Arma 3 Experimental Ports
Please visit this overview page to learn more about our experimental client ports to Linux and Mac, including the limitations and a F.A.Q.
- Check the limitations overview to decide whether you find them acceptable.
- Check the minimal requirements to determine whether your system is able to run the port.
- Download and install Steam client, create an account and purchase the Windows retail version of Arma 3.
- Install the game (it will automatically download the data for Mac or Linux, depending on the platform you are installing from).
- The in-game news feed references the latest Windows version, rather than the actual port version. This information may not be applicable to the port version.
- Potential Out Of Memory client crashes when playing for longer periods of time
- Potential crashes when playing demanding missions in the "Win" campaign - random / non-blocking
- AMD OpenGL drivers have trouble handling FSAA for vegetation (white outlines). It is being addressed, but AMD drivers below version 15.5 are not supported currently.
- Frame rate drops when Steam overlay pop-ups appear
- Minor Linux OpenAL sound issues (occasional mild static or stuttering in dialogues and intense firefights)
- Potential Windows 10 compatibility issues in the 1.42 legacyPorts branch
- Any issues fixed since update 1.42 in the primary Windows version
Supported Linux distributions are:
- Ubuntu 14.04.2 LTS 64bit and later (recommended is Ubuntu 14.10 64bit)
- Mint 17.1, 64bit and later
32bit Linux systems are considered too unstable due to crashes in MP, although it may be possible to play Arma 3 there.
We support only default desktop environments such as Cinnamon on Mint and Unity on Ubuntu.
It should be possible to run the game on Debian, but it was not the part of the QA process, therefore we cannot guarantee the support.
There are community tests of Arma on other Linux distributions, such as Gentoo and Arch Linux. You can find more information on the forums and Feedback Tracker regarding issues on unsupported distros.
Linux Graphics Drivers Updates
A quick 'how-to' on updating NVIDIA drivers on Linux systems:
- Open Terminal (CTRL + ALT + T).
- Enter "sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mamarley/nvidia".
- Enter "sudo apt-get update".
- Enter "sudo apt-get install nvidia-349" (or possibly newer versions - when in doubt, check here for more info).
Your drivers should now be updated after restarting.
AMD Catalyst drivers are a bit more complicated. The only method we have found that works reliably, is to install the driver from the archive that AMD provides for download. The drivers that Ubuntu 14 ships with are outdated, have known performance problems and contain bugs (http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop?os=Linux+x86).
There is a guide to manually installing them here. The guide mentions the 13.12 drivers, but the process is the same for the later ones.
Joysticks & Gamepads
The Windows version of Arma uses DirectInput and XInput methods for mapping of peripherals. This turned out to be insufficient for the ports. For this reason, in the Linux and Mac ports of the game, where gamepads are concerned, we decided to go with Steam's Big Picture controller configuration instead. This is slowly becoming the standard for controller setup on Mac and Linux, as it cooperates with SDL, and we use SDL's gamepad mappings.
To make the most of your gamepad for Arma 3 on Mac and Linux, first you'll need to make sure that the gamepad is enabled in Steam Big Picture, and configure it there. The exact steps are as follows:
- Launch Steam.
- Connect your gamepad and make sure it's on.
- Launch Steam Big Picture, if it's not already there (it's an icon depicting a gamepad in the top-right corner of Steam client).
- When Steam's Big Picture menu shows up, navigate to Settings (it's an icon near the 'exit' one in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Select the Controller option.
- At this point you should see your controller mappings. Make sure that they're all as you want them, and then select the Save option.
- Steam may ask you to share your mapping with others at this point - agree or decline.
Now, for Arma 3, this should really be enough, in theory. If you are launching the game from within Steam client, and you have configured the controller, then Steam most likely placed the information about controller configuration in its config.vdf file. It will provide this information to the game as environment variable during the game's launch. So, the proper way to configure and remap controller settings on Linux and Mac is to configure them in Steam Big Picture, instead of the game. Every controller in existence in theory should be supported in this manner, even those that on Windows show up only as 'controller with scheme'.
- Run Steam client (if you will not start the normal game first, it will not let you launch after the Dedicated Server is on).
- Run Arma 3 and wait for the game to get to the main menu.
- Run Terminal.
- Change the current directory to the path where the Arma3.app is (e.g. "cd ~/Library/Application\ Support/Steam/SteamApps/common/Arma\ 3/").
- Run the Dedicated Server by command: "./ArmA3.app/Contents/MacOS/ArmA3 --args -server config=Server.cfg".
- Launch Arma 3 via Steam normally (if you will not start the normal game first, it will not let you launch after the Dedicated Server is on).
- Find your Arma 3 by right mouse button in Steam's library and go to the Properties > Local files > Browse local files section to copy the path. You should also put the server.cfg file there.
- Open Terminal and write: cd 'your Arma 3 path' and hit Enter. It should open your game folder.
- Type in Terminal: ./arma3. It should output this message: error while loading shared libraries: libSDL2-2.0.so.0.
- Type in Terminal: sudo apt install libsdl2-2.0-0:i386, hit Enter, enter the password and let it install. Agree by pressing Y.
- Type in Terminal: sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 and hit Enter.
- Type in Terminal: sudo apt update and hit Enter.
- Type in Terminal: ./arma3 -server -config=server.cfg and hit Enter.
Your Dedicated Server should now run alongside the normal game.
Cross-Platform Windows Compatibility
The Linux / Mac ports use Legacy version 1.42 of Arma 3 currently. You can only access servers with this version (green in the server list).
1.42 Legacy version installation on Windows:
- Open the Properties of Arma 3 or Arma 3 Server in the Steam library.
- Open the Betas tab.
- Enter access code: Arma3LegacyPorts. This should unlock the legacyPorts version.
- Download and play.