Character Builder on Linux/Mac? Here’s how.. Kinda.

If you run Linux or Mac OS and still want to use the character builder, there’s one way I can think of.

Yes… it requires a buddy running Windows. ¬†Sorry :\

Convince your friend to set his Windows system to accept Remote Desktop connections. You can then sit in front of your *Nix/Mac system but still access the character builder via the remote screen. Save your character/sheet and email it to yourself.

No friends with Windows boxes? (Or ones that`ll let you do this?) Sign up at Amazon’s Cloud Services. You can set up your own virtual Windows box and Remote Desktop in to it. The cost is around 15 cents an hour of uptime and pennies for traffic to and from it. I fiddled around with one last month for about an hour and spend 18 cents. You can then shut down the Windows instance at any time. If the instance is not running, you don’t get charged. ¬†But now you’re ending up having to pay more to use the character builder than a normal Windows user.

This has been tested with Linux users and my Windows box and works just fine, though it would be great to have it work natively under a non-Windows operating system.

I did some searching and so far, this Remote Desktop method seems like the only way out there right now. Any tricks we’re missing? Does a trick like this make buying a DDI subscription more appealing to those holding off because they don’t run Windows?

Friday, July 10th, 2009 at 08:51
  • Jul 10th, 2009 at 10:11 | #1

    That’s very interesting. I didn’t know that DDI only ran on windows. Of course, not really caring about DDI, I really didn’t pay attention.

    There is the obvious installing virtual machine software on your linux/mac machine and have a virtual machine for windows. I’ve done that myself a few times. I guessing it does run under wine.

    Of course that really besides the point. Something like DDI should have been an application that can run on anything. Something like flash or other RIA would have been the more logical approach by WoTC. But, I’ve never considered WotC’s choices logical anyway.
    .-= bonemaster´s last blog ..The Cons of Cons =-.

  • Jul 10th, 2009 at 10:39 | #2

    as a method of theory only, i conceived a idea of using something like a citrix wraper program (based on remote desktop connection) to put the entire DDI character builder & websites in a webpage that looks like it runs off of your computer. In theory it should be possible.

    i’d say the bigger purpose instead of mac/linux would mainly be so a group of people can split on an account.

    again this is all theory

  • NeoWolf
    Jul 10th, 2009 at 11:06 | #3

    Another option that I use is emulating a Windows machine. Of course legally this requires having a copy of Windows and a program to do this with. Though luckily VirtualBox exists as a free option for the later. At this point it’s on par with most commercial apps too. ( http://www.virtualbox.org/ )

    I’m hoping that eventually WINE will be able to run the builder, but last I checked it chokes heavily on dot net applications like the builder.

  • Jul 10th, 2009 at 13:49 | #4

    Yeah, WINE choked on me for the character builder when I tried it in Mac OS 10.5 with Crossover.

    However, I can run the character builder pretty easily with a Mac. At least an Intel Mac, which are pretty easy to come by nowadays since, y’know, the PowerPC processor is dead now.

    Just install a windows distribution in Boot Camp. Then, to avoid having to boot into windows all the time for just one app, open your boot camp partition as a virtual drive in Parallels Desktop 4.0. Congrats, you can run the CB whenever you want in Mac OS X, and you also have a stable windows (I’ve never met a virtual machine I call stable, not even parallels) install on your drive as well if you ever need it for more stuff. I personally prefer to boot into it for a round of trouble witches or touhou or other schmups.
    .-= Wyatt´s last blog ..Might of Eden: Fabled Scoundrel =-.

  • anarkeith
    Jul 10th, 2009 at 20:06 | #5

    @Wyatt: That’s an interesting extra step (the Parallels Desktop) that I hadn’t thought of. I’m running the setup you describe, I just put up with rebooting when I want to run the CB. I drop the docs on my Media Ctr, so I can access PDFs printed from the CB and such.

    I may try the remote desktop trick too, since I can run CB on my Media Ctr and (it sounds like) access it from my Mac.

  • Dec 11th, 2009 at 12:56 | #6

    just another idea after going back and re-reading this post

    using your amazon cloud server i belive is something like $30 a month, you can setup the RDP on that and split on a acocunt with some friends.

    now im sure this is against wotc rules and stuff, however it is a physical possibility. This scenario you could probaly run up to 5 users at the same time connected.

    install dropbox for saved files and your set :)

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