Gentoo Wiki


This article is still a Stub. You can help Gentoo-Wiki by expanding it.

Wikipedia has an article on:

StepMania is an open source cross-platform rhythm and dancing game. For more information about the game, check out the Wikipedia page. This page is dedicated to setting up and using StepMania in Gentoo.




Before installing, it is important to know that in order for StepMania to really be playable, you must have opengl installed and direct rendering enabled. To check simply run the below command:

# glxinfo | grep direct

If it reports that direct rendering is enabled, you're all set.


One method is to simply install the binary available on This method, however, will cause StepMania to crash anytime an mpeg is tried to be played and in various other cases. Generally, it is less stable to use the binary in this case. The MPEG issue is because the binary does not come with or install the ffmpeg library. The ebuild handles this issue.

Make sure your USE flags in /etc/make.conf contains mad and vorbis so you can play files stored in mp3 or ogg format.

Emerge with

emerge stepmania

This could take quite a while.

Letting Users Add New Game Content

The best and securest way to to this (instead of putting song files inside installation directory), is having a folder in somewhere and telling StepMania to include use that folder. In order to do this, first you need to execute stepmania to create all default configuration files (located at: ~/StepMania). After, create a folder where you want to keep your StepMania Data with 3 folders in it: Songs, Announcers and Characters. Now, tell SetpMania to use that folder by editting ~/StepMania/Data/stepmania.ini and replacing AdditionalFolders= with AdditionalFolders=the_folder_you_have_just_created After doing this, just be sure current user have read access to that folder, and from now on, you can put your own data there.

Adding New Content

StepMania uses the "smzip" format (simply the zip format) to provide new content for the game. There are a number of directories within /usr/share/games/stepmania which allow the user to add new content. These include "Announcers", "Songs" and "Themes" for installing announcers, songs and themes, respectively.

Installing New Content

To install new content, simply unzip the downloaded smzip file and move the directory within it into the appropriate place. For example, to install a new song, simply download a song smzip file and move it to the directory you chosed for AdditionalFolders= in previous step. If the name of the song was "Max 300", for example, one would simply move the "Max 300" directory to that folder.

Note: Many smzip files may have the actual content a directory level deep.

In the above example, the "Max 300" directory may be in its own "Songs" directory within the smzip file. Simply ignore this, go a level deep and move the "max 300".

Using a Dance Pad

Most generic PlayStation to USB converters are not able to record simulaneous UP+DOWN or LEFT+RIGHT. There are some that do work; check the StepMania site for recommendations.

Using a Metal padrequires joydev module support in the kernel as well as an appropriate controller. For more information on setting up a dance pad on Gentoo Linux, please see the Joystick page.


Slow Audio

If you're experiencing slow and laggy audio in StepMania and you have this line in your startup message:

Couldn't load driver ALSA: Not enough substreams for hardware mixing, using software mixing

changing the sound driver for StepMania to OSS might work. To do this, edit the StepMania.ini file.

File: /usr/share/games/stepmania/Data/StepMania.ini



lua Error

If you receive an error about liblua that looks like this:

Command: emerge stepmania
checking for lua-config50... no
checking for lua-config... no
checking for lua_open in -llua... no
checking for lua_open in -llua50... no
checking for luaopen_base in -llualib... no
checking for luaopen_base in -llualib50... no

*** liblua is required to build StepMania; please make sure that
*** it is installed to continue the installation process.

then you need to add "=dev-lang/lua-5.0.3" to /etc/portage/package.keywords and ">dev-lang/lua-5.0.3" to /etc/portage/package.mask and then run:

emerge stepmania

The StepMania creators made the configure process only work with lua-5.0. This is because Stepmania uses certain things that aren't in the newer versions of lua anymore, or that are different somehow. either way, if you try running Stepmania with a newer version of lua than 5.0.3, it'll crash when you get to the part of the menu where you choose the song you want to play, and it'll say something about 'symbol lua_open not found'. If you have a dual-screen setup (like I do), but Stepmania runs on only 1 screen, you're not getting control of the second screen back either until you restart your X system. Needless to say, this isn't what you want. So stick with lua-5.0.3.

(If the newer version of lua works for your system, then of course you shouldn't downgrade just because this page says so. If it works, let it work.)

Retrieved from ""

Last modified: Mon, 08 Sep 2008 06:55:00 +0000 Hits: 7,378