DPK Format

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About the DPK name

DPK stands for “Dæmon PacKage”, the DPK VFS is a PacKage-based VFS leveraging Dependency mechanism.

DPK format specification

The DPK format extends the legacy PK3 format with dependency mechanism and versionning and was implemented for the need of the Unvanquished game. Like the PK3 VFS, the DPK VFS allows to extend and override an existing file system using packages, see the Filesystem page to see how it works. The Daemon Engine is the reference implementation, it will be introduced under this name in Unvanquished 0.51.0 release.

There is two DPK formats: archive and directory format.

  • Archive format is for distribution (commonly named DPK), this format is meant to be easily shareable over the network and auto-downloadable by game clients;
The archive format uses the PKZIP container (the well-known zip format) with a .dpk extension.
  • Directory format is for editing/testing (commonly named DPKDIR);
The directory format is a simple plain directory with a .dpkdir extension.

Package naming

Format: <package-name>_<version>.<extension>

  • package-name: name of the package, some names are prefixed
  • mandatory prefix for map packages: “map-” (the engine will not find neither load the map otherwise)
  • recommended prefix for texture packages: "tex-”
  • recommended prefix for various resource packages (like a package providing both sounds effects, textures, models and animation for a given player model) : "res-”
  • characters forbidden: underscore, dot [_.]
  • characters allowed: alphanumeric plus hyphen and tilde [a-zA-Z0-9~-]
  • extension: “dpk” for archive, “dpkdir” for directory


  • unvanquished_0.51.0.dpk
  • map-parpax_0.5d-viech.dpk
  • tex-vega_src.dpkdir
  • res-players_src.dpkdir

Package layout

Package archive or directory can contain a DEPS file on its root directory containing a list of other package it depends on.

Each package reproduces the file system tree from his root.

DEPS file format

  • One package name per line, optional explicit version separated from package name using a whitespace;
  • Dependencies are loaded giving priority to first ones if multiple package provides different files under the same name.


tex-pk02 1.0
tex-vega 0.4b

Loading a package providing this DEPS file will trigger the game engine to also load the tex-space package (the most recent version found), and to load the 1.0 version of the tex-pk02 package and the 0.4b version of the tex-vega package.

Software compatibility

Software that are known to support DPK format:

  • Dæmon game engine: full dpk/dpkdir support with dependency and version handling;
  • NetRadiant level editor: full dpk/dpkdir support with dependency and version handling;
  • DarkRadiant level editor: basic dpk/dpkdir support, loads all dpk/dpkdir it founds (not yet usable for Dæmon mapping due to some map parsing issues);
  • Q3map2 map compiler (NetRadiant tree): basic dpk/dkdir support, loads all dpk/dpkdir it founds;
  • Urcheon package build tool: basic dpkdir support, loads all dpkdir it founds;
  • XQF game server browser: basic dpk support, loads all dpk it founds.

Software that are likely to supports DPK format one day (working implementation on third-party repositories, not yet merged):

  • GtkRadiant level editor: basic dpk/dkdir support in unmerged tree, loads all dpk/dpkdir it founds (not recommended for Dæmon mapping);
  • Q3map2 map compiler (GtkRadiant tree): basic dpk/dkdir support in unmerged tree, loads all dpk/dpkdir it founds (not recommended for Dæmon mapping due to feature lacking);