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Play Dark Forces with The Force Engine on Ubuntu

Date: 2023-07-27

While there is no official package or binary for Dark Forces source port, called The Force Engine, we can compile it from source. Remember the game needs the data files from either GOG or Steam. After you set it up, you can play the game natively on Linux.

This guide was made on Ubuntu 23.04.

How to compile The Force Engine on Ubuntu

Install dependencies and git

According to the github page you need the following libraries as dependencies:

  • SDL2 2.24 or higher
  • devIL
  • RtAudio 5.2.0 or higher
  • RtMidi 5.0.0 or higher
  • GLEW 2.2.0
  • OpenGL 3.3 capable driver (latest mesa or nvidia proprietary driver recommended)

Other than the graphics driver, here is the command you need in terminal to install all dependencies:

sudo apt install libdevil-dev libglew-dev librtmidi-dev librtaudio-dev

Or you can use Synaptic to install these packages.

Note: if you are on other distro than Ubuntu, you will find similarly named packages, or may have to compile them from source.

If you don't have it on your system, you also need to install git:

sudo apt install git

Download source code

The best if you make a directory for the source. For me it's an src directory in my home folder. Just enter this directory and execute this command in the terminal:

git clone

Compiling The Force Engine

After downloading it, enter TheForceEngine directory

cd TheForceEngine

Then make a directory for the build and enter it:

mkdir build && cd build

We then start the compiling process:

cmake ..

Then build:


Finally installing it system wide:

sudo make install

Run The Force Engine

You will find it in the menu under the Games category. Then this absolute gergous menu comes up


You played the whole game, now what?

Luckily Dark Forces have a community that has made some levels over the years, and that you can use these with TFE too. Visit the DF-21 website.

On Linux you have to put the mods into the


directory, and you have to choose it in the Mods menu.


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