spring man page

spring — An open source RTS game engine — Default Engine


spring [-f|--fullscreen] [-w|--window] [-m|--minimise] [--safemode] [-s|--server IP_OR_HOSTNAME] [-p|--projectiledump] [-t|--textureatlas] [--benchmark TIME [--benchmarkstart TIME]] [-i|--isolation] [--isolation-dir PATH] [-n|--name STRING] [-C|--config FILE] [Script]

spring --list-ai-interfaces

spring --list-skirmish-ais

spring --list-def-tags

spring --list-config-vars

spring [-h|--help]

spring --sync-version

spring [-V|--version]


Spring is a versatile 3D RTS game engine. Using extensively Lua for scripting game-specific code to make nearly every aspect of the engine customizable, from GUI, to unit AI, to pathfinding.

It is mainly designed around online multiplayer games but can also be played in single-player mode against AIs.

The engine can run graphics and simulation in two separate threads, depending on the game and engine settings. This will typically boost the performance on multi-core systems.


-h, --help

Print the options help message and exit

-V, --version

Display program version and exit


Display program sync version (for online gaming) and exit


Disables colorized stdout


Ignore unreccognized arguments

-f, --fullscreen

Run in fullscreen mode

-w, --window

Run in windowed mode

-b, --minimise

Start in background (minimised)


Turns off many things that are known to cause problems (i.e. on PC/Mac’s with lower-end graphic cards)

-s, --server::'IP_OR_HOSTNAME'

Run as a server on the given address

-t, --textureatlas

Dump each finalised textureatlas into textureatlasN.tga


Enable benchmark mode (writes a benchmark.data file). The given number specifies the timespan to test.


Benchmark start time in minutes.

-i, --isolation

Limit the data-dir (games & maps) scanner to one directory (see --isolation-dir and the SPRING_ISOLATED env var)


Specify the isolation-mode data-dir (see --isolation and the SPRING_ISOLATED env var)


Specify the directory used for all saving.

-n, --name::'NAME'

Set your player name

-C, --config::'FILE'

Exclusive configuration file


Dump a list of available AI Interfaces to STDOUT


Dump a list of available Skirmish AIs to STDOUT


Dump a list of available Definition Tags in JSON-format to STDOUT


Dump a list of available Projectile classes in JSON-format to STDOUT


Dump all default config vars in JSON-format to STDOUT

-g, --game::'GAME'

instantly start the GAME with a minimal setup. Requires --map to be present, too. Sets the modoption minimalsetup = 1

-m, --map::'MAP'

Requires --game to be set, too. see --game



The default data-directory (see section DATA DIR).


Contains the users settings for the engine, for things like graphic and sound.


Contains the : separated paths to additional data-dirs (see section DATA DIR).

Enviroment Variables

SPRING_LOG_SECTIONS Selective functionality to change the verbosity (separated by ,).

SPRING_WRITEDIR Define custom primary write DATA DIR. Place where spring saves logs, settings, ...

SPRING_DATADIR Adds additional DATA DIRs Spring will search for files (separated by :).

SPRING_ISOLATED If defined, Spring will stop searching files outside of the binaries directory. If it is set to a valid directory path, it will be used as the isolation directory. See the --isolation and the --isolation-dir options.

SPRING_NOCOLOR Same as spring --nocolor.


Can either be a:

Portable Mode

An all-in-one-folder setup, which allows to run Spring without installation. To do so all relevant files (binaries & basecontent) must be in a single folder, esp. spring(.exe), libunitsync.so/unitsync.dll and springsettings.cfg. Spring will then use the all-in-one-folder for writing and won’t do so anywhere else on the system, but it may open other files & directories for reading.

Isolation Mode

Not to confuse with Portable Mode, this mode disables all automatic Data Dir scanning and limit reading & writing to a single folder. This is very useful when games want to run separate from other Spring games. Isolation mode can be enabled by placing an empty isolated.txt next to the spring executable or by setting SPRING_ISOLATED env var.

Data Dirs

Data directories are searched for content, and among other things, may contain:

Sorted by priority the engine may use multiple data directories, but it will use only the one with the highest priority as writable, to write cache & log files to. The hierarchy the engine loads DATA DIRs in can be grouped in 3 sections:

priority section normal portable isolation
high custom user write directory defined via --write-dir

directory defined via --write-dir

directory defined via --write-dir

automatic scanned CONFIG_HOME





low custom user read SPRING_DATADIR envvar

SpringData configtag

SpringData configtag

SpringData configtag

Config directories in user’s home.





C:/.../My Documents/My Games/Spring/

C:/.../My Documents/Spring/

C:/.../All Users/Applications/Spring/

INSTALL_DIR Location of spring binary.

ETC_DIRS Additional : separated DATA DIRs defined in /etc/spring/datadir.


*nix/MacOSX: /usr/.../share/spring & binary dir if is Data Dir

MacOSX: .../Spring.app/Contents/Resources/share/games/spring/base/

Windows: Install directory


Mode A (--isolation): INSTALL_DIR

Mode B (--isolation-dir): supplied dir

Config Files

Spring can load configurations from multiple files and merge them. So similar to DATA DIRs there is one file where the engine writes to and multiple read-only files.

It scans following directories for config files :

priority scanned directories
exclusive file defined via --config (when defined only this is loaded)
high write DATA DIR
(skipped in Isolated mode)

*nix/MacOSX: ~/.springrc

Windows: C:\Users\USER\AppData\Local\springsettings.cfg
low all read DATA DIRs

(The one with highest priority will be used for writing.)

The filename of such config files can be as following:

priority filenames
high springsettings-%Engine_Version%.cfg
springrc-%Engine_Version% (*nix/MacOSX only)
low springrc (*nix/MacOSX only)

(An example for a versioned config file is "springsettings-94.1.cfg".)

See Also

spring-legacy(6) spring-headless(6) spring-dedicated(6)


More information about Spring can be found at link: http://springrts.com


Spring was written by the Spring developers.

This manual page was written by Marco Amadori <marco.amadori@gmail.com[1]>, for the Debian project (and may be used by others).




Referenced By

spring-dedicated(6), spring-headless(6), spring-legacy(6).

01/18/2018 Spring package Games