Running Oolite-Linux

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The Linux port of the game follows the Mac OS X port and is generally released at the same time. Both source and binary downloads are available. There are some minor differences between Oolite-Linux and Oolite on Mac OS X: the Linux version does not support iTunes integration, Growl or speech synthesis, but unlike the OS X version, currently has joystick support.

It is simple to install. Simply download and run the Autopackage, and then you can play the game.

Getting and installing the game

The game may be downloaded from either or [1]. If you just want to play the game it is strongly recommended you download the Autopackage - oolite-linux-1.55-1.x86.package. This contains everything needed to play the game on any recent Linux distribution. It has been tested on several distributions, including Gentoo, Fedora Core, CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu.

An autopackage is somewhat similar to the installers you might find on Windows. If you have never installed an autopackage before, once you have downloaded the game, you will need to do the following steps:

  • 1. Navigate to where you downloaded the game with your file manager (by default, Firefox will download things to the desktop).
  • 2. Right click on the file's icon, and select Properties.
  • 3. Select the 'Permissions' tab.
  • 4. Click on 'Owner: Executable' and click Close.
  • 5. Double click the file's icon to run the installer. Follow any instructions.

Once you have installed at least one Autopackage, any further autopackages you download will be recognised by your system so these steps will be unnecessary.

Running the game

Once the game is installed, it should appear in your Applications -> Games menu. Just click its icon. Alternatively, typing 'oolite' in a Terminal will start the game.

Notes for AMD64 (x86_64) users

The x86 package will run on new 64-bit machines running 64-bit Linux, however, many distributions do not have all the 32-bit libraries needed to run the program. You can make it run by installing these 32-bit libraries (by hand if necessary). Currently, a native 64-bit build isn't available as a binary download because none of the developers has an amd64 system. If you are capable of building Oolite-Linux from source and have a suitable machine, it would be greatly appreciated if you can volunteer to be the maintainer of the amd64 build.

Building Oolite-Linux from source

You will need the following components:

  • The GNU Objective-C compiler (gcc-objc). Your distribution should have this available.
  • GNUstep Startup. Your distro may provide the appropriate GNUstep development libraries.
  • SDL development libraries including SDL_mixer and SDL_image. All Linux distros seem to have the main SDL library, but some do not seem to have SDL_image. This can be downloaded from the SDL Library Development website.
  • To build Autopackages, you will also need the Autopackage development kit, which is available at

The source code for these dependencies is also available at [2]

It is recommended you use Subversion to download the source tree. If you are porting to another processor architecture to help us provide packages for that architecture, it is recommended you use one of the tagged 'stable' release SVN repositories for your build. If you are porting to a new operating system, it is recommended you get the latest development trunk. Instructions on how to get anonymous SVN releases is at the development website You can also browse the SVN tree there to see what tags and branches exist. If you do not have the ability to run SVN, you can use the source tarballs. You will need both a -src and -data tarball. Unpack them in the same place.

Once you have a source tree, you can build it by just typing 'make'. To run the newly-built code, then type 'openapp oolite'. If you want to build the Autopackage .package file, type 'makeinstaller'. This will leave a .package file in the build directory. You can then run this file to install the game.

Notes about the build process

The makefile is called GNUmakefile rather than 'Makefile'; this seems to be the convention for GNUstep applications. If you are not using GNUmake, then you will probably need to 'make -f GNUmakefile'. However, it is recommended that you install gmake if you are using a platform (BSD) that doesn't include GNU make (it's a dependency for GNUstep anyway). The build process first builds all the Objective-C source (source code files end in '.m' which is the standard file extension for Objective-C) into the executable and then copies the data into