Talk:How to download and run Doom


Whew.  :>   The start of a long article, I hope — newbies are a somewhat underserved population around here.  I was inspired by this conversation (and considering the sheer number of gaming sites in existence, I think we're damn lucky that that person stayed long enough to shout at us).

I'm hoping that, eventually, this can absorb How to play Doom on Windows XP.  The information in that article about Doom95 bugs can be moved to Doom95 (and maybe cross-referenced also, as with Intermission screen).

I can only test a few of these myself; the graphics card on my Performa just broke.  :D    But I can do Windows XP, Mac OS 9, and Linux (RHEL 4.0), and maybe Windows 2000 and Mac OS X.

Most of the links at the end are to pages which already exist.  But I agree with Jdowland that the editing tutorials are still very incomplete, and I think that if we keep this article, we also need one on configuring network games (which is a far more forbidding topic than just buying the Collector's Edition for US$15 on ebay).  Conceivably, in the far future, we could also write tutorial articles about general solo strategy and particular speedrunning styles.

Opinions?  Ideas?  Flames?     Ryan W 05:26, 31 January 2006 (UTC)

Some of the stuff I just added to the Windows XP section would definitely fit better into the hypothetical tutorial articles mentioned above.   :>    Ryan W 23:25, 31 May 2006 (UTC)


  • I tried to run the Solaris versions of shareware Doom on the SPARC machines at my workplace, but they wouldn't go.  I suspect that said machines (a) are six or seven years younger than that program and (b) contain the kind of horribly misconfigured kernels that only an overworked committee of individually intelligent people can supply.
  • I tried to install the shareware version of Doom95 on the Windows 2000 machines at my workplace, but couldn't do so because I do not have root access (or whatever that's called in Windows 2000).
  • I tried to get Doom running on the Mac OS X machines with which I am acquainted (again with no special privileges), but didn't see anything I felt like writing about.  The Classic version ran at about 3 fps, Legacy developed paralyzing keybinding issues after a few seconds, and Doomsday was so non-vanilla that I personally could not recommend it to a first-time player with a straight face.

If I am making any errors important enough to be worth mentioning, please do so.  :>     Ryan W 09:40, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

For Windows 2000, the superuser is "Administrator". Also, like XP, Windows 2000 does not support VXDs, so mouse support in Doom 95 will be broken. The original DOS executable works with -devparm and sound disabled.
On a related note, wouldn't the full IWADs from a PC version of Doom need to be converted to Mac (big endian) before being usable in Mac OS? Your instructions on the page don't mention this. Bloodshedder 21:59, 6 February 2006 (UTC)
That's because it turned out not to be necessary.  I put the Collector's Edition maps in, and they worked.
This is more impressive as of today — it happens the same way in System 7.5, before all those kernel updates!    Ryan W 23:03, 15 June 2006 (UTC)
(Except for Thy Flesh Consumed, which I couldn't find even when I used idclev.  I suppose you could extract the maps with an editor and save them as levels 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 31 in Doom II.  The exit at the end would still work correctly, I think — I've seen it done in some PWAD from 1994.)    Ryan W 02:11, 7 February 2006 (UTC)

Early versions of Windows NT[edit]

I've set up another computer to test with, and as soon as I find a suitably working hard drive, I will install and attempt to run Doom on Windows NT 3.1, 3.5, 3.51, and perhaps 4.0. Bloodshedder 22:12, 10 February 2006 (UTC)


This section may not be optimal as currently written.  It is rumored that Doom95's installer overwrites your existing version of DirectX with version 4, without asking first.  As this was not obvious on the dumpster-machine I tested with, I left it out.  If the rumors are true, however, we are probably better off just recommending PrBoom, despite the supposed "native" status of Doom95 to this line.    Ryan W 00:55, 6 April 2007 (UTC)


If Legacy will terminate due to demo version incompatibility it's not a good suggestion. Could a Linux savvy editor change the steps to use another more solid source port? Chocolate Doom and PrBoom are often used by Linux users and have been heavily tested on Unix-likes. Who is like God? 21:00, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

Could it be fixed by specifying a sample command line to start a new game immediately?  We really, really don't want to chase away 95+ percent of the users by recommending programs that are only available in source form.    Ryan W 21:52, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
I wouldn't worry about that because people who can't compile programs are generally chased away from Linux itself in the first place. Who is like God? 22:02, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
That's always been the myth, but I'm not so sure now, given the increasing availability of preloaded GUI distributions (by Dell and other people).  I live in a college town where every engineering major uses Linux regularly, and if they know a programming language at all when they graduate, it's an interpreted one.  Further, the reader may be installing it on a machine where they don't have enough privileges to do everything we ask.  Finally, compiling a graphics-intensive program like PrBoom isn't as simple as downloading the last stable sourceforge archive, because you have to know certain very specific things about your hardware.  PrBoom ran quite smoothly on this Linux machine, but I had to use an old version that was available as an rpm, because even our IT guy couldn't figure out what makefile to use (shhh, don't tell anyone).    Ryan W 23:09, 1 April 2008 (UTC)
Compiling isn't programming (my cousin is no programmer, only an astronomer, and he compiles Linux to use during research). You're addressing circumstantial Linux users who will likely not use Doom on Linux at all, and giving regular ones tips they would find unsatisfying. Competent Linux users may know a lot of things, but if they're not really familiar with Doom you still need to point to engines they might find stable and portable, as well as any auxiliary files they might need for them. Legacy could be mentioned for the less knowledgeable (or system limited) users, perhaps. Who is like God? 00:23, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
Two thoughts, one general and one specific:
  1. IMHO this page is for getting the new player up and running as straightforwardly as possible, without even attempting to address which port is the best for their system — that would bloat the article ridiculously and confuse a lot of people.  Doom95 has a lot of issues and limitations and no one would ever suggest using it as their primary program, but if the reader has an XP machine and follows the instructions under "Shareware", he can be playing E1M1 in ten minutes.  Later, when he investigates DMing or scripted PWADs, he will need two or three newer ports... but he isn't there yet.
  2. "Competent Linux users", as you put it, will probably treat Doom like any other application they plan to use a lot: go to, find Doomworld, read the forums for opinions on which distribution (port) is the best.  So yes, I do want to address circumstantial users, because they will be the ones reading this page.  (General disclaimer: there is no hard data to support either of our positions, and there never will be.  That is one reason I advocate erring on the side of caution, and not assuming a lot of training on the user's part.  Teenagers in developing countries find secondhand computers every day.)
    When I added the Linux section originally, I chose Legacy because everything went into one folder, so there weren't many steps (and because if it could handle my flaky X installation, a "vanilla" mail-order machine should be no problem).  Replacing it with PrBoom/ZDoom/whatever isn't necessarily a problem if the instructions specify exactly which files belong in which directories, which permissions are needed, which docs to consult in case of trouble, and maybe a couple of sample command lines.  Compiling one's own executable is two orders of magnitude more difficult, however, and if no major port can be used otherwise, that's... unbelievably lame.  It's been 30 years since the average gamer was expected to create his own binaries.
Ryan W 02:55, 2 April 2008 (UTC)
As I see it, you added the Linux tips you were able to verify, which is generous and cool, but my initial point was to invite any editors even more familiar with Doom on Linux to provide tips that would help any Linux user wanting to play Doom... even us. Who is like God? 09:17, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

New article: "How to play Doom in multiplayer mode"[edit]

IMHO this page is already getting unwieldy and is already difficult to maintain without trying to mix in multiplayer instructions, which are a whole new kettle of fish.  The new article should ideally be written by persons with expertise in setting up multiplayer games (i.e. not me), but means for instance that multiplayer-related bugs in Doom95 belong in that article and in Doom95, not here.

Opinions?  Ideas?  Flames?     Ryan W 22:24, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Sounds good, and I could help since I play multiplayer, but I can't do it or start it (at least now), because I'm knee-deep in other stuff I'm preparing. Who is like God? 05:23, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
Excellent idea. Writing such an article could be challenging though, since most source ports have a more or less unique approach to running multiplayer games (and I don't think it would nowadays be very smart to offer only vanilla instructions). Personally I don't have much interest in writing such an article from scratch, but if someone else writes down the basics, I could contribute further details about certain ports whose multiplayer I'm familiar with. -- Janizdreg 20:06, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Current prices of OEM versions[edit]

Old text:

This is by far the fastest method, and avoids the issue of disks being lost or damaged in the mail, but it is also extremely expensive (US$20 per title), and requires a credit card and a very reliable internet connection.

Current text:

This is by far the fastest method, and avoids the issue of disks being lost or damaged in the mail, and it is not expensive (roughly $10 per title), and requires a credit card and a very reliable internet connection.

It may still be viewed as expensive by the person who picks up the entire collector's edition for $2.99 at a flea market!  The new wording is grammatically awkward anyway, but is there a good way to describe this without it being biased toward the stereotypical "American high school gamer with an infinite amount of pocket money" case?    Ryan W 15:56, 29 August 2008 (UTC)

Doom on Windows CE/Windows Mobile[edit]

Is it okay, if i make a complete new article for this topic, and link from here to it? My plan is to give a complete step by step (with screenshots) instruction on how to setup and run doom on this platform, using my HP iPAQ 2110 with Windows Mobile 2003. --Cybdmn 10:11, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Full screen mode problems[edit]

I did the thing with the DLLs, but Ultimate DOom still won't work. It says that my system can't suppirt full screen mode. WTF is this?

Using the Doom95 executable to play the Doom games is generally not worth the trouble on modern Windows systems. You should instead use a source port; here's more information about them.
I'd say this is also an excellent reminder that we should rewrite the Vista section altogether and stop advising people to use the POS Doom95 as soon as possible. -- Janizdreg 04:15, December 5, 2009 (UTC)


what about doom for windows7?

This page seems mostly useless.[edit]

Okay. Presumably, this page would be for clueless newbies; who are typically the kind of people with the attention span of a goldfish and a tendency to panic when a text to read is more than two-paragraph long. This article would need to be considerably simplified.

Basically, what needs to be said is nothing more than this:

  1. Where to get Doom (or another Doom engine game)? Something a bit like what is done here in the ZDoom wiki:
    1. Which games are available (Doom, Heretic, etc.) with their many versions (shareware, ultimate, final, addon, etc.).
    2. Where to get them legally (/idgames for shareware, demos and teasers; id store and Steam for the rest).
  2. How to play them, also subdivided into two or three parts:
    1. With a source port: see comparison of Doom source ports for how to choose one
    2. With the original engine: see DOSBox
    3. With Doom95: See Doom95.

And that's all. No need to blabber about how to compile RORDoom on BeOS and that kind of things. Nobody is interested by that, at least nobody who isn't savvy enough to figure it out by himself anyway. As it is now, the article is overwhelming and threatening. Plus, it makes things unnecessarily complex: see how someone is asking "what about Windows 7" because it makes it seem as if what works with Windows Vista wouldn't work with Windows 7. I believe all the system-specific Doom95 information should be put on the Doom95 article rather than here. Doom95 is just one old, unmaintained port, and not the most faithful one anyway. --Gez 21:34, February 21, 2010 (UTC)

You're probably right, although (1) I think the information about obsolete systems should be moved to another page as a technical reference, and (2) Doom95 is what you get if you buy a used CD for US$3, instead of paying ten times that to Zenimax for the same wads plus a bunch of spyware.  Also, AFAIK, it is still the only way to go from reading this page to seeing a GUI launcher in 10 minutes.    Ryan W 22:45, February 21, 2010 (UTC)

for a wiki called How to download and run Doom, I saw no mention of where/how to DOWNLOAD doom! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

I do agree with Gez. The page in its current form is overcomplicated and way too long. Also, the Windows Vista part essentially recommending people to use Doom95 by default is a friggin' atrocity. The sooner this page is rewritten, the better, especially considering it's the sixth most visited page on this wiki. -- Janizdreg 03:28, May 23, 2010 (UTC)
I think you are correct and I would be glad to research this myself, only I can't do any testing at the moment.  If somebody revises the article sooner, as you say, I urge them to keep in mind Gez's points about the target audience.  Our recommended port package must have what they are expecting a PC game to have:
  • A normal-looking Win32 installation routine, with a point-and-click interface, which automatically adds shortcuts to the desktop and Start menu.  The user should not have to decompress files manually, let alone use a command line.
  • An integrated GUI launcher.  (Yes, this excludes most ZDoom distributions.)
  • The ability to use IWADs/PWADs that aren't in the port's folder. Ideally, the launcher remembers their locations between sessions; the user should never have to know where config files are located.
  • Default graphics/sound setups with broad compatibility.  Installing multiple SDL components just to get the app running is insane.
Also, that list looks like tl;dr to me.  It would be better to have a simple table for each OS (game title vs shareware/full, or something).    Ryan W 21:34, May 23, 2010 (UTC)

Draft for a rewrite, request for comments.[edit]

I saw this article and thought "Wow this is terrible"; as Gez noted in the previous thread on this page. I took it on myself to write a new draft in my user namespace, and outlined my personal guidelines and what's left on its own talk page. If anyone can talk a look at it and offer improvements, it would be very much appreciated. --Chungy (talk) 06:39, 14 June 2015 (CDT)

It's much, much better. --Gez (talk) 07:24, 14 June 2015 (CDT)

The page has been more-or-less ready for a couple weeks now, with the notable exception of the Mac OS sections. I lack a Mac to properly fill in the details myself; I tried to ask a couple Mac users to do so using the Linux sections as a template for the type of instructions to write, but it appears that the intent was totally misunderstood by them ("just drag to install" isn't sufficient; it has to be followable by people that aren't used to playing Doom). This has frustrated me, and I'm tempted to just overwrite the page despite the incompleteness of the Mac sections. --Chungy (talk) 22:45, 30 June 2015 (CDT)

I'll test it if you want, but I'm still on 10.6, so my instructions would be provisional.  ("Drag to install" is quite normal actually.  :>   For Doom 3, that package's documentation says "upgrade patch" and the .pk4 files have different names than in the Linux part, so I'm assuming further research is needed.    Ryan W (talk) 17:10, 1 July 2015 (CDT)
The install part is fine, but it appears to be missing the steps of copying the game files, running setup, and launching the game. --Chungy (talk) 17:28, 1 July 2015 (CDT)
IIRC those are extremely intuitive in Chocolate: "SETUP.EXE" runs automatically on first launch (and the default settings are fine anyway), and you don't need to copy IWADs, just identify their directory.  I'll try a fresh install though.    Ryan W (talk) 17:39, 1 July 2015 (CDT)
Added Chocolate Doom instructions.  Tested with v2.0.0, but the launcher process for v2.2.0 is completely identical (the difference, hopefully, is that for other people the latter doesn't crash after the final step).
For greater clarity we might give an example of Steam's default WAD locations.  I know with the data gets buried in a renamed DOSBox directory six layers below Applications, and I believe Steam does similarly.    Ryan W (talk) 21:32, 1 July 2015 (CDT)
FTR, I also removed this link from the Doom 3 Mac section.  It is an upgrade patch for the full game, so not actually relevant here.    Ryan W (talk) 11:59, 2 July 2015 (CDT)
It should at least link to shareware somewhere, if it's not going to explain it, as people might be interested in try-before-you-buy, if they've never played Doom before (perish the thought). --Quasar (talk) 23:25, 1 July 2015 (CDT)
It already does. --Chungy (talk) 23:42, 1 July 2015 (CDT)
Thanks, I overlooked that minor section. --Quasar (talk) 12:47, 2 July 2015 (CDT)

Split suggestion 20150701[edit]

I would like to raise the suggestion that the content that is going to be shed from this article be split to Doom on legacy systems, an article which can focus on running Doom in bizarre crusty old places without clogging up a high-traffic important article like this one. --Quasar (talk) 23:34, 1 July 2015 (CDT)