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What should I get, and from where, to be able to play first and second Quake, on Linux, in single-player mode?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You can play Quake 1 using the DOSBox emulator (it's compatible). That's probably the closest you will come to the original experience, compared to the source ports.

DOSBox emulation usually works really well, particularly for the more popular titles, which get a lot of testing. And any even remotely modern PC should have the performance to emulate it easily. You'll probably even be able to do multiplayer (DOSBox has IPX/SPX emulation).

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Why use DOSBox if you can run native? – hiena Jun 3 '11 at 21:10
@hiena If you mean by native that you still have a machine that can really boot into DOS, has all the drivers (sound, network, etc.) installed, then that's even better of course. If you're talking about DOS emulation in Windows, that's usually pretty weak. You just avoid all these sound/network problems by using DOSBox. Also, I think Windows x64 doesn't even have the DOS emulation layer anymore. – Cort Jun 4 '11 at 18:47
@Cort Hiena is probably talking about source ports like QuakeSpasm, which are easily the best way to play Quake on Linux - you'll get much better performance than Dosbox and can, if you want, make it look better, too. – ToxicFrog Dec 11 '13 at 5:02
@ToxicFrog He didn't say so. I often prefer running the real native versions through an emulator, because the source ports are never quite hitting exactly the same notes as the original version. If I don't want to make it look better, but my intention is rather nostalgia rather, then DOSbox is the way to go in my opinion. – Cort Dec 11 '13 at 6:15

Quakespasm is a great fork of Fitzquake, the best (faithful) Singleplayer engine there is:

If you cannot use a OpenGL engine, maybe give Tyrquake a try.


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You will need three components to make this work: A launcher, an engine, and a set of original data files. The latter may be the most annoying to obtain; however, a quick search suggests you can still buy an original game disc on Amazon.

Once you have that, install this package:

This launcher package will also pull in an engine and a tool to extract the data files off the game disc. Once done, you should be happily fragging away with minimal fuss.

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The DarkPlaces engine is a very easy way to play Quake 1 on Linux. Simply type in sudo apt-get install darkplaces into the console, and it will install. To play Quake, you will need to direct it to the base files. In a console, type darkplaces -basedir /foo/bar/baz/, /foo/bar/baz/ being the directory to the game files. Mind that this is not the id1 folder, but the actual directory where the executible would be. If you just have the source file, put it inside another folder, like quake1 or something that that. For RPM Linux distributions, I don't know how to use RPM, so I'm assuming that you can translate what I gave you to that.

EDIT: For what I know, darkplaces only is obtainable by apt with the Ubuntu repository.

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Since Quake 1 and 2 are GPL, they were probably included with your Linux distribution. You would just need to install them, and (most likely) provide the data files from either the commercial or the shareware versions.

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ubuntu doesn't have them :( or - I can't find them – user3059 Dec 24 '10 at 11:37
The code is GPL -- the game data quite likely aren't. – badp Dec 24 '10 at 15:50
@badp: Yeah... that's what I meant by "data files". – YellowMegaMan Dec 25 '10 at 11:46
@depesz: I found this via Google. Does it help at all? – YellowMegaMan Dec 25 '10 at 11:50

You can play Quake through your web browser here: Quake Flash.

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I couldn't use mouse for control, and had serious audio-video desynchronization. – user3059 Dec 24 '10 at 11:41
You can use mouse controls only while holding down the left mouse button, from what I can tell (which means you have to use keyboard to fire). – keithjgrant Feb 22 '11 at 0:04

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