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MapTool Prebuilt OSes

Ready to use Linux images preconfigured to run MapTool.

These are community maintained images, designed to get up and running with maptool quickly, and uniformly. For support, come ask in Discord.

Virtual Machine Image (based on Gentoo)


Download the disk image file for the image you want to run. It can be extracted via 7zip or similar unarchiving tool. If you are going to run it via a Virtual Machine (VM), just point your VM software at the extracted disk image, and select the correct boot type (UEFI vs legacy). To run from a USB drive, a tool like balenaEtcher can write the image to a drive. Minimum drive sizes, CPU type, and other requirements are listed in each image's section.

Flashing an image file to a USB drive (or other drive) will erase and reformat the drive!

GenTool Image


Based on Gentoo Linux, this boots to a KDE/plasma or XFCE desktop, with a fairly comprehensive list of installed utilities (the core KDE meta packages).


  • 4GB or larger drive (16GB recommended)
  • 1 GB RAM (2GB strongly recommended)
  • x86_64 CPU with AVX2 (Intel Haswell or newer, or AMD Excavator or newer)
  • UEFI based boot

If it fails to boot to GRUB, verify your bios is set to boot either to UEFI or UEFI+legacy.


  • New binary package updates roughly weekly
  • Username: maptool
  • P: maptool@maptool
  • Root: root@maptool

If you want to use the whole area of a larger-than-4gb flash drive, there are two steps. First, use parted to change the second partition to use the whole drive. (You will need to determine which drive is your root drive, which you can do by running mount | grep btrfs. Look for the entry mounted on /. If that reads /dev/sda2 than your root device is /dev/sda

su -c "parted /dev/$root"
resizepart 2 100%

Then reboot. The second step requires resizing the live btrfs filesystem.

btrfs filesyste resize max /

This does not require a reboot.

Updating the installed image will require a larger disk (8GB minimum), and rolling back some space saving USE flags. The basic sequence to update packages is as follow.

eix-sync && emerge --update -avbkg1 --deep --newuse --with-bdeps=y --usepkgonly --autounmask @world

It will offer to make some mask or USE changes. Hit yes, then run


to review the changes. Y will accept the changes, then re-run the first command.

GenTool - Minimal



Based on GenTool, with fewer packages, and with some core files removed. Same requirements as GenTool, except it will fit on a 2GB drive, and is half the download size. Due to the removed files, updating this image is not supported, and some normal Linux features may behave oddly (or be missing). It is possible to convert it to a normal image, by downloading the second file, mounting it under linux, and copying the files to the root partition (cp -ra $mount_point/* /).

Docker Image (based on Ubuntu 18.04)


Install Docker for your platform. See for specifics.

Copy/paste the following text into a file named Dockerfile and use it to build an image.


Use your Docker application to start the image. When started, you may connect to the MapTool server running inside the container using two different techniques. When using the provided Dockerfile, you should expose ports 22 (ssh) and 51234 (MapTool).

1. The first approach is to use a Remote Desktop application to connect to the container. This allows you to copy your campaign file into the container, start MapTool, and start a server for players to connect to.

2. The second approach involves creating an ssh connection to the container. If you enable X11 Forwarding before you ssh to the container, you will be able to execute MapTool and have its GUI display on your local system without using a Remote Desktop client. This implies less network overhead than a full desktop. (Note that shutting down your ssh connection will terminate MapTool as well — caveat emptor!)

Using either approach, players should connect to the container's IP address and MapTool's port.

# This starts with a "minimal" Ubuntu per
# Only 29MB in size and optimized for AWS!  Cool. ;)
# However, this configuration installs MapTool and all of its dependents so
# that it can be executed locally within the container.  This bloats the size
# of the image up to ~3GB.
FROM ubuntu:18.04
RUN apt update && \
    apt install -y openssh-server curl sudo

# This is because `sshd` requires `/run/sshd` to exist.
# See
RUN mkdir -p -m0755 /var/run/sshd

# The `tzdata` pkg is (eventually) needed for the `ubuntu-desktop` package.
# Note that its installation is interactive, hence piping some answers into it.
# (The answers are based on US/Eastern time zone.  Your mileage may vary.)
RUN apt update && \
    echo -e "\n12\n5" | apt install -y tzdata

# Don't know if 'cdrom' group is needed, but Ubuntu typically adds it by
# default, so I figured I might as well.  And using Bash is just to make the
# shell more comfortable when I need to login interactively.
RUN groupadd maptool && \
    useradd -m maptool -g maptool -G adm,cdrom && \
    chsh -s /bin/bash maptool

# Need to install a full GUI if we want to run MapTool inside the container.
RUN apt update && \
    apt install -y ubuntu-desktop xdg-utils

# Creates directory as needed, then chdir's to it.
WORKDIR /home/maptool/.ssh

# Download and install a release of MapTool.
# This needs to be parameterized at the time the image is built in the future,
# but I'm not there yet.
# This retrieves a JSON object describing the latest release, then looks for
# the asset that ends with '.deb"' (which will be the Debian install package).
# Using both `grep` and `cut` is overkill since `awk` can do both, but this is
# copy/pasted from StackOverflow and I'm being lazy. :)
#RUN curl -L $(curl -s | grep 'browser_.*[.]deb"' | cut -d\" -f4)

# This grabs a particular release.
RUN curl -LO

# Regardless of which version is downloaded, we should install it and remove
# the package file.  We _could_ leave the file in place, but it just makes the
# image larger, so...
RUN dpkg -i maptool_*.deb && \
    rm maptool_*.deb

# Copy the `.desktop` file to the right place.
RUN mkdir -p /home/maptool/.local/share/applications && \
    cp /opt/maptool/lib/*.desktop /home/maptool/.local/share/applications

# Copies everything in the context directory to the image.
# I'm still playing with the SSHD config, and the `maptool.sudo` is just a
# single line that allows `maptool` to run sudo without needing a password.
COPY . .
RUN chown -R maptool:maptool /home/maptool && \
    chmod 700 . && \
    cat >> /etc/ssh/sshd_config && \
    cp maptool.sudo /etc/sudoers.d/maptool

# This is documentary only; run `docker -p` to actually expose ports.
EXPOSE 22 51234

# This configuration runs SSHD as pid 1.  You then connect to the
# container as `maptool` using a public key.  This will give a command
# prompt from which you can execute MapTool (use X11 forwarding).
# Now load a campaign file and start the server.  Players can connect to this
# container, port 51234, to get to this MapTool server.  However, that port is
# only open on `localhost`, so they will also need to SSH in and forward a local
# port to the 51234 remote port.  When they start their local MapTool and connect
# to their local port, it'll be tunneled over the SSH link to this MapTool.

# For diagnostics & testing, if needed.
# This is near the end of the Dockerfile so that earlier images don't have to
# be rebuilt if these lines change.  This is important because installing all
# of the GUI libs into the "minimal" image takes a fair amount of time.
#RUN apt update && apt install -y net-tools tcpdump ethtool nano

# If you want to start MapTool directly, more s/w support is needed.
# {
    # There would need to be a framebuffer device that MapTool could use as its
    # display device, and the environment would need to be populated so that when
    # MapTool is executed, it knows to use that device.  (I haven't done this
    # yet, and I believe it'll take a bit of tinkering to get it right.  A
    # display manager is needed, such as `gdm`, and it would need to be
    # configured to autologin as `maptool`.  Using a fb would also increase
    # the memory usage of the container.)

    # Everything from here runs as `maptool`
    #USER maptool

    # This is technically a JSON array, so double quotes are required around
    # strings.
    #ENTRYPOINT ["/opt/maptool/bin/MapTool"]
# } else {
    # This just runs SSHD so you can login to the container and try stuff out.
    # After logging in, try executing "/opt/maptool/bin/MapTool" with a local
    # X server running and X11 forwarding turned on in your SSH client. :)
    CMD ["/usr/sbin/sshd", "-D"]
# }