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40d:System requirements

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This article is about an older version of DF.

If you're looking for information on improving the performance of Dwarf Fortress on your computer, see Maximizing Framerate.

General Requirements:

  • Disk Space: ~100MB. The game itself takes only about 20MB, but savegames and screenshots (if you take them) use considerable amounts of disk space. It is possible to use over a gigabyte of disk space with Dwarf Fortress.
  • RAM: 256MB. The game uses 150+ MB memory while running (more if you select a local grid larger than 6x6). The more creatures, objects, and explored space on your map, the more memory you will need. Most of this can be kept in virtual memory (page file), but be sure to have at least 500MB total (physical + virtual) memory available. World generation requires 400MB at its peak.
  • CPU: Dwarf Fortress is able to use as much CPU power as you can provide it with. While a Pentium II at 500Mhz is initially sufficient, your frame-rate will substantially decrease as your population increases, among other factors. Keep in mind that Dwarf Fortress will only run on one CPU at a time. There doesn't appear to be any indication that Dwarf Fortress will support multi-threading in the near future.

The larger your map and the more units on it, the harder your computer will need to work. The speed of the simulation depends on the size of the map, the number of entities (dwarves, pets, etc.), the number of levels (mountainous maps have more depth levels), the number of objects and other factors. Modern computers should be able to run 3x3 maps with medium-sized fortresses at 80-100 FPS. Particularly fast processors may be able to handle much larger maps at the same speed.

Dual-core machines[edit]

If you're running a lot of things at once while playing Dwarf Fortress, open Task Manager and set DF to Core1 and everything else to Core0. You will now have an entire core dedicated to running DF, which should give slightly better performance. Multi-threading support isn't currently implemented.

Other Operating Systems[edit]


Although DF is a Windows game, it works perfectly in Linux using Wine, as long as you have video drivers with working OpenGL acceleration – for all NVIDIA and newer ATI cards, this means using the vendor's closed source driver. Without 2D acceleration the game runs slow as Dwarven syrup. Most distributions provide Wine, so consult your distribution-specific documentation for help.

See this thread(link no longer points to the right place, try the forum instead) for tips about Ubuntu and other distributions.

On 24 December, 2008 Toady released the first native Linux version of Dwarf Fortress. It is compiled for 32-bit environments, however, and may not run under 64-bit environments without additional libraries, depending on the Linux distribution.


Under an Ubuntu/Kubuntu installation one first of all needs the ia32-libs package installed. This is a standard Ubuntu package that contains 32-bit versions of many common libraries. Unfortunately, while it includes 32-bit versions of some SDL libraries, older versions of this package lack SDL_image, which Dwarf Fortress needs. In Jaunty Jackalope (Ubuntu 9.04) this shared library is included in the ia32-libs package and you can skip the other steps in this section.

If you get an error message complaining that libSDL_image-1.2.so.0 is missing, simply: sudo apt-get install libsdl-image1.2

Alternatively the 32-bit package can be downloaded directly from Ubuntu's package repository. Once the download is complete, open a console window and navigate to the directory containing the file. Extract the contents by typing:

dpkg-deb -x libsdl-image1.2_1.2.6-3_i386.deb ./libsdl-image

Copy the files from libsdl-image/usr/lib into the df_linux/libs directory and the game should now work.

If you have extremely low FPS make sure you have turned on your graphics card enabled in the Hardware Drivers.

Ubuntu/Kubuntu - Using getlibs[edit]

The other way to get the require SDL_image library is to use getlibs, which will get the correct 32bit library when run on 64bit Ubuntu and create all the required links.

At a command prompt:

 sudo apt-get install ia32-libs getlibs
 sudo getlibs -l libSDL_image-1.2.so.0

The game can now be run from the df_linux folder (or wherever you extracted it to) using the df bash script.


The required libraries can be pulled from portage before running DF.

For x86, you will need the basic GTK/OpenGL/SDL stuff, plus sdl-image, which means the following packages:

  • x11-libs/gtk+:2
  • media-libs/libsdl
  • media-libs/sdl-image
  • media-libs/sdl-sound
  • media-libs/sdl-ttf
  • virtual/opengl
  • virtual/glu

For amd64, you will need the 32-bit emulation libraries instead. Note that sdl-image is already included in the sdl emulation package, so you need:

  • app-emulation/emul-linux-x86-sdl
  • >=app-emulation/emul-linux-x86-baselibs-20081109 (earlier versions may not provide a 32-bit libgio-2.0.so)
  • app-emulation/emul-linux-x86-xlibs
  • app-emulation/emul-linux-x86-gtklibs


The required libs can be pulled from pacman before running.

If using Gnome, or KDE with some Gnome applications, the following will most likely be installed already:

32 bit:

  • gtk2
  • libgl
  • sdl
  • sdl_image
  • libpng12

64 bit:

  • lib32-gtk2
  • lib32-<your opengl driver here>
  • lib32-sdl
  • lib32-sdl_image
  • lib32-libpng12

The Dwarf Fortress files can be installed with an AUR frontend, or from the AUR itself if so inclined. The current files are at this page.

At a command prompt:

 wget http://aur.archlinux.org/packages/dwarffortress/dwarffortress.tar.gz
 tar xvzf dwarffortress.tar.gz
 cd dwarffortress
 makepkg -s
 pacman -U dwarffortress-v0.28.181.40d11-5-i686.pkg.tar.gz

NOTE: If you game crashes (segmentation fault) at the start, or when you are pressing F9, you probably need to adjust some permissions to make it work.

OS X[edit]

A port of Dwarf Fortress to Mac OS X has been completed, and runs on both Intel and PPC based macs. According to the Website it requires system 10.3 or later, 100MB of hard drive space, and a minimum of 512MB of ram.

If the game does not start on Mac OS X 10.7 (Lion), try the workaround recommended by Flickering in this bug.

Optimizing Dwarf Fortress[edit]

You can greatly increase game speed on all systems; details at Maximizing framerate.

Example results: What you can expect with various machines[edit]

Intel Processors[edit]

Core 2 Duo T7700 @ 2.4 GHz, Windows XP, DF .d16

  • 6x6 site
  • 116 Dwarves
  • magma pipe, brook, relatively flat
  • temp ON, caveins ON, economy ON, weather ON
  • 60-100 fps

Celeron M 353 @ 630 MHz, Windows XP(custom optimized), DF v0.27.176.38c:

  • smallest map possible with the smallest site (2x2, assuming no modding),
  • 7 dwarves,
  • 12 revealed creatures,
  • flatland only 1z above ground, 15z underground, volcano, some lakes, no underground water, speed boosting edits in init.txt,
  • 10FPS on fullscreen mode and 20 on window mode,
  • play it on a desktop or a better EEE PC. :-(

Celeron M @ 900 MHz, Ubuntu-eee 8.04, DF .40d11

  • 4x4 site,
  • 150 dwarves,
  • some beginners mistakes in logistics,
  • ~5 FPS (Dwarven Syrup)

Atom @ 1.6 GHz, Windows XP, DF 40d11

  • 6x6 site
  • 70 (non-laboring) dwarves
  • 76 misc (revealed) creatures
  • brook, magma pipe, bottomless pit, chasm, HFS, underground river
  • HFS & UR are unbreached
  • ~70 fps

Intel(R) Atom(TM) CPU N450 @ 1.66GHz,Asus EEE 1001P(Laptop), Debian 8.0(testing), DF v0.40.23

  • 3x3 site;
  • 8 adult dwarves working;
  • 2 animals
  • 4 z-levels, several two-level deep lakes
  • ~30 to 50 fps ( Stabilizes at 30 fps more often than not )
  • No modifications made other than changing the "init.txt" to show instant fps within the game.

Centrino @ 1.6 GHz, Windows XP, DF 40d

  • 4x4 site
  • 7 labouring dwarves
  • 100+ misc creatures (a river with more carp than water)
  • river, magma pipe
  • 60-90 fps (help?)

Pentium 4 @ 2.2 GHz, (unknown OS), DF

  • 3x3 site,
  • ~80 dwarves
  • relatively hilly (ten z-levels of elevation change), without magma but with unfrozen brook, no caves, lakes, or monsters; virtually all possible speed-boosting edits in init.txt applied,
  • 30-45 FPS (varies) and occasional interface jerkiness is becoming noticeable

Core Duo 4400 @ 2 GHz, Windows Vista, DF .38c

  • 3x3 site,
  • 120 dwarves
  • <10 roaming animals
  • pretty cliffy, volcano, part of river and pretty big artificial pool,
  • ~50 fps (~30 when merchants arrive or many hauling jobs start)

Core 2 Duo E6600 @ 2.4 GHz, Windows XP SP2, DF

  • 6x6 site
  • 95 (laboring) dwarves
  • cave-ins, temp., weather disabled, no elevation changes at ground-level, no special sites
  • 5-40 fps (play capped @ 30 fps, dips frequent, avg @ ~20 fps)

Intel Core 2 Duo T5800 @ 2 GHz, Windows 7 RC, (unknown DF version #)

  • medium-sized site (assumed ~4x4)
  • 151 dwarves
  • 170 animals
  • around 400 creatures (dwarves + animals + merchants + wildlife)
  • brook, magma pipe, HFS, chasm
  • 22 z-levels
  • 15-25 FPS, (avg @ 20-21 fps)

Pentium D 940 @ 3.17 GHz, Windows XP SP2, DF

  • 6x6 site
  • 95 (laboring) dwarves
  • cave-ins, temp., weather disabled, no elevation changes at ground-level, no special sites
  • 30-65 fps (play capped @ 50 fps, dips occasionally, avg @ ~40 fps)

Pentium Dual-Core T4200 @ 2 GHz, Intel GMA X4500, Windows 7, 40d16

  • 6x6 site
  • 59 dwarves, approx. 50 animals, minimal wildlife
  • no special sites uncovered, mostly flat terrain with a river, no .ini speedboosts
  • 30-60 FPS generally, occasionally lower

Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 @ 2.5 GHZ, Windows 7 home premium, (40d#16)

  • 6x6 site
  • 110 dwarves, approx. 60 animals, minimal wildlife
  • mostly flat terrain, with river, standard ini
  • 60-100 FPS constant.

AMD Processors[edit]

Athlon XP 2500(Barton) @ 1.8 actual, Windows XP, DF .40d16

  • 6x6 site
  • 116 Dwarves
  • magma pipe, brook, relatively flat
  • temp ON, caveins ON, economy ON, weather ON
  • 10-25 fps

Athlon XP 2200 @ 1.8 GHz, Windows XP, DF .38c

  • 6x6 site,
  • A/V software & Dwarf Foreman running in background,
  • slightly upwards slanted hill, human town,
  • 35-40 FPS with 17 humans, 38-48 FPS with 7 (Drops to 30-35 with a lot of hauling or when viewing 1 z level up)

Phenom 9600 @ 2.4 GHz, Windows XP SP2, DF

  • 6x6 site
  • 95 (laboring) dwarves
  • cave-ins, temp., weather disabled, no elevation changes at ground-level, no special sites
  • 10-50 fps (play capped @ 40 fps, dips frequent, avg @ ~25 fps)

Athlon64X2 5600 @ 2.8GHz, Ubuntu 9.04, DF .40d11

  • 6x6 site
  • 32 dwarves
  • lava, wildfires, and flowing water.
  • ~100 FPS

Phenom II 955 @ 3.5 GHz, Windows XP SP2, DF

  • 6x6 site
  • 95 (laboring) dwarves
  • cave-ins, temp., weather disabled, no elevation changes at ground-level, no special sites
  • 45-90 fps (play capped @ 60, rarely dips below max, avg @ ~55 fps)

See also[edit]