How to: Dark Forces (GOG) on Linux

Recently I bought Dark Forces on GOG. This game is one of my childhood favorite, and while I am not a nostalgic person, Dark Forces definitely one of the old games I want to experience again. I played the demo many times, and I never got further than mission 4 or 5, I think.

Note: as it turned out, I never got further than mission 3... :)

Dark Forces is the first Star Wars first person shooter. The game came out in 1995, before Quake and Duke Nukem 3D. It has a multi-floor level design, however the game is not 3D at all. The sounds and music are awesome as they are mostly from the original movie. We play as Kyle Katarn as a mercenary, before "A New Hope".

The game has a single player story mode, where each mission has a briefing and we can choose the mission difficulty. Beware though, there is no in-game saving, so if you abandon a mission, you can't continue from that point. The game automatically saves between missions.


After downloading and installing the game, I hit a roadblock: I couldn't go past the loading screen of the first mission. I had sound and music in the setup options and in the intro, but I got segfault error message.

Time to dig in the GOG forums...

Here is my simple solution. Note I use Manjaro Linux with i3 window manager.

We need some stuff...

Sadly the Dosbox which comes with Dark Forces is not really good a good version. I had segfaults all over the place. I fixed some midi problems, which still wasn't enough. So I installed this other version of Dosbox, from AUR, called Dosbox SVN.

If you are using Arch or Manjaro, just use this command from the terminal:

yaourt -S dosbox-svn

I think this will also overwrite normal Dosbox, if you installed that through a package manager earlier.

After that we can run the game from the "Dark Forces/data" directory, with the following command:

dosbox -conf "../dosbox_DF.conf" DARK.EXE

With the -conf option you can specify the custom Dosbox config file for the game.

I don't really know how to modify, the start.sh file to run the game, it was easier for me to create a shell script.

I will link to my own dosbox_DF.conf file, free to download it, (just make sure to rename it to .conf) if you have any problem with the default one. Don't forget to make a backup of your version before you overwrite it.