GOG.com dosbox releases to Linux desktop

What is this?

GOG.com is an online store that, among other things, sells a lot of old PC games that are distributed for use with Dosbox. The games come with a Windows (sometimes also Mac) installer, but nothing for Linux.

Getting these games to run on Linux sometimes takes a bit more effort, if they're not designed to be run with Dosbox, but when they are it should not be very difficult to get them running. This is what this page is about.

GOG 2 Linux

To make it simpler for me to set up those dosbox powered games for playing in Linux with menu entries and everything, I made a small script.

Put the contents below to a file called "gog2linux" and place that file either in your local bin folder (if you know what that is), /usr/local/bin or /usr/bin. Don't forget to run "chmod +x gog2linux" to add execution permissions for it.

#!/usr/bin/env bash

dosbox=$(which dosbox)
if [ -z "${dosbox}" ]; then
	echo "Could not find dosbox in path"
	exit 1

# If given a parameter, use that as target
if [ ! -z "$1" ]; then
	TARGET=$(readlink -f -- "${1}")
# If not, use current working directory

echo "Probing ${TARGET}"

# Get all dosbox configs in the destination folder
foundConfigs=$(ls "${TARGET}/"dosbox*.conf 2>/dev/null)
if [ ! -z "${foundConfigs}" ]; then
	for conf in $foundConfigs; do
		# Parse the conf file name and app name
		confFile=$(basename "${conf}")
		appName=$(echo "${confFile}" | sed -e '[email protected]^[email protected]@g' | sed -e '[email protected]\[email protected]@g')

		echo "Found ${confFile} for ${appName}"

		# Create a simple BASH launcher
		launcher="#!/usr/bin/env bash
cd '${TARGET}'
'${dosbox}' -conf '${confFile}'
		echo "${launcher}" > "${dst}"
		chmod +x "${dst}"
		echo "Created launcher ${dst}"

		# Create a .desktop -file
		desktop="[Desktop Entry]
		echo "${desktop}" > "${dst}"
		echo "Created .desktop -file ${dst}"

	echo "No files matching dosbox*.conf in ${TARGET}"
	exit 1


So how do you use it then? Well first you need to install dosbox, make sure you can run "dosbox" from the CLI. Then get the GOG.com installer for the game you want, and either extract that in Windows, or with wine, or whatever you like.

After that's done, you can either:

  • Run "gog2linux /path/to/game"
  • Go to the extracted folder and run "gog2linux"

This will probe the folder for any GOG.com dosbox configurations and create a BASH launcher script, as well as a .desktop file for the game so.

By default it is added to the "Games" -category, so you should find the new game in the Games section of the menu of whatever desktop environment you are using. Some environments might require something to be done to rescan for the .desktop files first.

Do this for all your GOG.com games and you're all done.

Example output

$ cd /home/lietu/Games/The\ Complete\ Ultima\ VII/Ultima7/
$ gog2linux
Probing /home/lietu/Games/The Complete Ultima VII/Ultima7
Found dosboxULTIMA7.conf for ULTIMA7
Created launcher /home/lietu/Games/The Complete Ultima VII/Ultima7/ULTIMA7.sh
Created .desktop -file /home/lietu/.local/share/applications/ULTIMA7.desktop