LINUX Air Combat on Raspberry Pi

In July of 2020 I purchased a new "Raspberry Pi" microcomputer. The model I got was the "4B" with 4GB of memory. I was successful with Linux Air Combat on that hardware. Since that time I've confirmed that it also works nicely on 2GB, 8GB and "Model 400" versions. In Feb2024 we proved that it runs even BETTER on the new Raspberry Pi 5. Click on the following video clips to see exactly how I did it and what it looks like in flight:

The second of those video clips is now a little out of date, but it provides the best summary of the flight simulator and what it looks and sounds like on a Raspberry Pi Model 4b during an online mission. The newest versions feature some additional cockpit graphic detail, and the appearance of other online aircraft is smoother, with motion that is a lot less "jumpy".

Since publishing the first three of those video clips, I learned how to configure it for use with a console game-style controller as an option to a conventional PC joystick, as shown in the fourth clip. I also updated a few tiny details in LAC's source code to optimize performance on the Raspberry Pi, and I learned that the Raspbian community prefers software packaged in the well-known "apk" archive format. As a consequence, compiling on the pi is slightly different now. The latest versions include a source-code provision to optimize a few things for the Raspberry pi, and they include a precompiled binary so you won't need to compile at all if you are using a Raspberry Pi 4b or model 400 with a version of Raspbian that is current or has been kept current since August of 2020.

If you decide to compile LAC on and for a Raspberry pi, be sure to edit the "common.h" file, search for "RASPBIAN", and make sure that the line where it is found is uncommented so that "RASPBIAN" is defined during the compilation process. I published a corresponding, production-quality distribution archive with full source code and a precompiled version of Linux Air Combat for the Raspberry Pi HERE: HERE.

We have long published LAC precompiled for the Pi4b and Pi400. Before running the precompiled executable on that platform, it's necessary to install the following free software libraries from the "Add / Remove Software" facility according to the usual pattern:

1 of 3: freeglut3-2.8.1-3 or later
2 of 3: libsdl1.2debian-1.2.15+dfsg2-6~deb10u1 or later
3 of 3: libsdl-mixer1.2-1.2.12-15 or later.

Once you've installed those libraries and downloaded LAC's free archive distribution for Raspberry Pi 4b, you can just sudo/run the "" shell script (included with the download archive) to install it.

If your Raspberry Pi doesn't already have those very popular libraries installed, LAC will display a clear message about anything you are lacking in the bash shell (or "command console" window) from which it is invoked. All required components are easily available, free of charge, from the standard Raspbian repositories according to well-established procedures. The process is very similar to that illustrated in the first of the two YouTube video clips above.

Recently we learned that LAC runs splendidly on the Raspberry Pi 5. As of 02Mar2024, the version of Raspberry PiOS published for the Pi5 comes preconfigured with all of LAC's popular, free prerequisite libraries except for ONE. The one you need is: "libsdl-mixer1.2-1.2.12-17+b3 (64 bit)" or later. With that one single additional library installed, you are ready to download a precompiled Raspberry5 LAC and install it as "root" using the included "" shell script as shown in the relevant YouTube video clip from above.