The Racer Linux FAQ

This document tries to answer some questions I came across myself when trying to get racer to run under Linux. Please send comments and additions to the address given below!

Racer Forum at High Gear

By far the best place for Racer help and questions is its official Forum at "High Gear". Also helpful is, a usenet newsgroup concerned with all kinds of racing simulations.

Current Download Locations

Racer 0.5.0b3 binary release for Linux Mandrake 8.2 including data & inifiles 5.86 MB
Racer 0.5.0b3 binary release for Linux Mandrake 8.2 including data & inifiles 5.86 MB Teleos
FMOD Sound Library 3.5 This sound library is required to run racer on both Linux and Windows 1MB

If you have trouble downloading the files, try pressing the "shift" key and then clicking on the links above.

Latest News

2002-07-15 A new binary release is available for download. It consists of Racer version 0.5.0b3 and all required data and ini-files. Please see the README-binary.txt file within the tar archive for installation instructions.
2002-07-13 Binary versions of 0.5.0b2 are available for Linux Mandrake (and possible for other DRI / glibc based systems) from the beta section of the racer website at Make sure to also download the new data & ini files because a lot has changed in between versions!
2001-08-29 We now offer a version built for glibc-2.1 systems courtesy of Jim Wilson. Check the download locations table for more information, and thanks again for your contribution, Jim!
2001-08-18 Joystick support has been added thanks to Dominik Pospisil. In order to change the racer configuration to make use of the joystick device change the line


in racer.ini. Note that the current version makes use of the Linux joystick kernel module, so you will have to configure that first before you can use your joystick with racer. Also, if you have one of the joysticks which racer provides a controlset for in data/ctrlsets you might want to try that one instead of genjoy.ini.

2001-08-16 Alessandro Pollini, master of, has been very kind in offering a new download location for racer related files. Thanks much, Alessandro!
2001-08-08 A new version of Racer with full sound support based on FMOD has been released. Download the gzipped tar archive and drop it into your src/racer/racer directory, then untar it there. (you will still need the datafiles from the previous release, this is just the Racer executable).

Make sure you have installed so that the loader can find it when you start racer.

Make sure you create a backup copy of the old racer executable before copying it over with the new one in case things go wrong. Enjoy!

2001-08-06 We're looking for mirrors! If you have a couple of megs to spare drop me a line so we can sort something out. Thanks, Uwe
2001-08-05 Ruediger Arp created a German version of this FAQ. Thanks much, Ruediger!

2001-08-03 Linux Racer has just been released. It now has limited sound support: The engine rpm stays the same, but tyre skidding sounds have been implemented and work quite well. Give it a try!

Note: in a classic brown paperbag way I forgot to put the default ini files into the archive, so if racer complains about missing wavs and cars and whatnot just select the default car (Ferrari P4) from the menu, and all should be well.

Obtaining Racer for Linux

Please see the table above for current download locations.

Compiling Racer

Warning: This is how it worked for me (running Mandrake Linux 7.2 / 8.0), it might not necessarily work for you! The tar.gz-file contains a pre-built binary, so you can try that first before you try to roll your own.

That said, let's get to work:

Running Racer

Frame rates: I get 0.02 frames per second!
First, make sure you have OpenGL 3d acceleration enabled. Try glxinfo in a shell and scan the first couple of lines. Anything with "indirect" is bad news, you want to fix your setup first so that OpenGL uses the 3d functions of your gfx board. Below is a sample output that shows the voodoo4/5 renderer being used:
Loading required GL library /usr/X11R6/lib/
name of display: :0.0
display: :0  screen: 0
direct rendering: Yes
server glx vendor string: SGI
server glx version string: 1.2
server glx extensions:
    GLX_EXT_visual_info, GLX_EXT_visual_rating, GLX_EXT_import_context
client glx vendor string: SGI
client glx version string: 1.2
client glx extensions:
    GLX_EXT_visual_info, GLX_EXT_visual_rating, GLX_EXT_import_context
GLX extensions:
    GLX_EXT_visual_info, GLX_EXT_visual_rating, GLX_EXT_import_context
OpenGL vendor string: VA Linux Systems, Inc.
OpenGL renderer string: Mesa DRI Voodoo4 20010501 x86/MMX
OpenGL version string: 1.2 Mesa 3.4.2
Unfortunately setting up OpenGL is beyond the scope of this document, you can try the DRI Project website which contains excellent documentation on the subject.
I have hw-accelerated 3d, but racer is still slow!!
Try turning off "dynamic track lighting" (track_lighting = 0 in gfx.ini) and see if the situation improves. On my setup (voodoo5) it increased fps dramatically (from 0.002 fps to around 50fps).
Linux sound issues
Sound support is available, but it requires the FMOD library. You can get it here.
The keyboard doesn't work!
Make sure you have the numlock key off. Otherwise racer won't accept or recognize your keyboard input. While you're at it, also turn off all other keyboard lights like caps lock or scroll lock just to be sure.
All textures are corrupted on my Matrox G200! Linux crashes!
You're probably running low on video / texture memory. Ruud recommends 32MB, and 8MB video memory just won't cut it for racer. Turn down your X11 display resolution to 1024x768@16bits color depth and configure racer to run at 16 bits at 640x480. This way Racer will have barely enough texture memory for it to run.

You can set your display resolution in /etc/X11/XF86Config-4. Consult your distributions documentation for more information.

To change the resolution and depth racer is running at, edit the file gfx.ini in the racer/ directory.

No fullscreen?
I'm working on real fullscreen SDL OpenGL support, but for now, racer will run in a window. I get 40+fps running at 640x480 on a PIII-500 using a Matrox G200.
So it runs on "Best Linux"??? Never heard of that Madam!!!
Me too... to reward Ruud for his efforts, let's send im a Pound / Buck / D-Mark / Euro or two so that he can purchase a decent distro 8-)

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Last update: 2017/01/23 13:39:30.206 GMT+1