2010-07-05 22:19

NetHack: one of the best games ever.

I find xnethack default tileset rather ugly. Under Debian/Ubuntu (nethack-x11 package), the tileset file must be in XPM format. It’s configuration is in the /etc/X11/app-defaults/NetHack file with the default xpm: /usr/share/pixmaps/nethack/x11tiles.

The file must be in XPM format, with a limited size and different color number, otherwise Nethack loading time explodes (several minutes).

Here is how to change it on Debian / Ubuntu:

  1. Example: on http://www.multifoliate.com/nh/, get the chozo32b.zip file (link: NetHack 3.4.2 (32×32) (modified by me)). Extract it to get chozo32b.bmp.
  2. Open it with Gimp, cut it to 1280×864 (to delete the black at the bottom). You can then convert it to 256 colors, then save it as XPM. It works but it’s ugly.
  3. To get a better result, save it to PNG.
  4. Install imagemagick package, then convert -depth 5 chozo32b.png chozo5.png
  5. Open chozo5.png with Gimp. Then save it to XPM format.
  6. Edit /etc/X11/app-defaults/NetHack and replace /usr/share/pixmaps/nethack/x11tiles with the path to chozo5.xpm.
  7. Then, reload X ressources: xrdb -merge /etc/X11/app-defaults/NetHack
  8. Start your favorite game: xnethack

The final gzipped file: chozo5.xpm.gz


  • convert always saves xpms in 256 colors. I don’t know why.
  • head image.xpm gives you the first lines of the XPM file, with number of different colors.
  • Abigada tileset is by default in NetHack iPhone version.


2010-07-05 22:19 · Tags: , , ,


  1. Hi, would you please update both links to the NetHack wiki? It has moved to http://nethackwiki.com.
    Unfortunately, our old host has a policy of leaving the old site online as a trap to unsuspecting visitors. I would really appreciate your help sending people to the active wiki and taking our Google ranking with us.

    The user base voted to move because of an intrusive new skin and a bad change to the terms of service. More detail can be found on the old site: http://nethack.wikia.com/wiki/Wikihack:Community_Portal#New_.22Wikia.22_aka_.22Oasis.22_skin:_Problems.2C_legal_restrictions.2C_and_tweaks

    Thank you,
    Tjr (admin at the wiki)


  2. Thanks for the info.
    It’s really nice to have a real nethack wiki now !
    I made the update.


  3. The document should be in XPM arrange, with a constrained size and offbeat shade number, elsewise Nethack stacking time blasts (a few moments).


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>