Doom is a 3d shoot'em'up game, written by id Software, first released in
LxDoom is a version of Doom, designed to run on Linux either under XFree86 or
using SVGALib. It will also run under various Unix variants. Doom is a 3D
game originally by id software.
LxDoom is based on Boom, a freely available port of Doom for DOS, written by
LxDoom is released and maintained by Colin Phipps (that's me). See the
LxDoom home-page at http://lxdoom.linuxgames.com/ for information about
Doom and LxDoom.
If you have comments, contributions, or bug reports about LxDoom, please
go to http://lxdoom.linuxgames.com/contact.html, which will direct
you to the right place to ask.
LxDoom is free software - see the files AUTHORS and COPYING for details.
If you have used older versions of LxDoom, you can remove the old doom wad
references from /usr/local/games/wads. Also, save games and config files are
now stored in ~/.lxdoom/
You will also need to recalibrate your mouse sensitivity, since LxDoom v1.4.3
changes te sensitivity scale in order to give more fine control.
- a copy of Doom, Doom ][, Ultimate Doom or Final Doom. The only file you
need from these is the "IWAD file", the main Doom data file, called
doom.wad or doom2.wad. Or, you can use the doom1.wad from the shareware
release of Doom.
- a suitable UNIX system to run LxDoom on. I use Debian GNU/Linux 2.1, and
have tested LxDoom on several Linux variants.
- either a working Xwindows setup, or SVGALib. You need the header files for
those installed in order to compile LxDoom.
See the file INSTALL for instructions for installing LxDoom.
* Boom compatible:
LxDoom is directly based on the source code for Boom (final release
2.02). That means that
- all the original Doom & Doom ][ levels work
- virtually all bug-less Doom & Doom ][ PWAD files should work
- the majority of Doom & Doom ][ v1.9 demos should work (maybe others too)
- all Boom PWAD files and demos (for v2.02) should work
- Dehacked patches and BEX patches are supported using -deh parameter
The command line parameters for all these features are the same as for Boom.
* Enhancements from Boom:
LxDoom has been substantially enhanced since Boom, with lots of improvements:
- lots of bug fixes and code improvements, many incorporated from MBF
- support for MBF's enhanced Dehacked support, skies and new code pointers
- configurable multi-player colours
- total game time shown on intermission screens
- made more portable so it will run on different OS's and architectures
- auto-loading of wads
- games can be loaded or the level restarted during a net-game
* X windows - LxDoom uses XFree86 to display the Doom screen, as well as
collect keyboard and mouse input. So if you can use XFree86, you should have
no problems using LxDoom.
* SVGALib version - nearly as fast as DOS Boom with normal video card, and
should use the acceleration on accelerated cards supported by SVGALib (not
* High-res - LxDoom can run at resolutions higher than old Doom's fixed
320x200, in fact as high as 1600x1200 in theory.
* Sound support: If your OS provides /dev/dsp support for your sound card,
then LxDoom can also give you the Doom sounds too. Or if you use an
alternative driver, which provides equivalent support on a different
device (e.g the PC speaker driver) then LxDoom can use that instead. 8 bit
sound cards are supported too.
* Networking: Network support is included for net-games over TCP/IP based
* Better diagnostics: More error messages and warnings are given than old
Doom used to, e.g.: warnings when a screen-shot or saving a game fails, or
when loading a game with different WAD files loaded, or when LxDoom fixes
errors in buggy PWADs.
* Automap overlay and rotation; just press O and R in the automap to see what
I mean. I haven't got around to adding those keys to the menu, but you can
change them in the config file.
* Misc: Joystick support, 'multitasking-friendly'. Also a few new cheat
codes, IDBEHOLDM for a mega-armour, and IDBEHOLDH for 200% health, and that's
in addition to all the cheat codes that Boom added. Also IDRATE shows the
current framerate and some other rendering stats, which are useful to
* Music interface: Using a compatible music server LxDoom can now play music.
You can get a compatible version of musserver from my site.
The XFree86 version of LxDoom is the program lxdoom. You can probably just use
your existing XFree86 configuration to run lxdoom with few changes.
LxDoom now has hi-res! To set the resolution to use, specify the -width and
-height parameters to lxdoom. So:
lxdoom <other parameters> -width 640 -height 480
gives you a 640x480 window. Bear in mind though that a larger window means that
LxDoom has to do more work rendering, so it will run slower on old computers.
lxdoom remembers the last screen resolution set in this way, so you don't need to
add these parameters every time. However, should you wish to override the
resolution for the current time you run lxdoom only, you can use the -geometry
parameter, e.g. lxdoom -geom 320x200.
LxDoom can display to most Xwindows displays. It is fastest on 256 colour
PseudoColor displays (since this is what Doom was originally written for).
To change the colour depth of your XFree86 setup, edit your
/etc/XF86Config file, and replace any existing DefaultColorDepth lines with:
(Remember to take a backup).
Alternatively, if you don't want the change to be permanent, just use
'startx -- -bpp 8' when starting X, instead of the usual 'startx'.
If you normally use X at 24bpp, and LxDoom displays wrongly when used at 24bpp,
edit the config file ~/.lxdoom/boom.cfg and change the X_options variable to
have value 2. This makes LxDoom work right on my test machines.
If you use a high graphics resolution or a small monitor, the lxdoom window
may be too small for LxDoom to be comfortably playable. In that case, if you
have a powerful PC, try running lxdoom with the -2 parameter. This makes the
window twice as big in both directions. If that is still too small, try the
-3 parameter instead.
The problem with the -2 and -3 parameters is that they slow down lxdoom
considerably, particularly in high-colour modes. I suggest that you reduce
the size of your Xwindows display instead while playing LxDoom (in XFree86,
normally CRTL-ALT-+/- change the display size).
For really old machines (low end pentiums, 486's), it is hard to find a
compromise - lxdoom will either be displayed too small, or will run too
slow. For these machines, you can either reduce your screen size in X to
320x200 (see appendix), or use the SVGALib version.
lxdoom now only grabs your mouse pointer while actually playing, and it can
be released at any time by PAUSEing. If you don't want to use a mouse, use
the -nomouse parameter when launching lxdoom.
Some combinations of keys used by lxdoom may be trapped by your window
manager. If you have trouble with the strafe key ALT sticking on for
example, this is probably due to your window manager grabbing the key
presses. There are two solutions: change your window manager config, so it
doesn't trap those keys, or select different keys in lxdoom, via the Key
If you are playing lxdoom on a remote X display, you will probably want
to use the switch -noaccel. LxDoom doesn't automatically detect remote
connections, and therefore won't automatically disable the (faster)
MITSHM extension. Note that the lag added by having to transmit the image
35 times per second over the network means it's not very usable this way
SVGALib is a graphics library developed specifically for Linux/i386, which
provides games like LxDoom high-performance graphics functions.
You have to have a compiled version of SVGALib installed to use the SVGALib
version of LxDoom, which is the file lsdoom.
To get higher screen resolutions, you use the -width and -height command line
parameters. Just like the Xwindows version, the previous settings are
remembered between sessions.
SVGALib provides near-direct hardware access for games that run using it.
That is why it is faster than XFree86 for games. BUT that means that you have
to be the superuser (root) to run anything that uses it.
So you can run lsdoom as root, _or_ you can make lsdoom always run as root.
To do the latter, do the commands (as superuser):
chown root /usr/local/games/lsdoom ; chmod a+rxs /usr/local/games/lsdoom
This tells Linux to always run lsdoom with root privileges, regardless of who
runs it. Recent versions of SVGALib will release these privileges once the
game is running; however I will not pretend that this is safe, since lsdoom
does most of the file reading/writing before it is in graphics mode. It is,
however, better than always running it as superuser.
Note: I found that I also had to 'chmod a+r /dev/mouse'; other devices may
also require this
Read the SVGALib documentation for information on configuring your screen,
video card and mouse to work nuder it. LxDoom asks SVGALib for all those
settings, so you have to edit /etc/vga/libvga.config to set them up. Most
video cards are auto-detected, and /dev/mouse and Microsoft serial mouse are
usually the default.
Note: A badly configured SVGALib can be a security hazard, can cause your
machine to lose keyboard input (try telnetting if possible if this happens,
else you have to reboot), or can damage your monitor. I cannot be responsible
for any damage caused by improper use of SVGALib, even if my code is directly
or indirectly responsible.
Items in this section relate to other input/output devices supported by either
version of LxDoom.
You can disable sound support with the '-nosound' parameter. You may want to do
- you have no sound card
- your kernel is not compiled with sound support
- the kernel driver for your card does not provide /dev/dsp support
- your computer is too slow to cope with sound processing
- you want to run multiple copies of LxDoom
If you use have an alternative device for producing sound, which is compatible
with /dev/dsp, LxDoom can use that as well. You could just symlink /dev/dsp to
your other device, or you can:
1) Run LxDoom once with the -nosound parameter.
2) Exit normally
3) Edit boom.cfg
4) Change the line snddevice to the device that sound output should be sent to
5) Save boom.cfg and try it out!
If your system is Linux, and you had the Linux joystick headers available
when you ompiled LxDoom, then LxDoom was compiled with joystick support.
To use a joystick in LxDoom, run LxDoom once first and then exit. This creates
Edit boom.cfg. There is a use_joystick line - change the number on this line to the
number of your joystick (usually 1, maybe 2 if you have 2 joystick ports).
To disable the joystick for an individual session, us the '-nojoy' parameter.
Multi-player - Over a TCP/IP network
As of v1.3.7, LxDoom has a client-server system for network games. There is a
server program, lxdoom-game-server, that comes with lxdoom. To play a network
game, follow these steps:
- on one computer, which I will call the server, run the lxdoom-game-server
program. The parameters you specify to this program control the type of game
to be played. So for example lxdoom-game-server -dnN 2 -e 4 -l 3 specifies
that there will be 2 players, playing episode 4 level 3; -dn specifies
death-match and no monsters respectively. For more details of the parameters
lxdoom-game-server accepts, see the man page for it; but these should be
enough to start with.
- Each player to take part in the game runs lxdoom with the parameter
-net server, where server is the host name of the server. lxdoom will wait for
the specified number of players to join, and then will start.
So an example: at home I have 2 machines, called vale and portico. To start a
nice coop game of Doom 2, I run
lxdoom-game-server -N 2 -l 1 &
lxdoom -net localhost
lxdoom -net vale
Happy fragging... but here are some notes:
- packet loss and limited bandwidth may make a network game unplayable. A LAN
is great; just don't expect good play over the Internet, especially if you
connect via a modem. This is being worked on.
- all the players' machines must be connected to the server machine via a
TCP/IP network, and able to exchange UDP packets with the server. Some
routers and firewalls may block UDP packets, so you will not be able to play
across such obstacles.
- maximum number of players is currently 4.
Appendix - Making XFree86 run in 320x200x8bpp
This is only recommended if you have manually edited your /etc/X11/XF86Config
file before, and have a rough idea what the sections are for.
- Back up XF86Config
- Make sure that you are using the SVGA server. If you are not, you may be
out of luck. You could try running the xf86config program to select the SVGA
server, but I haven't tried this and don't know if it will work.
- Edit XF86Config
- Find the section that begins
- find the Modes line for the 8 bpp colour depth
- add a mode "320x200"
- Find the section that begins
- Add a line
- save and try it out. You should be able to cycle through modes (on my
server it's CTRL+ALT+<+/-> and find the low-res one.
If that doesn't work, it may be because your card driver doesn't support a
compatible clock setting. You can try changing to the Generic VGA device, by
editing your Screen section to look a bit like this...
# Use Device "Generic VGA" for Standard VGA 320x200x256
Device "Generic VGA"
# Device "VidCard"
# Omit the Modes line for the "Generic VGA" device
ViewPort 0 0
Virtual 320 200
As you can see, the xf86config script with my XFree86 puts in a lot of
helpful comments. If yours has done too, do whatever it says for the
'Standard VGA 320x200x256' mode (after all, all I am doing is following
those same instructions).
However, remember that doing this will probably make X unusable for anything
but Doom. Personally I'd recommend putting up with a small window, using
<CTRL>-<ALT><+/-> to step down to 640x480 for lxdoom.
At least, you could write a short shell script to swap XF86Config's
according to whether you want lxdoom or serious X.
WARNING: Fiddling with XF86Config is dangerous. If you have configured your
monitor or video card incorrectly, then damage to your monitor or even worse
could result. I cannot be held responsible for any such damage. Please read
the relevant XFree86 docs before trying anything like this; they have similar
warnings and disclaimers.