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Dwarf Fortress on Steam now officially available for Linux

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Dwarf Fortress from Bay 12 Games and Kitfox Games has a fresh update available on Steam today, and this brings with it their official Native Linux support.

With the latest update now out they said they're going to continue working in parallel on different parts of the game like the adventure mode, with more to show on that coming soon. More user interface work is being done too and more work on the fort mode.

All the new stuff in the latest release:

New stuff

  • Can view all alerts, including old ones that have been dismissed
  • Can view combat reports from creature sheets
  • Can pause combat reports whenever new events are added
  • Added crash logging
  • Can now play the game on Linux

Major bug fixes

  • Fixed crash from removing zone with assigned unit
  • Fixed multithreading crash related to announcements
  • Fixed a potential crash issue with monarch arrival and made them provide more wagons properly
  • Fixed potential crash related to certain traveling creatures
  • Ammo assignments are updated properly when changing uniforms
  • Removed ownership of food items whenever they are dropped (stops rotten food hoarding in rooms)

Graphics additions/changes

  • New stone ramp graphics

Other bug fixes/tweaks

  • Made creatures more able to get out of trees
  • Sped up mid-level map retrieval (helps slowdowns on large world embarks)
  • Optimized relationship lookup for socializing dwarves
  • Fixed out of bounds issue with wheelbarrows
  • Stopped music mods from throwing error when making a new world
  • Fixed crash when there's an invalid language (mods)
  • Made broker leave depot when last wagon leaves instead of first

I previously tested the Linux Beta that became available last month, and as far as I could see it was running really great. Dwarf Fortress on Steam also now has an Overwhelmingly Positive rating from nearly 20,000 user reviews putting it in the top 500 best reviewed games on Steam of all time.

You can buy it on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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12 comments
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jordicoma Sep 19, 2023
I don't play dwarf fortress, but whats the difference with the steam release and the free version?
The free it's on text mode but you can have graphics with themes.
Pengling Sep 19, 2023
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FOR THE GLORY OF BOATMURDERED!
Reyold Sep 19, 2023
It's also on Itch.io for those interested.
sonic2kk Sep 19, 2023
It didn't download the native release for me automatically, I had to force the "Steam Linux Runtime" compatibility tool. This forces the Scout runtime, or "Steam Linux Runtime 1.0" as it is now called, which is generally useful for many native Linux titles and is enforced by default on SteamOS for Steam Deck Verified native titles.

In case anyone is having difficulty, this worked for me, though hopefully the devs can address it for anyone that doesn't want to use the Steam Linux Runtime. If you're unsure of whether it's using the Windows or Linux version, aside from startup times which are faster for the native release, the game files are the giveaway - You should see '.so' library files and a standard Linux executable instead of an EXE and DLLs for the Windows release.

Following on from some testing I did with the beta, I tested out this release with SDL_VIDEODRIVER=wayland. The only two issues I could find in *very* brief testing were a scaling issue with the background image on the main menu, and also the game opened on the wrong monitor - a common thing with SDL2 Wayland games, but it was fixed by simply Alt+Dragging the window to the correct monitor. Interestingly this also happens if I run the game natively at 4k with KDE Plasma's "Apply Scaling Themselves" option, so rather than a Wayland fault it could just be the game.

Any Wayland users who are interested can give this a go. It may also be worth reporting issues you find to the devs or if relevant, upstream to the SDL folks. I'll probably test it out in future with this option.


Last edited by sonic2kk on 19 September 2023 at 7:53 pm UTC
WorMzy Sep 19, 2023
Quoting: jordicomaI don't play dwarf fortress, but whats the difference with the steam release and the free version?
The free it's on text mode but you can have graphics with themes.

As far as I can tell, it is the just graphics. The control scheme is still the new style, which is a lot more mouse-oriented than the old style.

I've not tested whether tilesets can still be used in the new versions, but you've been able to use tilesets in DF since... 2008? So if that's been locked behind a paywall I'd be surprised.

Quoting: sonic2kkIt didn't download the native release for me automatically

Just tried the steam version and yeah, same here. Even after uninstalling and reinstalling.


Last edited by WorMzy on 19 September 2023 at 9:01 pm UTC
DoctorJunglist Sep 19, 2023
Quoting: sonic2kkIt didn't download the native release for me automatically, I had to force the "Steam Linux Runtime" compatibility tool. This forces the Scout runtime, or "Steam Linux Runtime 1.0" as it is now called, which is generally useful for many native Linux titles and is enforced by default on SteamOS for Steam Deck Verified native titles.
Same thing happened to me on Ubuntu, but forcing 'Steam Linux Runtime' indeed did the trick. Thanks.
Nim8 Sep 19, 2023
Is DF faster on Linux native than Windows now for same fort? Linux will be compiled on opensource GCC or Clang. Windows will be proprietary Microsoft MSVC 20xx. Worth making an article if it is, as DF is used for benchmarking CPU by major sites like AnandTech.
QuoteLiam:..working in parallel on different parts of the game like the adventure mode
Yeah, I think a lot of media for steam didn't really mention DF project is trying to create simulated worlds you can interact with like a holodeck from Trek with lots of modes of interaction. And fort mode is just one where you play as a central planner. Eventually DF will even have a mode where you play as a deity.

Dwarf Fortress is amazing, and made by probably the smartest person in the gaming industry. Tarn Adams has a PHD in math and was apparently the best math major at his university without needing to take notes [1].
QuoteJordicoma:..difference with the steam release and the free version. The free it's on text mode but you can have graphics with themes
Just the "premium" art and music pack.
The free version can be modded with graphics/music. But IIRC most modders are holding off releasing tilesets to make sure devs get enough money. The Steam release was only done due to health concerns and lack of free healthcare in US[2].
That's also the reason why DF is not already released as opensource. Devs are quite opensource friendly otherwise from what I read. They've said if they were financially secure to pay living costs and retirements etc. they'd actually go opensource, and give away unneeded money [3] - DF is set to become FOSS under the care of the Museum of Modern Art if anything untoward happens to them [4].

If you're thinking of trying the premium or free version, most info is on the Dwarf Fortress wiki. DF hack is a mod bundled along with the install and has a lot of tools and extra UI for information. Ideally DF is supposed to be played by deciding on what type of adventure you want to have, then generating worlds with detailed options, evolving it while looking through faction setup and legends mode to see what's going on in detail for inspiration for goals, selecting the best world, and then finding an embark site that looks best.

There are good youtube tutorials, Dwarf Fortress news & dev interviews by BlindIrl. DasTactic has a DF playlist where he goes through thought processes for each action. Kruggsmash does playthroughs with custom illustration and music that show some of the narratives DF can make. JustDon'tDie is also good.


Last edited by Nim8 on 19 September 2023 at 9:47 pm UTC
Eike Sep 20, 2023
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Quoting: Nim8Yeah, I think a lot of media for steam didn't really mention DF project is trying to ...

This comment should have become an article on GoL. Thanks for all the information!


Last edited by Eike on 20 September 2023 at 6:26 am UTC
BloodScourge Sep 20, 2023
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Instabought on Itch, thanks devs!
sonic2kk Sep 20, 2023
Just a small update to my previous comment: Dwarf Fortress will now automatically download the native Linux release. At the time of my comment, the store page did not even list Linux+SteamOS as a supported platform, so I assume this change just took a little while to propagate.

The correct version should now be downloaded with or without the Steam Linux Runtime. Disabling the the forced Steam Linux Runtime compatibility tool won't re-download the game either, so you can safely disable it. If you have any issues with the native port, you can always switch back to using the Steam Linux Runtime.
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