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How To Install Xonotic On Linux

Looking to satisfy your love of arena-based shooters on Linux without spending a dime? Consider checking out Xonotic. It’s an excellent free FPS multiplayer game with beautiful graphics and awesome gameplay.

Xonotic supports local play with bots or multiplayer on online servers with friends. The game is well loved in the community and is cross-platform. Officially, the game has support for Linux, Windows, and Mac, and you can even host a Xonotic game server on Linux.

Install Xonotic

Installing Xonotic doesn’t work like most open source games on the Linux platform, as it isn’t shipped in the included software repositories. Instead, to install Xonotic on your Linux PC, you’ll need to download a compressed archive of the game. To get it, open up a terminal and use the Wget tool to start downloading the game.

wget https://dl.xonotic.org/xonotic-0.8.2.zip

The Xonotic game files come in a compressed Zip archive. To extract it, we’ll use the “unzip” command. This command should already be on your Linux PC. If not, search for “unzip” in your package manager and install it. Once installed, unpack the game files:

unzip xonotic-0.8.2.zip

Unzipping Xonotic will take a bit of time because of how large the file is. When the command finishes up, use the MV command to put the game in your /home/username/ folder. Keeping the game folder in ~/Downloads is a good way to accidentally delete it.

mv xonotic ~/

Xonotic can run quite easily, directly through the terminal, though that ‘s not very user-friendly. Instead, we’ll need to make a new desktop entry. Open up a terminal and use the touch  command to create a new file on the Desktop.

touch ~/Desktop/xonotic.desktop

Open the Desktop entry file inside of the Nano text editor:

nano ~/Desktop/xonotic.desktop

Paste the following code into the Nano text editor. Be sure to replace “username” with your PC’s username, or the shortcut won’t work.

Note: don’t want to use the GLX version of the game? Replace “xonotic-linux64-glx” with “xonotic-linux64-sdl,” “xonotic-linux32-glx,” or “xonotic-linux32-sdl”, in the Exec area of the shortcut.

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Xonotic
Comment=a free open-source first person shooter
Exec=/home/username/Xonotic/xonotic-linux64-glx
Icon=/home/username/Xonotic/misc/logos/xonotic_icon.svg
Terminal=false
Type=Application
StartupNotify=true
Categories=Game;

Save the edits to the Xonotic desktop shortcut by pressing the Ctrl + O key combination. When the file successfully saves, feel free to exit the text editor by pressing Ctrl + X.

Xonotic now has an official game shortcut but clicking on this shortcut on your Desktop isn’t going to do anything due to permissions. To solve this problem, you’ll need to mark the xonotic.desktop file as executable. In the terminal, move to the Desktop using the CD command.

cd ~/Desktop

Once on the desktop, use the chmod command to enable the file to execute as a program.

sudo chmod +x xonotic.desktop

From here, you’ll be able to double-click on the icon to launch the game. If the game refuses to launch, you may need to switch out “xonotic-linux64-glx with something more compatible with your system.

Install Shortcut

At this point, the game is ready to go however, if you dislike having shortcuts cluttering your Linux desktop, you may want to follow along further and copy the shortcut into the application directory. That way, if you choose to delete the shortcut from your desktop later on, you’ll still be able to play Xonotic easily.

Placing the file in this folder on the file system requires root-level privileges. Once the Xonotic file is moved to this folder on the file system, it’ll be accessible in the “Games” tab of your application menu.

To move the desktop shortcut to the location directory, open up a terminal and CD to the ~/Desktop/ folder. Then use the cp command to place xonotic.desktop in /user/share/applications/.

cd ~/Desktop
sudo cp xonotic.desktop /usr/share/applications/

If the cp command is successful, the Xonotic shortcut should be playable directly from the application menu.

Uninstall Xonotic

If you’ve decided you want to uninstall Xonotic, it’s not as simple as doing a quick uninstall command like other games on Linux. Since it’s a downloadable game, uninstalling it takes a few steps. The first step is to delete the Xonotic game files from your hard drive. Open up a terminal and use the rm command to delete ~/Xonotic.

rm -rf ~/Xonotic

The core game files for Xonotic are completely gone from your Linux PC. There’s no way it’ll ever launch again. However, there are still traces of the game on your PC. Start out by removing the Shortcut placed on the Desktop.

cd ~/Desktop

rm xonotic.desktop

If you skipped making a copy of xonotic.desktop for /usr/share/applications/, the uninstallation is complete. However, if you used the copy command to create a new shortcut in the app folder, you’re not done:

sudo rm /usr/share/applications/xonotic.desktop

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