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Installing Baldur's Gate 1 data with unshield

This page details the necessary steps to install the data for Baldur's Gate 1 to use with GemRB. This guide is for the original English 5CD version, but should be easily adapted for the DVD or other versions.

Note about file name case: You may run into problems on a case sensitive file system, if some files are not overwritten when they are supposed to. One way to make sure they do, is to lower case everything. But that might break some external tools (e.x. NearInfinity is said to have problems). If you're going to use such tools, drop the -L option below for unshield. If you're making a Linux-only install with Linux-only file operations, the file case might always match (at least on the international DVD, there are a few files with same name but different case, that should get overwritten). If you copy things from a Windows installation, you are more likely to run into problems with file name cases. For regular gaming, lower casing everything is safest.


Create a new directory for the Baldur's Gate data.

mkdir bg1
cd bg1

Install Required Data

Extract Data

Insert CD 1. To extract the necessary data, enter the following commands:

unshield -L x /media/cdrom/
# In the international version, extracted from the cab into Enlish/dialog.tlk (or your chosen language)
cp /media/cdrom/dialog.tlk . 

Re-Order Data

Some of the files in the .cab files are extracted to the wrong place. Move them with the following commands (for intl. version replace English with your chosen language):

mv minimumdata/* . && rmdir minimumdata
# At least when installing from my DVD, I needed to overwrite some files in the music dir with this command. I compared the contents to a wine install and they are identical.
mv recommended_music/music/* music/ && rm -r recommended_music
mv english_sounds/sounds/* sounds/ && rm -r english_sounds
cp -R english/* . && rm -r english

Install Extra Data (optional)

If you want to play Baldur's Gate without need for the CDs, there are some extra files to install.

Insert each CD in order (including CD 1), for each one entering the following command (in the DVD version, they are all in the root of the DVD):

unshield -L x /media/cdrom/data*.cab

After extracting the .cab above, at least on my system some directories (maybe files, too?) are read-only, so write permissions are needed, too. The first command gives recursive write permissions from the current directory (beware and make sure you're in the right directory!).

chmod -R u+rwX .
cp -R /media/cdrom/CD?/* .

Installing Tales of the Sword Coast (optional)

If you have Tales of the Sword coast, you most probably want to install it, too. It is quite straightforward (these are from memory / my bash history, please test!):

unshield -L x /media/cdrom/
# copy some files from CD:
cp -R  /mnt/cdrom/override/* override/.
cp -R /mnt/cdrom/cd6/* .
# Re-arrange some files
cp -R minimumdata/* . && rm -R minimumdata/
cp -R english/* . && rm -R english

If you wish to save HD space, you might not want to copy cd6/* - but who want's to play with the CD in the drive these days, HD's are huge compared to what they used to be…

Installing the Official patch

Most (all?) DVD/CD versions are not patched to the latest version (the GOG version includes the latest patches AFAIK). You probably want the patch to play (even with GemRB) and most definately if you want to install any mods.

To install the patch without wine, you first need to extract the self-extracting .exe file and then use unshield to extract the rest. 7z seems to be able to extract the patches.

For TOSC - assuming you start in the BGI+TOSC directory, with the official patch file (.exe):

# Let's make a temporary dir to keep things dity
mkdir temp && cd temp
7z x ../BGTalesUS5512.exe # Replace with your INTERNATIONAL or UK patch 
unshield -L x data1
cp -R minimumdata/* ..
# note the international patch does not contain dialog.tlk
cp dialog.tlk ..
cd ..
rm -R temp

Lower casing file names & checking for duplicate files

Just to be on the safe side, make everything lower case if you're on Linux (or any OS / FS that is case sensitive) - or at least test for duplicates (you might not want to make the actual renaming, if you suspect a tool you're going to use will break). You should not get any file name clashes!

convmv --lower -r . # if there are no errors / surprises, run:
convmv --lower --notest -r .

Of course you need to install convmv if you don't have it (or use some other way to rename the files into lower case).


All of the data should now have been installed. Via these instructions, CD1-5 are copied in to the data and movies folders, so those entries can be commented out in the .cfg.

install/unshield-bg1.txt · Last modified: 2014/01/17 12:45 by lynxlynxlynx