Quake III demo

I liked to play the Quake III demo, occasionally. I have never played the full game, but since I am not really into 3D shooters, the demo is quite enough. Years ago, its Linux version installed and ran without problems. Then, at some point sound stopped working, then the game could not be extracted and nowadays I wouldn’t even try to install it on modern systems.

However, there is the ioquake3 project, that aims to build on top of the Quake III source code. It is available at SBo and requires the pak0.pk3 data file from the original game. In addition, the pak0.pk3 from the Quake III demo seems to work just as well.

To make it work, create a new folder, navigate there and download the demo with wget:

wget ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/quake3/linux/linuxq3ademo-1.11-6.x86.gz.sh

Download may be quite slow, but once it’s done issue the following command (discussed here) to extract the data:

tail +165 ./linuxq3ademo-1.11-6.x86.gz.sh | gzip -cd | tar xvof -

The file you need, pak0.pk3, is in the demoq3 sub-folder. File permissions are a bit messed up, so let’s fix them:

chmod 644 pak0.pk3

To use it with the ioquake3 engine, copy pak0.pk3 to the following location: /usr/share/games/quake3/baseq3/.

That was the manual way to make the game demo playable. I find it tedious, so I submitted quake3_shareware_data entry to SBo, that will do the above steps for you. Therefore, to play the demo on Slackware, install the following from SBo:


With today’s wide monitors, changing the resolution of the game is very important. The ioquake3 engine provides a fix for this. Start the game and bring down the game console by pressing the tilde (~) symbol. Now set the resolution (e.g. FHD) by typing:

/r_mode -1
/r_customheight 1080
/r_customwidth 1920

If the game appears very dark, there are several hints in the FAQ section of Ioquake3’s web-site. I have an ATI card using the open source driver, so this fix worked for me:

/r_overbrightbits "0"
/r_ignorehwgamma "1"

That’s it!

Note, that if you run ioquake3 from a terminal it will spit out a warning about the checksum of your pak0.pk3, probably because it expects the one from the full game. However, I have not had any problems.

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