BSD isn’t just for servers. People use it for desktop as well and perform common tasks including casual gaming. To help make that possible, we are going to look at an app that allows you to run Windows games on FreeBSD.
What is Homura?
Homura is a tool that allows you to play Windows games on FreeBSD. It was inspired by Lutris. It allows you to install and manage several Windows game and game store launchers. It mainly uses Wine, but also comes with a number of fixes and workarounds to get the games working.
Homura’s creator, Alexander Vereeken, said that he created the application because “when I started using FreeBSD, there was no useful utility to set up games or launcher in wine, so I created one myself.” At the time, Wine was the only option. The Linux version of Steam did not exist.
Here is a list of the things you can install with Homura:
League of Legends
Wargaming Game Center
Homura is named after a character in an anime named Madoka Magica. It was originally hosted on GitHub before the creator moved to GitLab. It is currently hosted on Codeberg. Hopefully, it will stay there for now.
Installing Homura Game Launcher on BSD
You can install Homura from the FreeBSD repo with this command:
pkg install games/homura
You can also build and install it from the ports collection using this command.
cd /usr/ports/games/homura/ && make install clean
Once it is installed, you can run Homura by selecting it from the menu or typing Homura in the command line. (The name must be capitalized in the terminal or it will not work.)
If you install Steam via Homura, you need to launch it from Homura. If you launch it from the operating system’s menu, it won’t display currently.
Steam’s library and store tabs are displayed by a built-in web browser. For some reason, that does not work on FreeBSD. But if you launch Steam from Homura’s menu, it will use a list mode that works without issue.
I installed Homura on GhostBSD and used it to install Steam. Afterward, I installed a couple of games to test it out. Not all of the games I tried worked, mainly because they tried to use or install a Windows-specific piece of software that was unavailable. However, I was able to play one of my favorite games, Microsoft’s Rise of Nations, without any issue. (My test turned into a couple of hours of gameplay.)
I also tried to install the GOG launcher. For some reason, it didn’t work for me. The loading screen would pop up and nothing would happen. I’m planning to file an issue. I didn’t test any of the installer/launchers because I don’t use them.
Not everything worked smoothly with Homura, but I could play some of my favorite games.
This app is the classic case of a user who had a need and decided to fill it. In doing so, he makes life easier for others. Hopefully, this application will make it a little easier for people to start using FreeBSD as their operating system.
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