Getting Unreal Tournament (1999) working on current Linux distros

Let’s be honest: Unreal Tournament, or UT99, is not only a piece of gaming history – it’s also still a very vibrant and active game. What’s even better: The game has a native Linux client, so there’s no shortage of fun to be had.

But there’s a problem: The client was made around the year 2000 and Linux has evolved since that time. There are a few guides around to help installing and troubleshooting UT on Linux but I didn’t find them particularly helpful. So here’s my attempt, maybe some will find it somewhat useful.

Please note that this is specifically for the original version of the game, not the Game of the Year or GOG editions.

What we need:

1. Insert the CD-ROM into your drive and be sure to mount it to /cdrom.

2. Install UT by using the Loki installer:

$ export _POSIX2_VERSION=199209
$ chmod +x
$ ./

If the installer won’t run because you’re on x86-64, simply start it by using ./ –keep, browse the new ut-436 subdirectory and edit the’s DetectARCH to look like this:

echo "x86"
return 0

Other errors can be ignored.

Now install the UTG patch 451 by unpacking it into your UT/System directory.

Open ~/.loki/ut/System/UnrealTournament.ini, find the line:


and replace it with:


Now you should be able to start the game by typing:

padsp ./ut


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3 thoughts on “Getting Unreal Tournament (1999) working on current Linux distros”

  1. Thanks a lot! This works perfectly. I’m running Linux Mint 13 (based on Ubuntu 12.04) and the only thing I had to do differently was that I had to install libgtk1.2. I did this by temporarily adding the Hardy repos. Below is how to do it:

    1. Open System >> Administration >> Synaptic Package Manager
    2. Go to Settings >> Repositories
    3. On the Other Software tab, click Add.
    4. Enter the following: deb hardy universe
    5. Close the Repositories window and click the Reload button in Synaptic.
    6. Search for libgtk1.2, check it (it will also download 2 other required packages), then click Apply
    5. Close Synaptic

    (if you don’t have synaptic (i.e. you don’t have the desktop), you can modify /etc/apt/sources.list manually in a text editor. Just add the deb line to the bottom and save. Then in the terminal type
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install libgtk1.2)

    Once installed, you can remove the Hardy repo by basically reversing the steps you took above.

    Hope this helps others as well


  2. Small addendum to CrashKoeck’s comment: libgtk1.2 is only required by the installer itself, the game itself runs fine without it.

    Meaning: You could grab the deb, unpack it, mess with your LD_LIBRARY_PATH for the course of the installation and delete the lib afterwards.

    I believe that’s a good solution for people who don’t want to mix packages from different versions. 🙂

  3. You can also run the installer on 64-bit by prepending “linux32” to the shell command to run the installer. I assume you have to have the ia32 compatibility libs installed for this. Be aware that this works best on Ubuntu, Mint, or OpenSuse. I haven’t tried it on Fedora. Works with Debian as well, but I had to search out a lot of libs to get things to work. Ubuntu seems to install pretty much everything you need for a lot of these older games to work.

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