v50 Steam/Premium information for editors
  • v50 information can now be added to pages in the main namespace. v0.47 information can still be found in the DF2014 namespace. See here for more details on the new versioning policy.
  • Use this page to report any issues related to the migration.
This notice may be cached—the current version can be found here.


From Dwarf Fortress Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This article is about the current version of DF.
Note that some content may still need to be updated.

Dwarf Fortress is available as Premium and Classic versions. The installation process depends on the game version.

The Premium version is published on the Steam and itch.io platforms. Once bought, the game will automatically add to your game library and will handle like any other game on the platform.

The Classic version is freely available directly from the developers, Bay 12 Games. Simply download the latest version, extract its contents, and play.

Classic Download[edit]

Download: Linux · Windows · all versions · starter packs

Dwarf Fortress Classic is freely available directly from the developers, Bay 12 Games. Simply find the version that matches your operating system and click the link. You may be prompted to save an archive file, or your browser may save it to its configured downloads folder, do so and follow the installation instructions bellow.

The download linked at the top of the main page is a 64-bit version for Windows. "All versions" links to a page with additional choices depending on version, possibly including "small" builds for Windows (which lack sound files).

DFHack and other third-party packages[edit]

The most prominent add-on to install for Dwarf Fortress is DFHack, which introduces a wide variety of interface improvements, bugfixes, and productivity tools. If you have installed Dwarf Fortress via Steam, you can also install DFHack from Steam. Players of other Dwarf Fortress distributions can download and install DFHack from DFHack's GitHub releases page.

If you have an older version of DF, you might be interested in the Lazy Newb Pack, which bundles a number of utilities and graphic sets (including DFHack). With recent (50.01+) versions of Dwarf Fortress, a Lazy Newb Pack is no longer needed.

There are also a wide variety of player-made mods available at the Dwarf Fortress Steam Workshop and the Bay 12 forums. If you don't have a Steam account, workshop mods can also be downloaded from Steam using the steamcmd commandline utility.

Classic Installation[edit]

Also see: System requirements


There is no installer for the game. Simply right-click the zip archive you downloaded and choose Extract All..., then choose a destination folder, and click Extract (or maybe Unzip or Next on older versions of Windows). By default Windows uses the name of the archive as the folder name, in the folder the archive is in, so something like C:\Users\yourusername\Downloads\df_50_12_win. You should change that to something like C:\Users\yourusername\Desktop\Dwarf Fortress or C:\games\Dwarf Fortress. After the files have been extracted, double-click the Dwarf Fortress.exe file within the folder you chose to start the game.

  • Make sure to actually extract the archive; do not just double-click 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 needs to be able to write to its own folder, choose a game folder your user has write access to without requiring administrator rights for example: your Downloads folder, Desktop, or C:\games\..; do not install it in C:\Program Files\.. unless you know how to set up the correct permissions.


  • If you have an error stating that MSVCP140.dll or MSVCP140_ATOMIC_WAIT.dll is missing, it can be obtained by downloading the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2022.
  • 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]

Creating shortcuts:

  • Right-click the Dwarf Fortress.exe file and choose any of Pin to Start, Pin to taskbar, or Send To > Desktop (create shortcut). (The availability of these options may vary depending on the version of Windows.)


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

Downloading: Either download it from the Dwarf Fortress Homepage with a web browser, or with the following terminal command, replacing "XX_YY" with the numbers in the desired 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. Current builds will extract directly into the current directory, so create a new subdirectory in a suitable location (perhaps ~/games/df_linux), cd to it, and then run

tar -xjf /path/to/df_XX_YY_linux.tar.bz2

where /path/to/df_XX_YY_linux.tar.bz2 is the path and filename of the actual file you downloaded.

Running: First, change to the new directory

cd df_linux

then run the program.


If you have DFHack installed, instead run


which will set up the console as a DFHack command terminal. The DFHack launcher also solves some issues with loading libraries that you may otherwise run into.

Now you need to ensure that the required dependencies are installed. If you try to run the game and get errors about missing SDL_image libraries (etc.) then you 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.

If sound is not working for you, load the game through the DFHack launcher (./dfhack) or change the startup command to:

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. .dwarfort

If you see any errors related to glibc when starting DF (for example, "version `GLIBC_2.34' not found"), your version of Linux is too old and will need to be upgraded (e.g. Ubuntu 20.04 LTS is insufficient, but 22.04 LTS should work). Alternatively, you can try running the Windows version in Wine.


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

Then move on to:

DFHack has its own documentation site: