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  • Sabretooth78

    Running SC4 under Wine on Mac OS X

    I had originally posted these bits in various threads in the SC4 Mac Users forum but I thought it might be a better idea to amalgamate them into a single thread in a more central area. I'm going to try to go through this in some level of mind-numbing step-by-step detail to get an installation running but it's possible I might miss a step or two - if that's the case don't hesitate to say so in the comments below or PM me. I leave it up to (and highly recommend) the user to familiarize themselves with the more technical aspects of the installation. Note that this tutorial assumes you have purchased a digital copy from an online retailer (such as Amazon, GOG.com, or many others). Installing from a CD/DVD probably works, but I have not attempted it nor do I intend to, so your mileage may vary. Installing Wineskin Winery and Wine

    • To start, let's assume you're new to the whole process. The first thing you need to do is go to the following site and download Wineskin Winery. http://wineskin.urgesoftware.com/tiki-index.php?page=Downloads
    • When the download is complete, install/open it just as you would any other downloaded app. You should see the following window (or something similar):


    • Click on the "+" to install an engine. FWIW, as of the writing of this article I am running WS9Wine1.7.10. Theoretically as new engine versions are released you are able to update your individual skins, although I have yet to try this.
      Creating a New Wrapper In Wineskin, each wrapper is an independent stand-alone Mac OS app. You may create as many or as few as you like. For compactness I like to create just one to house the game and all utilities (such as Lot Editor, iLive's Reader, etc.) but your tastes may vary.
    • Click on "Create New Blank Wrapper".
    • Give your new wrapper a name, such as "SC4 Deluxe" (without the quotes), accept and let it run. Note that this initial attempt needn't be the one you ultimately install SC4 onto so that's up to you.
    • As the app is chugging a couple of dialog boxes will pop up, the first asking to install Wine Mono and the second asking to install Wine Gecko. Click on "cancel" on both of these (I have not found them to be necessary). The wrapper creation will continue.
    • When the creation is completed, a window will pop up. Click on "View Wrapper in Finder" in this window.
    • Right-click (or control-left click) on the app in Finder and select "Show Package Contents" from the contextual menu that appears. Note that one of the items contained in the app is an alias entitled "drive_c" - this is exactly what it sounds like - a directory mapping of a typical Windows PC installation. Every file operation you need to do within the "Program Files" directory can be done in here simply using the Mac OS Finder. (Similarly, by default all Windows user directories are mapped to the Mac OS user directories, i.e. Desktop, Documents, Downloads, etc. This behavior can be changed if desired, but that will not be covered here.)
    • We're not ready for file management yet, so if you drilled down into the "drive_c" directory structure, go back to the app root directory (the one you opened by selecting "Show Package Contents"). Open "Wineskin.app" It will raise the following window:WS1.png Wineskin.app is basically the control panel for the entire wrapper. If you need to change a display setting, modify a command line setting, install a Winetrick, or anything else it will be through this app.

      Downloading the Game I purchased the game from Amazon, and from the purchase I was able to download a small EXE file that when run will manage the download of the full game. I was running a Windows virtual machine at the time I purchased my digital copy, so I was able to run this EXE file from within Windows. Assuming you don't have access to a virtual machine, the same can be done from Wineskin and is covered here - tailored to an Amazon download but others should be similar. If you already have the full download handy, you can skip the last 3 bullets of this section and continue on to the next section, Installing the Game. After completing the full download, it is a good idea to back the contents up to a DMG file.

    • First, click on "Install Software". This will raise the following window:WS2.png
    • Click on "Choose Setup Executable", which will raise the standard OS X open/save dialog.
    • Navigate to and select the EXE file you just purchased.
    • The download will progress. It will first complain about missing Gecko; don't install it, you don't need it (see above).
    • Due to the mapping of Windows user folders mentioned above, the full download will be placed on your desktop.

      Installing the Game The process to installing SC4 is very similar to the download steps above, as is running anything that sets up by use of an EXE file.

    • Navigate to and select Setup.exe. SC4 will install just as it would on a Windows PC.
    • When setup is completed, you will need to go back to Wineskin.app to set up the EXE to be run when you execute the wrapper from Finder. Clicking on "Advanced" will raise the following window (although yours initially will be emptier):WS5.png
    • Next to the field "Windows EXE", click browse and find SimCity 4.exe. I use DAMN, which is why mine points to a LNK in the "wrong" directory (see below).
    • You will need to add some Winetricks (basically, DLL libraries) to get everything working. From the window above, select the "Tools" tab and then click on "Winetricks" in the "Utilities" column. Find and install the Winetrick "gdi=ddr" "gdi=ddr" is the only Winetrick I have found to be necessary to run SC4 properly, otherwise the graphics were lousy. Others have advocated the need for Direct9 and Flexgrid Winetricks but I have not found this to be the case. Of course, your mileage may vary, so don't be afraid to experiment. If you're unsure, simply make a copy of your wrapper before making changes so that you always have a clean copy.
    • That should do it. Enjoy the game! If you already have any regions or other custom content from a previous installation, they can easily be migrated to your new Wine setup. Just move the files into the appropriate directories and follow any other directions specific to the content as may be necessary. If you have content but prefer to start clean, all custom content utilizing EXE installers can be run in the same manner as the setup of the game. You can play around with the "Set Screen Options" options to find what works best for you. Personally, I prefer to run in a Wine virtual desktop as running full screen results in some quirks with the cursors in-game plus it's easier to multitask without having to deal with releasing the mouse and keyboard. Visit the Wineskin Manual for more details on the various options available to you.

    Custom Content

    • Ultimately you can install more than just SC4 using the above methods. Such as the NAM, Lot Editor, BSC downloads, iLive's Reader, etc. I have yet to run into something I can't install and/or get to work (aside from anything requiring hardware rendering, which just doesn't work on my Mac).WS3.pngNote TSCT is java and will run natively on Mac; I just throw a symlink in there for completeness.
    • The APP files shown in the image above are not created automatically after installation. To get those, you need to click on "Custom EXE Creator" from the Wineskin.app "Tools" panel. From there, point to the EXE you want to create an APP for, give it an icon (if desired) and specify any necessary display settings (see below) and let it run. You can then create aliases/symlinks for these APP files in order to run them without having to "Show Package Contents" on your wrapper every time as this does not change the default EXE invoked by your wrapper.

    Winetricks for Custom Content As I've mentioned above, some custom content requires additional Winetricks and/or display settings in order to run properly. Below is a list of such content that I use and the additional steps I've found necessary for proper operation:  

    BSC Cleanitol
    • None
    • Execute SimCity 4 by targeting a symlink (alias/shortcut) of the game EXE in program root directory (as opposed to targeting the actual EXE in the apps directory)

    Lot Editor

    • None
    Plugin Manager
    • None


    • Winetricks: vcrun6
    • Screen Options: Check “Use Mac Driver instead of X11” before running (be sure to uncheck when done, or install in own skin if desired)
    Region Census
    • None

    SC4 Dat Packer 2008

    • Winetricks: vcrun2003
    • Note: gives error "err:winediag:SECUR32_initNTLMSP ntlm_auth was not found or is outdated. Make sure that ntlm_auth >= 3.0.25 is in your path. Usually, you can find it in the winbind package of your distribution." Do not know how to resolve, but does not seem to affect performance.


    • None
    • Screen Options: Check “Use Mac Driver instead of X11” (see also Reader)
    • Note: Program will crash if you resize its subwindows. There may be a Winetrick to resolve this; I didn't perform exhaustive testing. If one if found, please advise.

      Hopefully this is all you need to get up and running using Wine! If you have anything to add, believe that I may have missed something or would like more detail, please provide feedback in the comments below or send me a PM.

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