Ubuntu Linux: Install Doom3 Game

How do I install the first-person shooter genre, Doom3 video game under Ubuntu Linux?

Doom 3 is a science fiction first-person shooter video game developed by id Software. It was first released for Microsoft Windows. The game was later adapted for Linux, as well as being ported for Mac OS X.


Game Requirements

  1. Any Linux Distribution.
  2. 3D Video card with OpenGL acceleration support (min 64M ram)
  3. ALSA and OSS sound backend.
  4. Linux Kernel v2.6+ and glibc v2.2.4+ is recommended. (part of most modern Linux distro)
  5. DOOM3 PC retail Windows version DVD / CD.

The following instructions are tested on both Fedora 10 and Ubuntu Linux 8.04 (but should work under any Linux distro) using nVidia Quadro FX 570/PCI/SSE2 256MB RAM 3D accelerator card.

Step # 1: Install Doom3 Linux Client

Visit this page and grab Linux doom3 installer client. You can use wget command as follows:
$ cd /tmp
$ wget ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/doom3/linux/doom3-linux-

Install it, enter:
$ sudo sh doom3-linux-
Accept the license agreement.

Fig.01: Doom3 Setup

Fig.01: Doom3 Setup

Now, just follow the on-screen instructions. By default game will be installed in /usr/local/games/doom3/base directory.

Step # 2: Copy Files From DOOM3 PC Retail Windows CDs Version (not part of Linux)

The following files need to be copied from the win32 install CDs to your /usr/local/games/doom3/base directory:

  1. pak000.pk4
  2. pak001.pk4
  3. pak002.pk4
  4. pak003.pk4
  5. pak004.pk4 etc

Insert CD #1 into Linux computer and mount it at /mnt/dvd or /mnt/cdrom/ or /media/cdrom. Once mounted copy above files:
$ cp /path/to/pak*.pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base
For example, my cd was mounted at /mnt/dvd. You need to use Setup/Data/base directory to copy above files:
$ sudo cp -v /mnt/cdrom/Setup/Data/base/pak*.pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base
You need to unmount CD, eject it
$ eject
Insert 2nd CD and copy files:
$ sudo cp -v /mnt/cdrom/Setup/Data/base/pak*.pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base
You need to unmount CD, eject it
$ eject
Insert 3rd CD and copy files, enter:
$ sudo cp -v /mnt/cdrom/Setup/Data/base/pak*.pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base
Run ls -l command to verify that all files are copied:
$ cd /usr/local/games/doom3/base
$ ls -l

How Do I Start doom3?

You need to copy all pak???.pk4 files from all 3 CDs to /usr/local/games/doom3/base directory. Once done type the following command to start doom3:
$ doom3
You need to type your CD-key and you can play the game.

Fig.02: Linux Doom3 in Action

Fig.02: Linux Doom3 in Action

Fig.03: Linux Doom3

Fig.03: Linux Doom3

Sound Problem

If sound is not understandable then try running doom3 with the following command:
$ doom3 +set s_driver oss +set s_numberOfSpeakers 2

How do I start the doom3 dedicated server?

Type the command:
$ doom3-dedicated
Sample Outputs:

DOOM linux-x86 Jan 16 2007 21:53:29
found interface lo - loopback
found interface vmnet1 -
found interface vmnet3 -
found interface vmnet8 -
found interface wlan0 -
------ Initializing File System ------
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/game01.pk4 with checksum 0x51c6981f
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/game02.pk4 with checksum 0xf3ec6f7
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/game03.pk4 with checksum 0x5d4230ea
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak000.pk4 with checksum 0x28d208f1
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak001.pk4 with checksum 0x40244be0
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak002.pk4 with checksum 0xc51ecdcd
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak003.pk4 with checksum 0xcd79d028
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak004.pk4 with checksum 0x765e4f8b
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak005.pk4 with checksum 0x8ffc3621
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak006.pk4 with checksum 0x95b65ab
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak007.pk4 with checksum 0x666bdb3c
Loaded pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak008.pk4 with checksum 0x23ae5993
Current search path:
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak008.pk4 (3 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak007.pk4 (38 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak006.pk4 (48 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak005.pk4 (63 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak004.pk4 (5137 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak003.pk4 (4676 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak002.pk4 (6120 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak001.pk4 (8972 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak000.pk4 (2698 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/game03.pk4 (2 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/game02.pk4 (2 files)
/usr/local/games/doom3/base/game01.pk4 (2 files)
game DLL: 0x0 in pak: 0x0
Addon pk4s:
file system initialized.
----- Initializing Decls -----
------- Initializing renderSystem --------
using ARB renderSystem
renderSystem initialized.
5206 strings read from strings/english.lang
Couldn't open journal files
execing editor.cfg
execing default.cfg
execing DoomConfig.cfg
couldn't exec autoexec.cfg
5206 strings read from strings/english.lang
----- Initializing Sound System ------
sound system initialized.
Opening IP socket: localhost:27666
found DLL in pak file: /usr/local/games/doom3/base/game01.pk4/gamex86.so
copy gamex86.so to /home/vivek/.doom3/base/gamex86.so
--------- Initializing Game ----------
gamename: baseDOOM-1
gamedate: Jan 16 2007
Initializing event system
...473 event definitions
Initializing class hierarchy
...142 classes, 382184 bytes for event callbacks
Initializing scripts
/proc/cpuinfo CPU frequency: 2394 MHz
Compiled 'removeInitialSplineAngles': 881.6 ms
---------- Compile stats ----------

Memory usage:
     Strings: 79, 12592 bytes
  Statements: 67875, 1357500 bytes
   Functions: 2109, 250532 bytes
   Variables: 147376 bytes
    Mem used: 2479288 bytes
 Static data: 2277552 bytes
   Allocated: 3284544 bytes
 Thread size: 7068 bytes

...6 aas types
game initialized.
-------- Initializing Session --------
Couldn't read ../base/xpkey.
session initialized
--- Common Initialization Complete ---

Type 'help' for dedicated server info.

terminal support enabled ( use +set in_tty 0 to disabled )
pid: 10514
8112 MB System Memory
Async thread started

Further Readings:

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I'm Vivek Gite, and I write about Linux, macOS, Unix, IT, programming, infosec, and open source. Subscribe to my RSS feed or email newsletter for updates.

45 comments… add one
  • xaccrocheur Mar 22, 2011 @ 21:25

    Hi everyone, I actually own a copy of Doom but had to resort to some kind of crack to use it under linux whereas under winXP my CDKey is recognized, oh well.

    The main problem is that I can’t save my preferences. Key bindings, resolution settings, I have to se it up at each start, this is a pita.

    *AND* it’s damn *haaard* WTF ! I mean what are those creepy things running at you and shotting things ? I thought it was a fishing game no seriously how do you set the difficulty when you have bypassed the CDKey request (doom console : map game/site3) ? It feels like its set on maximum hell..?

    But most of all, what file permission do I have to set in order to make my preferences permanent ? (gamestates, quicksaves work perfectly though) My gosh this game looks reaaly good, please help me I’ve been at this for days now ?!

  • xaccrocheur Mar 22, 2011 @ 21:32

    OH *and* the sound is choppy as hell, wich is really a shame since the sound effects and the music sound reaaly good too ; I’m on a 1.8Ghz core2 w/2Gb RAM – it maybe a bit short – kernel 2.6.33 on a KDE4/pulse sound system machine… I tried using oss but to no avail.

    Please put me out of my misery.

  • antikythera Nov 26, 2011 @ 22:40

    Thanks for the tutorial. I stumbled across it after reading about Doom 3’s engine going opensource and wondered if there was a Linux port.

    It works well, however the game wouldn’t load until I carried out the chmod file permission command as posted by Vivek Gite in reply #19 above.

    Then it loaded perfectly and coupled with a custom resolution, GPU memory setting tweak and widescreen fix I found elsewhere I am now playing the game again on my notebook running Linux Mint.

  • karlie Nov 29, 2011 @ 5:23

    I installed the game and had it working just a few hours ago made a new game and had to leave for a couple of hours. When I came back and ran the game the audio was delayed by like 5-6 seconds which makes playing the game really strange (why does the monster sound like a gun…)

  • Dante Dec 4, 2013 @ 2:36

    Can I Run any game CD/DVD like this step

  • Matthew Mar 26, 2014 @ 16:44

    /tmp/selfgz20090/setup.sh: 192: /tmp/selfgz20090/setup.sh: /root/.setup20165 not found

    I get this message, as I run the installer, after typing the root password.
    Please help!

  • David Jun 1, 2014 @ 1:43

    ya this method does not work, tghe doom3 setup window does not appear, so i can not set the location. the regular doom3 install window comes up but does not allow for install destination. please try again with a working option for installing doom3

  • andreas May 4, 2016 @ 20:59

    This article is nice and all, but it doesn’t cover *any* of the required libraries. Why? It assumes the user has everything needed to play. Why?

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