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5. Troubleshooting/FAQs

5.1 General

OS difference considerations

  • Case sensitivity - In DOS and Windows, case is not important. BASE1.TXT is the same as base1.txt. Under Linux and other unices, case IS significant. MOTD.TXT and motd.txt are different files. This can cause problems with player models and skin files if they're installed with upper- or mixed-case filenames. players/male/santa.PCX needs to be renamed to santa.pcx in order to work in Linux. The fixskins.sh script included with quakeworld will convert all filenames in a directory to lowercase. It's reproduced below for your convenience:
         for x in *; do
            y=`echo $x | tr '[A-Z]' '[a-z]'`
            if [ $x != $y ]; then
               mv $x $y

  • Path delimiters - DOS and Windows use the backslash "\" character to separate file pathname elements. In Unix, the backslash is an escape character. If you use file pathnames in your config files (or your mod code, or anywhere else, for that matter), be sure you're using "/" and not "\".
  • End of line characters - Under DOS/Windows, each line of a text file ends with a carriage return character (CR) and a linefeed character (LF). Unix textfiles just have a linefeed at the end of each line. Using DOS/Win formatted textfiles in Unix can cause all kinds of mysterious Quake problems. Using the incorrectly formatted quake2.conf file from the Quake2 3.17 package, for example, gives the error "LoadLibrary("ref_XXX.so") failed: No such file or directory". LMCTF-TE reports a floating point exception. If you've got an problem you can't explain, try removing the CRs from your text files:
         mv file.txt file.bak; tr -d '\r' < file.bak > file.txt

Glibc, RedHat 5.x, Debian 2 considerations **

The following applies the Quake I binaries (squake, glquake, and quake.x11) only. As of versions 2.30 and 3.19 respectively, QuakeWorld and Quake II are available in both libc5 and glibc versions.

The Quake executables were compiled with libc5. Newer Linux distributions like RedHat 5.1 and Debian 2.0 use the incompatible glibc as their default C library. If you're running Quake on a glibc system, there are a few things to watch out for:

  • Both RedHat 5 and Debian 2 have libc5 compatibility packages that allow you to run libc5-based applications. Make sure you have these packages installed. Both distributions put the libc5-based libraries in /usr/i486-linux-libc5/lib.
  • Make sure Quake uses the correct libraries. Create a script like the one below that points $LD_LIBRARY_PATH to your compatibility libraries directory before it runs Quake.
         export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/i486-linux-libc5/lib
         ./quake2 +set vid_ref gl $*

  • If you are going to compile a library like SVGAlib or Mesa for use with Quake, it must be compiled with libc5 and friends. Simply building a new library according its installation instructions will result in a library that is linked against your default library, glibc. You must ensure your new library is linked only with libc5 and libc5-based libraries so it will be compatible with Quake. See your distribution's documentation for information on linking to the non-default libraries.

My mouse doesn't work or seems to respond randomly.

  • Is gpm running? gpm is a program that enables you to cut and paste with the mouse in virtual consoles. Many distributions enable it by default. It may be interfering with Quake. Check if it's running with the following command:
         ps aux | grep gpm
    If you get output like
         root      6115  0.0  0.4   832   316  ?  S   17:54   0:00 gpm -t PS/2
    then gpm is running and interfering with Quake. gpm -k (as root) ought to stop gpm. If it doesn't (gpm -k doesn't always work on my system), kill gpm with the command killall gpm. If you never use gpm, you may want to stop it from running at startup. See the documentation for your distribution for information on how to do this.

  • Is your mouse defined properly in libvga.config? This file usually lives in /etc or /etc/vga. Open it up and look for a line like
         mouse Microsoft
    On my system, this is the first option in the file. Make sure the mouse type is appropriate for your hardware.

My Microsoft Intellimouse or Logitech MouseMan+ isn't working correctly.

SVGAlib, which handles mouse input for SVGA and GL Quake/QW/Q2, didn't directly support the Intellimouse until version 1.3.0. If you have a version of SVGAlib prior to 1.3.0, you should upgrade, then use mouse type IntelliMouse (for serial mice) or IMPS2 (for PS/2 mice) in your libvga.config file.

My mouse is "laggy" and seems much slower than under Windows.

  • For many people, just cranking up the value of sensitivity in the game console cures the problem. Setting sensitivity by hand in the console or in a .cfg file allows you to increase the mouse sensitivity more than the slider in the Options menu. sensitivity 15, for example.
  • From Zoid's 1/7/98 .plan update:
    If you are experience video 'lag' in the GL renderer (the frame rate feels like it's lagging behind your mouse movement) type "gl_finish 1" in the console. This forces update on a per frame basis.
  • The latest version of SVGAlib (1.3.0) provides a slew of parameters in libvga.config that you can use to customize the behavior of your mouse. With the proper settings it should be possible to make your mouse feel any way you want. On my system, just changing mouse_accel_type to normal (default is power) gave me the results I wanted. I haven't messed with the other settings, and I don't pretend to have a clue about what they all do.
  • The little slider

I have a Voodoo2, and, when I try to run with the gl renderer, it reports that I don't have a Voodoo card installed.

There are different versions of Glide for Voodoo and Voodoo 2 cards. Be sure you downloaded the correct one for your system.

When I'm playing any of the Quake games under SVGAlib or GL and press CTRL-C, the game exits and sometimes leaves my console in an unusable state.

Sometimes when Quake/Quake II exits abnormally, it leaves my console unusable.

Yes. This bites. SVGAlib catches the CTRL-C and decides what to do with it instead of allowing Quake to handle it. I know of no way around this short of hacking SVGAlib.

If you run your Quake games from a script that resets the keyboard and terminal like the one below, you'll run less chance of ending up with a hosed terminal if this does happen, though.

     ./quake2 $*
     kbd_mode -a

squake/quake2 fails to start and says "svgalib: cannot get I/O permissions"

The Quake executables must run as root, so you must either run them as root or make them setuid root. See the installation instructions in this document for details.

Sometimes after playing one of the Quake games in X, key repeat doesn't work any more.

For some reason, the X11 versions of Quake disable key repeat while they're running. If the program exits abnormally for some reason, key repeat never get turned back on. Do

     xset r on
to reenable it.

Quake/Quake II says "/dev/dsp : device not configured"

Your sound hardware is not properly configured. You may simply need to do a insmod sound, or it may be necessary to rebuild your kernel. RedHat users may need to invoke the sndconfig(8) utility. See the documentation for your Linux distribution and/or the Linux Sound HOWTO for information on configuring your system's sound hardware.

GL Quake/Quake II run slower in Linux than in Windows. **

The Windows 3Dfx GL miniport is heavily optimized for the things Quake II does. Mesa on the other hand, is more general and less optimized As a result, Linux Quake II runs slower than under Windows. This isn't a limitation of Linux, but a limitation of the current drivers.

With the most recent releases of QuakeWorld and Quake II, the 3Dfx miniport mentioned above is available for Linux. While it still doesn't bring Linux Quake performance to par with Windows Quake, it's another step in that direction.

Additionally, for Pentium Pro and Pentium II users, there are some tweaks than can be done with memory buffering - the latest /dev/3dfx device driver has support for automatically setting this up for you. Enabling MTRRs can result in significant (10 fps on my system) GL Quake speedups. See http://glide.xxedgexx.com/MTRR.html for some more detailed information about this.

How can I start a server and log off, then come back to it later? **

screen(1) is a great utility for this sort of thing. It allows you to create many virtual screens in one tty and switch between them. Screen comes with most distributions. You can download it from ftp://prep.ai.mit.edu/pub/gnu or any GNU mirror.

Start screen by typing the command screen, then create a new screen window by pressing CTRL-A CTRL-C. You won't see much as you do these things, but be assured, something is happening.

Start a Quakeworld server:


Now open a new screen window with CTRL-A CTRL-C and start up a Quake II server:

     /usr/local/games/quake2/quake2 +set dedicated 1

You can switch back and forth between your servers by pressing CTRL-A CTRL-N.

Press CTRL-A CTRL-D to detach from the screen program. Screen and your servers are still running, but they're no longer visible in your terminal window. You can logoff now and your processes will continue to run normally.

Use screen -r to re-attach to your previous screen process and access your servers again.

That's all there is to it. See the screen(1) man page for more detailed information.

5.2 Quake/QuakeWorld

Quake dies at startup with a segmentation fault.

This usually means your network setup isn't right. Try starting quake with the -noudp option and see if the error goes away. If that fixes it, check your /etc/hosts file and verify there's an entry for your machine in it. Use for your IP address if you have a dialup account that gives you a different address each time you connect.

What's the difference between glqwcl, glqwcl.3dfxgl, and glqwcl.glx? ++

  • glqwcl is the standard GL Quakeworld client you've seen in previous versions. It's linked against libMesaGL.so.2.
  • glqwcl.3dfxgl is a script that runs glqwcl after preloading the 3Dfx GL miniport library, lib3dfxgl.so. Preloading the minport library causes its GL functions to get used instead of Mesa's. Since the GL minport is optimized for Quake, this is a good thing.
  • glqwcl.glx is linked against standard OpenGL libriaries instead of Mesa. This will allow glquake to run on other 3D hardware that is supported by some other OpenGL implementation. This is an X application and so must be run from X.

When I run glqwcl.glx fullscreen from X, I can't use my mouse or keyboard. ++

Run glqwcl.glx with the +_windowed_mouse 1 option. GLX Quakeworld is running in a window, even though it appears to take up your whole screen. If you move the mouse while the WM is in focus-follows-mouse mode, you're likely to move the pointer outside this window, and then Quake will stop responding to mouse and keyboard input. +_windowed_mouse 1 makes Quakeworld grab the mouse exclusively.

5.3 Quake II

When I try to run Quake II with the GL renderer, it fails and says "LoadLibrary("ref_gl.so") failed: Unable to resolve symbol"

If immediately prior to the "Unable to resolve symbol" line, you have messages like "can't resolve symbol 'fxMesaCreateContext'", your Mesa library doesn't have glide support compiled in. See section The GL renderer in the Quake II installation section for information on installing Mesa and glide.

Quake II fails with the message LoadLibrary("ref_XXX.so") failed: No such file or directory

  • /etc/quake2.conf doesn't have the correct path to your Quake II directory in it. This file should contain one line that is the directory Quake II lives in.
  • If /etc/quake2.conf does contain the correct path, try removing the file and re-creating it by hand. Some versions of Quake II for Linux included an incorrectly formatted quake2.conf file.
  • Do you have SVGAlib installed? Check /lib, /usr/lib and /usr/local/lib for a file called libvga.so.1.X.X, where the X's are some numbers. If nothing turns up, you need to get and install SVGAlib to run Quake II outside of X.
  • If the renderer in question is ref_gl.so, Mesa may not be properly installed. Did you copy libMesaGL.so.2.6 to a library directory like the installation instruactions told you to?
  • If the renderer in question is ref_gl.so, did you install the glide libraries?

When I update the brightness while using the GL renderer, and hit "apply," nothing happens!

Type vid_restart in the console to make the changes take affect.

Note about the 3.17 distribution

As of this writing, the most recent Quake II version is 3.19. If for some reason, you're running version 3.17 instead, the following information may be helpful to you.

Two text files (quake2.conf and fixperms.sh) in the 3.17 distribution were inadvertently saved in MS-DOS CR/LF text-file format instead of the unix LF format. This means there's an extra carriage return character at the end of each line in these files and they're not going to behave right until you fix them.

We'll run them through tr(1) to strip out the CR's.

     for i in fixperms.sh quake2.conf
     mv $i $i.bak
     tr -d '\r' < $i.bak > $i

When I run Quake II with +set vid_ref glx fullscreen from X, I can't use my mouse or keyboard. ++

Run GLX quake2 with the +set _windowed_mouse 1 option. GLX Quake2 is running in a window, even though it appears to take up your whole screen. If you move the mouse while the WM is in focus-follows-mouse mode, you're likely to move the pointer outside this window, and then Quake II will stop responding to mouse and keyboard input. +set _windowed_mouse 1 makes Quake II grab the mouse exclusively.

Why can't I change to some of the SVGA modes that aree in the Quake II Video menu? **

SVGAlib probably doesn't know how to create the modes on your card. When Quake II starts up with the SVGA renderer (ref_soft.so), it prints a list of all the modes that SVGAlib tells it are available:

     ------- Loading ref_soft.so -------
     Using RIVA 128 driver, 4096KB.
     mode 320: 200 1075253220
     mode 320: 240 1075253220
     mode 320: 400 1075253220
     mode 360: 480 1075253220
     mode 640: 480 1075253220
     mode 800: 600 1075253220
     mode 1024: 768 1075253220
     mode 1280: 1024 1075253220
These are the only modes you will be able to successfully switch to from the Video menu. If say, 512x384 isn't on the list, selecting it from the Video menu won't work.

SVGAlib does let you define new video modes for some chipsets in libvga.config, so you may be able create your own video mode this way. See the SVGAlib documentation for more detail on this topic.

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