Inform 10 on Linux Mint

I bought a cheap ThinkPad x280 the other day, specifically for running Inform when not at my main computer.

I used to run Ubuntu many years ago but had to return to Windows as I use the entire Adobe suite, but since I only need to run Inform on the thinkpad, I’m wondering if it’ll run ok on Mint. I can’t find any recent topics on running Inform on Linux. They’re all quite old and either mention compile issues or other versions of Linux.

Does anyone run the latest Inform on the latest Mint?


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Perhaps there’s better comparision sites around (this IS a bit nosy…), but this can be a good starting point on Linux distribuition:

Perhaps other can give other, better, sites on Linux distros, perhaps more trustworthy (as in low/zero nosyness…)

HTH (but I doubt that my post was helpful…), and

Best regards from Italy,
dott. Piergiorgiio

It runs fine on Ubuntu (though you might have to build from source), but I’ve never tried on Mint I’m afraid.

I’d put Debian on it, but specifically I’ve been sticking with Raspbian OS desktop variety. It even runs (very slowly) on the original ASUS Eee PC!

Support is what I’m after, and it’s a lot easier to ask how to do things in Raspi OS, instead of having to explain in great detail what kind of Linux variant running in what kind of CPU with what drivers are installed.

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I want to avoid Ubuntu this time. I figured Mint because it’s just install and play with few dependencies.

I guess I could just run it on an external drive and experiment. I’ll report back if I get it working.

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That’s generally my distro of choice. If you want to only include open source software and exclude anything proprietary, Debian makes it easy.

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I flashed Mint to an old 32GB USB stick and booted from that. Installing Inform was easy, just clicking the flatpak option on Git. Had it up and running in no time. I copied a few example games from the documentation and they all worked ok.

However, when compiling, a notification in the bottom-left said it was compiling from Inform7 to Inform6. Is the Linux version not version 10?

Unfortunately I cannot test my game as I copied the code from my Windows version, pasted it into Google Docs, and from there pasted into my Mint version. The problem is that pasting into Google Docs messed my correctly tabbed conditions, so now Inform on Mint is flagging up incorrect syntax on every single one of them. This is a problem I’ve come across before, so if anyone has any tips on how to copy Inform code without it breaking my tabs, I’d love to hear from you.

One other thing I tried was accessing my Windows Inform project via Mint. It didn’t like that and crashed Inform, but I wasn’t expecting this to work anyway.

Can you just copy over the file?

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I’ll try this next.

Yeah, the source code (in the .ni file) is just plain text, so copy it over the same way you would a .cpp file or whatever. Word processors will generally mess up the tabs, quote marks, and so on that Inform needs.


Are there not other dependencies held in other files though, like scripts?

You won’t get the skein, if that’s what you mean by “scripts”, though I think there a way to manually transfer that too - is there something else you were thinking of?

Sorry, I meant the code that runs the functions.

I tried copying the entire project folder (created in Windows) last night and Inform (Mint) didn’t like trying to open it.

FYI, there is a difference between Windows text files (\r\n) and Linux text files (\n). So you may need to convert it.


Or maybe tr will work.

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Thanks, I suspected this was the case. Is that a terminal prompt you’ve included, or just an example of the different file structure?

No, the .ni file is the complete text of your project. Extensions and such aren’t included, so you have to install those separately, but they’re not in the .inform file either.

No, not extensions, but functions. Basically all the JS (I assume it’s JS) that runs all the functions and conditions. The extensions have been loaded already in Mint but I’m wondering about the guts of the back-end of the game.

Or have I misunderstood, and the .ni text file can be run in either OS and generate the necessary script? I can’t test this now as I don’t have my Mint drive on me.

The .ni file is the source code. It’s compiled into a binary file (generally .gblorb nowadays) that can be run by an interpreter program; the Inform IDE can optionally also give you a website with an interpreter written in JavaScript, but that’s just to help with the release process.