Skip to main content

Quake3 for Modern Linux

Quake3 Arena is a multiplayer online first-person shooter released in 1999. There is a Quake3 HOWTO written by Jonathan Bergknoff that should be your first stop for a general overview. It should be your first stop because even though dated, it provides useful details on how to launch mods and fix problems. There is also an interesting Wikipedia page for Quake3.

It is quite amazing to me that this game was released way back in 1999 as the third installment to ID's Quake series. I've played it ever since the release; it has quite a following.

Since id Software released the source code for the Quake3 game engine licensed under the GPL, there have been several projects that have attempted to make not only a better playing game, but a better looking game.

You need a valid key to play Quake3, so if you don't already own the game, purchase the Windows version of the game from STEAM or Amazon to obtain the key code.

There are several different game engines and hi-res packs to choose from. What I'm presenting here is how I configure Quake3 on my Linux box.

The game engine I chose is the ioquake3 game engine because that version is provided by my Linux distro, Mageia6.

The binaries are placed in /usr/bin. In addition to /usr/bin/ioquake3, there is also /usr/bin/ioquake3-update which will update you to the most recent version.

You will need to copy the original, non-free game data file, pak0.pk3, to /usr/libexec/ioquake3/base3q for use system-wide, or in ~/.q3a/baseq3. I suggest keeping the original game data files in /usr/libexec/ioquake3/base3q and any additional game data files in ~/.q3a/baseq3.

If you do not own the game, Mandriva provides the ioquake3-demo package which, after installation, running /usr/bin/ioquake3-demo, will prompt you to download the demo version of the game data files. While not free as in freedom, the files are free as in beer.

When first run, ioquake3 will ask for your game CD key. It will also create .q3a in your home directory if you have not already done so, a convenient and recommended location to place your mods and maps.

One of the things to look forward to when playing these old games is the benefit obtained from newly created high resolution textures that make the gameplay even more immersive. With modern hardware, multi-core CPUs, multi-gigabyte blazingly fast video cards and high-resolution wide-screen monitors, what may have seemed state-if-the art 20 years ago, now appears a little drab and blocky.

One of the hi-resolution textures from artist Paul Marshall. Unzip the downloaded archive and copy the files to ~/.q3a/baseq3. No further action is necessary.

As well, there are the High Quality Quake 3 textures available from ModDB. Here as well, unzip the downloaded archive and copy the files to ~/.q3a/baseq3. No further action is necessary.

There are also several free games using the ioquake3 engine.
The source code is freely available and GPL-compliant if you have a desire to do some work on your own or even create a new game.

Besides Linux 64-bit binaries, also available are binaries for 32/64-bit Windows and 64-bit MacOS.


Quake3 HOWTO

Quake3 Wikipedia Page

Does in run in WINE?


Quake3 Hi-res Textures from artist Paul Marshall

Based on the IOQUAKE3 game engine

Wide-screen Gaming


Popular posts from this blog

DOS4GW.EXE Version 2.01a and Alternative DOS Extenders

The TenberryDOS extender DOS4GW.EXE was used by many early DOS games. I still enjoy playing many of these games and DOS4GW.EXE is usable with DOSBox, so they can be played on Linux.

However, the version of DOS4GW.EXE that was included with the game was whatever was current at the time. The most recent version that includes many bugfixes that possibly affected the games when used with DOSBox have been fixed in the latest version, 2.01a.

It's not free at US$49, but you can downloaded it here. Simply substitute it for whatever version of DOS4GW.EXE your game provided and enjoy the bug-fixed goodness. Tenberry also makes a "high-performance" "pro" version of DOS4GW.EXE, but it costs $300. I think that they could sell quite a few of these to hobby users (since, you know, DOS is dead) for US$5.

Open Souce to the Rescue
There are better performing, free and Open Source alternatives available and worth a look.

DPMI Explained
But first, let's understand w…

Fixing a Buggy ACPI BIOS Updated for Windows 8 and Linux Kernel 3.x

In the BIOS, there is a table that configures/determines a number of hardware values for ACPI and your system to use.

One of the features of ACPI is that the values and methods used can be differentiated at boot time depending on what OS you run. Each version of MS Windows has a unique identifier and while Linux can identify as "Linux", the Linux ACPI gurus have decided that Linux will always identify itself as "Windows NT". Even if you force Linux to identify itself as Linux, the Linux ACPI code still lies to the BIOS, except for the computers specifically listed in drivers/acpi/blacklist.

If you are running very new hardware intended for Windows Vista or Windows 8, you might get better performance on ACPI-related issues if you identify, or "spoof", your Linux OS as Vista or Windows 8. This is done by adding the boot-time kernel parameter of acpi_osi="Windows 2006" or "Windows 2012" respectively (and the quotes are necessary). still,…


The first release of Mageia 1 is out. You can download it from here and read the release notes here.

If you've used Mandriva Linux, you'll feel right at home with Mageia. Mandriva has always had a reputation of working well for both the novice user and the power user. Installation is typically easy and hardware support is among the best of any distro. The user and administrative tools are comprehensive and easy to use. Of course, under the hood, it's all Linux and all configuration files are plain text files and all a competent administrator needs do is to choose a shell and a text editor.

Mandriva has also been known for excellent default fully-featured configurations of the KDE, GNOME, XFCE and LXDE desktop environments as well as a broad range of available applications. Mageia is no exception in this regard.

For the average user, the changes are mostly cosmetic. The Mageia art, colors and graphics are very well done (and contributed by the Mageia user community). But …