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PortaBoom: All the Doom you can handle
on a 3" CD!
PortaBoom: All the Doom you can handle on a 3" CD!

This document was last modified: Thursday, 19-Dec-2002 08:16:10 UTC,
and is maintained by { portaboom (at) portaboom.com }


PortaBoom is a standalone mini distribution of Linux.  PortaBoom's current goal is to allow people to play the game of Doom on any Intel machine with a CD ROM drive, regardless of what operating system is installed on the hard drive. Eventually, I'd also like to also be able to add other games and application software using a modular packaging system, which would let you choose what applications you want to run.  See the Notes page for a big list of what I'd like to include in the project.

PortaBoom will boot from a CD ROM, and once booted, start a framebuffer X server for gameplay and interaction with the system.  Another project which is being developed in parallel called tkBoom will provide the graphical user interface (GUI) inside of X.   My goal is to fit all of the above onto a 3" CD-ROM (about 185Mb capacity) with enough space left over for people to add a bunch of WAD files.

Boom is a port of the original Doom source code that was released by id Software in December of 1997.  The port of Boom that I'm developing tkBoom on is called prBoom, and is located at http://prboom.sourceforge.net.  But in theory, it should work with any Doom port, some modification may have to be made for command line parameters.

Doom is on the list of Dirty Dozen Toys for 2001-2002. Now it even comes in a handy portable format! Get your copy today!

System Requirements

Please see the FAQ

Installation/Running/Using PortaBoom

Please refer to the User's Guide


Eye candy. View them on the screenshot page.


Current version of the PortaBoom ISO image is v0.5.0, release date is 29 June 2002.

PortaBoom ISO images with the shareware WAD file (mirror sites)
Mirror Site Provided By Bandwidth
http://mystic.portaboom.com/portaboom.iso.bz2 (55.2M)
http://mystic.portaboom.com/bzip2.exe (68k)
http://mystic.portaboom.com/md5sum.exe (48k)
Brian T-something.
Really damn fast
94825f557b3d7bafdc9efa3a7d0514c8  portaboom.iso with Shareware WAD - v0.5.0
74dfe13e35113f715d4c35a17ce2102c bzipped image file with Shareware WAD - v0.5.0

ae63cca262c54ae630095bef3699a727 portaboom.iso with Shareware WAD - v0.4.0
a6f6d31a8fe4cbfe72ae15cebd8752f0 bzipped image file with Shareware WAD - v0.4.0

16f09dda4b542b67714c1a56a3c27fa0 portaboom.iso with Shareware WAD - v0.3.0
ef3cab9a9b88f8e5488b135e16373dcd bzipped image file with Shareware WAD - v0.3.0

0d715ccc622fd38c61e54a5d3d0bbcfc portaboom.iso with Shareware WAD - v0.2.5
5646029c94079d55a190bf5c7b737f5d bzipped image file with Shareware WAD - v0.2.5

574d368fb58badcf9ded6f683a70530d portaboom.iso with Shareware WAD - v0.2.2
ec2a9ce18594f132dcfaee59aeac9a09 bzipped image file with Shareware WAD - v0.2.2

941c3b24d183f35dc32943d319b07f6c portaboom.iso with Shareware WAD for v0.1
4be8d9935e79829e55b69f7e82490df7 bzipped image file with Shareware WAD - v0.1

eb574b236133e60c989c6f472f07827b md5sum.exe
f9b42457d48c70dae54432ffb20ee63c bzip2.exe

PortaBoom ISO images without the shareware WAD file
(hosted on SourceForge; see the FAQ for more info on this image)

Coming soon

Extra downloads for Windows users (most Unix systems come with these utilities already)

To check the vaildity of the download, use the program md5sum.exe:

md5sum.exe portaboom.iso.bz2

The hexadecimal number that md5sum outputs should match what's posted here on the website. I usually just compare the first or last 4 digits, if something is wrong, then even those four digits won't match

To uncompress the bzipped image, use bzip2.  Open an MS-DOS window, and type:

bzip2 -d portaboom.iso.bz2

This will uncompress the file, and then you can burn the ISO image with a CD ROM burning program that supports it.

If you are having problems downloading the ISO image, there is a nice Unix utility called "wget" that can be used. wget is available on most Linux/*BSD systems, and I've also linked in the "Downloading the PortaBoom image" section of the User's Guide an FTP archive that has Windows zipfiles of wget.


The GUI used in PortaBoom is available as a standalone application called tkBoom. tkBoom is written in Perl, with Perl::Tk providing the GUI controls.

I've created a list of PortaBoom test platforms. You can look at this list to see if you have the same hardware, and if you do, you can reasonably be assured that PortaBoom will work for you too. Here's some more PortaBoom design notes.

I finally got a copy of the OpenGL version of PrBoom to work in Linux, here's a few screenshots.

PortaBoom is developed and tested using  Debian GNU/Linux.  There's a PortaBoom FAQ available, which among other things has troubleshooting info, tells people how to make changes to the ISO CD image and burn their own custom PortaBoom CD's.

PortaBoom was put together using many different pieces of software; see the CREDITS file for specifics, as well as any question about licenses of the software in this package.

All of these webpages, and the scripts/programs created by me for use in PortaBoom are copyright (c) 2001 by me, Brian Manning, and released under the GNU GPL. Again, see the CREDITS file to see what parts of other projects I used for this one.

You can contact me ( portaboom {at} portaboom.com ) if you have any questions/problems with PortaBoom.  I keep a diary on Advogato, you can always get the latest project news there.

For more information on the GPL, please go to http://www.gnu.org

Much thanks to those wonderful people at SourceForge, for providing me hosting space

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