AutoCad 2000 in wine HOWTO


This was troubling me for a couple of years…

It IS posible to have a fully functional autocad 2000 in linux running under wine. It needs some tricks to get it working. I learned all these answers through trial and error and since i haven’t found any howtos for the process i decided to write one. I have tested the method described here on my systems and it works. One thing to notice is that i am refering only to the autocad 2000 version, not 2000i, not 2002 just 2000. Later versions of autocad might install with some similar way under wine but from my tests they do not work well and do crash A LOT. If you also follow the tips and trics post, autocad 2000 will prove more than enough for at least 2d CAD work. For 3d i suggest you head over to and get yourself a real 3d modelling application. From my personal experience 3d modelling in autocad SUCKS big time, especially for my line of duty which is architectural design. That said lets get on with the howto but not without a big fat warning:

WARNING! If you have other programs running under wine do a backup of your /home/<username>/.wine folder before proceeding. If you mess up your wine drive you could lose other wine programs you have already worked hard to install. For example on a terminal do:

$ cp -Rp ~/.wine ~/wine-bak

[EDIT:The short version is removed. The short version had some issues during the installation that messed up textediting in acad.]


First we need to install wine. Go to System->Administration->Synaptic Package Manager and search and install wine (preferably using the up-to-date wine repositories)

Then to make things easy for us we will use a Graphical User Interface that helps us manage our wine installation. It’s called wine doors and you can get it here. Install the package and go to Applications->Wine->Wine doors.

The first screen needs a name and asks if we have a valid windows license to which we reply “Yes, unfortunately we do” regardless of whether we do have one or not. (maybe your auntie has one, does this count?). Wine doors will connect to the internet and kindly install some basic packages to our wine installation.

NOTE: During this time it may seem as it has crashed. Be Patient! It will get on with it eventually. If not see troubleshooting.

The second screen will be a list of available applications to install in your wine installation. From this long list we will pick the following (one by one):

  • Anything that looks like a font (Andale, Trebuchet, Tahoma etc)
  • The DCOM98 package
  • The Microsoft Foundation Classes 4 package
  • The Native Rich Text Editor Support 30 package

Click Apply and wait patiently for wine doors to download and install all of the above.

Ok now with the prerequisites installed we can finally launch the acad installation. Go to the folder where the installation files are (did someone say torrent or is it just my ears?) and right click on the SETUP.EXE and select to run it with wine windows emulator. If the installer doesn’t start or complains about the windows version and quits then refer to the troubleshooting section.

At this point you should have your serial number and cd-key handy and go through the installation screens up to the point of choice of an installation type. Here you select compact install. Other options cause trouble (see troubleshooting). Ok next stop is the select text editor screen. Here you can browse to and select c:\windows\notepad.exe if it’s not allready selected. A few clicks later and if everything went well you have autocad 2000 installed on your wine drive and a nice icon on the linux desktop. Last step for the installation is to restart wine so registry changes fall in place gracefully. Open wine-dors again and go to File->Reboot Wine.

Double-click the acad icon placed on your Desktop to fire up autocad for the first time. If it opens it will ask you to activate it, do that and close it. If not then refer to the troubleshooting section.

Ok the next step AFTER ACTIVATION is to install some service packs and driver upgrades for autocad 2000.

[The good thing about old programs is that software companies DID release bugfixes back then and didn’t force you to upgrade to a more buggy, extra needless features, wanna be word-like release of the program (i.e. AutoCad 2009 a.k.a. OMG! is this office?).]

There are two service packs for autocad 2000 and a driver update for the opengl driver. First get the installers from here, here and here.  A reader (thanks tyk) suggested that you should install also an update for plotting. Run them in the logical order, service pack 1, service pack 2 , 3d driver update and plotting update.

NOTE: The service packs exe files are winzip self-extractable archives. You need to run them once, extract and then run the extracted Setupex.exe file. By default they are extracted in /home/<<USERNAME>>/.wine/drive_c/windows/temp folder

At this point you should have a mostly-functional autocad 2000 on your linux machine. The final trick is to use the script provided below to workaround some issues. Copy the text into an empty text file in gedit and save it somewhere in your home folder with an “.sh” extension, for example /home/<username>/ . Give it executable permissions by right click on the file and: Properties->Permissions->allow execution as a program. The only thing left to do is change the wine-generated icon on the desktop to point to this file (right-click->properties->launcher->command->/home/<username>/

That wasn’t so hard now was it? Don’t forget to read through the tips and tricks post to tweak your old autocad 2000 to be more productive.

The Script

This little script is needed to run autocad for two reasons three reasons:

  1. For some reason if you maximize the acad window and exit the program it will never open up again. This happens because of s registry key that saves the window size on exit and if it’s larger than the screen bounds, acad crashes. The script deletes the registry key restoring the default (almost maximized) ssize for the acad window.
  2. If you need to read and write text containing characters other than basic latin you need to change the locale setting for wine to the language you want. I need greek text so i used the el_GR.UTF-8 locale. You need to have the corresponding language pack installed (System->Administration->Language Support).
  3. After every wine upgrade the PATH registry key gets reset (at least in my machines) this results in a broken autocad.Autocad needs some dlls in the Common Files directory and it won’t start if “C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared” is not in the PATH. This script makes sure that it’s there.

To change the locale for wine just change the LC_ALL=”<locale_alias>” in the script below with the language of your choice or, if you don’t want support for other languages, just delete the LC_ALL=”el_GR.UTF-8″ part. Remember to change the username.

#! /bin/bash

export WINEPREFIX="/home/alxarch/.wine"

#Only needed if you want to write in your locale
export LC_ALL="el_GR.UTF-8"

# When autocad closes the size of the application window
# is stored in this key. If it was maximized when closed,
# it will not be able to open again.(on some windows managers)
# so it's easier to just delete this key on startup

regedit /D HKEY_CURRENT_USER\\Software\\Autodesk\\AutoCAD\\R15.0\\ACAD-1:409\\FixedProfile\\Application\ Window

# After a wine upgrade the PATH variable is unset for
# some reason. Autocad needs some dlls in the Common
# Files directory and it won't start if "C:\Program Fi
# les\Common Files\Autodesk Shared" is not in the PATH
# So we extract the key, using sed, we first remove it
# from PATH (if it exists) and then prepend it to PATH.
# This way Autocad won't break upon wine upgrades

regedit /E /tmp/path.reg HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\\System\\CurrentControlSet\\Control\\Session\ Manager\\Environment

sed \
-e 's/;;//' \
-e 's/C:\\\\Program\ Files\\\\Common\ Files\\\\Autodesk\ Shared//' \
-e 's/^\"PATH\"=\"/&C:\\\\Program\ Files\\\\Common\ Files\\\\Autodesk\ Shared;/' \
/tmp/path.reg > /tmp/correct.reg

regedit /tmp/correct.reg

rm /tmp/path.reg

rm /tmp/correct.reg

wine "C:\Program Files\ACAD2000\acad.exe"


If some installer doesn’t run (it happens to me in ubuntu hardy) you should issue the comand

$ sudo sysctl -w vm.mmap_min_addr=0

If the installer is complaining about the windows version you have to run the wine configuration tool (winecfg) and select windows 2000 as the default version.

In the installer, selecting the compact install option is the safest bet. As of wine 9.61 you are able to complete the installation by choosing custom install option (in earlier versions of wine it crashed). This is usefull if you want the express tools and the internet components. Database and VBA still crash the installer. I don’t know about other options. Proceed with caution. The best way is to install with compact option and then re-run the installer and select to add features.

If, after installation, autocad won’t launch you will need to tweak the registry of wine a bit. Regedit, find the key

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Session Manager\Enviroment\PATH

and append (without quotes):

“;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Autodesk Shared”

This way it will find all required DLLs.

If the script doesn’t run make sure you have given it executable permissions, make sure you have replaced the usename and check the text in gedit so as not to have copied html code from the browser or other strange symbols (i.e. curly quotes “„ instead of straight ones ” ).

The tips and tricks section has moved to a seperate post in order to keep this howto small and to the point. If your installation succeeded then go to the tips and tricks post to learn how to use your acad linux installation efficiently, working around some issues especially with the viewport performance.

Hope i’ve been of help to you,



31 thoughts on “AutoCad 2000 in wine HOWTO

  1. Thanks, I posted a link to your howto in

    What version of Wine are you using? Might work
    better with the latest (wine-0.9.60).

    You might look at Winetricks rather than Wine-doors, too;
    it’s more scriptable. You can grab it from

    [EDIT BY ALXARCH: the winetricks method i had, has unresolved issues. There is an issue in the installer registering a dll, and text is unusuable afterwards in autocad. Also there are some font issues. I suggest using wine-doors for now. I’ll look into it soon, alex]

  2. Dear Alxarch
    thanks a bunch. i need autocad for my work as i am an architect too. i agree with you that if 2000 works properly on linux then we don’t really need anything else. i’ve been running it on wine on linux x_64 for the past year.. see my posts at the appdb. here’s a few pointers/helpers from my side :
    1. native plotting on 2000 sucks. do install plotupdate available here
    then it will recognize all your lovely plotters installed on linux.
    2. biggest bug for me. the text rendering. thanks to you alxarch for the 3d-wireframe tip. finally makes it usable. (even if not pretty :)
    3. 3-D works fine for me and always has. don’t use it much though. after reading your blog i switched to hardware wopengl driver, made viewport 3d-wireframe shaded and autocad died instantly. no matter, preconfigured software heidi driver works fine. am just downloading the 3dupdate you linked to. lets see how it changes things.
    4. i have an ati card which might be a problem for wine to use properly, even though i have catalyst 8.37 installed.
    5. thanks for the script. for most users, the locale part can be removed, ya?
    tyk :)

  3. hi tyk,
    1. I will add the plot update tip in the post, as i said it is a work in progress and printing will be in the tips and tricks section soon
    2 + 3 + 4 . Ati doesn’t work with with the wopengl heidi driver, sorry forgot to mention it, will add section for atis. Your best bet with ati is to disable the catalyst driver. It will be slow but it wont crash. I am planing to add a section for ati cards after i play around with them a bit.
    5 Yes if you don’t need accented or other strange characters you will do just fine without the locale part. but for greek, cyrilic and maybe others you do need the locale part if you want text in your language in acad.

  4. Dan, thanks for the link in the appdb,
    yes i know winetricks, this is what i am using usually, but i went for winedoors on this one because it… looks better! Seriously though i prefer wintetricks, it’s more simple and more efficient. The only thing is that it doesn’t remembers what you have installed already and it can be confusing for some people. The fact that it accepts the wineprefix variable though could be helpfull for someone who wants to create a seperate wine installation just for autocad.
    EDIT: i have tried it in several versions of wine (i think since 9.46). Currently i run it with 9.59 on hardy.
    EDIT: confirm working with 9.61 on hardy. Still getting problems with compiz + minimize/restore

  5. You are a savior. I have pretty much (as far as what I typically use) full functionality of ACAD in Ubuntu. This is just great. I am a fairly new user of linux (using Ubuntu for approx 6 months) and was able to get this installed and set up quite quickly as a result of your HOWTO. Also good to see you have it running on Hardy. I am thinking I won’t have (m)any issues with this when I upgrade within the next few days.

    Not only are you helping me make the full transition to linux with my (proprietary) engineering software (my main reason for keeping XP on my machine), but you are doing it in such a way that allows me to learn what is going on. It is a great guide. Detailed enough and to the point.

    I have pointed a few friends / peers to this HOWTO. Well done.

    Thanks so much. :D

  6. Hi alxarch.
    After the install, and the reg thing, i try to run autocad and it gives me an strange error. He sais that the pre-release of the product has expired. I went to the torrents as you said. It was this one or the LT, so if the problem is the version of the software, where can I find a good one?

  7. Thanks a lot for the info, the script works great! Is there anything one can do to reduce the flicker that occurs when putting the mouse over the toolbar icons?

  8. to kyle: thanks 4 your kind words
    to Lucho: it must be sth wrong with the version you are trying to install. it’s a bit hard to find a torrent for such an old program. The proper one is an iso around 200 mb. Try amule also, it’s a mess nowadays and slow but can still find old and rare stuff there. Make sure to activate the program after the first install. good luck! Maybe one of these days i’ll start seeding a new torrent…
    to Kristov: yes there is a way to reduce flicker on the toolbars: disable 3d effects for the desktop.

  9. Hi alxarch, thanks for your reply.
    I thought of this yesterday after going to sleep. Could this message be appearing because I didn’t cracked the program the first time I tried to run it? I don’t know, but if it is, how can I reverse this situation?
    This is where I got it from:
    If you could check if it is a right one, I would appreciate it a lot.
    I’ll follow your lead onto amule, but it would be very nice if you could seed the one you used so the newer users can more easily follow the tutorial, or if you come to conclusion that the one I said can be the right one maybe you could include it in the text.

    Once again, thanks for your reply and the magnificent work on this how to.

  10. Hello, I have managed to get AutoCAD 2000 installed on my system following your instructions. It seems to work okay so far as I have checked it out. I have not completed a full shake-down on it yet. I am unable to get the updates (service packs 1 & 2) to install using wine. I may be doing something wrong. Could you provide me with guidance on how to properly install the suggested updates…I have already downloaded the files to the same folder that contains my AutoCAD files from which I installed.
    I am running openSuSE 10.2 i386. Another question, I only did a minimal install initially, and I would like to install some of the additional features. Would it be necessary for me to uninstall AutoCAD then reinstall with the additional features or simply do another install adding the features during the installation.
    Thank you in advance for your help…

  11. Alxach, I finally have been able to make the program run from the link I gave before.
    But I ran into another problem on the setups you gave. They do unpack into temp, but then they don’t give me any option where to install it or whatever. They just throw more files into temp and nothing happens. Is that the way it is supposed to be?

  12. I have added a note in the howto on thiss issue.
    NOTE: The service packs exe files are winzip self-extractable archives. You need to run them once, extract and then run the extracted Setupex.exe file. By default they are extracted in /home/<<USERNAME>>/.wine/drive_c/windows/temp folder

  13. Sorry for bothering you with all this questions, but I’m not used to this computer stuff. Only with a friends help I could get Autocad to work.
    But I have one more doubt. About the setups thing. Instead of running setupex.exe into the temp folder, we run the it into the Autocad folder and that’s it? And the update will be made?
    Once again, sorry for being filling up your blog with stupid question but it’s very important to me get Autocad to work.

  14. folder is irrelevant. beware that unzipping will overwrite the setupex.exe file. unzip th first, run setupex.exe, unzip the second, run setupex.exe.
    no worries, asking is the way to learn.

  15. Alxarch, Thank you much for your help. You provided the proper location for the step I was missing. I now have service packs 1 & 2 installed and have re-installed ACAD with the additional upgrades from the Install CD…The system at this point seems to be stable, but I will continue to shake-down…One thing I have noticed that seems to be a bug is that when I attempt to load additional toolbars that I normally keep on screen for easy access, the toolbars are only partial and will not dock vertically to the sides or on top or bottom. The toolbars will not allow me to increase their size so that I have full icons visible, only partial icons are presently visible when I install them…Problem may be in my graphics somewhere, don’t know for sure.
    I want to thank you much for all the great work and information that you have provided here. There is only one program left from Micro-broke Windoze that I have to get running under Wine and I can dump the MS for good…Being old gives me an attitude towards Mr. Gates products…Linux cures my attitude and your help has made it easier.
    Thanks again

  16. Thanks Mike,
    The toolbars are not really an issue. You just have to grab them “gently” (i.e. without pressing a button, in the small spaces between buttons and window decorations) and dock them wherever you like. Still if you can’t for some reason do that on your system the solution is to go to Applications->Wine->Configure Wine and under graphics DEselect “allow windows manager to decorate blah blah”. Start AutoCAD and place all the toolbars where you want them. Remember to re-select “alow blah decorate blah” after you’ve closed acad if you don’t want ugly win95-like window decorations in yr acad window! (you ‘ll also have to temporarily disable desktop effects if any for this to work (under Sytem->Preferences->Appearance)).
    Say Mike, this other program you refer to is acad or sth else? Maybe i can help you.

  17. Pingback: Tips for working in AutoCAD 2000 under wine « Alxarch’s Weblog

  18. Alex, The other program is called PalTalk, I belong to a group of old vietnam Marine veterans and we chat on 3 nights a week. If I could either run Paltalk under Wine or find an equivalent voice chat client that worked as well, I just might be able to talk some of the other men into switching over…You know something, while I think about it, I would also like to be able to run an FEA program that runs under Doze, I don’t use it often so it is not that big a deal…Fact is, I D/L a linux program called OpenCASCADE some time ago for purposes of having a fairly extensive linux CAD etc. to run…I have never gotten it to install…The installation instructions are way to complicated for me…As well, I keep starting up AutoCAD just because of familiarity. I go back a number of years with it and I really enjoy using it today with the nice gui and buttons…It has come a long way over the years…I also have TuboCAD which I started out with many years ago under DOS version…I have kept upgrading TurboCAD over many offerings but I am in doubt that it can be run under Wine, but don’t know for sure…
    Alex, thanks again so much for your efforts and help…I will give your latest advice posting a try and let you know how it all works out for me…

  19. Alex, again I want to say thanks. When you said “gently” grab the tool bars, you did mean gently…I have my tool bars back the way I want and in place…Marvelous, just marvelous…
    Thanks so much Alex


  20. I am downloading the trial version of turbocad to see if i can get sth out of it.
    As for paltalk, someone in the wine appdb says he tried it long time ago and it worked. look here
    Mail me at alxarch <at]gmail<dot?com to talk about it more extensively.

  21. Hola….

    Gracias por este (CoMo) acerca de poder ejecutar AutoCAD en Linux, he seguido todos los pasos y finalmente puedo ejecutarlo.

    Thank you for this HowTo.

    sorry, but my english is too bad, well, thanks again, I’m using Debian Lenny amd64 with wine 1.0-rc1

  22. No hay problema! Puedo hablar español suficiente. :)
    para poder escribir en español en AutoCAD, tienes q cambiar en el script el parte “el_GR.UTF-8” en “es_ES.UTF-8”.

  23. hi alxarch

    Me and my group is already slowly migrating to Linux but this Autocad installation problem is the only thing thats holding us back. To make it short, we have already installed AutoCad 2000 successfully although we haven’t really done a lot with the testing side. Our common problem is how to upgrade to AutoCAD 2000i, is this possible? can we install this version? We really appreciate your biggest contribution. We extend our gratitude to you.

    khirbz :-)

  24. Alex,

    Thank you for an excellent hot-to.

    After messing around with various set-ups of wine, VirtualBox and versions of AutoCAD I now have Ver 2000 AutoCAD running on Lucid Lynx.

    One thing I had to do that didn’t seem to be in your notes was set the wine OS to Win98. I recalled using AutoCAD 2000 when it was launched and that was on a win98 system.


  25. Nice work Alex. I use your tips every time, but I found that for newer wine releases it’s better to symlink old wine with autocad already configured directory to home directory. Nevertheless it works for new configurations as well. Did you try autocad r12? I think that would be the fastest cad on the planet if you can run it on modern hardware.

  26. Hi,
    Thanks very much for this. Yours is still the best howto on the internet. I am running Linux Mint, and I almost have Autocad 2000 running now… So close!
    I think the problem was that I was unable to get wine-doors running because it says it has a dependency on something called orange. I searched for orange online but was unable to identify a source, so I still do not have orange or wine-doors installed.
    Right now, Autocad 2000 is running and appears to be working, except that no text appears in the command line box. Do you have any idea how to fix this please?
    When I run Autocad 2000 from a terminal, the following text appears:
    fixme:ole:RemUnknown_QueryInterface No interface for iid {00000019-0000-0000-c000-000000000046}
    fixme:font:freetype_SelectFont Untranslated charset 255
    fixme:appbar:handle_appbarmessage SHAppBarMessage(ABM_GETTASKBARPOS, hwnd=0x5f40221b): stub
    fixme:process:GetProcessWorkingSetSize (0xffffffff,0x32f818,0x32f81c): stub
    p11-kit: couldn’t load module: /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/pkcs11/ /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/pkcs11/ wrong ELF class: ELFCLASS64
    fixme:imm:ImmReleaseContext (0x1012a, 0x1461d88): stub
    Many thanks,

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