LINUX AIR COMBAT
Current version: 5.67, released 20Feb2018
the images above to see a larger version)
AIR COMBAT is a free, open-source combat flight simulator developed by
AskMisterWizard.com for the LINUX community. Its roots came from the
well-known "classic" flight game known as "GL-117", but this new
incarnation has been extensively re-written and improved.
LINUX AIR COMBAT is also known as "LAC", and this is the home
page for everything about LAC.
CLICK HERE for the latest YouTube video review of
CLICK HERE for our YouTube Playlist with a large
collection of video clips about LAC.
Now available for free
this high-performance flight simulator supports all of the
basics demanded by today's LINUX flight sim users, including all of
Linux Air Combat is free
that we donate to the world. We are writing this stuff because we love
to do so. However,
there are real-world limits on the amount of time we can spend writing
and preparing this software. You can help! LAC Development is
advertising-supported. Our development efforts are
funded by the modest advertising revenue we receive from these LAC
pages, and from our web site
All we ask is that you give our web site a chance.
It's loaded with very high quality instructional videos about
technology, flight simulation, and networking. Please be fair with our
advertisers. We keep scripting to an absolute minimum, and we don't
clutter up the site with excessive ads. If you see an ad that you don't
like, please DON'T click on it. That will help our advertisers figure
out the kinds of ads that please our viewers. On the other hand, if you
see an ad that shows something of real interest to you, please consider
exploring it in detail and giving the advertiser a fair share of your
honest attention. When you do that, everybody wins, and we can spend
more time improving LINUX AIR COMBAT. Thanks!
- Free and open source distribution. The clean source code compiles
without modification on major LINUX distros.
- Very smooth, simple, high-performance graphics yield high frame
even on modest computer hardware.
- 45 flight/view functions can be mapped to any detected joystick
axis, button, or keyboard key.
- Modern, multi-axis analog/digital joysticks support precision
control of elevators, ailerons, rudder, throttle, etc.
- Mouse control of elevators, ailerons, and weapons for those
lacking a joystick.
- Industry-standard "Air Warrior" style viewsystem is easily
configurable for other view options.
- A growing list of World War II aircraft (now 54 different flyable
- A theoretical Jet fighter with performance similar to the General
- Sophisticated flight model with stalls, high-speed
compressibility, high-G blackouts, and redouts.
- Realistic high-altitude degredation of engine performance.
- Fuel consumption is proportional to engine load including
- Guns combat.
- WW2-era Air-to-Ground rockets.
- WW2-era bombs.
- Flight performance is degraded when lugging heavy bombs,
missiles, or rockets.
- Flight performance is degraded when aircraft are damaged.
- Four tutorial missions with detailed audio narration to help
beginners get a quick start.
- Free flight mission.
- Five Offline combat missions.
- Online "Head to Head" mission suitable for air racing or combat
(2 players only. No server required.)
- Free, high performance Linux Air Combat Server is now available
distinct, ten-player Internet missions in various terrains, with
strategic airfield combat (Internet and access to a free LAC Server
- Innovative "Network Router Panel" on cockpit shows network
telemetry and comms data flow from other players.
- Best-of-breed network user management with interplayer status
messages on the cockpit panel.
- 16 Comms-related functions can be mapped to any keyboard key.
- Powerful integration with "Mumble" for world-class voice
communication between players.
- Dedicated Mumble server manages a rich heirarchy of voice radio
channels and online help.
- Automated radio messages verbalize enemy airfield status when
Mumble Radio is properly tuned.
- Simulated RADAR to help locate opponents.
- Simulated IFF to help Identify Friend verses Foe.
- "Talking Cockpit" can verbalize target location so you can hear
it without diverting your eyes.
- Airfields with defensive guns challenge nearby opponents and
protect nearby allied aircraft.
- Enemy airfields and RADAR facilities can be damaged or destroyed
with bombs, rockets, cannons, and guns.
- The Enemy's access to late-war aircraft can be diminished by
damaging his HQ airfield.
- Damaged airfield defenses are gradually repaired by surviving
airfield maintenance personnel.
- "Norden" bombsight emulation makes precision, medium or high
altitude bombing possible.
- Heavy bombers can destroy an airfield in a single sortie if well
flown and undamaged by opposing fighters.
- Bombers have autogunners that take shots at nearby hostile
- Realistic bomber climb rates: Heavily loaded bombers need a
long time to climb to altitudes high enough to avoid fighters.
- Realistic bomb-run tactics make heavy bombers vulnerable to
opposing fighters during critical mission segments.
- User-loadable graphic aircraft models support the free, open,
well-known ".3ds" format.
- User-loadable background music, sound effects, and narration
files support industry-standard ".wav" format.
People have been asking to have
this included in mainstream LINUX distributions and repositories. We're
flattered to have that attention. It's ALMOST time for that, but not
quite yet. We are working hard to modernize the source code style, and
to make this software easy to propogate
into standard Linux Repositories. We expect all of this to settle down
on this year (2018) and we'll use this space to declare when it's ready
for prime-time distribution. At that point it would be appropriate for
LINUX users to ask their own distribution managers and packagers to
include it. Then, if those people need help, they can contact us
through the webmaster@AskMisterWizard.com email address and we will be
glad to assist.
A screen shot from January of 2017
(Version 3.42) in an online skirmish. Note
instrument panel with "Router" lights, status messages, and target
identified by name.
Two more screenshots showing LINUX AIR COMBAT in action. (Click
images to see larger versions.)
Default flight controls for LINUX AIR
COMBAT. The default configuration is set up for a numeric keypad,
standard keyboard, and the popular, inexpensive Logitech Extreme 3dPro
joystick as illustrated above. It is possible to reconfigure for a
different joystick or to use a generic "mouse pointer" instead of a
joystick. Keyboard keys are also reconfigurable and/or
interchangeable with joystick buttons. In general
it is possible to assign almost any keyboard key to any arbitrary
flight or view function. It is also easy to
reconfigure a typical joystick "hat switch" to configure view
directions, etc. Further instruction is available in LAC "Video Howto"
Free, multiplayer online access is
In December of 2015,
AskMisterWizard.com announced availability of our new, free, open
source flight simulator for
LINUX, now known as "LINUX AIR COMBAT".
Since that time we've continued development, which is now stable.
We will continue with minor bug fixes, cosmetic improvements to the
aircraft images, and "tuning" of the flight models, but the design is
now mature, and all of the fundamental features are in place. Most
of our development work has been done on 64-bit
versions of the well-known "PcLinuxOs" Linux distribution. Testing has
confirmed that the resulting PcLinuxOs binaries are compatible with
some other, popular LINUX distributions, including Ubuntu LINUX.
source code is available for download so that users of other LINUX
versions can compile it for their use too (See the "Downloading" and
to see the Linux Air Combat ChangeLog, with text and video summaries
documenting all of the changes that have been implemented in each
The Linux Air Combat
developed a "Linux Air Combat Server" that is now available for free
public use. In late June 2017, that server
completed the first phase of beta testing, and a high performance
hosting service now has it available at
LacServer2.LinuxAirCombat.com. The standard LAC installation
process configures LAC for use with this server, and we plan to keep it
operating, free of charge,
indefinitely! Everybody with an up-to-date copy
of Linux Air Combat
can now participate with one another in the online missions.
If you were using our initial beta-test server at BoseNet.no-ip.biz,
you will need to edit your LacConfig.txt file and change the three
fields referencing that old server to these three new fields:
"LacServer2", "LinuxAirCombat", "com".
for running a compiled, binary version of LINUX AIR COMBAT
This flight simulator is distributed in both source code and
binary executable formats for various LINUX distributions. (Most people
will need to compile it.) For
compatibility with a binary version, LAC requires each of these
well-known, popular LINUX libraries and tools, which are generally
preinstalled in most major LINUX desktop distributions:
As of October 2017, two of those
prerequisites are NOT pre-installed on Ubuntu desktop Linux, but it is
very easy to obtain them using the well-known "apt-get" command.
The commands to install those two libraries, issued into a bash command
If LINUX is new to you, CLICK HERE to go to our YouTube playlist loaded
with introductory information that can get you started.
Additional Prerequisites for compiling
your own version from the LINUX AIR COMBAT source code
Many LINUX users will need to compile LINUX AIR
COMBAT from the free source code (the well-organized source code makes
this very easy, even for non-programmers). In addition to the
prerequisites listed above, you
will also need gcc (almost always present), and all of these
tools and libraries, which are generally NOT preinstalled in most major
LINUX desktop distributions:
Experienced LINUX users will recognize all of these as well-known LINUX
components. For most of the popular LINUX desktop distributions, every
one of these components will be freely available through the usual and
customary means, using free package managers. If you have a good
Internet connection, you should be able to get everything within 5 or
10 minutes and with just a few mouse clicks. For a YouTube video showing how we
obtained tools to compile a very similar project, CLICK
LINUX AIR COMBAT hardware requirements are modest. At the minimum, two
gigabytes of RAM
and an old Celeron or Pentium processor should suffice. Five levels of
graphic detail are available from a prominent configuration menu. When
configured to display in a small window with the simplest available
graphics, almost any desktop or
laptop PC built since about 2006 should be able to run it with
acceptable frame rates on any of the popular LINUX distributions.
Full-screen, high definition video using the
higher graphical levels (levels 3, 4, and 5) will require an
graphic card of the type made popular by nVidia, Intel, or ATi, but you
need a really expensive card. I've had great success with cards that
cost U.S. $50.00 or less.
LINUX AIR COMBAT is intended for joystick flight controls. Joystick
axes, joystick buttons, and keyboard keys can be mapped to any of 45
different flight functions and 16 comms functions, so you will be able
to set up your controls
to your liking. A joystick (like the popular, inexpensive Logitech
Extreme 3dPro) is HIGHLY recommended, but it is possible to control
LINUX AIR COMBAT with just a keyboard and mouse.
HERE for the compressed archive of the latest LAC version,
- -- A compiled version of Linux Air combat in the bin/Release
subfolder (this version was compiled for 64-bit PcLinuxOs. It also
works on 64-bit Ubuntu distros, but it may not
other LINUX distributions)
- -- An installation script named "install.sh" that will install
and configure Linux Air Combat.
- -- All of the source code necessary to compile or customize your
own version of Linux Air Combat
- -- A "Codeblocks Project File" to make it easy to use the
free, well-known "Codeblocks" compiler GUI
- -- A set of additional subfolders containing all other necessary
for a YouTube playlist entitled "Linux Air Combat on Ubuntu Linux"
showing exactly how I downloaded, installed, and tested Linux Air
Combat Version 5.02 on a brand new, 64-bit Ubuntu installation in late
October of 2017. In an additional exercise, that playlist also shows
how I compiled Linux Air combat on that Ubuntu system.
Note that you must install some
configuration files in specific filesystem locations before the
compiled, executable program will run without errors. The easiest way
to do this is just to run the
included "install.sh" script.
Use the "CLICK HERE" link above to download the compressed tar.tar.gz
archive file. Decompress the tar.gz file to produce the associated
.tar file according to established unix/Linux customs. Then de-archive
the tar file. You can store the resulting, new directory tree structure
anywhere you want it within your home filesystem (so long as you can
remember where you put it). Once you've de-archived the tar and
tar.gz archives, it's OK to delete them.
Please note that although a compiled,
executable copy of LINUX AIR COMBAT is included in your download, it
was compiled on a 64-bit PcLinuxOs system and may not work on other
distributions (we recently confirmed that it DOES work with 64-bit
V16.04.1). Since most people are using different LINUX versions,
most will need to
compile the source code to produce an appropriate executable version.
other flight simulators, it is easy to compile LINUX AIR COMBAT, and
you will be able to do it all from within a friendly, graphical
environment without arcane text commands. Look for the section of this
page entitled "Compiling from Source Code" (below) for detailed
instructions and video clips showing exactly how we did it.
Within the top-level de-archived folder, you should find an
shell script named "install.sh". You are ready to run that shell script
after you compile the sourcecode or otherwise obtain the
appropriate executable version of LAC.
Running that shell script from a
command window like /bin/bash will copy all of the required files into
the appropriate locations and configure the appropriate binary
executable program to run on your computer. You can see a YouTube video
below (on the "LAC Video HowTo" page) that illustrates the way we used
that shell script on our PcLinuxOs2016 system. Other video clips in
that "LAC Video HowTo" playlist show how to configure LAC for optimal
performance on your hardware, and how to fly your chosen aircraft in
the available missions.
Linux Air Combat is FAR EASIER to compile and modify than any
comparable flight simulator. The source code
is exceptionally well organized for easy compilation on almost any PC
running a desktop version of Linux.
easy, detailed compilation
instructions and video examples.
Let's Fly Together!
At the time of
this writing in February of 2018, only a very few people know about
Linux Air Combat's new online server. Please help us pass the word.
Invite your friends to join you online as we build up this community
from its tiny state. At first, everybody will have trouble finding
others with whom we can fly. This will only succeed if we all bring
friends into the emerging new "LAC Community".
Communication with other LAC
For your convenience communicating with others in the LAC
AskMisterWizard.com sponsors a Mumble server, so you will benefit
greatly from the free, well-known "Mumble"
Internet voice client application. Mumble clients are available for all
popular operating systems including LINUX, Android, Apple/IOS, and
Windows. Use Mumble to communicate with other LAC users during flight,
or just to chat about LAC with other users or developers. Because LAC
is new and the server is now supporting only a small community of
users, you will naturally want to know if anybody else is flying, and
the realms and missions in use. We intend for our Mumble Server to
serve as your "home base" for these activities. You and your
friends can connect to our Mumble
server at LinuxAirCombat.com.
Configure your Mumble server connection with a simple username that is
unique to yourself. We use Mumble's standard Public Key Infrastructure
to authenticate users the easy way, so you won't need a
password. Our server has dedicated channels for general discussion of
LAC, for technical support, and for each of our online missions and
their teams. Furthermore, LAC now comes preconfigured with a set of
powerful macros and status messages that fully integrate Mumble into
your LAC controls and cockpit! (You will need to create 26 new Mumble
"Shortcuts" to synchronize Mumble's interpretation of your LAC keyboard
macros. CLICK HERE for a YouTube video clip showing how we
New! The Linux Air Combat Video HowTo!
We are building a new series of short, highly focused YouTube
video clips to help you download, install, configure, and enjoy Linux
Air Combat. Most of these
video clips are less than 5 minutes in length, and many are less than
two minutes long, because each covers just a single topic. Organized as
a YouTube "playlist", you can quickly scan the many separate titles to
focus in on a specific problem or area of interest. We are adding
titles to this playlist frequently, so if you don't see what you need
right now you might find it later. Please use YouTube comments
associated with each clip to ask or answer related questions for the
LAC community. This advertising-supported effort helps to fund our
development, so we appreciate your participation and support.
CLICK HERE to go directly to the Linux Air Combat
Video HowTo on YouTube
Frequently Asked Questions
CLICK HERE to go directly to the
Linux Air Combat FAQ page