Best Free Software for Linux

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10. Best Free Games for Linux


Best Free Sandbox Game for Linux
  • Dwarf FortressDwarf Fortress

    "Dwarf Fortress is so horrendously in depth. It's nearing insanity, everything from the dynamic flow of water in the moats to several dozen types of ore, gems and utility stones by the book. You can spend anything from minutes to hours playing this 'uber' creative game.

    For the first few hours there is a steep learning curve - you'll probably be unsure of what you're doing. However, the Dwarf Fortress Wiki or captnducks video tutorials may come in handy." (Review)


Best Free Computer Chess for Linux
  • PyChessPyChess

    "With this program, you can play against the GNU Chess engine or lots of other chess engines, such as the Crafty engine. You can also play Internet chess by connecting to the FICS servers.

    It allows for saving games in the PGN, EPD and FEN chess file formats so that you can always return to continue with the games or analyze them. It also offers opening books and other useful features including undo moves, hint and spy modes, sound and animation effects." (Review)

  • HOXChess

    "A well designed open source Chinese Chess application with highly configurable user interface and multi engines for you to choose from. You can also easily connect to multi remote Xiangqi servers to play the game online." (Review)


Best Free Match-3 Puzzle for Linux
  • Frozen BubbleFrozen Bubble

    "Designed with colorful 3D rendered penguin animations and 15 stereo sound effects, Frozen Bubble comes with editable 100 levels for 1-player game, or hours and hours of 2-player game. You can also choose to have multi-player game over the local area network or Internet.

    Play this game with the left or right key to aim your shot and up key to fire. Hone your skills in speed and accuracy before the bubbles get frozen!" (Review)


Best Free Physics Game for Linux
  • Numpty PhysicsNumpty Physics

    "An excellent open source and multi-platform physics game with 35 built-in levels. It has more to offer than the free prototype of Crayon Physics Deluxe.

    You're able to draw custom shapes and have access to all levels at once, so you don't have to worry if you get stuck at a level. The sketches look more like what a 3-year old has drawn and don't have the professional feel of Crayon Physics. But who cares? I'm also not an artist!" (Review)


Best Free Simulation Game for Linux
  • OpenCity

    A 3D city simulator like a classic SimCity game for you to construct a city divided into residential, commercial and industrial zones. You can connect them by building roads, provide the city with necessary goods and watch it grow up with the power you supply.

  • TORCS (The Open Racing Car Simulator)

    A multi-platform car racing simulation game allows you to drive different cars in races against computer opponents or human players. The game play allows different types of races from a simple practice session up to the championship while the simulation features a simple damage model, collisions, tire and wheel properties, aerodynamics and more. (Review)


Best Free Jigsaw Puzzle for Linux
  • Picpuz

    "Create and solve puzzles, save and open puzzle files, set tile sizes, solving a puzzle by swapping pieces or with a helpful solver." (Review)


Best Free Pipe-Building Puzzle for Linux
  • PipeWalker

    Solve this casual puzzle in building a piping or network system by connecting all scattered pieces with your logic and skill. With support for four map sizes, themes and auto save, it has multiple levels for you to figure out. A binary package is available here for Ubuntu and compatible distros.


Best Free Lemmings Game for Linux
  • Pingus

    Play a free clone of the popular Lemmings game and guide as many penguins as possible to build bridges, climb, bash and use their talents to reach home before they fall into traps. Optional sound effects and music, plenty of level sets and even a level editor are available for challenging your skills.


Best Free Computer Go for Linux
  • PANDA-glGo

    "2D and 3D boards, adjustable board size and engine strength, play online or offline, etc." (Review)


Best Free Hearts Game for Linux
  • Gnome Hearts

    "Various rule sets including Spot Hearts, Omnibus Hearts with configurable play rules, backgrounds and card styles." (Review)


Best Free Sudoku Puzzle, Generator and Solver for Linux
  • HoDoKuHoDoKu

    An open source program allows you to generate sudoku puzzles in five different and configurable difficulty levels. It also includes a solver and an analyzer to help you solve the puzzles.

    While playing the game, you can select to view a summary of solving techniques and solution paths. When you click on a solution path, it highlights the steps on the corresponding grid to help you analyze the game. (Review)


Best Free First-Person Shooter for Linux
  • Urban TerrorUrban Terror

    "Described as fun over realism by the creators, the game has fast paced, intense game-play. Urban Terror doesn't throw realism to the wind mind you, but rather tries to enhance game-play with elements like powerslides and wallhops.

    Five different game types, over a thousand servers, plenty of players to go around and no waiting for people to show up." (Review)


Best Free Breakout Game for Linux
  • LBreakout2LBreakout2

    "An extremely polished Breakout Clone features a two-player mode (local or over the internet or LAN), fine animations and graphics, excellent controls, the ability to save a game, a level editor, and a turbo key.

    This game gets regular Level Set updates. The fun continues well beyond when you have mastered the 50+ levels." (Review)


Best Free Reversi for Linux
  • KReversi

    "7-level of difficulty, clean and helpful interface, show legal moves and last move, undo moves, hints, animation, etc." (Review)


Best Free Backgammon for Linux
  • GNU Backgammon

    GNU Backgammon houses the all powerful GnuBG neural network engine in an ambitious freeware project with a wealth of advanced options and capbilities. It is a highly enjoyable powerplay program to delight all backgammon enthusiasts and a must-have for anyone with more than a passing interest in the game. (Review)


Best Free Billiards and Pool Game for Linux
  • BillardGLBillardGL

    "A brilliantly crafted open-sourced freeware game that affords play of either 8-Ball or 9-Ball. The 3D graphics are second-to-none and the physics appear to be flawless.

    The user interface is simple and the controls straightforward. As you assess your next shot, you can view the table layout from any perspective you want, roaming and zooming and peering." (Review)


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by Anonymous on 24. November 2009 - 2:59  (37201)

good stuff, keep it up

by tunchi_1939 on 26. November 2009 - 15:07  (37335)

Dear Sirs: Thank you very much for your advise in programs for Linux. Many people, including me, are in the transition from Windows to Linux and we need information on free programs replacing those utilized in Windows.

by Jojo Yee on 26. November 2009 - 15:55  (37342)

You're welcome.

by Anonymous on 29. November 2009 - 18:03  (37523)

another audio editor for linux -sweep:

by Jojo Yee on 30. November 2009 - 13:38  (37553)

Thanks for the suggestion. I'll check it out.

by Anonymous on 2. December 2009 - 3:56  (37667)

i like the Evolution mail client ans SMPlayer for media player (uses MPlayer)

by Anonymous on 6. December 2009 - 5:26  (37933)

Great list , hopefully you will keep adding to it , thanks

by LordRahl on 13. December 2009 - 4:49  (38483)

how about a good audio/video converter?

oh and Wormux, Battle for Wesnoth, Battle Tanks, Glest, FreeCiv, and Warzone 2100 are definitely some of the better linux games.

by Jojo Yee on 13. December 2009 - 8:34  (38508)

For audio and video converters, added three good contenders in the list. For the various games suggested, I'll try them out when I get time. Very good suggestions.

by Anonymous on 22. December 2009 - 15:41  (39161)

Songbird for music!

by Anonymous on 15. January 2010 - 11:55  (41100)

A great tool for adding additional hard drives and auto-mounting is Pysdm. Very useful for Ubuntu Desktop. For Ubuntu Server, Webmin is a great tool to remotely manage your server.

by Anonymous on 2. February 2010 - 22:07  (42644)

So what's the best Linux AV? Here's the Wikipedia page on Linux malware So now that we know that Linux does need AV after all (hackers are targeting it now thanks to its growing popularity),
I found these 3 that are free and not only find but also REMOVE whatever malware they find:

*Avira for Linux

Are any of these better than others?

by MidnightCowboy on 2. February 2010 - 23:28  (42652)

An AV won't protect you from hackers but when I was running Ubuntu I used BitDefender. The GUI is more like most Windows owners will be used to if this is an issue and it was highly effective. Its purpose is only to stop windows virus from spreading through a network (in windows pc). It also can be use to scan your windows partition if you have dual-boot system.

Free for personal use only.

There's also some good advice here:

by Anonymous on 8. February 2010 - 22:45  (43130)

Check out the games Hedgewars, and Teeworlds. Both are pretty fun. They are in the ubuntu software repo.

by Anonymous on 24. February 2010 - 0:36  (44313)

I prefer a directory music player, no play-list-mania.

In Windows 1by1 is perfect, a very convenient GUI (and I found the .dll's to play all audio formats).

The Linux clone for this is MOC.
It "text-based" so looks ugly (and you have to read the usage manual to know the hot-keys), however it plays all audio formats out of the box.
And starting to use it after installing is not very logical. You won't find an icon nor a menu item. You have to start it from the commandline with the command MOCP.
However when it runs, and you have selected a particular directory with audio-files, it plays as convenient as 1by1.

by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 8:57  (44525)

Ive tried Teeworlds, it says "Input Not Supported" and the computer hangs. Bad experience for me.

by Anonymous on 26. February 2010 - 8:59  (44526)

Forgot to mention I was running it on Ubuntu Karmic Koala. So now I have to remove the game.

by Anupam on 1. March 2010 - 17:22  (44804)

A video editor for Linux :

by Anonymous on 8. April 2010 - 18:12  (47251)

Multifunctional program
ubuntu tweak
Cleaning, simple adding ppa sources for various programs, configuring gnome for ubuntu

by Anonymous on 8. April 2010 - 21:53  (47264)

by Anonymous on 21. April 2010 - 15:23  (48138)

use vlc player
it has got the option "open directory" under file menu

by wuxia1911 on 19. May 2010 - 4:10  (49921)

Vuze is not a good bittorrent client. It eats up a lot of ram, is bloated with unecessary features, and is now blocked on many private trackers such as and Transmission and rtorrent are better clients for linux. Plus vuze has annoying ads.

by mistywindow on 19. June 2010 - 1:30  (52441)

I recently investigated all the free Linux HTML editors. I ended up with Quanta Plus. It's outstanding, with PHP support and a preview function.

Not to be confused with its ancestor, Quanta Gold, which is cross-platform but obsolete and commercial.


by Anonymous on 19. June 2010 - 12:43  (52457)

Firestarter is no longer maintained or recommended by those in the know.

Use either ufw, or if you need a GUI, GUFW.

by Anonymous on 24. June 2010 - 18:51  (53025)

Nice article, CD/DVD burning tool, you mentioned imgburn (windows based)and brasero. do you know there is a tool called K3B performs even better than Nero, By the way thanks for the useful info to new comers to Linux.

by Jojo Yee on 25. June 2010 - 13:27  (53106)

Thanks for your kind comments. K3b is a good application and will be included in the next update soon.

by Martin Baselier (not verified) on 7. October 2010 - 14:12  (59148)

An excellent list, there were even some applications I did not know of. A few additions:

Ex Falso:
Easily rename/move your mp3's based on the tags. I usually first change the tags with picard, and then place them in my music directory, on /artist/year_album/track-tracname. It's an incredibly flexible program which can even omit tags in the name if they're missing, suppose the year of the album is missing, you could just tell it to use only the album title.

A small, yet fully featured torrent client. Small system load and it can do anything you'd want: add more trackers, limit upload/download speed (on demand and scheduled), select the files you want to download, change priority of individual files/folders, block specific IP addresses (by using a remotely maintained block list), use encrypted transfers, etc.

Geekbox also might be worth a try:
It's supposed to be a very light weighted multimedia system, not as fully featured as XBMC, but it can be easily used from a live usb stick.

by joinfree (not verified) on 16. October 2010 - 15:14  (59635)

Good stuff. Is there a generic scanner driver for ubuntu/linux Os? I have flat bed scanner but unable to connect because there is no valid driver support.

by Jojo Yee on 19. December 2010 - 14:49  (62930)

Thanks for your good suggestion Martin. Transmission is now included in the list.

Ex Falso has not been added in the list as Kid3 seems to be much better in terms of tags support including lyrics and album art as well as other editing features.

Sorry I'm replying to your post later than expected as I've just got a chance to take a look at GeeXboX, which is not an application but an OS that can boot as a LiveCD. I'll need to check out more on this software.

by Jojo Yee on 19. December 2010 - 15:45  (62932)

If you've not got a solution, please check if this guide is helpful to you.

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