Heroes III on GNU/Linux

UPDATED: 18.07.2014

I’m long time fan of Heroes Of Might and magic series. Especially Heroes III. Today I decided to spend some time playing it on my OpenSUSE box.

This article is not about running Heroes III under Wine, it’s about installing the GNU/Linux version produced by Loki Software years ago, under modern GNU/Linux distribution.


1. Get a copy of the game. Since Loki is no more, the game cannot be ordered from them, but there are chances that some copies are still available on eBay or other online store. Google “Heroes III Linux”, for other ways of obtaining the software.

2. Download the latest patch (1.3.1) from here.

3. Install the game.

This step requires “root” privileges on the system. Open a terminal and become super user by typing



sudo -i

hitting the Return key and providing you password.

NOTE: You may install the game as your normal every day user. It will be installed in your home directory, and only playable by you, or the users from the “users” group. Depends on how your system is configured.

If you are installing from CD, mount it


to the mount point and run

sh setup.sh

This will start the game installation process. Follow the onscreen instructions.

If during the execution of the a bought command you get error message like the one below:

This installation doesn’t support glibc-2.1 on x86_64 Please contact Loki Technical Support at support@lokigames.com

you are trying to install the game on a 64-bit GNU/Linux distribution. To start the setup program type:

linux32 sh setup.sh

During the setup process you will be asked what part’s of the game you want installed on your hard drive and witch one the game should look for on the CD. I recommend full game installation. This can be achieved by answering Y on the following questions:

Install Base Install? [Y/n] Y
Install Scenarios? [N/y] Y
Install Sounds and Graphics? [N/y] Y
Install Music? [N/y] Y
Install Videos? [N/y] Y

4. Applying the patch.

The patch downloaded in step 2, is the latest patch for the Linux version of Heroes III. It fixes some game play bugs like playing the game on full screen. To install the patch:

4.1 Open a terminal, and go to the folder containing the file heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86.run. Become a super user (see step 3) and type

chmod +x heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86.run

After executing the a bough commands you probably will get the following error:

Verifying archive integrity...OK
Uncompressing Heroes of Might and Magic III 1.3.1a Update......................................tar: A lone zero block at 12620

./update.sh: line 56: loki_patch: command not found
The program returned an error code (1)

As the error message says the loki_patch command is not found. To overcome this problem, download loki_patch from here and save it in the directory where you downloaded heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86.run.

Make it executable by typing:

chmod +x loki_patch

Now it’s time to extract our HoM III update. Run the following command:

./heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86.run --keep

The installer will fail with the error mentioned previously, but passing the –keep parameter to the patch executable, forced the installer to keep the update files. Type ls to see the directory listing. You should have a directory called heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86. Our task is to replace the loki_patch version contained within the update with the one we have downloaded. Execute the following sequence of commands to replace loki_patch and start the update process.

cp loki_patch heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86/bin/Linux/x86/loki_patch
chmod +x heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86/bin/Linux/x86/loki_patch
chmod +x heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86/update.sh

For 64-bit GNU/Linux distro run:

linux32 ./heroes3-1.3.1a-unified-x86/update.sh

Follow the onscreen instructions. Close your root session by typing exit.

The game is now installed and patched to the latest version available.

NOTE: If during the installation of the patch you get ERROR: No matching delta for /usr/local/games/Heroes3/heroes3.dynamic don’t worry, the patch is installed. You can verify it by executing heroes3 -v. The output should says:

Heroes of Might & Magic III 1.3.1a

Type heroes3 and press enter to start playing. Type heroes3 –help, to view the available command line options, or review them below.

Heroes 3 command line options.

# heroes3 --help
Linux version by Loki Software, Inc.
Support - FAQ: http://faqs.lokigames.com/
          Web: http://fenris.lokigames.com/

          E-mail: support@lokigames.com
          Phone:  1-714-508-2140 (9-5 PM US Pacific Time)

Usage: heroes3 [options]
     [-h | --help]           Display this help message
     [-v | --version]        Display the game version
     [-f | --fullscreen]     Run the game fullscreen
     [-w | --windowed]       Run the game in a window
     [-s | --nosound]        Do not access the soundcard
     [-c | --nocdrom]        Do not access the CD-ROM
     [-u | --update]         Run the Loki auto-update tool
     [-q | --qagent]         Run the Loki QAgent support tool
     [-x | --x11cursor]      Use the X11 hardware mouse cursor
     [-l | --logging]        Enable logging

You can use the HEROES3_DATA environment variable to force the
Heroes III installation directory

NOTE: -u | –update and -q | –qagent does not work!

5. Known problems with the game.

There are some known problems with the game on modern GNU/Linux distributions as follows:

* No sound.

When starting the game you may see the following error:

Couldn't open audio:

The solution to this problem varies from distribution to distribution. Please consult your distro community. In some cases the sound just works.

* Random game crashes.

Sometimes the game may crash. It’s useful to start the game with the -l option, to enable logging. The log files are stored under ./home/<username>/.loki/heroes3.

6. Adding custom maps

Custom maps can be installed by copying them to .loki/heroes3/maps (available only for the current user) or in <game installation folder>/maps (available for all the users).

NOTE: <game installation folder>, by the means of this tutorial is /usr/local/games/Heroes3.

Happy adventuring :) . Tutorials about installing other Loki Software products will be available soon.

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