Pacman on the raspberry pi

If your are looking after lightweight games that you could natively run on the raspberry pi (without using an emulator), you may be interested in installing this pacman clone. It is written in C++ and uses the SDL2 library.

In my case, it runs smoothly on my raspberry pi 3 model B. As an OS I installed the raspberry pi os (prior called raspbian), with kernel version 5.4.

The fast way

If you are in a hurry, copy pasting the following into a terminal should do the installation (at least at the time of writing):

cd ~/Documents; git clone; cd pacman; sudo apt -y install automake libsdl2-dev libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-ttf-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev; ./; ./configure; make; sudo make install;

You can then run pacman with typing pacman into a terminal or by clicking on the raspberry in the top left corner and then on Run, enter pacman and press enter. Once launched press f for full screen mode. Note that you can now delete the pacman folder if you want to.

Detailed way

1. Clone the repository

You can download the repository using git with git clone As the time of writing the last version was pushed on Mars 10 2020 (in case the repository changes and the installation procedure changes too). You can also download the zip without using git, then unzip it.

2. Installing the dependencies

We’ll need to install aclocal to execute the script found inside the pacman folder. For this you can install automake with sudo apt install automake. The gamer also relies on the following libraries (as can be seen in the readme):

  • libsdl2
  • sdl2-image
  • sdl2-ttf
  • sdl2-mixer

A quick lookup using apt search shows the names of the associated packages. We can install them with: sudo apt install libsdl2-dev libsdl2-image-dev libsdl2-ttf-dev libsdl2-mixer-dev. (Note: for some reason, using other versions like libsdl2-2.0-0 makes the next step fail)

3. Installing pacman

Now from the pacman directory (cd pacman), we can run ./, then ./configure, make to compile the program, and finally sudo make install to install it. You can now remove automake if you want with sudo purge automake. You can also delete the pacman folder.

4. Run Pacman

You can run pacman either from the command line pacman either like so: click on the raspberry in the top left corner and then on Run, enter pacman and press enter. You may want to add a pacman.desktop shortcut in /usr/share/applications/.