Data Fidelity

Recommended Games on Debian 12 Bookworm

We collected ten games you can play on Debian 12 Bookworm GNU/Linux. They are all native games provided by Debian themselves and they are free software. You can immediately install and play these games by following command lines we provided under each one below. As a premiere bonus, we can also learn a lot of lessons about free software community so you can spread education about free software by playing with students at your school or friends at your office. Now choose your game and let’s play!

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We often mention the term ‘free software’ in this article. When we talk about free software, we do not mean price, but we mean freedom, meaning the user is free, that the user have the full rights to control the software (thus, the game) both individually and socially. This meaning aligns with Debian principles. See Free Software Definition

1. Red Eclipse


Number one is Red Eclipse. It is a first-person shooter (FPS) game in 3D can be played in single, multiplayer, as well as online mode. It has many modes, many weapons, featured map editor and is highly customizable. Historically, it was taken, maintained, developed from the last free software version of another game called Nexuiz (now proprietary). To play, select offline practice mode -> select a gameplay mode e.g. deathmatch -> select a mutator e.g. multi so you can play in teams -> select a map choice -> click start a new game -> use right-click to enter the fight. On Debian 12 Bookworm, the game version available is 1.6 “Sunset Edition”. Thank you Red Eclipse developers for maintaining the free software Nexuiz.

$ sudo apt install redeclipse


2. OpenArena


Number two is OpenArena. It is an FPS like Red Eclipse, but it was developed as a full game based on free software version of Quake Engine (liberated by idTech in 1999 and 2001). It can be played both alone and multiplayer either fighting against bots or humans. On Bookworm, the game version available is 2012. To start playing, select multiplayer -> create -> select an arena -> enable bots as many as you want -> fight. Thank you idTech and John Carmark for liberating the engines. Thank you OpenArena project for developing the game.


$ sudo apt install openarena

3. Warzone 2100


Number three is Warzone 2100. It is a real-time strategy (RTS) game and it was a PlayStation game in the past, previously proprietary, and fortunately since 2004 (same year as Ubuntu first release) it was liberated under GNU GPL license. It can be played alone, multiplayer as well as online. You will build a base, produce tanks and robots and fighter jets, then attack all of your enemy bases until you win. On Bookworm, the game version is 4.3.3. Thank you Pumpkin Studios and Eidos for liberating Warzone 2100 as free software.


$ sudo apt install warzone2100 



4. BillardGL


Number four is BillardGL. It is a billiards (also known as pool, cue balls, or snooker) game in 3D. It can be played along or with friends and it features a tutorial too. To start playing, select Two Players mode -> select 8-ball or 9-ball mode -> play pressing Space key and holding it to hit the white ball. The game is developed in C++ language and Glut Library. On Bookworm, the game version is 1.7. Thank you BillardGL developers and Debian Maintainers for providing the game.

$ sudo apt install billard-gl



5. Nibbles


Number five is Nibbles. As you can guess already, it is a worm game with multiplayer mode. Historically, it is very similar to an MS-DOS game with same name released in 1991. It is part of GNOME Games along with Chess and the others. In Nibbles, you move a worm with arrow keys to eat up meals and become longer by avoiding other worms and the walls. You should complete 26 levels to finish the game. This game is preinstalled. Thank you GNOME Developers and Debian Maintainers for providing the game.


6. Super Tux Kart


Number six is Super Tux Kart. It is a racing game similar to Crash Team Racing, but ultimately unique with free software mascots as the characters. You can play this game with your kid in multiplayer mode side-by-side. To start playing one player,  select Singleplayer -> select a kart e.g. Wilber of Gimp or Kiki of Krita -> select a level e.g. Novice -> select game mode e.g. Normal -> select a track e.g. Volcan Island (the one with beach and spiral road -> fill number of AI karts (your enemies) e.g. five -> start race. In future generations, this game has potentials to introduce free software to  children through playing.  Thank you Super Tux Kart developers for developing the game.


$ sudo apt install supertuxkart



7. Scorched 3D


Number seven is Scorched 3D. It is a turn-based strategy (TBS) military tank fighting game (also known as artillery game) similar to another game called Scorched Earth (proprietary). In Scorched 3D, you will play as a tank, buy some weapons, and turn by turn shooting with another tanks until you win.  To play, use arrow keys to aim and and spacebar to fire.

$ sudo apt install scorched3d 


8. FreeCiv


Number eight is FreeCiv (not to be confused with FreeCol). It is a TBS game based on old game Sid Meier’s Civilization (proprietary), originally developed by SGI on IRIX system, now considered as one of the best free/libre open source software game, and it is used in real academic researches. In FreeCiv, you play as a leader of a nation, build a country, develop technologies, raise a civilization over years, and wage war against other countries or be the first one to launch space colonization. To start playing, it is advised that you run FreeCiv -> start scenario game -> tutorial -> start -> follow everything the tutorial tells you to play. Thank you SGI and FreeCiv Team for making a free software and better version of Civilization.

$ sudo apt install freeciv


[ FreeCiv Homepage ]

9. Megaglest


Number nine is MegaGlest. It is an RTS with role-playing game (RPG) elements with colors and appearance any Warcraft player will immediately familiar with. MegaGlest can play in single, multiplayer and online mode. In MegaGlest, you will play in a fantasy world as one of several factions namely magic, tech, indian, egypt, norsemen, persian, and roman. Megaglest is an excellent example among games in software freedom, such as, how the project can successfully continue a discontinued one (think about OpenArena), proud with its own community (see gplv3 and osi logos on its welcome screen for example), and they can make a good game by only using freely licensed data as well as open standard formats like ogg for sound. Thank you MegaGlest Project for maintaining Glest legacy of free software game.

$ sudo apt install megaglest


[ MegaGlest Homepage ]

10. FreeDoom


Finally, number ten is FreeDoom. Once installed, you can find DSDA Doom and Phase 1, and Phase 2 game names on your application menu. To play it, use Esc to show the menu and select “New Game” by pressing Enter. In Doom, you should fight against monsters and zombies by shooting them all until you completed a mission. You can save and reload your adventure from the menu. The valuable thing we can learn from it is that the developer said “Just as the GNU project was started to develop a
free operating system to replace Unix, we aim to provide a free
replacement for Doom.” Thank you idTech (once again) for freeing Doom Engine and FreeDoom Project for creating the free replacement.


$ sudo apt install freedoom



This article is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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