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How to play Runescape on Linux

Runescape is a free-to-play fantasy MMORPG for the PC platform. As a game, it’s evolved over the years from needing to run from a web browser to a standalone application for Windows, Mac, and Linux that users download to access the game. If you’re looking to play Runescape on Linux, you’ll be happy to know that it is possible with a few tweaks. In this guide, we’ll go over how to play the game on Linux.

New Runescape

Long ago, Runescape upgraded from primarily a Java-based, browser-based MMORPG, to a game that needs an application to run from Mac, Linux, Or Windows via an installable desktop client.

The Runescape official website lists Linux as a download option. That said, the developers only give app support to Debian Linux and Ubuntu. Other Linux distributions will need to turn to Flatpak, or community solutions (such as the Arch Linux User Repository).

To get the New Runescape client up and running on Linux, start by opening up a terminal window on the desktop. This terminal window can be easily opened by pressing Ctrl + Alt + T or Ctrl + Shift + T on the keyboard.  Then, with the terminal window open, follow the command-line instructions that correspond to the Linux distribution you are currently using.

Ubuntu

Ubuntu is Debian-based, so all versions of Debian Linux will be able to take advantage of the Runescape Debian software repository easily. To start, use the sudo -s command to gain root access. The root account is required to modify software sources on Ubuntu.

Note: using Debian? Follow the instructions below to get Runescape working in this way. If you have issues installing packages from it, be sure to follow the Flatpak installation instructions instead.

sudo -s -- << EOF

With root access on Ubuntu, it’s time to download the Runescape official GPG key. Using the wget command, grab the “runescape.gpg.key” file from the official Runescape website.

wget -O - https://content.runescape.com/downloads/ubuntu/runescape.gpg.key

Add the “runescape.gpg.key” file to Ubuntu, using the “apt-key add” command.

apt-key add runescape.gpg.key

With the key done downloading, make a new “sources.list.d” folder in /etc/apt/. This folder will handle the new Runescape software repository, in which the game client will install the software from.

mkdir -p /etc/apt/sources.list.d

Using the echo command, add the new Runescape software repository to Ubuntu. The software repo for Runescape will save to the “runescape.list” file in the new “sources.list.d” directory made earlier.

Once the new software repository is added to the system, run the update command to refresh software sources.

apt update

Finally, install the Runescape launcher with apt install, and exit using EOF.

apt install runescape-launcher

EOF

Please note that the Runescape developers don’t update their Ubuntu/Debian software repository very often. If you run into issues using the launcher on Ubuntu, try Flatpak instead.

Arch Linux

Arch Linux users have taken it upon themselves to ensure that the Runescape launcher is installable on Arch. The app is distributed via the AUR, so before downloading the latest package build, some packages must be installed (git and base-devel). Using Pacman, install the packages.

sudo pacman -S base-devel git

With both Git and Base-devel set up, use the git clone command to download the latest release of the Runescape AUR package.

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/unix-runescape-client.git

Move the terminal window into the “unix-runescape-client” folder using the CD command.

cd unix-runescape-client

Inside of the folder, build and install the latest package using the pkgbuild command. If you have any issues building the software, check the comments on the official page.

pkgbuild -sri

Flatpak

The Runescape client is one of the many game launchers that have been uploaded to the Flathub Flatpak app store. If you’re not using Ubuntu, Debian, or Arch Linux, this is the way to get the latest Runescape client working on Linux.

To start, ensure that you’ve got Flatpak enabled on your Linux PC. If you don’t, install the “flatpak” package. For more help, check out our in-depth guide on how to get it working.

Once the Flatpak runtime is up and running, use the terminal commands below to get the latest version of the Launcher working.

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo
flatpak install flathub com.jagex.RuneScape

Old School Runescape

Aside from the new Runescape, Old School Runescape can also be run on Linux. To install it, start by getting the latest Java Runtime Environment up and running on your Linux PC by following the guide on the subject. Then, go to the Old School Runescape website to play.

Alternatively, if you’re not a fan of playing in a web browser, ensure you’ve got the Flatpak runtime installed. Then, install the standalone RuneLite client to play with the commands below.

Note: the Runelite app hasn’t been updated in a while and may not work 100% of the time! Use it at your own risk!

flatpak remote-add --if-not-exists flathub https://flathub.org/repo/flathub.flatpakrepo

flatpak install flathub net.runelite.RuneLite

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