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Updated Mar 22, 2014 by msafwan8...@gmail.com


Portable version

Linux (alternate)

Install engine and lobby client

  • Add the Spring PPA and install
  • Run:
  • sudo apt-add-repository ppa:spring/ppa
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install spring mono-complete xprintidle p7zip wget
    wget http://zero-k.info/lobby/Zero-K.exe
    mono Zero-K.exe

Currently Zero-K uses Spring 91.0, which may be older than that in the PPA. You can download a static build of Spring 91.0 here:

If the static build does not work, you will need to compile spring 91.0 and make some symlinks in ~/.spring/engine/91.0. To compile spring 91.0 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 into any directory. Navigate to the directory you unpacked the source to in a terminal. Now you need to compile the program:

cmake .
sudo make install

You now have spring 91.0 installed. to make Zero-K lobby detect 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 ~/.spring/engine/91.0
ln -s /usr/local/lib/libunitsync.so ~/.spring/engine/91.0

Now Zero-K Lobby should detect that you have the engine installed and not download the broken static build.

Something to be aware of is that if you use Intel graphics with Mesa you will have some rather annoying graphics issues. This includes your units having missing polygons when certain units are visible and a multitude of missing graphics features.

The issue is because the version of the Spring engine we currently use, 91.0, is not compatible with Mesa and it will not render certain 3D file formats correctly. We will not be using 91.0 forever though, 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/or infolog there is something you can do about it. First delete the file called "cawidgets.lua" from ~/.spring/LuaUI. Then download the file from http://pastebin.com/XSus0ckp and save it to your ~/.spring/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. Credit goes to xponen for modifying the file. 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).

It is not advisable to play on public servers with these problems as they are severely debilitating when they occur. There is the option to play in a private room with friends or bots where you can use an engine version of your choice. Of the versions that are free of these problems, 94.1 is the most stable. For more information ask in the lobby.

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.