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Skyrim SE, in Mod Organizer 2, on Linux -- working well so far!


AaronOfMpls

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No issue here -- just posting my own experience in case others are curious.  (I also posted this in the Skyrim LE forum.)

In early 2020,  I built a new desktop PC, and with it I went from Windows 7 to Manjaro Linux.  But while I was able to get most of my Windows games running fine in Steam Proton or Wine, I had one big stumbling block: Skyrim and my 230+ mods in Mod Organizer.  Skyrim itself would run just fine in Steam Proton.  But try as I might, I could not get Mod Organizer 2 to install.  I'd tried Lutris and an installer script that claimed to do the job, but it kept failing, and I didn't know my tools well enough to understand why, or what could fix it.

But in Jan 2024, I finally got an MO2 install script to work!  Rockerbacon's Mod Organizer 2 Installer script was no longer using Lutris.  And I'd belatedly updated some Linux programs, including one oddball in my setup that took an hours-long compile.  (Practically everything else in my Linux install updates much quicker than that!)

I followed the installer script's instructions.  And once MO2 was working and loading my game properly, I copied my old MO profiles and mod folders into MO2. 

So, since last month, I have Skyrim LE running again, in a Mod Organizer 2 install with my old mod setups, on Linux -- with seemingly no more issues than it had in MO1 on my old Windows 7 PC! 😀  I also have Skyrim SE in another MO2 install, and have been building a mod setup for it too.  Oblivion is ready to go in yet another, with only a few mods, once I get around to playing it.  And I might set up Fallout 3 and New Vegas in their own MO2 installs later, if I get the urge to play either again.

 

Oh, and as of Feb 2024, MO 2.4.4 will show an update to MO 2.5 available.  Don't take it if you installed via this route -- at least not from within MO itself!  When I tried, the update botched something (likely from running in Steam Proton on Linux, while Steam thinks Skyrim is running), and I had to run Rockerbacon's installer script again to roll it back.  I probably won't update MO until the installer script itself starts using MO 2.5 in a new version.

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Interesting.the last time i tried a linux install (about 18 months ago with Debian) i tried that script but couldnt get MO2 to work properly

Skyrim SE ran fine with Steam Proton and was able to mod manually.I couldnt get SKSE or SSEedit to work either and i dont think the CK will ever work.

Win 10 support ends oct/25 and i will probaly switch to linux so im hoping the modding tools side of things will have improved further..Its a shame theres not many posts about the current state of gaming on linux so thanks for the info.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, kryten397 said:

Interesting.the last time i tried a linux install (about 18 months ago with Debian) i tried that script but couldnt get MO2 to work properly

Yah, it was still failing for me in Manjaro back then too.  Never did understand enough of what it was doing to figure out why.

1 hour ago, kryten397 said:

Win 10 support ends oct/25 and i will probaly switch to linux so im hoping the modding tools side of things will have improved further..

Yah, for me it was the end of Win7 support in 2020, plus I was building a new desktop PC then anyway and needed an OS for it.  Seemed like a good opportunity to switch. 

I know you mentioned using Debian already, so this paragraph is more for others looking to maybe switch.  In any case, it's never too early to download a few Linux distro ISOs and try them out in virtual machines, to get an idea of what using them might be like.  Pop!_OS, Mint, Ubuntu, Debian, and Fedora are all somewhat popular among Linux gamers.  Some brave and/or customizing souls are running Arch with whatever desktop environments and tools they choose to install on it.  Steam Deck users are of course running Steam OS.  And Manjaro (which is based on Arch) had some advantages in 2020 that drew me to it. 

And yes, modding tools are improving.  Wrye Bash has a Linux version in the Arch User Repository now, which I've used with OpenMW; it likely works with other Beth games if you're using them just in Proton without MO, with your mods installed in the actual Data folder.  (Though for Skyrim SE and LE, I'm using the Windows version of Wrye Bash, launching it from inside MO2 to make my bashed patches.)  And Rockerbacon is still maintaining that MO2 installer script; they've updated it a couple times already since I used it in January.

1 hour ago, kryten397 said:

Its a shame theres not many posts about the current state of gaming on linux so thanks for the info.

You're welcome!  And indeed, that's why I made this thread. 😀  (And its counterpart in the LE forum.)

Edited by AaronOfMpls
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On 2/27/2024 at 10:06 AM, AaronOfMpls said:

Oh, and as of Feb 2024, MO 2.4.4 will show an update to MO 2.5 available.  Don't take it if you installed via this route -- at least not from within MO itself!  When I tried, the update botched something (likely from running in Steam Proton on Linux, while Steam thinks Skyrim is running), and I had to run Rockerbacon's installer script again to roll it back.  I probably won't update MO until the installer script itself starts using MO 2.5 in a new version.

MO2 2.5 needs Wine 9 and the latest Mono to run correctly, then it will work. You can install it manually and add it as a non-steam game to get it to work if you want version 2.5. You can point the 2.5 directories to your old MO2 directories(profiles, mods, overwrite, etc.) and it should be able to use them like normal without any extra work.

On 3/3/2024 at 7:43 PM, kryten397 said:

Interesting.the last time i tried a linux install (about 18 months ago with Debian) i tried that script but couldnt get MO2 to work properly

Skyrim SE ran fine with Steam Proton and was able to mod manually.I couldnt get SKSE or SSEedit to work either and i dont think the CK will ever work.

Rockerbacon's MO2 script runs very reliably now and it also works for Steam Deck users! I was also able to get SKSE, xEdit, and the CK to work on Linux. I have detailed steps on how to get that all working in my Modding Skyrim SE on Linux - A Headache Minimization Guide. It also works well for other Bethesda games.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, dovahkiinbear164 said:

MO2 2.5 needs Wine 9 and the latest Mono to run correctly, then it will work. You can install it manually and add it as a non-steam game to get it to work if you want version 2.5. You can point the 2.5 directories to your old MO2 directories(profiles, mods, overwrite, etc.) and it should be able to use them like normal without any extra work.

Good to know, in case I ever try that route!  (Been happy enough with MO 2.4 for now.)  I've gone that non-Steam game route for a tweak to another game's launcher in the past,* then symlinked the original's screenshot and save folders into the non-Steam's, so everything saved into both places.

2 hours ago, dovahkiinbear164 said:

Rockerbacon's MO2 script runs very reliably now and it also works for Steam Deck users! I was also able to get SKSE, xEdit, and the CK to work on Linux. I have detailed steps on how to get that all working in my Modding Skyrim SE on Linux - A Headache Minimization Guide. It also works well for other Bethesda games.

Yah, I have all those working too, for both LE and SE.  xEdit and Wrye Bash were both simple enough; just unpack them somewhere and tell Mod Organizer where to find the .exe's (via <Edit...> in the pulldown next to MO's big [⏵Run] button).  SKSE and the CK were no harder; the MO2 installer script handles SKSE on its own, and MO found the SKSE loader and CreationKit.exe quite easily when it auto-populated the [⏵Run] pulldown.  (And I can always unpack SKSE updates manually too, if needed.) 

I even added the original Skyrim launcher(s) to MO by editing Skyrim Launcher's/Skyrim Special Edition Launcher's path (again via <Edit...>) in the pulldown.  I explained part of it in more detail in another post in the LE forum.  But basically, whichever Beth game you're doing it for, the MO2 installer script renames the original launcher** and gives the original filename to an MO2 launcher, so Steam/Proton will load MO in the game's Wine prefix.  When auto-populating its [⏵Run] list, MO sees the filename it expects for the game's launcher, but it doesn't know this isn't the right file anymore. 🙂  So you have to give MO some help to point it to the actual game launcher instead.

 

* Conan Exiles, I think?  It was a few years ago, and that launcher tweak is now obsolete.

** It adds an underscore _ to the original filename.  Though I also made additional copies of both the original launcher and MO2's launcher, with orig and MO2 added to the filenames, so I'll have known-good backups in case an update -- or a "Verify integrity of game files" -- ever overwrites MO's launcher.

Edited by AaronOfMpls
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16 hours ago, AaronOfMpls said:

Good to know, in case I ever try that route!  (Been happy enough with MO 2.4 for now.)  

Same here. I have to double check that my MO2 plugins are updated for the newest MO2 before I upgrade to that. But, that's on the backburner because it's not super necessary for the moment.

 

16 hours ago, AaronOfMpls said:

 (And I can always unpack SKSE updates manually too, if needed.) 

I've had to unpack SKSE depending on the version of the game and MO2 installer version. The MO2 installer isn't updated as quickly as the game is, but only SKSE needs to be done manually after that. It's pretty simple.

 

And I'm glad to hear you've been able to figure things out and get things working. Some people struggle quite a bit on Linux. It took me a bit to get the hang of things, but once I did it wasn't too terrible. ENB has been the only major thing giving me problems, but I think I have it working without issues with a different driver. The driver direct from AMD seems to let ENB run without crashes or any extra configuration. Other drivers need DLLs installed and winecfg overrides to be functional.

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The only other mods giving Linux problems right now are Open Animation Replacer 2.0+ and Custom Skills Framework and Face Discoloration Fix. However, Proton 9 might make all those playable. It's in beta right now and it seems to get the Face Discoloration Fix working. I haven't tried it yet. There are a lot of gamers on Linux, so the community is quick to support issues with specific games and even the various modding communities. With a little patience, most problems get fixed without extra issues.

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On 3/5/2024 at 11:35 PM, dovahkiinbear164 said:

Rockerbacon's MO2 script runs very reliably now and it also works for Steam Deck users! I was also able to get SKSE, xEdit, and the CK to work on Linux.

It looks as though the modding side of things has improved quite a lot since the last time i tried,Thanks for the link to your tutorial it will be usefull when i move to linux.My computer isnt supported by Win 11 so will have to switch when Win 10 ends.

Debian stable probably wasnt the best choice since its not exactly cutting edge.Played around with a live disk of Fedora that seems to be more up to date.

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