[Game] Got starsector to run on NixOS

Seen several youtubers, that I follow, rave how interesting of a game starsector is. I created a default.nix which will build package the game given it’s in the same directory. Unfortunately the game itself is copyrighted so i can’t throw it up on nixpkgs :frowning:.

I’ve been able to play the tutorial, save, and load from save. So it should work, however, i give no guarantees that this works perfectly as I’m using openjdk instead of oracle java 7 (author makes it very clear that only java7 is officially supported).

# default.nix
with import <nixpkgs> {};

stdenv.mkDerivation rec {
  pname = "starsector";
  version = "0.9.1a";

  src = ./.;

  nativeBuildInputs = [ makeWrapper ];
  buildInputs = with xorg; [

  doBuild = false;

  # need to cd into $out in order for classpath to pick up correct jar files
  installPhase = ''
    mkdir -p $out/bin
    cp -r ./* $out
    rm -r $out/jre_linux # remove jre7

    wrapProgram $out/starsector.sh \
      --prefix PATH : ${openjdk}/bin \
      --prefix LD_LIBRARY_PATH : ${lib.makeLibraryPath buildInputs} \
      --run "mkdir -p \$XDG_DATA_HOME/starsector; cd $out"
    ln -s $out/starsector.sh $out/bin/starsector

  # it tries to run everything with relative paths, which makes it CWD dependent
  # also point mod, screenshot, and save directory to $XDG_DATA_HOME
  prePatch = ''
    substituteInPlace starsector.sh \
      --replace "./jre_linux/bin/java" "${openjdk}/bin/java" \
      --replace "./native/linux" "$out/native/linux" \
      --replace "./" "\$XDG_DATA_HOME/starsector/"

    substituteInPlace data/config/settings.json \
      --replace "allowAnyJavaVersion\":false" "allowAnyJavaVersion\":true"

installation steps are as follows:

# download starsector linux client after purchasing
nix-shell -p unzip # need ensureNewerSourcesHook for unzip to work properly
unzip starsector_linux-0.9.1a-RC8.zip
cd starsector
# copy default.nix
nix-build # adds package to store, creates result out-link

I’m not sure what the policies are around it, but there is a mechanism for including this kind of thing in nixpkgs. It’s the requireFile builder.

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The pname is set as “starcaster” instead of “starsector”

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it’s starsector, I think i first search for starcaster when i was looking for the game, and it’s been stuck in my head since :frowning:

I’ve seen that once before, but forgot what it was called. I’ll throw up a PR later :slight_smile:

Just wanted to say thanks, you showed me an excellent game and your derivation worked fine for me.

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:open_mouth: How did I miss this thread? I was wondering how to run that game a while ago.

I figured last night that the game also runs with steam-run (I learned about that on this forum this week).

Thanks for the derivation :heart:

I’m trying it but I get:

$ ./result/bin/starsector
mkdir: cannot create directory '/starsector': Permission denied

Is it normal that I need to create that directory? Shouldn’t it uses one in $HOME?

Also when I alt-tab to get back on my desktop, I still have the game cursor and I can’t click anything (I have the same problem with steam-run). I wonder if this happens with most games and if we can do anything about it.

I think I used $XDG_DATA_HOME to determine save location

Thanks for this!

TL;DR: Switching openjdk to openjdk8 and using an absolute path for XDG_HOME_DIR works nicely for me.

Just an update - it looks like the current version of openjdk no longer works with the game. I get:

Unrecognized VM option 'CompilerThreadHintNoPreempt'                                                                   
Error: Could not create the Java Virtual Machine.                                                                      
Error: A fatal exception has occurred. Program will exit.

There’s some discussion on this in the game forum here where the dev mentioned trying an older version of Java.

It looks like openjdk8 begins to work nicely, though I’m presented with a new issue:

log4j:ERROR setFile(null,true) call failed.
java.io.FileNotFoundException: ./starsector.log (Read-only file system)
        at java.io.FileOutputStream.open0(Native Method)
        at java.io.FileOutputStream.open(FileOutputStream.java:270)
        at java.io.FileOutputStream.<init>(FileOutputStream.java:213)
        at java.io.FileOutputStream.<init>(FileOutputStream.java:133)
        at org.apache.log4j.FileAppender.setFile(FileAppender.java:273)
        at org.apache.log4j.RollingFileAppender.setFile(RollingFileAppender.java:156)
        at org.apache.log4j.FileAppender.activateOptions(FileAppender.java:152)
        at org.apache.log4j.config.PropertySetter.activate(PropertySetter.java:247)
        at org.apache.log4j.config.PropertySetter.setProperties(PropertySetter.java:123)
        at org.apache.log4j.config.PropertySetter.setProperties(PropertySetter.java:87)
        at org.apache.log4j.PropertyConfigurator.parseAppender(PropertyConfigurator.java:645)
        at org.apache.log4j.PropertyConfigurator.parseCategory(PropertyConfigurator.java:603)
        at org.apache.log4j.PropertyConfigurator.configureRootCategory(PropertyConfigurator.java:500)
        at org.apache.log4j.PropertyConfigurator.doConfigure(PropertyConfigurator.java:406)
        at org.apache.log4j.PropertyConfigurator.doConfigure(PropertyConfigurator.java:432)
        at org.apache.log4j.helpers.OptionConverter.selectAndConfigure(OptionConverter.java:460)
        at org.apache.log4j.LogManager.<clinit>(LogManager.java:113)
        at org.apache.log4j.Logger.getLogger(Logger.java:107)
        at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher.<clinit>(Unknown Source)
0    [main] INFO  com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher  - Starting Starsector 0.95a-RC15 launcher
0    [main] INFO  com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher  - Running in /nix/store/dhkkm92bk6368rvpkkqlw8gsrzj990ak-starsector-0.95a
0    [main] INFO  com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher  - OS: Linux 5.14.2
0    [main] INFO  com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher  - Java version: 1.8.0_272 (64-bit)
4    [main] ERROR com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher  - java.lang.RuntimeException: Mod location [/nix/store/dhkkm92bk6368rvpkkqlw8gsrzj990ak-starsector-0.95a/./starsector/mods] is not a directory
java.lang.RuntimeException: Mod location [/nix/store/dhkkm92bk6368rvpkkqlw8gsrzj990ak-starsector-0.95a/./starsector/mods] is not a directory
        at com.fs.starfarer.launcher.ModManager.updateList(Unknown Source)
        at com.fs.starfarer.launcher.ModManager.<init>(Unknown Source)
        at com.fs.starfarer.launcher.ModManager.getInstance(Unknown Source)
        at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher.<init>(Unknown Source)
        at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher.<init>(Unknown Source)
        at com.fs.starfarer.StarfarerLauncher.main(Unknown Source)

The first exception where the log file can’t be written to makes sense as the nix store is immutable, however it looks like the game continues to attempt to launch anway.

The second exception seems to cause issues though, resulting in this popup:

Turns out this was because I was just setting XDG_HOME_DIR with a relative path, i.e. XDG_HOME_DIR=./. After changing this to use an absolute path, it appears to be working nicely.

Thanks for sharing @jonringer!

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Wouldn’t using license.unfree be enough to keep it out of the caches?

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I made a PR: