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Running Ren'Py Games on Linux x86

Note that these instructions are only needed when running Windows-only games on Linux systems. As most games are released for all three platforms, following these instructions is rarely necessary.

Ren'Py was designed to be as cross-platform as possible. It uses pygame and other libraries abstract out as much platform dependency as possible, allowing the same game to run on multiple platforms.

If you're reading these instructions, then you're probably most interested in Linux x86. For non-x86 platforms, you'll need to compile the Ren'Py dependencies yourself, using the other platform instructions. For Linux x86, we provide a standalone distribution of Python, that can be used on a Linux system with only glibc and the X11 libraries installed.

The first thing you'll want to do is to download the latest py4renpy tarball, from the version}}#Other Downloads|Ren'Py page. For the purposes of this file, we'll assume you downloaded py4renpy-6.8.0.tar.bz2, although if there's a later version available, you should download that and change the names in this tutorial.

Once downloaded, you'll want to untar py4renpy. This can be done with a command like:

tar xvjf py4renpy-6.8.0.tar.bz2

Py4Renpy will untar into a directory named something like py4renpy-6.8.0. In that directory will be a python program that can be used to run Ren'Py games. Use that python program to run the script of the Ren'Py game.

For example, say we've untarred py4renpy to /home/tom/py4renpy-6.8.0, and unzipped the Ren'Py demo to /home/tom/renpy-6.8.0/. One can start that game with a command like:

/home/tom/py4renpy-6.8.0/python /home/tom/renpy-6.8.0/

Most games will need to be started using a script other than For example, Moonlight Walks needs to be started using You'll need to adjust the command above to compensate, by changing to