Quake 2 Source GPL’ed

December 21st, 2001 by Crusader

id Software’s John Carmack updated his .plan to announce that he is releasing the Quake 2 source code under the GNU General Public License:

The Quake 2 source code is now available for download, licensed under the GPL.

As with previous source code releases, the game data remains under theoriginal copyright and license, and cannot be freely distributed. If youcreate a true total conversion, you can give (or sell) a complete packageaway, as long as you abide by the GPL source code license. If your projectsuse the original Quake 2 media, the media must come from a normal, purchasedcopy of the game.

I’m sure I will catch some flack about increased cheating after the sourcerelease, but there are plenty of Q2 cheats already out there, so you arealready in the position of having to trust the other players to a degree. Theproblem is really only solvable by relying on the community to police itself,because it is a fundamentally unwinnable technical battle to make a completelycheat proof game of this type. Play with your friends.

The Quake 2 engine is the successor to the Quake, DOOM, and Wolfenstein 3-D engines, which have also been released to the public; Carmack had commented on a Q2 source release earlier this year.

7 Responses to “Quake 2 Source GPL’ed”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    since half-life uses the quake2 engine, does this mean at some point someone may be able to hack up a native linux version of half-life?
    (i have no idea if this is feasable, tell me if i’m completely off-base =)

  2. The_Dougster Says:

    It is probably little known that [b]Kingpin[/b] actually works fine in Linux. One downloads a linux binary from Xatrix and copies the pak files from the cdrom like as is done with Quake2. It is so like the Quake2 Linux binary that the q2hack Perl script can even be used with it for full-screen and DGA mouse under X11v4x with GLX. This is a pretty fun game and well worth getting it out of a bargain bin if you can find it. Like I said, it works fine with my Debian Woody , kernel 2.4.1x and NVidia GLX. The Quake2 Colossus for Linux is also a good deal because the two expansion packs are very cool and well worth it.
    Now that the main engine is GPL you will want this so that you have the pak files.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    it claims to not have been checked under linux, but zoid’s makefiles are still there.. anyone know how to get this sucker to build under linux? :)


  4. Anonymous Says:

    The twilight team may be porting this to SDL eventually, by the way (twilight is a q1-based engine). I’m glad q2hack can finally meet its end ;)

  5. Anonymous Says: uses SDL 1.2 for software ( and OpenGL (

  6. Anonymous Says:

    i’ll soon ba able to play q2 on my powerpc :)

  7. ZlatkO Says:

    While I’m happy that id decided to release the Q2 source code, I’m wondering why they didn’t give us the latest version, which is 3.20, IIRC. Hmmm … oh well, off to compile that beast anyway. 8-)

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