Ubuntu Linux: Install Doom3 Game

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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:


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

45 comment

  1. This is great!
    Doom3 is up and running on my Debian Lenny System
    I did find one mistake in your post.
    you said to copy the pk4 files to
    and they really need to be in

    at lest on my system.

  2. Yes, it was typo on my part. You need to copy files to /usr/local/games/doom3/base. The FAQ has been updated and thanks for the heads-up!

  3. Hey Vivck,

    I wanted to give this a whirl. Can you please clarify:
    Step # 2: Copy Files From Win32 CDs
    My Ubuntu was installed from a LiveDVD, just 1 CD. Or are you speaking on the doom install cds from the doom website

    Thanks for your help.


  4. Sorry Just read the :

    DOOM3 PC retail Windows version DVD / CD.

    Great Post.

    Thanks Again.


  5. Do you know if this will also work with the “Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil” pack?
    I was thinking of buying that.
    I wonder if it’s just a pk4 thing or if there are changes to the exe.

  6. Do you know if this will also work with the “Doom 3 Resurrection of Evil” pack?
    I was thinking of buying that.

    Yes, it should work. You need to copy the following file to your /usr/local/games/doom3/d3xp directory:

  7. Hi there,

    I’ve installed the game, and fed it the CD key successfully. Unfortunately, when I start a new game, after the UAC intro the screen goes completely black and I have to Ctrl+Alt+F1 to tty1 and reboot to get out of it. When re-start the game, there is an auto-save that I can load, but it does the same thing (ie black screen). I presume that the black screen is occurring just as the 3D part of the game is starting. I’m using an ATI Xpress 200 GPU that’s built into the mobo and I haven’t updated the drivers. This is because my distro (Linux Mint 7…based on Ubuntu Jaunty) isn’t supported with the legacy GPU drivers. Any suggestions?

  8. when i insert cd1 and then go to terminal and type cp /path/to/pak*.pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base i get:
    cp: cannot stat `/path/to/pak*.pk4′: No such file or directory

    1. /path/to/pak*.pk4
      refers to the actual pathway…..in mine…
      sudo cp -v /media/DOOM3_1/Setup/Data/base/pak*.pk4 /usr/local/games/doom3/base

      DOOM3_1 means Doom3__ disk 1

  9. If you can, get the DVD version instead. Much simpler install. Runs great on my Radeon HD 3650 and SuperGamer Linux.

  10. Hi there!
    I just followed this excellent guide but still I’ve got an issue: when launching doom3 i have this kind of error:
    WARNING: idFileSystemLocal::OpenFileRead: fs_caseSensitiveOS 1 could not open /usr/local/games/doom3/base/pak000.pk4
    for pak000, pak001, pak002, pak003, pak004.
    I checked file permissions and here’s the output:
    total 1525592
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 1471407 2010-07-18 13:17 game01.pk4
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 3675045 2010-07-18 13:17 game02.pk4
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 966225 2010-07-18 13:17 game03.pk4
    -r——– 1 root root 353159257 2010-07-18 15:01 pak000.pk4
    -r——– 1 root root 229649726 2010-07-18 15:04 pak001.pk4
    -r——– 1 root root 416937674 2010-07-18 14:53 pak002.pk4
    -r——– 1 root root 317590154 2010-07-18 15:09 pak003.pk4
    -r——– 1 root root 237752384 2010-07-18 15:10 pak004.pk4
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 552334 2010-07-18 13:17 pak005.pk4
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 218751 2010-07-18 13:17 pak006.pk4
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 192031 2010-07-18 13:17 pak007.pk4
    -rw-r–r– 1 root root 12243 2010-07-18 13:17 pak008.pk4
    Is there a problem with the permissions of those files? How can I fix it? (I’m quite a noob with ubuntu and linux in general.)
    Thanks for the support!

      1. I actually edited the file permissions to -r–r–r– and everything seems to run perfectly. Thank you anyway!

  11. I’ve followed all of the instructions. When I type “doom 3” in terminal the game doesn’t run. I get incorrect command.

    I’m running Ubuntu 9.10. Ideas?

  12. Hello. When I attempt to install Doom 3 using the sudo sh command, it gives me the following error message:

    Verifying archive integrity… All good.
    Uncompressing DOOM 3…………………………………………………………………………………
    ./setup.sh: 279: /home/aaron/.setup3539: not found
    ./setup.sh: 290: /home/aaron/.setup3539: not found

    What does it mean? Can someone help? I’m running Ubuntu 10.10, the amd64 build.

  13. Great tutorial!
    I didn’t think there was a hope for playing some great FPS games on Linux.

    Thanks again,

  14. In testing Ubuntu 10.10 (x64) (booting from CD), I was able to install Doom3-Demo which I downloaded from FilePlanet yesterday and get it to run after some difficulties figuring how to install it. I then tested Kubuntu 10.10 (x64), couldn’t get Doom to install, and moved back to Ubuntu today. Now I’m getting the same error message as NeptuneNavigator2001. I sort of think that the problem might be the .run package I copied from FilePlanet — maybe it’s not complete. Yesterday when I got Doom to finally install, I had just re-downloaded the package from FilePlanet (I think). Any ideas?

  15. NeptuneNavigator2001 – I found a web page dealing just with the problem we were having, tried the solution suggested, and got Doom3-Demo to install. (problem had to do with lack of x32 libraries – ia32-libs) Then when I tried to run Doom, I ran into problems with my NVidia card. At that point, I went back to Ubunto x32, successfully installed Doom, but still had problems with NVidia. In replying to this blog, I’ve found that I lost the above mentioned web page. But a similar web page you might want to refer to is: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=521454.

  16. Oh, I got that problem figured out some time ago. I just had to install the ia32-libs package. Heads up to any of you who come across this problem. But now I’ve got another one – the game crashes when I try to start a new game. I already posted on the Ubuntu forums about it, and got nowhere, so I’ve decided to have a second partition on my machine for Windows games and stuff. Nothing I can do to get around that at the moment.

  17. I gave up on the x64 version of ubuntu because of problems I was having getting my nvidia to work and moved to the x32 version. Now I can get doom3-demo to run but the sound and video don’t sync.

  18. After finished install ,i typed doom3, it seemed all right. But just few seconds later,the screen turned black and no response from keybroad any more,could you tell me why?

  19. My problem its that i cannot paste de p4k files into de base folder on usr/local/games/doom/base folder…need help. ubuntu noob

  20. the pk4 files 000-001 keep saying that there is no “End-of-central-directory signature”
    found and further more any attempt to over look it and launch results in general failure.

  21. when ever i type doom3 i get the response:
    Unknown command ‘vid_restart’
    Sys_Error: Couldn’t load default.cfg
    what could i possible be donig wrong

  22. I get the same message as Dave:
    when ever i type doom3 i get the response:
    Unknown command ‘vid_restart’
    Sys_Error: Couldn’t load default.cfg
    what could i possible be donig wrong
    Any solutions ?

    1. to Gary and dave:

      I had your same identical problem.. I look all around the web and I discovered that many people had the same ones but nobody could find the right solution: all tricks users suggested wasn’t right, nor for me nor for them!
      But me, I find the solution and I discovered that the problem is not into our PC or into our Linux distro (me personally I’m using Slackware) but it was the installation how-to that it was maybe old and for older version of the installer!
      In two words: what you have to do is not to copy all *.pak4 files into the base folder, like all the how-to says, because doing so you are going to delete the existing pak4 files created by the Linux installer: you have to copy only this files:
      I think that the problem is that copying others files causes an incompatibility between the doom3 client version and the Doom3 ones: maybe the linux client is been updated while the pak4 files remained the same, don’t know better but that’s it: try that solution and let me know if you solve the problem like me..

      Have a nice day!

  23. 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 ?!

  24. 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.

  25. 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.

  26. Hey,
    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…)

  27. /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!

  28. 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

  29. 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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