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Unreal Tournament Linux - Unreal Tournament on Linux

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Published in 1999 by GT Interactive, the first-person shooter (FPS) video game Unreal Tournament (UT) by Epic Games and Digital Extremes was groundbreaking. However, Unreal Tournament was more than simply an innovative piece of software. Many innovative games have come and faded just as quickly. Unreal Tournament was beloved then, and it remains popular even now, a decade after its release.

In addition to the graphics and gameplay, Unreal Tournament’s support for the Linux OS is what distinguished the game and helped to make it as popular as it became. This marked the first time that a major game studio had released a Linux version of a high-profile game concurrently with the Windows version. The decision to do this made UT more accessible than any game had ever been before.

Nevertheless, the versions of the game were not equal despite GT Interactive releasing them side by side. They were the same in spirit, but Unreal Tournament for Linux shipped with far more issues out of the box. The fact that the Windows version is where the money was compounded the problem. The UT development team had to spend most of their resources focusing on it.

This left the Linux Unreal Tournament community on its own. While it is easy to see this as a negative, it had a very positive result. The community flourished under this necessity to fend for itself, and because of it, is still very much alive today in the form of the Unreal Tournament Open Source Project for Linux. Here you can download Unreal Tournament for Linux (OpenUT) free*. OpenUT is amazingly stable and fine-tuned, and it supports enough MODs that the game will never bore you.

*Note: While Unreal Tournament for Linux is free, it requires the Windows version of the game. Due to copyright regulations, you cannot simply download the complete Windows version. You have two options:

1. Buy Unreal Tournament for Windows. This will cost less than $10.

2. Download the Unreal Tournament for Windows Demo version. Download the Unreal Tournament for Windows binaries. Both are legal to access. This will not allow full Windows play, but it is all that you need for the full Linux version.

What addition hardware and software do I need?

• Unreal Tournament (Windows)
• Unreal Tournament (Open UT)
• A processor equal to or greater than a Pentium II 233/266
• 64MB memory
• 500MB HDD space
• A 3DFX-based 3D accelerator*
• Linux glide drivers

You may be surprised at how paltry these PC requirements seem today. A lot has changed in the last ten years. The great thing about this is that you can often go to a shop that sells old used computer equipment and assemble a dedicated Unreal Tournament Linux server for less than $25. The most expensive component is likely to be a modern network card.

*Note: 3DFX-based cards were the popular card at the time they released UT. While easier, it is not actually necessary to have a physical 3DFX card. Using the appropriate drivers and software it is possible to use any modern graphics card.

Additionally, you should download all of the official bonus packs and map packs. These are available on the Open UT website as well. These are not critical downloads, but they do expand the game in a very enjoyable away. They are, however, vital downloads if you plan to play on public server, since all public servers use all official maps and material.

Assuming you are using the Windows demo version, follow these steps:

• Install the Linux glide drivers.
• Install the Unreal Tournament for Windows Demo version.
• Install the Unreal Tournament for Windows binaries.
• Install the Open UT binaries.
• Install bonus maps and materials.

If you are using the actual Windows version of the game, ignore the second and third step, and install from the CD instead. Gamers should note that it has become increasingly difficult to find the demo and binaries online as time passes. The best place to locate them is using the BitTorrent protocol. Note that it is legal to download the UT demo and binaries via torrent since software owners released these for public consumption. If you encounter any issues installing Unreal Tournament for Linux, visit the comprehensive OpenUT FAQ.

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almost 4 years ago


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over 5 years ago

Clearly, UT99 is one of the best games of all time!!!