How to play Quake 3 on your Raspberry Pi

Today, I figured, it would be nice to do some old school fragging 🙂 It is time to get my Raspberry Pi to run Quake 3. There are quite a few tutorials, but it took me a couple of tries to find a combination that worked for me. 

For you, the quick way to get Quake 3 running on your Raspberry Pi is to download the Quake 3 SD card image for a 4GB SD Card from my public dropbox. You will find it under Images\Quake3\ In my previous posts I have explained how to mount an image on the SD Card by using Win32DiskImager. The image auto-starts Quake 3 on boot. In case you don’t want that, just use the following command after logging in:

sudo update-rc.d -f  quake3 remove 

Which removes Quake 3 from the start-up sequence. You can start the game by navigating to the directory where the game is located and start the game from there:

cd /home/pi/quake3/build/release-linux-arm
sudo ./ioquake3.arm

In case you insist in making your own image, this is how I got it to work:

Before you start, you need a 4GB SD Card with Raspbian Wheezy installed. Run sudo update and sudo upgrade. Start sudo raspi-config and expand the root partition to fill the SD card. Memory split should be configured with 64MB video memory. Reboot.

Step 1:

Log in to your Pi and then type at the command prompt:

sudo apt-get install git gcc build-essential libsdl1.2-dev

These tools are needed to install the Quake 3 source code!
Step 2:

Obtain the source code with this command:

git clone

Change to the Quake3 directory:

cd quake3
Step 3:

Edit the script that does the compilation:

The first line (8) you are looking for starts with ARM_LIBS, change it so it says this:

You also need to change the line (16) that starts with INCLUDES, change it to this:

INCLUDES=”-I/opt/vc/include -I/opt/vc/include/interface/vcos/pthreads”
The final line (19) to change starts CROSS_COMPILE:

# CROSS_COMPILE=bcm2708-
Save the file by pressing Ctrl-X followed by Y and finally return.
Step 4:

Now you can begin the compilation process by typing:


the process takes approximately 60 minutes!
Step 5:

Once that has finished you need to download the pak files. This lets the game function!


cd quake3/build/release-linux-arm

The directory tree should look like this (using the default Pi user):

– pi
– – quake3
– – – build
– – – – release-linux-arm
– – – – – baseq3

and in the directory ‘baseq3’ there should be your PAK files.
Step 6:

Running the game: In order for you to run the game you have to be in the right directory, to get there type these commands:

cd quake3/build/release-linux-arm
Start your game with this command:

sudo ./ioquake3.arm

In case you want Quake 3 to boot at start up follow the additional steps below:

Step 1:

sudo nano /etc/init.d/quake3

make the content of the file look like this:

#! /bin/sh
# /etc/init.d/quake3

# Provides:          quake3
# Required-Start:    $remote_fs $syslog
# Required-Stop:     $remote_fs $syslog
# Default-Start:     2 3 4 5
# Default-Stop:      0 1 6
# Short-Description: Simple script to start quake3 at boot
# Description:       A simple script from

# If you want a command to always run, put it here
cd /home/pi/quake3/build/release-linux-arm
sudo ./ioquake3.arm

# Carry out specific functions when asked to by the system

exit 0

Save the file by pressing Ctrl-X followed by Y and finally return.

The last two commands complete the job of starting Quake 3 on boot:

sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/quake3
sudo update-rc.d quake3 defaults


foto 4


12 thoughts on “How to play Quake 3 on your Raspberry Pi

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  3. geo

    Hello can you update your prebuild image of Quake3_4GB_autostart to work on the raspberry pi 2 or if you can tell me what to to update it my self

  4. racer993 Post author

    The steps that should be taken are:

    1) put the image on a micro SD
    2) (in some cases with the use of an adapter) put the micro SD in a Raspberry Pi (version 1)
    3) issue the following commands: sudo rpi-update, sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get upgrade
    4) now the image on the sd is converted to the latest version
    5) the image on the micro Sd should now work in the Raspberry Pi 2 afterwards

    Maybe if I got a spare minute I will do it, but it shouldn’t be to hard for anyone else to do it.

    1. Ronnie

      Hi Racer993,
      it looks like steps 1 to 4 does not work. Can you share your image file for quake 3 running for raspberry pi 2? Thank you

  5. geo

    i have also made a custom open arena image are the commands to start it on boot the same for openarena? if not what are the commands?

  6. VAL

    Can you update the image to work on a raspberry pi 2 i don`t have a raspberry pi 1 to update it my self.

  7. neophytte

    Oh no, I also have a RPi2, but not a 1 … I sold it when I bought the 2 – please update the image …


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