Unity Exporting – Being nice to Linux users

Posted by (twitter: @atmospherium)
August 27th, 2013 3:05 pm

A lot of the entries for Ludum Dare #27 have been created using Unity (including my entry), and I wanted to pass along some information that might be helpful for Unity developers to make their games as accessible as possible for all players.  Users on Windows and Mac don’t need dedicated builds as frequently, given that the Unity webplayer is readily available to them.  For people using Linux systems, however, they must download and play the game directly on their system.  Here’s a few steps to improve the experience for Linux users.  The instructions that follow are for Windows, but I’m sure there will be similar solutions for Mac

1: Download 7-zip.  This will allow you to create archives in Linux-supported formats (.tar and .gz).

2: Export for Linux in Unity:
I’m not going to post a tutorial for doing this, as Unity’s interface is fairly self-explanatory.  But you should end up with a folder that looks like this.


3: Put both files together in one folder and name it something that makes it easily identifiable.  LD27-YourTitleHere should be adequate

4: Right-click on this folder, select 7-Zip>Add to archive…


5: This will bring up a prompt that allows you to package the directory in a variety of ways.  For archive format, select “tar”.  Leave everything else with the default settings and click OK.  This should give you a new file called LD27-YourTitleHere.tar

6: Repeat step 4 on this new file (Add to archive), but in the prompt, select the Archive format of “gzip”.  Leave everything else default and click OK.  You should now have a file called LD27-YourTitleHere.tar.gz

7: Upload your new Linux-friendly game to your hosting site and link it on your page.

This may look like a bit of work, but keep in mind that the few extra minutes this takes can really improve people’s impression of your game and open the door to a broader audience.

7 Responses to “Unity Exporting – Being nice to Linux users”

  1. Jishenaz says:

    Are Linux users more likely to play a 32-bit build or a 64-bit build?

  2. Atmospherium says:

    My guess is that 32-bit will be more widely used, but I can’t say for sure. Unity also offers a “Universal” build option for Linux that supports both 32- and 64-bit systems (look at the dropdown box next to “Architecture”).

  3. Jishenaz says:

    I just tested the universal export. Assuming the game was called “MyGame”, it creates a MyGame folder, MyGame.x86, and MyGame.x86_64.

    So it creates 2 executables that reference to the same folder. Linux users would just have to select the right one for their system. Very convenient.

  4. bytegrove says:

    Thanks for the tip, I changed my .zip to .tar.gz for linux users. :)

  5. Anachron says:

    Thank you! You are an extremely useful human.

  6. Jason says:

    Hey Richard, I checked out your game and gave my feedback/rating. Great job on your first game, I made my first complete game. This game jam was a first for me as well. I’ve taken your advice with the Linux build and uploaded and linked it on my entry. if you don’t mind testing out the Linux build and let me know if it works (all I could do was generate it in unity and hope for the best). Would appreciate you playing and rating it as well!


  7. LoneStranger says:

    Awesome, thanks for this! It’s a gift that keeps on giving!

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