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pwad and gameplay mod loading (Ubuntu)

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Right as promised in this post, here is the equivalent for Ubuntu (18.04 lts).  


As before, I want to use purely a single deploy of GZDoom, autoload of gameplay mods and allow drag-n-drop PWAD launching as well. Also, as before the key is different GZDoom.ini files, one per autoloaded gameplay mod.  The differences to the Windows solution are that GZDoom is installed in a hidden location, and desktop shortcuts are created differently.


Install GZDoom

There are various posts around that describe to compile from source or use alternate repositories. These are likely older now and there is an Ubuntu version available from the zdoom website. I recommend this...


Get the installer from https://zdoom.org/downloads. It is a .deb file, so once downloaded (to ~/Downloads most likely), right-click and select 'Open with Software Install':





This will open the installer package and, following sudo confirmation password, will install to a fixed location of /opt/gzdoom/ and add a default launcher shell file to /usr/games/. It will also add a gzdoom launch icon to the application menu:






GZDoom also creates a  directory and .ini file in the hidden folder, ~/.config/ of ~/.config/gzdoom/gzdoom.ini.


However, at this point, it will not work because we don't have any IWADs defined. Running the above menu launcher will result in:




I won't be using this launcher from here on in. It would of course be possible to alter the default shell file to point to the correct places, but I won't be doing that in this guide.


This is where the setup differs somewhat to the procedure for Windows...


I didn't want to bugger about with hidden directories, shell files and CLI launching (as I said before - lazy fucker...), I wanted desktop icons with drag and drop, the gameplay mods, the IWADs and specific .ini files in a non-hidden location.


Game folder setup

I set up a simple structure in ~/Deploy/Doom/ like so (note I added ~/Deploy/ for other purposes):






/Brutal and /Beautiful directories

Gameplay mods



A number of GZDoom .ini files, defining non-default IWAD locations, savegame locations and different autoloads. One per gameplay mod I want to use. These .ini file locations are important when defining a desktop file, later on. 



The IWADs...



Root for - er - savegames. I specified subdirectories in the configs for each gameplay mod.


Custom .ini files

Note that all this section uses standard zdoom configuration that can be read about here.


Using the setup for Brutal Doom as an example here, we need to create a custom gzdoom-brutal.ini file, in the /Config directory above, specifying various locations and default overrides:


IWAD location

GZDoom will look in various default locations, but I wanted to specify those in my Doom directory as above. Therefore, add that to the relevant section of the new (copied from the default, as created in .config/gzdoom/gzdoom.ini, when we did the test run of the menu launcher). Note that 'username' is your Ubuntu user login:




Note the addition of the third 'path=' entry above. The others are added by default when the .ini file is first generated.


Gameplay mod(s) autoloading

Here, we want to load Brutal (Duh!) and DoomMetal. We therefore just specify the relevant .pk3 or .wad file in the global autoload section: 





Note that these locations reflect my deployment path ~/Deploy/Doom


Desktop launchers

Finally, we want launchers for each gameplay mod that allow autoload of gameplay mod and drag-n-drop of custom WADs from any location.


It is more fiddly to create desktop launchers in Ubuntu than it is in Windows. They are basically text files that point to other files and define how they should be processed. Again, using the Brutal example:

From File Explorer/Desktop, create a new file called - e.g. - gzdoom-brutal.desktop. Edit with a text editor and add the following contents (you may need to use the terminal):



username@Charybdis:~/Desktop$ nano brutaldoom.desktop


Add the following (note we are using nano here). Make sure the paths include your username:




  • Note that we need to specify the full paths for the ini file and the save game location
  • Note also the gzdoom executable location is that indicated following gzdoom installation at the start of the guide. 
  • Finally, note the %F replacement variable which will be replaced by any dropped .wad/.pk3 path and filename. 


What we are doing is specifying, for this launcher, the relevant config file location (-config param, required) and also a save location (-savedir, optional). Note that (as for the Windows solution) we need to specify the -file argument flag if additional CLI args are used. Again, these are all documented zdoom features.


When first run, a desktop file may not work, so we need to change the execute flag:




On double-clicking (or drag and dropping a WAD/PK3 file) the desktop icon, we get a (one-time) confirm execute dialogue:




and on confirmation, we should get GZDoom + Brutal (in this case) running...


You will also note that the desktop launcher will change to the GZD icon and the text will change to the name.


I can now launch GZDoom by double-click or drag and drop on whichever gameplay mod I choose.


If all works, you can safely remove the .config/gzdoom directory contents (though GZDoom will likely recreate the directory even if it is not subsequently used)


Happy fragging :-)














Edited by smeghammer : Tidy up

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