Unvanquished Is Now Free Software

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The real-time strategy game Unvanquished has become fully free software with the game engine licensed under the GNU GPL v3 and the game resources licensed under the Creative Commons BY-SA 2.5 license. There is a Linux version of the game available for download but it doesn't actually run. Luckily, there's a Windows version, released in December 2018, and it runs perfectly on modern GNU/Linux distributions if you use Wine.

written by 윤채경 (Yoon Chae-kyung)  2020-09-18 - last edited 2020-09-23. © CC BY

Unvanquished Wine 5.17 001.jpg
The now free game Unvanquished running on GNU/Linux using Wine 5.17 even though there is a native GNU/Linux version because.. the native Linux version doesn't even start.

Unvanquished is a team-based first person shooter strategy game based on an older free game called Tremulous. The game engine has been free software under the GNU GPL v3 license all along but the game assets have not. The Unvanquished team has worked to make everything free and have now managed to convince the last game asset copyright holders to allow the game assets to be freely used under the Creative Commons BY-SA 2.5 license.

Unvanquished Wine 5.17 002.jpg
Unvanquished running under Wine 5.17.

There is a download section on the unvanquished.net website and that download section does have a GNU/Linux version. It's from December 2018. That Linux version has this to say about it's current state of affairs when you try to run it:

Warn: Crashed with signal 11: Segmentation fault

gdb ./daemonded can elaborate on that very vague statement from the games binary with this very vague explanation:

(gdb) run
Starting program: /home/wailin/games/daemonded 
[Thread debugging using libthread_db enabled]
Using host libthread_db library "/lib64/libthread_db.so.1".
Unvanquished 0.51 Linux x86_64 Dec  5 2018
[New Thread 0x7ffff6a27640 (LWP 157517)]
[FS] Lib path: /home/wailin/games 
[FS] Home path: /home/wailin/.local/share/unvanquished 
[FS] Pak search path: /home/wailin/.local/share/unvanquished/pkg 
][New Thread 0x7fffe8ca1640 (LWP 157518)]

Thread 1 "daemonded" received signal SIGSEGV, Segmentation fault.
0x00007ffff7e262e6 in std::error_category::equivalent(int, std::error_condition const&) const () from /lib64/libstdc++.so.6
(gdb) bt
#0  0x00007ffff7e262e6 in std::error_category::equivalent(int, std::error_condition const&) const () from /lib64/libstdc++.so.6
#1  0x00000000004b4631 in ?? ()
#2  0x000000000041c5dc in ?? ()
#3  0x00007ffff7a551a2 in __libc_start_main () from /lib64/libc.so.6
#4  0x000000000041d8dc in _start ()

We have absolutely no idea what The GNU Debugger (gdb) means to convey with that vague explanation.

Unvanquished Wine 5.17 003.jpg
Unvanquished is a dark game.

There is, luckily, a Windows version of Unvanquished available and it runs perfectly under Wine version 5.17. It just works, unlike the GNU/Linux verison. There is, obviously, some irony in running the Microsoft Windows version of a free software game under Wine when a native GNU/Linux version exists. But it works and the game runs just fine. It doesn't seem to be very CPU or GPU demanding

You can download a fine torrent with the game assets, 32 and 64-bit Windows versions, the non-functional GNU/Linux version and even a macOS version in one big package using this fine BitTorrent magnetic link:


GNU/Linux users may not have to use the Windows version under Wine much longer. The developers had this to say about a future release in the announcement on the Unvanquished website saying "Now we are free!":

"Unvanquished is now completely free and open source, and our next release is now right around the corner. Spread the word!"

Now we are free!
published September 15th, 2020

We can only hope that release will actually run on GNU/Linux.

The source code is available at github.com/Unvanquished/Unvanquished and there are some "Compiling the Source on Linux" instrutions. Those instructions are for fairly ancient versions of Ubuntu and Fedora, but you may be able to figure out how to compile it if you're a wizard who knows how to do fairly complicated compiles. There's always that "right around the corner" release to look forward to if you're not, and as we've mentioned, the current Windows version released in 2018 does run fine on GNU/Linux if you use Wine.

(0 votes)



15 months ago
Score 0++

Hi, thanks for your interest in our game, and thanks to spread the word!

About that Linux issue, it seems to have appeared very recently and is only experimented by users using very-recent software like rolling-release distributions like Arch Linux or unreleased distributions like Debian Bullseye. Most of the current distributions like Ubuntu 20.04 are not affected yet. That issue is tracked there: https://gith.../issues/1215

Of course we will do everything we can to make sure our next release will run on Linux, some people have reported that a fresh build of the engine will work.

Note that the up-to-date build instructions for the game are on the README.md file on the GitHub repository you shared and are really simple.

Also to fix the issue on Linux, you don't need to rebuild the entire game, rebuilding the engine will be enough. You'll get the engine source code there: https://gith...ngine/Daemon The build instructions are in the README.md as well.

To make it easy, here is everything you need:

git clone --recurse-submodules https://gith...e/Daemon.git cd Daemon/ cmake -H. -Bbuild cmake --build build -- -j$(nproc)

Then you'll have to link the pkg directory you've got from the updater or the zip archive right next to the build/daemon binary

If you installed the game using the updater, you just have to do that (otherwise, use your own path):

ln -s "${XDG_DATA_HOME:-${HOME}/.local/share}/unvanquished/base/pkg" build/pkg

Then you run the game this way:

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