Senin, 14 November 2011

Playing Magic the Gathering on Linux with Cockatrice

If you ask almost anyone that knows me in person they will attest to the fact that I am a huge nerd. Today I would like to give a short tutorial on how I've combined two of my most nerdy passions:

For the uninformed, Linux is my operating system of choice and Magic the Gathering is a trading card game created by Wizards of the Coast. I recently came across an open source application that is being written in C++ and QT4 called Cockatrice that allows you to play Magic the Gathering games over the internet for no charge. I intend to do a full review/overview of all the features Cockatrice offers at some point in the near future, today however I would simply like to go through how the get this excellent piece of software installed and setup on Linux.


If you are using Bodhi Linux then you are in luck, Cockatrice is in our official repositories. Grab it from our App Center or by simply install it by running:

sudo apt-get install cockatrice

If you are running something other than Bodhi Linux that is still Debian based I try to keep the .deb packages I create fairly generic. You can try manually downloading and installing my package from here. If you now have Cockatrice installed you can skip down to configuration section below. 

If that doesn't work (or if you are using some other distribution) compiling Cockatrice from source isn't a huge deal. The exact package names will vary based on your distribution but you need to first install: Git, GCC, QT4 Developmental, QT4 Mobility and Pulse Audio. Next run the following commands in order:

git clone git://
cd Cockatrice
cmake .
sudo make install

Depending on the speed of your system the make lines may take a little while, if all goes without errors you will be set to move on.


Next you just need to take care of a few configuration things and you will be ready to start slinging some cards. If you installed Cockatrice from my Debian package you will have two new menu entries under Applications->Games. First you need to run the Cockatrice card downloader (if you built Cockatrice from source run the command oracle). You will be greeted with a window that looks like:

Click File->Download Sets and then select OK on the window that pops up. Next, check the boxes next to the sets you want to download (really it is best to just check them all) and hit start download:

Wait for this to finish (it will take a while based on how fast your internet is). Once it is done, load Cockatrice (cockatrice if you installed from source). You will be greeted by a configuration window that looks like:

You will need to select the path you want to save your decks and downloaded images in. These can be where ever you want (personally I put them right into my dropbox). The third entry needs to point to the card information you just downloaded though. If you installed with my Debian package this file should be located in /opt/cockatrice/oracle/cards.xml:

Once you set these three paths simply hit close and you should be greeted by the main Cockatrice window. Before you can play you will need to make a deck. The deck editor is select-able from the main menu:

Finally once you have a deck saved you can connect to the main cockatrice server and play a few games:

Have any issues feel free to drop a comment below and I'll do my best to help you out. If you see me online feel free to ask for a game - my user name is the very non-creative "JeffHoogland"

Have fun!
~Jeff Hoogland

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