Theme Hospital is an amazing game but getting a version of it and having it run in Linux isn’t the most straightforward of tasks. Although, if you have the retail version of the game all the way back from 1997, running it with Wine should work fine. If you don’t know what Wine is, it’s a program that allows you to run windows applications inside of Linux operating systems. It’s not an emulator so the performance of the game will be near perfect.
Now, if you are like most people and don’t have the retail version of Theme Hospital, the only option out there is to buy it from GoG.com. This version slightly works with Wine, but performance is really poor and playing it is almost impossible while inside of Linux. But you are in luck since I have a work around.
Installing and Playing Theme Hospital
- Install DOSBox Linux. If you are running a debian based version, you can simply enter the following command.
sudo apt-get install dosbox
- Install Wine. You should install the latest version (1.7 at this current time).
sudo apt-get install wine1.7
- Download Theme Hospital from GOG.com
- Install Theme Hospital normally using Wine. Installation works fine out of the box with Wine. All you have to do is double click on the Setup file you downloaded from GOG or Right Click and run with Wine.
- To launch the game now, do not launch it with Wine. You can either enter this command into Terminal or create a Desktop Shortcut / Application Launcher inside of linux so you can easily launch it in the future.
$ dosbox -conf "~/.wine/dosdevices/c:/GOG Games/Theme Hospital/dosboxTH.conf" "~/.wine/dosdevices/c:/GOG Games/Theme Hospital/HOSPITAL.EXE"
The above command relies that you install Theme Hospital to the “C:\GOG
Games” location. If you changed this during your installation you will
need to change the above locations for both the configuration file and
the hospital.exe location. If you are using the above command in a
Launcher, switch from using the tilde to the direct path for instance
/home/david/ instead of
Basic DOSBox Hotkeys
For some basic DOSBox hotkeys so you don’t rage because of a captured mouse or something, the following list will assist you.
CTRL + F10 .......... Capture / Release Mouse from Window ALT + ENTER ......... Switch to Full Screen / Windowed Mode CTRL + F9 ........... Kill / Force Quit DOSBox