Memory hacking library for Dwarf Fortress and a set of tools that use it
C++ C Python
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DFHack is a Dwarf Fortress memory access library and a set of basic tools using this library. The library is a work in progress, so things might change as more tools are written for it.

It is an attempt to unite the various ways tools access DF memory and allow for easier development of new tools.

Getting DFHack

The project is currently hosted on github, for both source and binaries at


The library and tools are packaged for Archlinux and are available both in AUR and the arch-games repository.

The package name is dfhack-git :)


DFHack works on Windows XP, Vista, 7 or any modern Linux distribution.

OSX is not supported due to lack of developers with a Mac.

Currently supported Dwarf Fortress versions are Windows and Linux.



Windows 2000 is currently not supported due to missing OS functionality. If you know how to easily suspend processes, you can fix it :)

0.31.01 - 0.31.03 legacy 0.31.04 - 0.31.13 SDL There are missing offsets but Map tools should be OK. Wait for updates...


0.31.05 - 0.31.13 native. There are missing offsets but Map tools should be OK. Linux support is a bit lacking, I'm working on it. All supported Windows versions running in wine can be used with native DFHack binaries.


All the DFHack tools are terminal programs. This might seem strange to Windows users, but these are meant mostly as examples for developers. Still, they can be useful and are cross-platform just like the library itself.


Cleans all the splatter that get scattered all over the map. Only exception is mud. It leaves mud alone.


A command prompt for liquid creation and manipulation (the Moses effect included!) Also allows painting obsidian walls directly.


Spawning and deleting liquids can F up pathing data and temperatures (creating heat traps). You've been warned.


Prints the current DF window properties and cursor position.


Lists all available minerals on the map and how much of them there is.


Can be used to determine tile properties.


Reveals the whole map, waits for input and hides it again. If you close the tool while it waits, the map remains revealed.


Use if you prematurely close any of the tools and DF appears to be stuck.


Designates a whole vein for digging. Point the cursor at a vein and run this thing :)


A tool for checking how many liquid tiles are actively checked for flows.


Test of the process attach/detach mechanism.


Test of the process suspend/resume mechanism.


Just a simple benchmark of the data export speed.


Dumps the offsets for the currently running DF version into the terminal.


Solves the problem of unusable items after reclaim by clearing the 'in_job' bit of all items.


Lets you change the current weather to 'clear sky', 'rainy' or 'snowing'. Fill those ponds without mucking around with dfliquids :D Rain can also stop brush fires.

Your tool here

Write one ;)

Using the library as a developer

The library is compilable under Linux with GCC and under Windows with MinGW32 and MSVC compilers. It is using the cmake build system. See COMPILE for details.

DFHack is using the zlib/libpng license. This makes it easy to link to it, use it in-source or add your own extensions. Contributing back to the dfhack repository is welcome and the right thing to do :)

At the time of writing there's no API reference or documentation. The code does have a lot of comments though (and getting better all the time).

Contributing to DFHack

Several things should be kept in mind when contributing to DFHack.

Coding style

DFhack uses ANSI formatting and four spaces as indentation. Line endings are UNIX. The files use UTF-8 encoding. Code not following this won't make me happy, because I'll have to fix it. There's a good chance I'll make you fix it ;)

How to get new code into DFHack

You can send patches or make a clone of the github repo and ask me on the IRC channel to pull your code in. I'll review it and see if there are any problems. I'll fix them if they are minor.

Fixes are higher in priority. If you want to work on something, but don't know what, check out -- this is also a good place to dump new ideas and/or bugs that need fixing.

Layout for tools

Tools live in the tools/ folder. There, they are split into three categories.

these tools get distributed with binary releases and are installed by doing 'make install' on linux. They are supposed to be stable and supported. Experimental, useless, buggy or untested stuff doesn't belong here.
examples are tools that aren't very useful, but show how DF and DFHack work. They should use only DFHack API functions. No actual hacking or 'magic offsets' are allowed.
This is a catch-all folder for tools that aren't ready to be examples or be distributed in binary releases. All new tools should start here. They can contain actual hacking, magic values and other nasty business.

Modules - what are they?

DFHack uses modules to partition sets of features into manageable chunks. A module can have both client and server side.

Client side is the part that goes into the main library and is generally written in C++. It is exposed to the users of DFHack.

Server side is used inside DF and serves to accelerate the client modules. This is written mostly in C style.

There's a Core module that shouldn't be changed, because it defines the basic commands like reading and writing raw data. The client parts for the Core module are the various implementations of the Process interface.

A good example of a module is Maps. Named the same in both client and server, it allows accelerating the reading of map blocks.

Communication between modules happens by using shared memory. This is pretty fast, but needs quite a bit of care to not break.


either part of the codebase or statically linked.
linked as dynamic loaded libraries (.dll, .so, etc.)

If you want to add dependencies, think twice about it. All internal dependencies for core dfhack should be either public domain or require attribution at most. External dependencies for tools can be either that, or any Free Software licenses.

Current internal dependencies
used by core dfhack to read offset definitions from Memory.xml
an implementation of the MD5 hash algorithm. Used for identifying DF binaries on Linux.
Allows reading terminal application arguments. GPL!
Current external dependencies
wide-character ncurses
used for the veinlook tool on Linux.
x11 libraries
used for sending key events on linux
Build-time dependencies
you need cmake to generate the build system and some configuration headers

Memory offset definitions

The files with memory offset definitions used by dfhack can be found in the data folder.