Ubuntu Raring Games and Entertainment


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Ubuntu Raring Games and Entertainment
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Edutainment Applications

There are many superb applications that can be installed with a single click.

Menu -> Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center-> Education

Below are a few examples that can be installed from this menu:

  • Mnemosyne -- a flash-card tool
  • Oregano -- a program for electrical engineering schematics
  • RlPlot -- a high quality graph generator
  • K3DSurf -- a program for modeling 3,4,5, and 6 dimensional models.
  • Gramps -- map your family-tree and co-operate with genealogy projects


There are some phenomenal games for (K)Ubuntu Linux.

There are hundreds of free, open-source games available in (K)Ubuntu. Most (including the KDE Games collection and the Gnome Games collection) can be accessed through the Games section of your Package Manager.

Examples are:

  • PouetChess -- an excellent 3-D chess game (sudo apt-get install pouetchess)
  • PokerTH -- a very nice Texas Hold 'Em Poker (sudo apt-get install pokerth)
  • Kajongg -- a real MahJongg game, for humans and/or robots (sudo apt-get install kajongg)
  • Planet Penguin Racer -- Penguin slides down a 3-D luge run, catching fish. (Extreme Tux Racer is the newer, updated version -- sudo apt-get install extremetuxracer)
  • KsirK -- play Risk against the computer or in a multiplayer environment (sudo apt-get install kdegames)
  • Racer -- the 3-D "real deal" Car Racing game (install binary found here). Also with extra tracks and add-ons.
  • TORCS -- the 3-D Car Racing game (sudo apt-get install torcs)
  • Supertuxkart -- the go-kart racing game (sudo apt-get install supertuxkart)
  • Pingus -- a Lemmings clone (similar to Super Mario Bros.) that uses penguins instead of lemmings (sudo apt-get install pingus)
  • Frozen Bubble -- the bubble-popping game (sudo apt-get install frozen-bubble)
  • Gweled -- a Bejeweled clone, simple in implementation yet almost as addicting (sudo apt-get install gweled)
  • Frets on Fire -- similar to Guitar Hero. You can import songs from Guitar Hero and from community sites (sudo apt-get install fretsonfire)
  • Scorched3d -- turn-based artillery game in a 3D rendered landscape (sudo apt-get install scorched3d)
  • Pyscrabble (and pyscrabble-server) -- online Scrabble game and server (sudo apt-get install pyscrabble pyscrabble-server) (Also see Lexulous and the Internet Scrabble Club for browser-based online games similar to Scrabble. Internet Scrabble Club requires Java: sudo apt-get install default-jre . It also requires firewall port 1325 to be open inbound/outbound.)

Wing Commander Privateer

The Linux version of this free version of Wing Commander can be downloaded as a binary here. It is a DOS program that runs in DosBox.


Vdrift is a free open source 3-D racing game, similar to Need for Speed, with realistic physics, multiple drift tracks, and multiplayer games. Support for joysticks, mice and keyboard is included. A binary package for Linux is available from the website.


Incredible action games (including those from the Top 25) are available in Ubuntu. Many can be installed using:

Menu -> Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center -> Games

Examples are:

  • Alien Arena -- a multi-player first person shooter action game with free servers. (Package: alien-arena) (Server: alien-arena-server)
  • OpenArena -- an open-source multi-player first person shooter action game, with free servers. (Package: openarena) (Server: openarena-server)
  • Tremulous -- a Halo-like multiplayer first person shooter action game. The repositories have the current version. (Package: tremulous) (Server: tremulous-server)
  • Sauerbraten - a multiplayer graphics-rich first person shooter game evolved from Cube. (Package: sauerbraten) (Server: sauerbraten-server)
  • Nexuiz -- an open-source multi-player first person shooter game with free servers and tournaments. (Package: nexuiz) (Server: nexuiz-server) A 35 map add-on community pack is also available here. To install it, extract the map pack to /home/username/.nexuiz/data (or ~/.nexuiz/data ).

Note: Many of these games require advanced graphics. Make sure you have the necessary hardware drivers activated.


UrbanTerror is a multiplayer first person shooter action game (with an integrated server). It uses the open-source quake 3 engine and features many real weapons and free-to-use servers for multi-player functionality. "Not recommended for adolescents in Germany." Download and install the binary using these instructions.


Skulltag, ZDoom, and PrBoom (Freedoom) are versions of Doom2. For Doom3, see Doom3 on Ubuntu.


Skulltag is an updated version of ZDoom that includes network play. It is now known as Zandronum. See the Zandronum wiki for simple (K)Ubuntu installation instructions. (You can use the Freedoom Iwad (see below) if you don't have an original Doom2.wad.) Note: Most of the modules require dependencies from the Universe repositories. Make sure you have the Universe repositories enabled (Synaptic Package Manager -> Settings -> Repositories -> Edit Software Sources -> Community-maintained Open Source software (universe) -> (ticked)).

  • Add the skulltag repositories, update, and install Zandronum and DoomSeeker (the Zandronum online server utility):
echo "deb http://debian.drdteam.org/ stable multiverse" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/zandronum.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install zandronum doomseeker-zandronum
  • If you don't have a doom2.wad, tnt.wad, or plutonia.wad already, you can copy the freedoom.wad to your ~/wads folder:
mkdir ~/wads
cd ~/wads
wget http://savannah.nongnu.org/download/freedoom/freedoom-iwad/freedoom-iwad-latest.zip
unzip freedoom-iwad-latest.zip
cp freedoom*/doom2.wad .
rm freedoom-iwad-latest.zip
  • Configure Doomseeker to use the ~/wads directory for IWADS and PWADS.
  • If you wish to use Midi for sound (optional), install some prerequisites :
sudo apt-get install timidity timidity-interfaces-extra
  • If you need more help (regarding the Zandronum-server, firewalls, and port forwarding with Zandronum/Skulltag, for example), see these additional tips.
  • Zandronum/Skulltag runs on any platform, with any graphics, and on almost any computer. There are thousands of add-ons, maps, and gameplay modes, giving a nearly endless variety of gameplay. The interface makes obtaining and playing the modifications very easy. This is my favorite game of all time (and I have been playing it for years).


PrBoom is a free open source port of the original first person shooter action game, Doom2. It does not have the advanced options of ZDoom. Freedoom is a free Iwad (set of maps) to replace the original Doom2.wad.

sudo apt-get install prboom freedoom timidity timidity-interfaces-extra

There are thousands of extra maps (Wads) available for this game. It is easiest to keep a directory for your wads in your home directory:

mkdir /home/user/wads
or alternatively, use the /usr/share/games/doom folder, giving universal privileges to the folder:
chmod -R 777 /usr/share/games/doom

Place your doom2.wad, tnt.wad, or plutonia.wad (from your original game) into this folder. If you don't have one, you can copy the Freedom version of doom2.wad from /usr/share/games/freedoom into this folder. Place any new .wad's you have downloaded from the Internet into this folder as well. Then run the game using both the original iwad map as well as your new .wad map (you will only see the new map).

prboom -iwad /home/user/wads/doom2.wad -file /home/user/wads/new_wad.wad

Note: Only doom2.wad, tnt.wad, or plutonia.wad can be used as an iwad. You must have one of these in addition to any new wad you wish to use. When in doubt, use doom2.wad.

Note: this game can also be installed using Menu -> Applications -> Ubuntu Software Center -> Games as Freedoom, but you must also install timidity and timidity-interfaces-extra.



The Spring Project is a scripting engine platform to develop and play free multiplayer games such as Star Wars Imperial Winter and Zero-K. Install:

sudo apt-get install spring

Regnum Online

Regnum Online MMPORG -- see basic installation instructions and the help forum as needed.


PlaneShift is a free full-immersion online fantasy game (MMPORG). Client downloads and patches are available here.

  • Make the downloaded binary installation file executable:
cd /directory_where_downloaded
chmod +x PlaneShift-v0.5.4-x64.bin
  • Run the executable binary as root (this must be done from the command line Terminal):
sudo ./PlaneShift-v0.5.4-x64.bin
  • Follow the instructions for installation. When prompted whether to manually set permissions, answer "no."
  • During installation, most users have recommended installing this game to your /home directory as a single user installation, instead of to /opt for all users. This avoids permissions problems. I was able to install to /opt, but it takes some effort.
  • Make sure your user belongs to the games group:
Menu -> System -> Administration -> Users and Groups -> user -> Manage Groups -> games -> Properties -> Group Members -> user (ticked) -> OK
Menu -> Applications -> Lost & Found -> Client and Setup

To run it from the menu, I had to edit the menu entries by checking the box: "Run in terminal." Alternatively, run it from the command-line Terminal:

sudo /opt/PlaneShift/pssetup
sudo /opt/PlaneShift/psclient

Notes: This game ran very slowly for me on a 32-bit installation with a DSL connection and I gave up. The 64-bit installation worked better.

Game Emulators

DosBox (DOS emulator)

  • DosBox is a DOS emulator that enables older DOS programs (and games) to be run. Install:
sudo apt-get install dosbox
  • Tweak the DosBox settings if necessary. For more info, read the DosBox instructions (man dosbox in a command-line terminal).

Dolphin (Wii emulator)

The Dolphin emulator is an open-source cross-platform Wii emulator that allows many Wii game disks to be run on many operating systems. (Whether the Wii Netflix disk will run under the Dolphin emulator has not yet been established.) (The Dolphin-emulator has no relationship to the KDE Dolphin file manager). Installation instructions for building the latest version from source code are here. Alternatively (and more easily), a Debian (.deb) package for 64-bit (K)Ubuntu systems can be installed (after downloading) from this location.

Other Emulators

  • Zsnes is a Super Nintendo game emulator. It is a 32-bit package, so will require a 32-bit system to be installed first when run on a 64-bit system (sudo apt-get install ia32-libs ia32libs-multiarch). Install:
sudo apt-get install zsnes
  • Desmume is a Nintendo DS emulator. Install:
sudo apt-get install desmume
  • PCSX is a Sony Playstation emulator. Install:
sudo apt-get install pcsxr
  • VisualBoyAdvance is a GameBoy Advance emulator (and vbaexpress is a GUI frontend). Install:
sudo apt-get install visualboyadvance vbaexpress
  • GnuBoy is a GameBoy emulator. Install:
sudo apt-get install gnuboy-x
sudo apt-get install pinball
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