Playing Quake II under Linux — SinglePlayer

Quake II — Single versus Multi-player
Though Quake II is more than 10 years old by now it’s still great fun and I enjoy playing Quake II single player (SP) mode once in a while. The game is still sold and copyrighted by id Software, so you‘ll need a legal copy of it to play the original maps on Linux. What you need is the file pak0.pak from your Quake II CDROM, the rest is available (both legal and free) from the internet.

Note that there are some Quake II total conversion and stand-alone games based on the (free) source code of Quake II that don‘t require the original game media. You won‘t be able to play the original maps with those engines unless you have pak0.pak and they support SP, of course (most don‘t, they are intended for multi-player games only ). These engines come with their own maps and game media. An example is Quake2World. This article is about installing a version of Quake II that needs the original media files (pak0.pak as mentioned above) and allows you to play SP Quake II under Linux. See this article on playing multi-player Quake II under Linux if you‘re not interested in SP Quake II.

Grab the loci installer for Quake II from the LOCI website. The file should be named or similar. You can install it to your home directory, no need to run it as root. Let’s make it executable and run it:

$ cd downloads/
$ chmod a+x
$ ./

Follow the instructions of the graphical installer. When it’s done, copy pak0.pak from your Quake II CDROM to the quake2/baseq2/ directory the installer created.

You‘re done, type quake2 to play the game.

Note: You can also use Jake2 to play Q2 SP under Linux. It’s a Q2 implementation written in Java. I gave it a try and the installation was very easy, too. You‘ll also need pak0.pak, of course.

A few notes to players who want to play MP Quake II

  • Note that most Quake II servers are running the r1q2 server now. They use an updated version of the q2 protocol and thus you need a proper client to connect to them. Installing such a client is described in this article.
  • If you insist on playing MP Quake II using the old client and don‘t see the enemies in MP Quake II you‘re missing the game data that comes with the Quake II 3.20 point release. Get the file from the id Software FTP or a mirror and unzip it. It should be named q2-3.20-x86-full-ctf.exe — it’s not a win32 executable but a self-extracting zip archive though. Copy the pak files and the players/ directory to your quake2/baseq2/ folder.