Spring is an open source engine for running real-time strategy games. The most popular games played in Spring are remakes of the video game Total Annihilation, which require a copy of the original game to legally use the data files, however there are also several completely free games that run within Spring such as Kernel Panic, which was featured on the front page of Digg.

Spring can be made to work in Ubuntu, however currently it is very much a hassle. Instructions for installing from source are here. There is also an Ubuntu package made and an APT repository available in their Linux howto, although the latest version was built for Edgy, it will run in Feisty fine.

Both of these installation methods, however, do not include a fully functional lobby, and settings are hard to configure. Simply running spring after installing with one of the above methods will result in little more than a menu for running various engine tests. There is spring-gui (instructions available at the first link), however it is not as functional as the multiplayer lobby for Windows.

Fortunately, however, the Windows lobby works completely under Wine. Getting the Windows lobby to launch the Linux executable, however, is a bit of a hack and is very technical for a new user encountering this howto.

Possible Universe Package:

Several things are needed to convert the Spring packages available into a proper universe package. Ideally, all the open source Spring games such as Kernel Panic should be point-and-click installable with Add Applications, and meanwhile the Total Annihilation games should be installable with a minimal amount of effort.

The most promising, though difficult, approach would be to make a final package that included the Windows lobby client running under Wine, making the package itself depend on Wine. This is similar to the eMule via Wine package idea, however in this case we are also exploiting Wine's ability to have a Windows application launch a Linux binary.

There is also a spring-settings script available for graphically editing the Spring settings on Linux rather than editing them by hand. This should be included in a proper Spring package.

Currently, no work is being done on this package, although ScottRitchie has expressed interest in it.

SpringPackage (last edited 2008-08-06 16:14:53 by localhost)