Difference between revisions of "Guide to FS Open on Linux"

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There are two ways of doing this :
There are two ways of doing this :
* use wine to install the game in the right directory, using the Setup.exe found on the first CD, or
* use wine to install the game in the right directory, using the Setup.exe found on the first CD, or
* extract manually the files from the cd. This method is detailed below (the wine one is straightforward and you shouldn't need any specific instruction, but you'll have to fix permissions and lowercase the filename as well, so keep reading)
* extract manually the files from the cd.  
The second method is detailed below. The wine one is straightforward and you shouldn't need any specific instruction, but you'll have to fix permissions and lowercase the filename as well, so keep reading.
===Extracting data from CD===
===Extracting data from CD===

Revision as of 06:13, 17 April 2006

Note: This tutorial assumes some fundamental command line knowledge.

Installing CVS

CVS stands for Concurrent Versions System and is a version control system used to record the changes in documents, such as source files. Developers use CVS so they can easily share their code changes among other developers. You will need this tool to download ("checkout" in CVS terminology) fs2_open from the CVS server.

Debian/Ubuntu users want to:

apt-get install cvs

Gentoo users want to:

emerge cvs

NOTE: Redhat, Mandrake/Mandriva, Slackware and all the other distros should go here too, but we have no knowledge on how these work, so if you do, please enlighten us.

Installing the nessesary development libraries

You will also need SDL, OpenAL, libvorbis and OpenGL(most likely provided with your video card driver) development packages. And of course the GCC compiler and required make tools.
Debian/Ubuntu users want to:

apt-get install libopenal-dev libvorbis-dev build-essential automake1.9 autoconf libsdl-dev

NOTE: The build-essential meta package installs GCC4. This should work, but if you feel safer with GCC 3.4(gcc-3.4), add it to the apt-get line above.
Gentoo users want to:

emerge openal libvorbis libsdl

NOTE: Radhat, Mandrake,Slackware and all the other distros should go here too, but we have no knowlage on how these work, so if you do, please enlighten us.

Installing game data files

This tutorial deals primarily with providing you with an executable, but in order to play the game you also need the game data. Freespace 2 game data is available from a number of sources, see this thread: http://www.hard-light.net/forums/index.php/topic,38195.0.html

Note that if you use the retail CD, you'll need to extract the files and copying them on your drive, reproducing the same layout as in a working win32 installation (just make sure every file is lowercase). This thread on the SCP forum has some more info on it : http://scp.indiegames.us/forum_viewtopic.php?3.282

There are two ways of doing this :

  • use wine to install the game in the right directory, using the Setup.exe found on the first CD, or
  • extract manually the files from the cd.

The second method is detailed below. The wine one is straightforward and you shouldn't need any specific instruction, but you'll have to fix permissions and lowercase the filename as well, so keep reading.

Extracting data from CD

Installing unshield

First, you need unshield from http://synce.sourceforge.net/synce/unshield.php

If you use debian, apt-get install unshield as root should do the trick. Else, try to find a package for your distribution, or if you don't, compile it yourself following the instructions provided on the website. Note you don't need to actually install it, just compile it and use it from the directory where you compiled it.

Preparing directories

  • Create a directory for fs2_open, say, /usr/local/games/fs2_open, with a data/movies and data/players subdirectories. Everything but user files and configuration will be in this directory.
 ~# mkdir -p /usr/local/games/fs2_open/data/movies /usr/local/games/fs2_open/data/players

Extracting files

  • Use unshield to extract the groups from data1.cab (on the first cd) to a temporary directory; then move the files in your game directory :
 ~# mkdir /tmp/fs2</>
 <tt>~# for group in "Basic Install Files" "Intel Anims" "Music Compressed" "High Res Files"; do unshield -d /tmp/fs2/ -g "$group" -L -j x disk1/data1.cab && mv -v /tmp/fs2/*/* /home/data/jeux/fs2_open
 ~# unshield -d /usr/local/games/fs2_open/data/players -g "Hud Config Files" -L -j x data1.cab && mv -v /tmp/fs2/hud_config_files/"* /home/data/jeux/fs2_open/data/players
  • From the second CD, get the vp files and the movies files (I dont think the the mve file are really needed, you'll need the avi ones if you want the movies).
 ~# cp -vf *.vp /usr/local/games/fs2_open
 ~# mkdir -p /usr/local/games/fs2_open/data/movies/ && cp -vf *.MVE /usr/local/games/fs2_open/data/movies/
  • Do the same for the third CD :
 ~# cp -vf *.vp /usr/local/games/fs2_open
 ~# cp -vf *.MVE /usr/local/games/fs2_open/data/movies/

You may notice that some files are on all three CD. This is because the games was meant to be run from CD. Don't bother.

Fixing Case and permissions

  • You **have** to make sure everything is lowercase :
 ~# find /usr/local/games/fs2_open/ | rename -v 'y/A-Z/a-z/'
  • Then, fix permissions :
 ~# find /usr/local/games/fs2_open -type d -exec chmod a+rx '{}' \;
 ~# find /usr/local/games/fs2_open -type f -exec chmod a+r '{}' \;

MediaVP and Cutscenes

You'll also need the mediavp from the SCP if you want the enhanced graphics. Get them at http://scp.indiegames.us. If you want the cutscenes, you'll have to find the avi version of the MVE files, or to convert them yourself. They are not hard to find. When you have them, just put them in the data/movies directory. Again, make sure everything is lowercase.

That's it for the game data files, now it's time get the source !

Using the source

CVS Checkout

Before you begin, make sure you are situated in a a directory where you have write permissions. Your /home/user/ directory is pretty much a sure bet. I recommend that you create a permanent /home/user/src directory from which you run the CVS command, this way CVS will only update the files changed the next time you download the source and it's always nice to have things organized.

Now get the source. Run from a terminal:

cvs -d:pserver:anonymous:[email protected]:/home/fs2source/cvsroot login

and then

cvs -z3 -d:pserver:[email protected]:/home/fs2source/cvsroot co fs2_open

The first cvs command tells the CVS tool to first use a password file for authentication (pserver), that you are user "anonymous" with the password "anonymous" who wants to access warpcore.org's CVS repository "/home/fs2source/cvsroot" and login. The second command tells the CVS server on which we are now connected to that we want to checkout (co) the fs2_open module.

CVS Checkout and Update Script

The code on CVS is in a constant state of change, and bugs that exist one day may be gone the next. Because of this, you'll want to occasionally update to a newer version and recompile. Running those cvs commands will fast grow to be a pain, so this little script was created to make your life easier. This script will checkout fs2_open if it can't find a fs2_open directory and update fs2_open, if it finds it. The script will run until a successfull checkout or update has been achieved. Copy and save this to a suitably named file like "get_fs2_open", and make it executable with the command, chmod +x <name of file>

# CVS Checkout and Update Script for fs2_open
CVS_LINE="cvs -d:pserver:anonymous:[email protected]:/home/fs2source/cvsroot" # The cvs command
if [ "$UID" = 0 ]; then # check if user is root, and if so, echo a warning.
	echo "You are root. If this is a checkout, all files \
	will be created with root as the owner."
	sleep 3
if [ -e ./fs2_open ]; then # check if directory fs2_open exists
	echo "Found fs2_open, We are updating an old checkout."
CVS_ATTEMPT=0 # This updates the checkout.
until [  $CVS_ATTEMPT = 1 ]; do
	$CVS_LINE login && \
	$CVS_LINE update fs2_open && \
	echo "No fs2_open found, This is a new checkout."
CVS_ATTEMPT=0 # This creates a new checkout.
until [  $CVS_ATTEMPT = 1 ]; do
	$CVS_LINE login && \
	$CVS_LINE co fs2_open && \

Pre-Compile Configuration

Before you compile you need to configure it for your system. Run from In the directory you ran the CVS command from, a new directory will appear, namely fs2_open. If your fs2_open is a completely new checkout, you will first need to run the autogen.sh script. Run from inside your newly created fs2_open directory:


autogen.sh is a script that will generate the required makefiles. You will see alot of "checking for this" and "checking for that", this is actually the "configure" script (which can be run with ./configure if you need to change the options) examining and configuring fs2_open for your system.
It is possible to give autogen.sh configure options as well, autogen.sh will pass them along to configure.

A full list of configure options can be found by running the configure script with the '--help' option.

./configure --help

Optimizing fs2_open

Optimizing fs2_open might have little or no effect, or improve performance greatly, I honestly have no clue.
A note of caution, if you are compiling a debug build, don't use the -fomit-frame-pointer CFLAG, it will make debugging impossible.
You can specify your compiler flags with the configure script, se below.

./configure CFLAGS="<your desired flags>"

If you got a Athlon-XP and want to play it safe, a good set of CFLAGS would be

./configure CFLAGS="-march=athlon-xp -O3 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer"

You should read up on CFLAGS and what they do before trying anything. I recommend you read through these links.


Run from within your fs2_open directory:


Sit back and enjoy gcc work its magic.

Simple Compile Script

It's alot easier to use a scripts when dealing with constantly changing code. Copy and save this to a suitably named file like "compile_fs2_open", and make it executable with the command, chmod +x <name of file> This script assumes the CVS checkout directory fs2_open is pressent in the same directory as the script itself.

# fs2_open Compile Script
# These are only examples, uncomment to enable optimization.
#MY_CFLAGS="-march=athlon-xp -O3 -pipe -fomit-frame-pointer -ftracer"
if [ -e ./fs2_open/ ]; then
	cd fs2_open
	if [ -e ./Makefile.in ]; then
	make clean
	echo "No fs2_open directory found."

You can add your options to the ./configure line.

Using the Binaries

When the compile is done and if all went well, a binary executable will reside in the code directory fs2_open_r or fs2_open_d if you configured for a debug build. Copy the binary to directory where Freespace2 is installed, and you're all set to go.

Post-Compile Configuration

Changing Your Resolution

Odds are, you'll want to run fs2_open in a higher resolution than the default 640x480. Unfortunately, we Linux users don't have the swank launcher app that the Windows folks do. Instead, we'll be making a couple line changes to a config file. You will need to run fs2_open once before you can make the necessary changes, otherwise you won't have a configuration directory to work with.

The first thing we need to do is get into the fs2_open config directory, which is a hidden folder in your home directory. The fastest way to get there is to type the following in a console:

cd ~/.fs2_open

From here, open up fs2_open.ini in your text editor of choice (vi, EMACS, joe, pico, etc). You'll see something like the following:

VideocardFs2open=OGL -(640x480)x16 bit

Then change the Videocard line to the following:

VideocardFs2open=OGL -(1024x768)x32 bit

Save the file, and run fs2_open as you normally would. Voila! You're now in 1024x768 at 32bit color. Congratulations!

Creating a Start Up Script

In order to use all of the advanced engine features of fs2_open, you'll need to start the executable with a number of command line arguments. Instead of typing them in every time you want to start the game, why not create a script that does it for you?

Create a new file named start_freespace (or whatever you like) in your home directory. Open the file in your editor of choice, and paste the following:

cd /path/to/your/freespace/
./fs2_open_r -spec -glow -mipmap -jpgtga -orbradar -mod Media_VP

Note: You will need to edit this script before it will work properly. The second line must point to the directory where you installed fs2_open.

The last line starts fs2_open with a number of arguments that turn on extra features. In the example, the game will use specular highlights, glow-mapping, mipmapping, jpg and tga graphic files, the orb radar, and any MediaVPs installed to the /Media_VP directory. You should edit this line to use those features that your system supports.

More information about the available Command Line Arguments can be found at the Command-Line Reference

Once you've edited the file to your heart's content, make it executable:

chmod +x start_freespace

You can now type in start_freespace to start the game, or by clicking on start_freespace in your window manager. For convenience, you can copy it to your Desktop.


Compile Errors

Missing -lGLU compile error

On some Linux distributions (Slackware for instance), compiling fails because a GL related library doesn't have a link in the /usr/lib directory. If the compile fails because it can't find -lGLU, here are two ways to fix it:

Solution as Root

If you have root access to the system, you can create a link to the library in question with just a little bit of command line magic. Go to a console and enter:

ln -s /usr/X11R6/lib/libGLU.so /usr/lib/libGLU.so

After that, you can run make again and it should finish compiling.

Solution as a Non-Root user

You don't have root access? Never fear, we can still fix the problem. It'll just be a tad more difficult.

Navigate to the fs2_open/code directory and locate a file named Makefile (not Makefile.rm or Makefile.in or Makefile.anything). Open it in your favorite text editor and make the following changes.

Find this line (line 457 in mine):

FS2_LDFLAGS =  -L/usr/lib -Wl,-rpath,/usr/lib -lSDL -lpthread -lGL -lGLU -lopenal -logg -lvorbis -lvorbisfile

And replace it with this:

FS2_LDFLAGS =  -L/usr/lib -Wl,-rpath,/usr/lib -lSDL -lpthread -lGL -lopenal -logg -lvorbis -lvorbisfile -L/usr/X11R6/lib -lGLU 

Also find this one (line 565 in mine):

AM_LDFLAGS =  -g  -L/usr/lib -Wl,-rpath,/usr/lib -lSDL -lpthread -lGL -lGLU -lopenal -logg -lvorbis -lvorbisfile

And replace it with this:

AM_LDFLAGS =  -g -L/usr/lib -Wl,-rpath,/usr/lib -lSDL -lpthread -lGL -lopenal -logg -lvorbis -lvorbisfile -L/usr/X11R6/lib -lGLU

Then run make from the fs2_open directory, and watch the magic happen.

glBindBufferARB feature missing

This is a draft, and has not been tested.
If this is the actual solution to this problem remains to be proven.
So far, only people using Debian stable are affected by this.
So we need adventurus Debian users to confirm. / ni1s

checking for glBindBufferARB in -lGL... no
configure: error: *** OpenGL version does not have the required features!! (ie.glBindBufferARB()) ***

This error appears if the installed Mesa development library is to old.

On Debian stable branch the xlibmesa-gl-dev package holds version 4.3.0.
The xlibmesa-gl-dev package on testning is version 6.9.0.

Possible solution:
First set /etc/apt/sources.list to include the testing branch. Add:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian testing main non-free contrib
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US testing/non-US main contrib non-free

Your sources.list might have these lines already, if so, you should be okej.

Your /etc/apt/preferences file should look like this

Package: *
Pin: release a=stable
Pin-Priority: 700

Package: *
Pin: release a=testing
Pin-Priority: 650

Package: *
Pin: release a=unstable
Pin-Priority: 600

Add to that file:

Package: xlibmesa-gl-dev
Pin: release a=testing
Pin-Priority: 800

Note that the Pin-Priority of xlibmesa-gl-dev here is higher than the Pin-Priority on 'stable'. As a result of this APT get will prioritize the xlibmesa-gl-dev from testing and leave the rest of the system on stable. This is called apt-pinning.

Now that APT knows what xlibmesa-gl-dev to prioritze, install it again:

apt-get install xlibmesa-gl-dev

If you are using nVidia's nvidia-kernel and glx packages, a simple:

apt-get install nvidia-glx-dev

should suffice. No need to mess around with APT-pinning.

Runtime Errors

ERROR: "Web cursor bitmap not found."

ERROR: "Web cursor bitmap not found.  This usually means that the executable is being run outside the  directory
you installed Freespace2 to.  Please move the executable to that directory and try again" at  graphics/2d.cpp:1402

A common error. This happens when fs2_open can't find the .vp files or that your user doesn't have the permissions to access them. If you are using a start up script(like the one found here) it's most likly the a permission problem. Have your user take owenership of the .vp files, run as root:

chown <user> /path/to/vpfiles/ -R