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The environment variable $FG_SCENERY is a setting that defines the scenery directories for FlightGear. The normal way to set this and add/remove scenery directories is from the Qt-launcher > Addons > Additional Scenery folders > Add- see this youtube video tutorial for FlightGear 2020.x.

You can also set $FG_SCENERY with the --fg-scenery= option (from the command line or in the fgfsrc file) or via the FlightGear launcher.

Scenery other than the default airport and surrounding area that is shipped with FlightGear should not be placed inside the scenery directory of $FG_ROOT. Separate directories should be created. To use these, see below.

Common paths

  • Mac OS X: Applications/FlightGear.app/Contents/Resources/data/Scenery
  • GNU Linux (e.g. on Ubuntu): /usr/share/games/flightgear/Scenery
  • MS Windows: %ProgramFiles%/FlightGear/data/Scenery

Multiple directories

Directories are read from left to right. For each scenery tile, FlightGear will check if it exists within the first directory. If not, it will move on to the second directory and so on. Directories should be separated by colons (on *nix) or semicolons (on MS Windows, Mac OS X), such as:


FlightGear searches these scenery paths sequentially. The first terrain found for each tile is loaded. Objects for a tile are loaded from all directories visited before (and including the one where) the terrain was found.

The path can contain objects only, terrain only or combined scenery directories. The Airports and Model directories (which are late additions) complicates the scheme a bit as they can only be in combined terrain and objects directories.