Build OpenTomb on Linux

A while ago the OpenTomb developers accepted my contribution that allowed the engine to be compiled under Linux.
This was not too hard, since the engine only depends on cross-platform libraries and uses GCC to compile on Windows. It mainly consisted of a CMake script and a few code fixes.
The CMake script already contains a very brief explanation on how to compile on the command-line.

This post provides a more detailed step-by-step guide to get everything up and running for development on Linux.

Tested with:


  • SDL2 installed (tested with 2.0.1)
  • zlib installed (tested with 1.2.8)
  • Mercurial installed (tested with 2.9)
  • CMake 2.8 installed (tested with 2.8.12)
  • QtCreator installed (tested with 3.0.1)
  • Game assets of TombRaider 1-5 (tested with GOG version)

Get the source code

Choose a directory and clone the OpenTomb source code repository:
hg clone opentomb-code

Compile using QtCreator

  1. Start up QtCreator and select File -> Open File or Project.
  2. Navigate to your cloned repository directory and open CMakeLists.txt.
  1. Choose a build directory. Make sure it is located outside of the repository. The default build directory suggested by QtCreator (e.g. opentomb-code-build) is usually just fine.
  1. Provide CMake with the arguments -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug (if you plan to develop) or -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release (if you just want to run the engine).
  2. Select Unix Generator as the generator and click Run CMake. This should successfully create a Makefile if the required libraries are installed. Click Finish.
  1. Hit Ctrl+B to start compilation. This can take a while to complete and creates the OpenTomb executable inside the build directory.

Pro tip: faster compilation

Add -j2 or -j4 (depending on how many CPU cores you have) into Projects -> Build & Run -> Build Steps -> Details -> Additional arguments.

Add config files

Extract the files form the OpenTomb binary archive (engine.7z) into the build directory. The important files/directories are: data, save, scripts, VeraMono.ttf, ascII.txt, config.lua.

Add game assets

Copy game files from the original Tomb Raider games into the corresponding data subdirectory like you would on Windows. E.g. copy all “*.TR2” levels from the Tomb Raider 2 data directory into opentomb-code-build/data/tr2/data.
To get audio, copy MAIN.SFX, too.

Final touch

Modify cvars.game_level in config.lua to match an existing level file, e.g. data/tr2/data/WALL.TR2. Keep in mind, that file paths in Linux are case sensitive.

Now you should be able to launch the game using the file browser or from within QtCreator via Ctrl+R.