Installation Instructions

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Revision as of 05:18, 9 February 2018 by Thunderforge (talk | contribs) (macOS: Adding an installdir)

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The OpenMW engine needs to be installed

Install OpenMW

The (easier) Binary Way

  • Simply get the right archive for your OS here :
  • Extract it
  • Launch "openmw-launcher.exe" if you are under Windows, or "openmw-launcher" if you are under Linux/Mac
  • Play!

The (bleeding edge) Source Way

See Development Environment Setup for detailed instructions.

After building the engine:

  • Launch "openmw-launcher"
  • Play!

The Debian Way

OpenMW is available from the unstable (sid) repository of Debian contrib and can be easily installed if you are using testing or unstable. However, it depends on several packages which are not in stable, so it is not possible to install OpenMW in Wheezy without creating a FrankenDebian. This is not recommended or supported.

The Ubuntu Way

A Launchpad PPA is available. Add it and install OpenMW:

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:openmw/openmw
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get install openmw openmw-launcher

Note: OpenMW-CS must be installed separately by typing:

$ sudo apt-get install openmw-cs

The Arch Linux Way

The binary package is available in the official [community] Repositories.

To install simply run the following as root (or in sudo):

# pacman -S openmw

The Void Linux Way

The binary package is avaible in the official Repository

To install simply run the following as root (or in sudo):

# xbps-install openmw

Install Game Files

OpenMW is a complete game engine that can either run Morrowind or original projects created with OpenMW-CS, such as Example Suite.

Running the Morrowind Installation Wizard

  1. Launch OpenMW
  2. Launch the Installation Wizard
  • If you are prompted with an error message stating "Could not find the Data Files location". Click the "Run Installation Wizard…" button
  • If you arrive at the main screen, click the "Settings" button and then click the "Run Installation Wizard…" button
  1. Follow further instructions below to install Morrowind from either a retail CD or an existing installation
  2. You will be asked if you wish to import settings from Morrowind.ini. Select "Import", otherwise OpenMW will not work. (You do not need to check the box "Include selected masters and plugins").
  3. The OpenMW launcher window should now open. Switch to the "Data Files" tab and check the box to the left of "Morrowind.esm".
  4. You are now ready to play!

Morrowind (from retail CD)

Make sure that the retail CD is in your computer's CD/DVD drive and the Installation Wizard is running.

  1. On the "Select Installation Method" screen of the Installation Wizard, choose "Install Morrowind to a New Location" and click the "Next" button
  2. Choose a location to install Morrowind to your hard drive (or accept the suggested location) and click the "Next" button
  3. Select your preferred language for the installation and click the "Next" button
  4. Select which official expansions (Tribunal or Bloodmoon) should be installed. For best results, it is recommended to have both expansions installed.
  5. Click the "Install" button

Morrowind (from existing Installation)

  1. On the "Select Installation Method" screen of the Installation Wizard, choose "Select an existing Morrowind installation" and click the "Next" button
  2. Select an installation
  • If an installation appears in the "Detected Installations" area, choose that
  • If no installation appears, click "Browse"
  1. Navigate to the directory containing the file "Morrowind.esm" and select that file.

Retail CD and GOG

Windows users can run the installer if they haven't already. By default, both Bethesda's official installer on the retail CD and the GOG installer install to C:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Morrowind. You will find "Morrowind.esm" there.

Users of other platforms running Wine, will find it at "~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Bethesda Softworks/Morrowind"



Windows users can download Morrowind through Steam. Afterwards, you can point OpenMW to the Steam install location at C:\Program Files\Steam\SteamApps\common\Morrowind\Data Files\ and find "Morrowind.esm" there.


If you are running macOS, you can also download Morrowind through Steam:

  1. Navigate to /Users/YOUR_USERNAME_HERE/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/
  2. Create a file called appmanifest_22320.acf (the number is based on its Steam App ID). If using TextEdit, make sure that your document is in plain text mode by going to the menu bar and choosing "Format" -> "Make Plain Text". Also, ensure that it's not named with the extension .acf.txt.
  3. Add the following into that file:
"AppID" "22320"
"Universe" "1"
"StateFlags" "1026"
"installdir" "The Elder Scrolls III - Morrowind"

The launch the Steam client and let it download. You can then find the "Morrowind.esm" file at ~/Library/Application Support/Steam/steamapps/common/The Elder Scrolls III - Morrowind/Data Files/


Users of other platforms running Wine can run Steam in that and find the "Morrowind.esm" file at "~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files/Steam/SteamApps/common/Morrowind/Data Files/".

Example Suite

Example Suite is a demo showing the capabilities of the OpenMW engine. At this time, it requires Morrowind to be installed to run, but does not use any assets from it. In the future, it will be possible to run without installing Morrowind first.

  1. Install Morrowind (see above)
  2. Download the latest version
  3. Follow the platform-specific instructions in the zip file's file

Common Problems

ERROR: Unknown fallback name: FontColor_color_header


OpenMW crashes at startup with ERROR: Unknown fallback name: FontColor_color_header message at the end of openmw.log log file.


OpenMW configuration (openmw.cfg) is severely lacking and missing fallback values, since "Settings Importer" was not run correctly.


Re-run "Settings Importer" from OpenMW launcher.

Installing game files via Steam on macOS: DISK WRITE ERROR


Steam stages the download for Morrowind, but does not proceed. The download will read "Paused: DISK WRITE ERROR".


Open appmanifest_22320.acf in your favorite editor. Locate or create an entry under the "StateFlags" entry titled "installdir" and give it the value "Morrowind". Your file should now look something like this.

        "appid"         "22320"
        "Universe"              "1"
        "name"          "The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind"
        "StateFlags"            "4"
        "installdir"            "Morrowind"

        [other entries]

Restart the Steam client. The download should now proceed.