... https://www.amazon.com/BaseWish-Tran...ts_id=13981621 (power supply included ?). https://www.amazon.com/Transmitter-E...ts_id=13981621 . For inside the house, 5-10 watts is just right. More than that, run a 50 Ohm coax to your roof & plug an antenna; you might have the FCC "federales" knocking on your door. These FM modulators have cheap FM band band-pass filters, will drift & over modulate. Interfering with the legal FM broadcasters, even if you use an empty or unused FM channel. >>> Essential & the best stereo FM headphones I tried so far (at least the older not "revision" models), at a reasonable price... good old Radio Shack headphones. Still available & actually made by Koss... https://www.amazon.com/RadioShack-AM.../dp/B002HMH0ZC <<< . Enough shop talk, so ciao for now y'all.

  8. #8
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    I agree Inus, Loki, the existing forums are sufficient. Don't want too many. The software forum is a good place for an ongoing Linux thread.

  9. #9

    Default Re fs2002

    I have windows 10 and FS2002 works but you can't view the planes in the select plane option

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