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Simulation Games on Linux

Introduction

In this section, we aim to give you a sample of some of the different Simulation Games available for Linux. All are available for free download (-instructions listed) unless specifically stated otherwise.

Checkout sites such as the Linux Games Database for a more comprehensive list.


FlightGear

The FlightGear flight simulator is a free, open source, flight simulator which can run in a window on your desktop or full-screen mode. It concentrates more on recreating a genuine flying experience of a rather than addictive gameplay. There is currently only one aeroplane option - the single-engined Cessna C172P light aircraft - and the flight area is limited, although other options may be added later.

The controls are pretty sophisticated and varied, but a sample includes the following:

  • Page Up: increase throttle
  • Page Down: decrease throttle
  • Left Arrow: control column left
  • Right Arrow: control column right
  • Up Arrow: control column forward
  • Down Arrow: control column back
  • SHIFT + Left Arrow: look left
  • SHIFT + Right Arrow: look right
  • SHIFT + Up Arrow: look forward
  • SHIFT + Down Arrow: look behind
  • SHIFT + B: toggle the parking brake on/off
  • s (hold): start engine
  • p: toggle pause / run
  • ESC: quit

Installation instructions:

  1. The best way to download and install FlightGear from the Command Line using sudo yum install FlightGear (Fedora/RHEL) or sudo apt-get install FlightGear (Ubuntu/Mint/Puppy/Debian/etc)
  2. Run the game by clicking on the icon (e.g. in the Fedora Applications Area or Unity Launcher, etc)

FlightGear Screenshot


X-Plane

The X-Plane flight simulator not free: the full version costs $70 (-about £50) but you can download a free demo version direct from the www.x-plane.com website to see if you think it is worth the money. In the current version (10), you can choose from one of about 30 different planes as standard - and many more can be downloaded from the web. The location/scenery covers the planet from from 74° north to 60° south latitude.

X-Plane is billed as a professional flight simulator tool rather than a game. The reviews we have seen on the web indicate that it is well worth the money if an ultra-realistic flight simulator is what you are after - but make sure you try out the free demo (-see below) prior to parting with any cash (-if anything, just to see if your PC is capable of running it).

If you just want some occasional fun, then we would recommend the more basic (-and free) FlightGear instead

Installation instructions:

  1. Download X-Plane from their website at www.x-plane.com
  2. Expand the downloaded X-Plane10DemoInstaller.zip file and then double-click the X-Plane 10 Demo Installer Linux file
  3. The installation wizard will begin: follow the instructions and the demo package will begin downloading. Depending on your internet connection, this can take over an hour to complete

TORCS

The TORCS racing car/track simulator is covered in the section on Driving Games.


openBVE

openBVE is a free train simulator: it only runs on Linux with the use of a Windows emulator such as Mono.

Installation instructions:

  1. Download openBVE from their website at trainsimframework.org and expand the openbve_stable.zip file into a local directory
  2. Download Tao from the same website (trainsimframework.org) and expand the tao.zip file into the same directory as above
  3. Install the SDL libraries from the Command Line using sudo yum install SDL* (Fedora/RHEL) or sudo apt-get install SDL* (Ubuntu/Mint/Puppy/Debian/etc)
  4. Install the openAL libraries from the Command Line using sudo yum install openal* (Fedora/RHEL) or sudo apt-get install openal* (Ubuntu/Mint/Puppy/Debian/etc)
  5. Install the mono libraries from the Command Line using sudo yum install mono-* (Fedora/RHEL) or sudo apt-get install mono-* (Ubuntu/Mint/Puppy/Debian/etc)
  6. Run the application from the Command Line using mono OpenBve.exe

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