10 Games from the Ubuntu Universe

Free Software, Games 43 Comments »

Now and again, I show some new Linux users some of the games that are available for Ubuntu. Many of those times, theres a seasoned Ubuntu user close by, who says that they haven’t seen that before. I decided to put together a list of 10 games in the Ubuntu Universe that I have installed. I think I’ll also do other lists of 10 things in Ubuntu in the coming months.


Ubuntu Package name: supertux

Supertux is a Mario Brothers type game. The levels are quite good, but not quite as good as the levels in the original Mario Brothers. You can’t go down pipes yet, and there’s no underwater levels.


Sopwith and Airstrike

Ubuntu packages: sopwith, airstrike

You might remember running Sopwith on an ancient DOS computer with a CGA screen. No? Must be before your time. Sopwith has been ported to Linux, and it’s exactly how I remembered it from ancient times. Last year I discovered Airstrike, it’s a two player game where you have two Sopwith-like planes, with the goal of destroying the other player 5 times to win.




Ubuntu package: chromium

Chromium is a fun arcade-style space shooter.


Lincity NG

Ubuntu Package: lincity-ng

This is a 3-D clone of the original Sim City game.



Ubuntu Package: neverball

In Neverball, you have to tilt a virtual world to keep a ball running to catch enough coins to pass to the next world.



Ubuntu Package: tremulous

Tremulous is probably the most impressive game in the Ubuntu Universe. Each time I show it to someone, they say that it’s the best free game they have seen so far.



Ubuntu Package: tuxkart

This is a silly little racing game, but some of the billboards in the game is amusing (they still advertise VA Linux).


Planet Penguin Racer

Ubuntu Package: planetpenguin-racer

Most people know about this one, it was previously known as Tuxracer.



Ubuntu Package: wormux

If you’ve played worms before, this is an open source clone of that.



Ubuntu Package: xmoto

Xmoto is an addictive offroad bike game where balance is everything.


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EU Study calls Ubuntu installer a “true breakthrough”

Free Software 1 Comment »

From http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/ict/policy/doc/2006-11-20-flossimpact.pdf:

The bundling of hardware and software (maintained through pressure on OEM suppliers) and the constraints of legacy platforms and applications suffice to maintain a monopolistic situation on operating systems software for personal computers, except where strong policies of escaping this situation are put in place. This is the case despite true breakthroughs such as the Ubuntu distribution that have made GNU/Linux easier to install on a machine, in practice, than Windows.

There’s no mention of whether they’re refering to Ubiquity or debian-installer, but at least the Enquirer gave me a laugh by referring to Open Source as Open Sauce :)

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New Laptop and Granny’s Camera

Free Software 10 Comments »

The plan was to get a new ultra-compact IBM X60 (the non-tablet version). I figured it would be nice to have an ultra compact laptop that has long battery life, so that I can comfortably work on long flights or at conferences where plugs are always a problem. Unfortunately there were no local stock of X60′s.

But then I found something interesting, the Sahara CJ55. It’s the same size, and specification as a X60, but exactly half the price. The only thing that I don’t like about it is the keyboard. It’s decent quality, but they’ve made the shift keys smaller to make space for the Windows keys (yuck), and it’s a UK layout keyboard, which would normally confuse me, but I just mapped it out to a US keyboard style. Perhaps now is a good time to (finally) switch to Dvorak.

The build quality is good though, and it has a very “Apple-like” feel to it.

The new one is the one to the left. It has a 12″ display, while the MSI S262 has a 14.1″ WXGA display. The Sahara battery lasts 3 hours and 50 minutes, while the MSI’s battery only lasts 1 hour and 20 minutes. The Sahara came with Windows XP Media Center edition. I didn’t delete it yet, I’ve been having trouble getting my video camera working properly in Ubuntu. I was glad to see Mark Shuttleworth’s post on hardware compatibility, part of a series of posts about challenges that need to be overcame to win the hearts of the desktop user. BTW, according to the frequency of those posts, post #1 should be there tomorrow. I’ve been wondering what his #1 will be. In my humble opinion, I think games is a strong #1. I know many, many high school kids who would instantly ditch Windows if their games worked properly on a GNU/Linux system. I’m sure that Windows won’t last long on my new laptop either. I’ve been enjoying being completely Microsoft-free for the last 4-5 years, and with the efforts of the free software community, that silly old legacy system will be trashed again soon.

BTW- as soon as I can find a X60, and have some money, I’m getting one of those too, they are seriously cool.

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