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Doom is a first person shooter game for MS-DOS released by id Software in 1993. There is also some modern version released in 2016. The original Doom game was revolutionary and ground-breaking at the time of it's release. It made a huge impact on games and set the standard for FPS games for years to come. id Software released the original source-code in 1997 and many different free software projects have made versions that are able to use the original game's WAD game map files. Modern Linux distributions have several packages that allow you to play the original game in their repositories.

Playing Doom on modern Linux systems

There are many projects who have taken the source-code id Software released and improved upon it. This means that there's quite a few choices if you want to play Doom on a modern Linux desktop. However, quite a few of the projects have died off and become somewhat outdated.

Vavoom, last updated in 2010, may be a good choice if you are looking to play the original Doom. It's available for Windows and Linux and it's present as package called vavoom in most distributions.

The vavoom binary will look for .wad files in /usr/share/vavoom, /usr/share/games/doom/, /usr/share/doom/ as well as $HOME/.vavoom/. The original game files for Doom, Doom II, TNT and Plutonia (doom.wad doom2.wad plutonia.wad tnt.wad) needs to be placed in one of those folders. Both files from the shareware-version and the full versions can be used. Grab the file Doom all wads 1 2 plutonia tnt.tar.bz2 if you do not have the full version WAD files.

Vavoom allows you to configure a window resolution manually which means it can scale up and be used on 4K monitors just fine.

Starting different games based on the original Doom engine is done by command-line arguments. Vavoom supports -doom, -doom2, -tnt, -plutonia and some more. See the vavoom manual page for the rest if you are particularly interested.

Graphics and Gameplay

It's a first person shooter from 1993. You can't really expect all that much in terms of fancy modern graphics. That being said, it's held up quite well over the years. Modern titles like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive have much better graphics but they aren't really all that different. The game-play is essentially the same.

Verdict and Conclusion

Playing a bit of Doom is kind of fun but it may be more interesting for those who played the original game in the MS-DOS area than it is for those who grew up with Fortnite as the commonly played game.


Vavoom's homepage is at


Chocolate Doom is a Doom port which focuses on accurately representing the original Doom game. The effort's on ensuring it is as close to the original as possible - it's not about re-making it with better graphics. Most distributions have it in their repositories with a package-name like chocolate-doom. It is still being actively developed at

Chocolate Doom may be and look more accurate but it's absolutely not a very enjoyable experience compared to vavoom. The graphics look really pixelated and the image is grainy and noisy. Accurate or not, it's just not a good Doom experience.

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