I am trying to install ioquake on my ubuntu server.

When I try to run it, I get this message:

# ./ioquake3
./ioquake3.x86_64: error while loading shared libraries: libSDL-1.2.so.0: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

I thought I had everything working right, here is where the libSDL is:

# cd /usr/lib64
# /usr/lib64# ls -l
total 2308
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root      15 Oct 15 00:25 libSDL-1.1.so.0 -> libSDL-1.2.so.0
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root      20 Oct 15 00:25 libSDL-1.2.so.0 -> libSDL-1.2.so.0.11.4
-rwxr-xr-x 1 root root 2358903 Jan 19  2012 libSDL-1.2.so.0.11.4

And my path:

# echo $PATH

What am I doing wrong?

  • 3
    I think that this is a message from libSDL rather than about libSDL. Run strace ./ioquake.x86_64. This will show all system calls (takes way more time to execute). It will show which attempt to open which file will fail. – January Oct 15 '12 at 5:02
  • I installed trace. When I run it straight up, I get the help. When I run strace ./ioquake.x86_64 as you suggested I get command not found. I'm getting a headache :( – ErocM Oct 15 '12 at 5:15
  • I installed strace* – ErocM Oct 15 '12 at 5:20
  • From the OpenArena FAQ, this message appears when libSDL isn't installed, so I don't think it came from it. Not the best idea, but just to be sure, have you tried to rename libSDL-1.2.so.0.11.4 into libSDL-1.2.so.0 ? – NorTicUs Oct 15 '12 at 11:12
  • even if the first worked for you: please mark the second (23 upvotes) as answer as it is actually right for 99% of people. – tatsu May 28 '17 at 13:00

Try the following in terminal:

sudo apt-get update

followed by

sudo apt-get install --reinstall libsdl1.2debian

Post any error messages you might see


This worked for me:

sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian:i386

  • 1
    this is the better answer this should be marked as answer. – tatsu May 28 '17 at 12:59

I know this is a year late. But this should fix it:

dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian

The problem is that you are running a program compiled for a 32 bit architecture with 64 bit libraries.

  • 4
    Alternatively sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2debian:i386 – Joril Jun 5 '14 at 19:26
  • 1
    @Joril I think your comment should be an answer as itself – Alter Lagos Jul 18 '14 at 3:28
sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev libsdl-image1.2-dev libsdl-mixer1.2-dev libsdl-ttf2.0-dev
  • 3
    May you include some explanation on what the problem is and how running the above command would solve it? – Mostafa Ahangarha Mar 22 '17 at 8:32
  • actually the user applications uses the above library inorder to dump text or images on to the SDL window – jagadeesh Mar 22 '17 at 11:07
  • I mean include explanation in the answer. Yet, I think this explanation is not enough. – Mostafa Ahangarha Mar 22 '17 at 11:20

This question is still relevant to Ubuntu 14.04 for old but still in use programs such as GCCG (Generic Collectible Card Game).

There are two very large answers on the subject:

  1. How to run 32-bit app in Ubuntu 64-bit?
  2. How to install ia32-libs in Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr)

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