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Updated Oct 19, 2014 by msafwan8...@gmail.com


Portable version

Linux (alternate)

Install engine and lobby client

First you need to install Mono, 7zip, Wget, and Xprintidle to make the lobby function properly. Find & install them using Software Center, or use the terminal:

sudo apt-get install mono-complete xprintidle p7zip wget

Then install the lobby itself. Download from http://zero-k.info/lobby/Zero-K.exe and run Zero-K.exe with Mono runtime, or use the terminal:

wget http://zero-k.info/lobby/Zero-K.exe
mono Zero-K.exe

When Zero-K Lobby starts, it will ask for [YOUR-DATADIR], set it to where you want Zero-K Lobby store & look for stuff (the default is ~/Home/YourUsername/.spring). The lobby will automatically download the engine (Spring 91 or 98), the game (Zero-K and the map when you join a battle room. NOTE: if you use default [YOUR-DATADIR] and can't find the folder, its probably hidden, use Ctrl+H to unhide.

If you want to run the latest Spring engine (97+, 98) you need Sdl2, if you are using Ubuntu older than 13.10 then you are most likely don't have Sdl2 and can't run Spring 97+. Install Sdl2, or upgrade to newer Ubuntu (14.04). Use the terminal to get Sdl2:

sudo apt-get install libsdl2-2.0-0

In case it report them as not exist or the name didn't match, try add the following repository (for Ubuntu 13.10) and try Sdl2 download again:

sudo add-apt-repository deb http://cz.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu saucy main universe
sudo apt-get update

In case you join a room using Spring 91.0 and download failed, you can try download it directly and extract it to [YOUR-DATADIR]/engine/91.0 :

Spring 91.0 requires libstdc++.so.6, Sdl-1.2 and a few other things (use ldd) to run. You can get them by installing Spring package from repository, find & install them using Software Center, or enter the following in terminal:

sudo apt-add-repository ppa:spring/ppa
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install spring

Optionally, if you want to manually compile spring 91.0 yourself, first install its dependencies:

sudo apt-get install build-essential cmake cmake-gui git
sudo apt-get install libglew-dev libsdl-dev libdevil-dev libopenal-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libfreetype6-dev
sudo apt-get install p7zip-full libxcursor-dev libboost-thread-dev libboost-regex-dev
sudo apt-get install libboost-system-dev libboost-program-options-dev libboost-signals-dev

Then download the source files from http://sourceforge.net/projects/springrts/files/springrts/spring-91.0/spring_91.0_src.tar.gz/download and unpack it to a folder. Open a new terminal from that folder and type the following command to compile the program:

cmake .
sudo make install

You now have your own Spring 91.0 installed. To make Zero-K lobby use your compiled version of spring you need to make two symlinks, one to the unitsync file and one to the spring executable. Do this by running:

ln -s /usr/local/bin/spring [YOUR-DATADIR]/engine/91.0
ln -s /usr/local/lib/libunitsync.so [YOUR-DATADIR]/engine/91.0

Now Zero-K Lobby will use the engine that you have compiled.

NOTE: Something to be aware of is that if you use Intel graphics with Mesa you will have some rather annoying graphics issues on Spring 91.0.

The issue is because Spring 91.0 is not compatible with Mesa and it will not render certain 3D file formats correctly. It is likely that all hosts will update to a newer engine in time, so be sure to check back for updates on development. You will also be unable to render LuaShaders and all effects use LuaShaders. This is because LuaShaders uses GLSL and Intel's linux graphics drivers are yet to support GLSL properly.

If you have error spam in your chat box and infolog there is something you can do about it. First delete the file called "cawidgets.lua" from [YOUR-DATADIR]/LuaUI. Then download the file from http://pastebin.com/XSus0ckp and save it to your [YOUR-DATADIR]/LuaUI folder as "cawidgets.lua". The file you downloaded is a modified cawidgets.lua that contains a error filter for chat. This filter uses the same mechanism as is used when people are blocked from chat for spamming or excessively flaming. This should dramatically increase your FPS too (please note that this file might be outdated). Secondly, set your infolog file to read-only to prevent it from growing too large due to error spam (some people reported it could grow up to 1Gb, which is a waste of system resource).

All Spring released after 91.0 are free of the Mesa related issues.

Mac OS X and WebLobby alternative

Go to the link:


If you're using Linux you might need to download version 91.0 from the Help tab.