I'm trying to get Quake 1 music to work under Linux.

I've downloaded the shareware version, downloaded the music, manually done de-emphasis on them (sound bassier and heavier), packaged both data and music with game-data-packager and installed the resulting .deb files. The game works fine, however the music won't play.

I've got the music files named track02.ogg up to track11.ogg in /usr/share/games/quake/id1/music. I've copied the music files into ~/.quakespasm/id1/music to be sure the engine can find them.

This is the terminal output:

~$ quake
Command line: /usr/lib/quake/quake-engine -basedir /usr/share/games/quake
Found SDL version 1.2.15
Quake 1.09 (c) id Software
GLQuake 1.00 (c) id Software
FitzQuake 0.85 (c) John Fitzgibbons
FitzQuake SDL port (c) SleepwalkR, Baker
QuakeSpasm 0.85.9 (c) Ozkan Sezer, Stevenaaus
Playing shareware version.
Console initialized.
UDP Initialized
Exe: 11:04:58 Oct 22 2013
64.0 megabyte heap
Video mode 800x600x32 initialized
FOUND: ARB_multitexture
FOUND: ARB_texture_env_combine
FOUND: ARB_texture_env_add
FOUND: EXT_texture_filter_anisotropic

Sound Initialization
SDL audio spec  : 11025 Hz, 128 samples, 2 channels
SDL audio driver: pulse, 8192 bytes buffer
Audio: 16 bit, stereo, 11025 Hz
SDL detected 1 CD-ROM drive 
CDAudio initialized (SDL, using /dev/cdrom)
CDAudio_Init: No CD in drive

========= Quake Initialized =========

execing quake.rc
execing default.cfg
execing config.cfg
couldn't exec autoexec.cfg
3 demo(s) in loop
Loading game from /home/unfa/.quakespasm/id1/quick.sav...


Ziggurat Vertigo
Using protocol 666
Couldn't find a cdrip for track 10

I tried manually playing a track using the console prompt:

]music track10.ogg
Couldn't handle music file track10.ogg

What am I missing here?

  • I guess you are missing the ogg vorbis codec.Try to (re-)install vorbis-tools and libvorbis and do a ldupdate. In doubt, let a reboot follow. Apr 20, 2014 at 2:38
  • All other programs decode and endcode Ogg with no problem. libvorbis0a version 1.3.2-1.3ubuntu1 is installed. vorbistools version 1.4.0-1ubuntu3 is installed. After reinstalling both, nothing changes.
    – unfa
    Apr 20, 2014 at 13:59
  • Well, it was worth a try. Could have been the issue. I fear there is nothing left but to contact the developer. Apr 20, 2014 at 23:12

1 Answer 1


The QuakeSpasm developer said that I'd need a full version of Quake for the music to work.

Bacause of the shareware is limited to only what is inside pak0.pak file - music resides outside it so the engine ignores it.

Chaning the engine's source code and compiling a custom "prison break" version could probably make it work, but that would be against the Quake's license.

  • Uhh, is it? I thought Quake was open-source. Jan 9, 2015 at 21:42
  • 1
    Quake I's game engine was released under GPL license, so it is open source. But the Quake I's game data (maps, textures, sounds, music, animations, models etc.) is all proprietary and needs to be purchased to be legally accessed. There's an opensource game called Xonotic, that uses (highly) modified Quake I engine called Dark Places, but is based on community-created content (no proprietary assets there), and hence is 100% open. BTW, it's a great project, check it out: xonotic.org :)
    – unfa
    Jan 29, 2015 at 12:07
  • I was referring to changing the engine's source code, but I guess changing the source code specifically to access the game's proprietary content would be against the license. Thank you for the tip, I did not know there was a full game project based on Dark Places. I will check it out. Jan 29, 2015 at 20:30

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