Simulation Games on Linux
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.
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
- 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)
- Run the game by clicking on the icon (e.g. in the Fedora Applications Area or Unity Launcher, etc)
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
- Download X-Plane from their website at www.x-plane.com
- Expand the downloaded X-Plane10DemoInstaller.zip file and then double-click the X-Plane 10 Demo Installer Linux file
- 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
The TORCS racing car/track simulator is covered in the section on Driving Games.
openBVE is a free train simulator: it only runs on Linux with the use of a Windows emulator such as Mono.
- Download openBVE from their website at trainsimframework.org and expand the openbve_stable.zip file into a local directory
- Download Tao from the same website (trainsimframework.org) and expand the tao.zip file into the same directory as above
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Run the application from the Command Line using mono OpenBve.exe