Installing Dwarf Fortress

Dwarf Fortress Screenshot

What is Dwarf Fortress?

From Dwarf Fortress Features page:

Dwarf Fortress is a single-player fantasy game. You can control a dwarven outpost or an adventurer in a randomly generated, persistent world.

If you want to lear more about it I suggest reading the awesome Dwarf Fortress Explained article. To get started and learn how to play I recommend JuryDutySummons How To Get Started with Dwarf Fortress videos.

Dwarf Fortress 0.34.11 and Dwarf Therapist on Mountain Lion

There are varies ways to run Dwarf Fortress on a Mac. The easy one, is to get the Mac version from the download page. The problem with that method is that Dwarf Therapist, an indispensable tool for playing Dwarf Fortress, won't work with its latest version 0.34.11. So the best way to play it is via wine, that won't make it any worse and the game will run fine without requiring configuration tweaking, something that you need to do even with the Mac version. By the way, if you download the Mac version, don't forget to change PRINT_MODE: 2D to PRINT_MODE: STANDARD, and TRUETYPE: YES to TRUETYPE: NO, in data/init.txt.

Alternatively, you may install it using the WineBottler. For instructions see it here.

I had some problems with the WineBottler and, being a developer, I prefer to use the command line. This tutorial assumes you know how to use a terminal for simple operations. And it will be easier if you already have homebrew installed.

A pro tip before you start: if you know how to use git, creat a git repository the first time you extract the Dwarf Fortress directory, and commit each time you merge another folders with it. It can make your life a lot easier if something goes wrong, and it's a nice way to keep the game files changes.

  1. You gonna need homebrew setup.

    1.1 Instalating homebrew:

    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go)"

    1.2 Installing command line tools. Grab and install Command Line Tools (OS X Mountain Lion) from here. You might need to setup an apple developer account.

  2. Mountain lion doesn't ship with X11, so you need to download Quartz from here.

  3. Wine, winetricks and mono.

    brew install wine brew install winetricks winetricks mono210

  4. Download Dwarf Fortress windows version from here. Unzip it, and copy it to ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files. This will be the Dwarf Fortress Directory.

  5. Grab Dwarf Therapist from here. Unzip it, and copy it to ~/.wine/drive_c/Program Files.

  6. Choose a tile set or skip it if you don't want one, or you plan to install a Major mod.

    Extract the tile set and copy it to the Dwarf Fortress directory. You can use ditto, for example:

    ditto Phoebus3411v00 ~/.wine/drivec/Program\ Files/df34_11

    If you installed the Phoebus tile set, then copy the files of data/init/phoebus/init.txt and data/init/phoebus/d_init.txt to data/init. You might need to override these files when coping.

  7. Modest mod. You may skip it if you like. Or you can choose another mod from here, check for compatibility with tile set. From the Modest Mod (thread) description:

    The Modest Mod is a collection of vital bugfixes and tweaks that everyone should be able to use comfortably and without reservation. This mod doesn't add anything new. It doesn't do anything controversial.

    Extract it, and copy its content to the Dwarf Fortress directory.


To start game, run from the Dwarf Fortress directory:

wine Dwarf\ Fortress.exe

And then, to start Dwarf Therapist, run from its folder:

wine DwarfTherapist.exe