Dwarf Fortress

From ArchWiki

Dwarf Fortress is a single-player fantasy game. You can control a dwarven outpost or a party of adventurers in a randomly generated, persistent world. It is renowned for its highly customizable, complex in-depth game play.

The game is played mostly with keyboard only, though there exist mods which enable more mouse support via plugins. Without any graphic mods (also known as tilesets) the game is displayed in a terminal-like window with images of ASCII characters (screenshots) by default, though it can be configured to use an actual terminal or terminal emulator.


Install the dwarffortress package.

Alternatively, the AUR has packages that bundle or add graphics tilesets and/or utilities.

Other bundles, starter packs, tilesets, and mods can be found at the Dwarf Fortress File Depot.

See also the Installation page on the Dwarf Fortress wiki.

Configuration Files

When first run, Dwarf Fortress that was installed via Pacman creates a hidden folder in the user's home directory, ~/.dwarffortress/, to store configuration files, save files, etc.

Some of the directories in .dwarffortress/ are symlinks to directories in /opt/dwarffortress/. This includes the raw directory, so changes to /opt/dwarffortress/raw/ - either directly or through the link - will affect new games for all users. (Dwarf Fortress stores a copy of the raw directory for saves in the saves directory, so changes there will only affect that save for that user.)

To make changes to files in the main raw directory that only affect one user, either delete the link and copy the directory from /opt/dwarffortress/ to ~/.dwarffortress/, make the changes to a save (though that will not work for changes that affect world generation), or manually install a copy of Dwarf Fortress to a directory in the user's home directory and make the changes - and run the game from - there (see Manual or multiple installations on the Dwarf Fortress wiki).

See the Dwarf Fortress wiki for information about configuring TEXT mode.



DFHack is a Dwarf Fortress memory access utility, with many useful scripts and plugins.

There are multiple dfhack packages available in the AUR.

To start Dwarf Fortress with DFHack, execute dfhack instead of dwarffortress, or create a custom desktop entry.

Similarly to the Dwarf Fortress packages, the DFHack packages add files and symlinks to ~/.dwarffortress/, including dfhack.init-example which can be copied to ~/.dwarffortress/dfhack.init and that editted to configure DFHack.

Dwarf Therapist

Dwarf Therapist (dwarftherapistAUR or dwarftherapist-gitAUR) is a utility to tune dwarvish behavior (makes life a lot easier). For it to work on current kernels you will need to disable a kernel security feature, since it directly accesses and modifies the memory of a running Dwarf Fortress instance. This setting is called kernel.yama.ptrace_scope and is active by default.

Permission to use ptrace can be given to the dwarftherapist executable with:

# setcap cap_sys_ptrace=eip /usr/bin/dwarftherapist
Note: The permissions will reset after an update to Dwarf Therapist. Consider using pacman hooks to automatically configure the permissions after an update.
Warning: You should not disable ptrace_scope globally in /etc/sysctl.d/ by default, or using sysctl, since it is an important security feature in the kernel!


Manipulator is an in-game alternative to Dwarf Therapist with most of the same functionality, which does not require extra permissions. It is enabled by default in the DFHack.


SoundSense (soundsenseAUR) adds various sound effects and music by monitoring the gamelog.txt.


Quickfort is a utility for Dwarf Fortress that helps you build fortresses from "blueprint" .CSV, .XLS, and .XLSX files.


StoneSense is an isometric world visualizer for Dwarf Fortress, and is part of DFHack.