The Haus

Installing Unreal Tournament in Linux

July 3, 2000 -- by A.T. Hun

Please note: Most of the information in this article has been deprecated with the release of the Loki installer for Unreal Tournament. Download that installer from Loki's FTP server (now hosted by, follow the directions in the README, and check's Linux Gamers' FAQ if you have any problems. Also, the OpenUT project mentioned at the end of this article stopped being updated about six months after this article originally appeared. You can read the rest of this article just to laugh at how many hoops I had to jump through to get it to work before the installer came out.

Some Assumptions

On the outset I should state that I am making a couple of assumptions in this quasi-HOWTO. My first assumption is that you are using Red Hat 6.2 as your Linux distribution. Most Linux flavors should be relatively similar, but caveat emptor. I'm assuming that you have a basic idea of how Linux works and how to install RPMs. I will also assume that you have your 3D card in working order. Those of you with NVIDIA cards can check out my instructions for installing the NVIDIA XFree 4.0 drivers. UT supports Glide and Mesa/OpenGL. With that out of the way, here we go!

You Will Need

The Win32 version of Unreal Tournament (UT)
xdelta 1.1.1 or greater from *
SDL 1.1.1 or greater from *
UT Linux patch 413A from Blue's News *
UT Linux 400A from File Planet *
optional UTCP (Unreal Tournament Control Panel) from

* or your favorite Linux software depository

Installing Unreal Tournament

If you don't already have xdelta or SDL installed, get the RPMs from the above links and install them. Next, as root create a directory called /usr/local/games/UnrealTournament (you can put it anywhere, but that's the default). Then switch to /usr/local/games and issue the command chmod 777 UnrealTournament. Yes, this is a pretty significant security issue. If you are on a one-person system, it's not a big deal. If this is on a server, you should probably use chown to make this directory accessible to a group of users instead of read, write, and execute accessible for all users.

Extract the UT Linux 400A tarball wherever it is convenient. Make sure your CD-ROM drive is mounted. Start X (NOT as root!). Then open a terminal, go to the directory that was created when you extracted the tarball, and run ./ A rather nice looking UT installer should come up. If you have a non-3dfx card, make sure to uncheck the box about installing Glide support. Click the install button and, if you did everything correctly, the CD-ROM should spin up and begin copying everything. Go get a cup of coffee while you are waiting.

When it finally gets done installing, go back to your terminal and switch to the /usr/local/games/UnrealTournament directory. Copy the 413A patch here (Make sure it is 413A. Just plain 413 has a bad network library in it.). Extract the tarball and switch to the Patch directory that it creates. Type ./install_patch. If you did everything right, the CD should spin up again and install the patch. When it's done, you can delete the Patch directory.

Now comes the fun part--fiddling with the UnrealTournament.ini file! For some reason the installer didn't install it for me. You really have three options to solve this:

  1. The simplest is to download the UnrealTournament.ini file from the OpenUT page. Just copy it into /usr/local/games/UnrealTournament/System.
  2. The next easiest is to copy the UnrealTournament.ini from the /System directory on the CD to /usr/local/games/UnrealTournament/System, then use your favorite text editor to append these additions from the OpenUT page.
  3. Lastly (and naturally this is the option I chose), copy the UnrealTournament.ini from the /System directory on the CD to /usr/local/games/UnrealTournament/System, then download, install, and run UTCP (see the link above) to add the necessary lines for you.

Once that's done, UT should be ready to run! Change to the /usr/local/games/UnrealTournament/System directory and start UT with ./UnrealTournament.

Some Final Thoughts

How does it run? Well, UT running in OpenGL under Win98 should give you an approximation of how well it will run. I would call it "acceptable" on my AGP TNT and Celeron 400 combo, but nothing spectacular. A more impressive CPU/video tandem would do wonders. Unfortunately UT is a big pig when it comes to system resources and there's just not much that can be done about it.

If you run into file moving or copying errors (e.g. when autodownloading maps), you may need to change permissions to some files or directories using at least chmod 755 (the Cache directory is where autodowloaded maps, etc. are stored and will most likely be the source of the problem).

Now that Brandon "GreenMarine" Reinhart has left Epic, the further development of Linux UT has been left up to the OpenUT folks. I really haven't had much of an opportunity to check out what they've done. I hope to remedy that situation soon. It's definitely nice to see that the two big first-person shooters (the other, of course, being Quake III Arena) on the market now run quite nicely under Linux. Here's to hoping that becomes the rule rather than the exception!