Playing Doom and Doom II under Linux

To play the id software classics Doom and Doom II: Hell on Earth under Linux, you need an engine and the media files for those games. The media files are still copyrighted and thus you need to buy a copy of these games to play the original maps.

There are multiple free engines, we‘ll use prboom here. This engine is rather old-skool and the game looks almost exactly like the original games looked back in the ol‘ days. An alternative engine that improves the visuals (and changes the gameplay) of the games is doomsday which can also run Heretic and Hexen. If you want to play Doom over the internet (using the TCP/IP protocol), you may want to use zdoom instead.

Install prboom from the website or the package system of your linux distribution. Under debian-based distros, this will do it:

# apt-get install prboom

Now get the IWAD files from your game media. See the list below for the file names.

  • doom.wad — Doom
  • doom2.wad — Doom II
  • plutonia.wad — Plutonia Doom II episode
  • tnt.wad — TNT Doom II episode
  • heretic.wad — Heretic

Copy the wad files to your prboom installation directory. Under Debian Etch, this is /usr/share/games/doom, but you can locate prboom.wad to be sure. Then start prboom and specify the IWAD file you want to play like this:


prboom -iwad doom2.wad

Enjoy!