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This article is about the current version of DF.

Download: Linux · Mac OS X · Windows · other versions · starter packs


Free alpha builds of Dwarf Fortress Classic are available directly from the developers, Bay 12 Games, at http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/ . The three downloads linked at the top of the main page are 64-bit versions of DF for Windows, macOS, and Linux. "All versions" links to a page with additional choices, including 32-bit builds for all platforms, "small" builds for Windows (which lack sound files), and "legacy" builds for Windows. Generally, the SDL builds for Windows should be preferred, although the Legacy builds may be necessary on some older computers.

Dwarf Fortress is slated to be released on the Steam and itch.io platforms in the future. These paid versions of the game will include an all-new graphical tileset and new music tracks. Additionally, the Steam version will include Steam Workshop integration for modding. Most other features will be shared with Dwarf Fortress Classic (which will remain available for free).

Third-Party Packages

There are several packages which bundle the game with several utilities and graphics sets, usually configurable with an included launcher. These are listed on the Lazy Newb Pack page.

The Dwarf Fortress community often creates custom graphics sets, tilesets and color schemes. They're like graphical mods that make DF look prettier or just different. A lot of people pack the game folder with the tileset installed and everything already set up, so all you have to do is extract and play. Among the most popular of these are Ironhand's Graphics Set and Phoebus' Graphic Set. Most notable graphics sets are included in the packs mentioned above.


Also see: System requirements


There is no installer for the game - simply extract the archive contents to a folder somewhere and run the game from within that folder by opening "Dwarf Fortress.exe".

Make sure to actually extract the archive; do not just open the archive and run the game from the window that appears. If you do this, then it may appear to work, but your save game data will get discarded - the cause of many "my saved games keep getting deleted" complaints. The game also needs to be able to write to its own folder, so do not install it in C:\Program Files if you are running Windows Vista or later. (However, this rather assumes that one actually has an archive extractor to begin with, perhaps preinstalled: example remedy for that issue)

If you have an error stating that MSVCP140.dll is missing, it can be obtained by downloading Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015. When prompted choose the x64 version for 64-bit DF, or the x86 version for 32-bit DF.

If Windows is set to scale the display, you may need to disable that for DF. Right-click the Dwarf Fortress.exe icon, select Properties, select the Compatibility tab, and then activate the Disable display scaling on high DPI settings (or Override high DPI scaling behavior, scaling performed by: Application) check box.[1]


The Mac version is not a single application bundle, but like the Windows version it consists of a folder containing the application along with data files and there is no installer. The entire folder can be dragged into the Applications folder or placed elsewhere. As with the Windows version, the game must be able to write to its own folder.

To start the game, execute the launch script "df". Launching "dwarfort.exe" by itself will not work (since the "df" script sets up environment variables pointing to DF's libraries).

On OS X 10.8 and above, you will need to update the SDL_ttf library to run Dwarf Fortress. Bug:7389

  • Download SDL_ttf 2.0.11 and replace the file libs/SDL_ttf.framework with the one from the downloaded folder.

On OS X 10.11 and above, for the 32-bit version of DF only, you will need to update the SDL library:

  • Download SDL 1.2.15 and replace the file libs/SDL.framework with the one from the downloaded folder

On OS X 10.15 (Catalina) and above, if you encounter gatekeeper security-related warnings that prevent DF from starting, one solution (from here) is to run the following command from the terminal in the folder containing dwarfort.exe:

  • find . -print0 | xargs -0 xattr -d com.apple.quarantine

On case-sensitive filesystems, a freshly-installed version of the game will not launch. Bug:11136

  • Rename "libs/SDL_ttf.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/FreeType.framework" to "libs/SDL_ttf.framework/Versions/A/Frameworks/freetype.framework" to fix this.

Alternatively, instead of replacing SDL, you can change the PRINT_MODE setting in data/init/init.txt to STANDARD (or anything not related to 2D). Bug:2624

Retina display users will also need to change PRINT_MODE to STANDARD (or any non-2D option) in init.txt. Bug:6031

There is an .app-launcher that expects the game to be installed in the "Library/Application Support/Dwarf Fortress" subdirectory of the user's home folder. It starts Dwarf Fortress without a terminal window from Launchpad or the Dock.


As of 0.43.05, both 64-bit and 32-bit compiled editions are available for Dwarf Fortress. For older versions you can run the 32-bit compiled edition with a 64-bit system, provided that you have the (32-bit) shared libraries available that the program needs. Note that users of 32-bit systems have to click the All Versions button on the Dwarf Fortress download page in order to get the 32-bit edition.

Dwarf Fortress for Linux is meant to be run from a terminal (command-line) interface, and so the instructions here will assume you know how to login and get to a command prompt. At least in the default mode, however, Dwarf Fortress is an X client (graphical desktop) program, so you should be in a terminal inside an X session before starting the game. Dwarf Fortress will create a new X window outside of the terminal window, so don't worry about the size of the terminal.

  • Downloading: Either download it from the Dwarf Fortress Homepage, or from the terminal call (replacing "XX_YY" with the numbers in the most current Dwarf Fortress file version, found on the site):

wget http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/df_XX_YY_linux.tar.bz2

  • Unpacking: Dwarf Fortress is shipped as a (bzip2) compressed tar archive. It will extract into a new directory called df_linux. So, cd to wherever you want the game to be unpacked, and then run
tar -xjf /path/to/df_XX_YY_linux.tar.bz2

(where df_XX_YY_linux.tar.bz2 is the filename). Then

cd df_linux

to change into the new directory, and


to execute the Dwarf Fortress wrapper script.

(note: tar -xjvf ./df_XX_YY_linux.tar.bz2 may be needed in some cases.)

When you installed Linux, you chose one of a 32-bit or 64-bit architectures. The programs on your system will then be compiled either for the 32-bit (i386, x86) arch, or the 64-bit (amd64, x86_64) arch. If you've forgotten which one you have, you can check by running the command uname -m in a terminal. A result of x86_64 and i686 would indicate a 64-bit or a 32-bit system respectively.

All that's needed now is to install the required dependencies. If you are getting errors about missing SDL_image libraries (etc.) then you simply need to install them. Use your distribution's package manager for this -- details will be extremely distribution-specific. You don't need the development versions of the packages with the headers (although that won't hurt) -- you just need the runtime versions, with the actual shared libraries. Specific installation commands for some popular distributions are listed below.

Since Dwarf Fortress 0.43.05 and later are compiled for both architectures, running natively shouldn't be an issue. However if you're wanting to run an older version of Dwarf Fortress on a 64-bit system, things get a bit trickier. Since older DF is only a 32-bit application, it will need 32-bit versions of the shared libraries. Some Linux distributions provide these in one or more packages that you can download. For example, in Debian, you'll need to enable the 32bit architecture in your package manager and install the relevant 32-bit libraries like libSDL. If your distribution does not include these, then you may have to supply them manually.

If you see any errors related to libstdc++ when starting DF (for example, "version `CXXABI_1.3.8' not found"), try removing libstdc++.so.6 and libgcc_s.so.1 from the "libs" folder. This will cause DF to fall back to your system versions of these libraries, which are more up-to-date on many modern systems than the libraries that DF distributes.


Installing the dependencies for Dwarf Fortress is simple, but varies slightly depending on whether you're running a 32-bit OS, a 64-bit OS, or a 32-bit version of Dwarf Fortress on a 64-bit OS.

64-bit (recent version of Dwarf Fortress, most modern machines)

Install dependencies
 $ sudo apt install libsdl1.2debian libsdl-image1.2 libsdl-ttf2.0-0 libgtk2.0-0 libopenal1 libsndfile1 libncursesw5

This will install the SDL image and font libraries necessary, as well as libopenal and libsndfile, which are needed to get the sound working. It will also install libncursesw5, which is needed if you want to run Dwarf Fortress in TEXT mode.

Fix sound issues

In some old versions, Dwarf Fortress does not quite look in the correct place for the sound libraries it needs to play the wonderful music. This is easily fixed.

Switch to the Dwarf Fortress folder and add some symlinks to the correct location:

 $ cd ~/df_linux    # or other location, depending on where you installed Dwarf Fortress
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libopenal.so.1 libs/libopenal.so
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libsndfile.so.1 libs/libsndfile.so

Running 32-bit Dwarf Fortress on 64-bit Debian

Install dependencies

If you're trying to run a version of Dwarf Fortress older than 0.43.05, you'll need to install the 32-bit versions of the libraries. You can do this with:

 $ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
 $ sudo apt-get update
 $ sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian:i386 libsdl-image1.2:i386 libsdl-ttf2.0-0:i386 libopenal1:i386 libsndfile1:i386 libncursesw5:i386
Fix sound issues

Almost the same as above, but the libraries will be in a different location as you're looking for the 32-bit versions:

 $ cd ~/df_linux    # or other location, depending on where you installed Dwarf Fortress
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libopenal.so.1 libs/libopenal.so
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libsndfile.so.1 libs/libsndfile.so


Install dependencies
 $ sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian libsdl-image1.2 libsdl-ttf2.0-0 libopenal1 libsndfile1 libncursesw5

As above, this will install the SDL image and font libraries, sound libraries, and text libraries.

Fix sound issues

Switch to the Dwarf Fortress folder and add some symlinks to the correct location:

 $ cd ~/df_linux    # or other location, depending on where you installed Dwarf Fortress
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/libopenal.so.1 libs/libopenal.so
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/libsndfile.so.1 libs/libsndfile.so

Standard package

Dwarf Fortress is also available as a package in the (non-free) Debian repositories. You can install it (with all dependencies) with a simple

 $ sudo apt-get install dwarf-fortress


Dwarf Fortress has been packaged in RPM Fusion Nonfree, using a similar method as it is done in Arch Linux (see below). After installing RPM Fusion you can simply run the following commands to install and run Dwarf Fortress, which will pull in all the required dependencies:

 $ sudo dnf install dwarffortress
 $ dwarffortress

Some other tools are provided by the same packager in the "Dwarf Fortress for Fedora" repository. For more information please see this forum thread.

If you want to install 64-bit Dwarf Fortress manually, you can run the following:

 $ sudo dnf install SDL SDL_image SDL_ttf gtk2-devel openal-soft alsa-lib alsa-plugins-pulseaudio mesa-dri-drivers

On 64-bit Fedora installations, to install 32-bit Dwarf Fortress you can install 32-bit libraries by appending ".i686" to the package name:

 $ sudo dnf install SDL.i686 SDL_image.i686 SDL_ttf.i686 gtk2-devel.i686 openal-soft.i686 alsa-lib.i686 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686 mesa-dri-drivers.i686

Fedora installs all 32-bit libraries to /usr/lib and 64-bit libraries to /usr/lib64 (with /lib and /lib64 being links to these two directories), so if you need to install stuff manually, look in there.

Arch Linux

A 64-bit Dwarf Fortress package is available in the community repository. There are also other packages available in the Arch User Repository (AUR).

Official package installation

Install the official package like any other

 # pacman -Syu dwarffortress

Any required dependencies will be installed, too.

You can then launch Dwarf Fortress by running 'dwarffortress' in your terminal emulator. The package also includes a .desktop file so the game should appear in whatever application launcher or menu you might use.

The first time a user launches the game, the directory .dwarffortress will be created in that user's home directory. Game settings and files can be changed there. Note that some of the directories in there are links to common directories and changes to them will effect all users. Also, any changes to common files should be backed up since they will be overwritten when the package updates. You can find the locations of files installed by the package with the command

 $ pacman -Ql dwarffortress

If you use tools like dfhack you might want to configure pacman to not update Dwarf Fortress until the tools are updated.

AUR package installation

Install an AUR package manually or using an AUR helper. The different AUR packages may or may not install the game similarly to the official package - use the previous pacman command to check game file locations.

Manual or multiple installations

You can also manually install Dwarf Fortress in case you want to try other versions or with and without mods. Just follow the generic Linux instructions above with a different directory for each install. If you've installed one of the above packages, all the dependencies should already be installed. To launch this version: in a terminal emulator, 'cd' to that directory, and run './df'. If you get a permission error, you may need to mark the script and executable as being executable with:

 $ chmod u+x df libs/Dwarf_Fortress

Once you get an install working you can create a custom .desktop file to launch it.

If you want to install a 32-bit version of Dwarf Fortress you will have to enable the multilib repository, install the 32-bit system libraries, and install the 32-bit game dependencies manually (check the Arch wiki for more information).

CentOS 7

Dwarf Fortress is now 64-bit, so simply run:

 sudo yum install SDL SDL_image SDL_ttf openal

Note that CentOS 7 ships with glibc 2.17, but Dwarf Fortress by default would like 2.18. This bug has a fix, simply copy the Pastebin script, then move the libraries into a new folder.

 cd df_linux
 curl -L http://pastebin.com/raw/jX4Wf062 > df
 mkdir c_libs
 mv libs/libgcc_s.so.1 libs/libstdc++.so.6 c_libs/
 chmod a+x df

Then run it!



There is a Dwarf Fortress ebuild in the main Gentoo's portage tree compatible with the new multilib support.

 # emerge -av games-roguelike/dwarf-fortress


Download Dwarf Fortress from the Bay 12 Games website. If you encounter the following error upon launch:

 ./libs/Dwarf_Fortress: error while loading shared libraries: libSDL_ttf-2.0.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

then simply run the following command to install the missing libraries:

 sudo eopkg install sdl-ttf

If you are running a 32bit version of Dwarf Fortress, simply replace sdl-ttf with sdl-ttf-32bit in the above command. You're all set!

OpenSuse Tumbleweed

These instructions should work for OpenSuse Leap as well, they just haven't been tested yet.


  $ sudo zypper in libGLU1 libSDL_image-1_2-0 libSDL_ttf-2_0-0

Remove the included c++ library

The included library isn't compatible with OpenSuse's libGLU1 package

  $ cd path/to/df_linux/libs
  $ rm libstdc++.so.6

cd back to df_linux/ and run the game!

  $ cd ../
  $ ./df


Downloading the windows version and running it with Wine works fine (platinum on 1.7.47 as of .4x.xx, which means the program runs flawlessly without any initial user configuration). This also avoids any issues with 32-bit versus 64-bit mode.


If you get errors, it is likely that others will have had the same problem; Try searching the bay12games forum with the error message.


After installing, DF will run, but will complain that it cannot find the OpenAL library and cannot play sounds, even when OpenAL (i386) has been installed. This is due to a bug/feature in which there is no link from the name of the library that DF is looking for ("libopenal.so") to its implementation ("libopenal.so.1" - technically another link). To fix this, simply provide the necessary links in DF's own libs directory:

 $ cd df_linux/libs
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libopenal.so.1 ./libopenal.so
 $ ln -s /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/libsndfile.so.1 ./libsndfile.so


Since every new version of Dwarf Fortress unpacks in a directory named df_linux you have to manage upgrades yourself - or use the Linux Updater Script. As on all systems, you should not unpack a new version of DF on top of an old version's directory -- this will cause things to break, usually in subtle and mysterious ways. Instead, you should either delete or rename the old df_linux directory first, before extracting the new version.

Manually installing 32-bit libraries

If you do need to manually install the libraries, then the first step is to figure out where you will be putting them. Check to see where your other 32-bit libraries are already installed; for example, on Debian, some are in /lib32 and others are in /usr/lib32. Since libSDL is in /usr/lib32 on a Debian system, that's where we'll want to put libSDL_image and libSDL_ttf. On other distributions, the path could be different.

The second step is to get the 32-bit libraries. You can typically do this by downloading them directly from your distribution's 32-bit package repository. Again using Debian as our example, we can perform a search at http://packages.debian.org/ for files containing the word libSDL_image for the Intel x86 architecture. This takes us to a results page from which we can proceed to the libsdl-image1.2 package page with a list of download links arranged by architecture. Grab the i386 package from here, and repeat this for the libSDL_ttf package, and whatever other library you are missing. Store these package files somewhere convenient.

The third step is to extract the libraries from the packages and get them in the proper location. You probably won't be able simply to install the packages using your package manager, because they are for the wrong architecture. Instead, you'll probably have to extract them by hand. The steps for doing this are distribution-specific, so when in doubt consult your distribution's help resources. Here are the steps for a .deb package.

  • cd into some temporary working directory such as /tmp
  • Extract the files from the .deb archive, which is in ar(1) format:
 tar x /path/to/libsdl-image1.2*_i386.deb
This creates three files: debian-binary, control.tar.gz and data.tar.gz. We only care about data.tar.gz.
  • Extract data.tar.gz:
 tar xzf data.tar.gz
This creates a subdirectory named usr with various files inside it. We only care about usr/lib/libSDL_image-1.2.so.0.8.2 (or whatever precise version yours has).
  • Move the shared library into place:
 sudo mv usr/lib/libSDL_image-1.2.so.* /usr/lib32/
  • Create a symlink to it:
 cd /usr/lib32
 sudo ln -s libSDL_image-1.2.so.0.* libSDL_image-1.2.so.0
 cd -

Repeat this for libSDL_ttf and whatever other libraries are required.

NOTE: If you get the error that libsndfile.so is not found, you must use the following:

 find */libsndfile.so*

cd to the correct directory, then use ln as shown above.

"Not found: /data/art/mouse.png"

Fix 1: Preload zlib

Due to incompatibilities between DF's included zlib and newer versions of zlib, libpng can fail on newer systems. A solution is to add this line to the beginning of /your/path/df_linux/df (or /your/path/df_linux/dfhack if you use DFHack):

export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/lib/libz.so.1

Note that this path can vary - be sure that it is referring to a 32-bit zlib.

Fix 2: Use bmp instead

Another solution (if preloading zlib doesn't work) is to force DF to use the BMP versions of image files. You must first edit the /data/init/init.txt file and change all occurrences of "png" to "bmp". This should solve all the error messages except for one: "Not found: data/art/mouse.png" since there is no setting in the init files to change it. The workaround for this is to edit the Dwarf_Fortress file found in the /your/path/df_linux/libs folder which contains the setting for the mouse cursor. If you don't know how to do that, you can try this:

  • cd to the /df_linux/libs folder
  • open Dwarf_Fortress in vi or any other editor of your choise:
 vi ./Dwarf_Fortress
This opens the file for editing (text mode). If you are not familiar with vi, it would be a good idea to follow these steps exactly and not press any other keys since they all activate specific commands. If you do press a key though, you can press the ESC key a few times to cancel the command.
  • With vi open, write the following string and press Enter:
This will search for all the strings that contain the word "mouse" and place the cursor on the first match. Pressing the n key will cycle through all the matches.
  • Press the n key until the cursor moves to the desired string, which is "data/art/mouse.png". If you accidentally move past the string, you can cycle back through the matched strings using the N key (shift + n).
  • Once you find the right string, you will have to move the cursor over the "p" in "[..]/mouse.png". You do that by pressing the l key which will move the cursor to the right. There is also the h key to move the cursor to the left, in case you move past it.
  • With the cursor in the right position press the following key sequence:
This will replace the .png extension with the .bmp one which solves the problem of the missing /data/art/mouse.png error.
  • All there is left to do is to save the modifications to the file and quit vi. For that, press the ESC key once or twice and then press the following key sequence after which you press Enter:
This saves the changes and quits 'vi'

Now the game should work properly. Have fun!


Although there is no official version ported to FreeBSD, Dwarf Fortress can nevertheless be run using either Wine or FreeBSD's compatibility with Linux. There is now an official port and installing it can be done the following way (with ports):

 cd /usr/ports/games/linux-dwarffortress/ && make install clean

or, with pkg:

 pkg install linux-dwarffortress

You may also wish to download and run it manually. However, attempting to run the Linux version out of the blue will result in an error about missing library files. Such files must be downloaded from special linux-compatible packages or ports; using your preferred installation method, install the following:


 sudo pkg install linux-c6-gtk2 linux-c6-sdl linux-c6-sdl_image linux-c6-sdl_ttf linux-c6-libGLU \
 linux-c6-openal-soft linux-c6-libsndfile linux-c6-alsa-plugins-oss


If you don't have the linux-c6 ports available in your system, you can still run Dwarf Fortress (albeit without sound) using the following packages:

 sudo pkg install linux-f10-alsa-lib linux-f10-atk linux-f10-cairo linux-f10-expat linux-f10-fontconfig \
 linux-f10-gtk2 linux-f10-jpeg linux-f10-pango linux-f10-png linux-f10-sdl linux-f10-sdl_image linux-f10-tiff \
 linux-f10-xorg-libs linux-sdl_ttf linux_base-f10 linux_dri linux-f10-libGLU

linux_dri might be optional if you have the NVIDIA driver. Note that due to the lack of a linux-f10-libsndfile port, the sound will not work. Requests are being made to port it, as well as a DF port itself.

After you install the required packages, copy (or symlink) DF's own library files to the linux-compatible directory:

 cd dwarf_fortress_directory
 sudo cp libs/lib* /compat/linux/usr/lib/


 cd dwarf_fortress_directory
 sudo ln -s libs/lib* /compat/linux/usr/lib/

You can then run DF normally. Although it will likely display a bunch of warnings and errors about fonts, it should work.

If you want to avoid polluting your linux-compatible directory, you can always just set LD_LIBRARY_PATH when running df:


Chrome OS (Crostini)

It is possible to add Dwarf Fortress to Chrome OS using the Linux (Beta), to add Linux to Chrome OS, check here to enable it You will need to edit the sources list to include the "non-free" repository, this is done by adding "non-free" to the end of the main sources file found at /etc/apt/sources.list


 # Generated by distrobuilder
 deb https://deb.debian.org/debian buster main non-free
 deb https://deb.debian.org/debian-security buster/updates main non-free

Followed by running

 sudo apt-get update

Then just follow the Debian instructions above


There is no Android version, but the Windows version can be run on it using ExaGear, Eltech's Windows emulator (which is essentially Wine for Android), as documented here. The app isn't free though.


There is no iOS version, but you may remotely connect to a computer running DF through an app called Dwarf Fortress Remote. This requires a special version of DFHack to be run on the target computer which you may download at the same time. It also provides a subscription where you connect to an already set up remote server.


Fortunately, the documentation on this wiki is very detailed and extensive. You may want to start out with:

Then move on to: