Childs Play

Childsplay Educational Software


Childsplay is not a single game but a suite of educational games aimed predominantly at children

Of the Childsplay/CognitionPlay/Schoolsplay family of programs, Childsplay is the one oriented at home users but can also be used in kindergarten schools. Python and PyGame based, it provides a framework for activities that are more ‘game’ like: they can have animation and move.

Childsplay has all the activities found in the old childsplay, version < 0.90.


Childsplay provides several features for users and developers of activities:

  • Memory activities that are fun to play and at the same time learn sounds, images, letters and numbers.
  • activities that train the child to use the mouse and keyboard.
  • pure game activities like puzzles, pong, pacman and billiards.
  • multilingual support, even right to left languages (via Pango).
  • solid data logging to monitor the children’s progress; locally (SQLite) or over network (MySQL or any other db supported by SQLAlchemy).
  • set of OpenOffice reports to print this data (still in development state).
  • object oriented framework for easy activity development in Python/PyGame.
  • good support by the developers and translators.

Images originally placed in this article 2007 it is likely the images may have been updated since.

Game Module Image Description Age
Numbers numbers Put the correct operator between two numbers. 5-7
SoundNpic soundnpic A toy for young children with pictures and sounds. 2-4
Packid packid A pac-man game, try to catch the letters. 4-7
Soundmemory soundmemory The classic memory game, with sounds. 3-6
Fallingletters fallingletters Type them before they reach the ground. 4-7
Findsound findsound Listen to a sound and find the image to which it belongs. 3-5
Findsound2 findsound2 The same as findsound, now with numbers and letters. 5-6
Pong pong The classic game, play alone,against the computer or against another child. 4-7
Billiard billiard Try to put the balls in the hole. 4-7
MultiTables multitables Learn the multiplication tables. 7-9
Puzzle puzzle Recreate the image. 4-6
LetterFlashcard letterflashcard Learn the alphabet by listening to the words and initials. 1-4

Childsplay uses a plug-in system for the game modules. These games are packaged in plugin-packages (only one for now). You must first install childsplay before you can use these games, because they only work from within childsplay.

#> sudo apt-get install childsplay childsplay-plugins childsplay-plugins-lfc

Installing the three packages above will net you all the childsplay games listed.

What didn’t you know you can add more than one package at a time to install.

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 4173
Last modified: Alan Campion - 2015-01-26

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TuxType – Educational Software

This software is still probably aimed at the young and designed to elevate the apptitude and dexterity with regards to touch typing and keyboard skills. However when developing the grey cells it is just as valid no matter what age you are.


Tux4kids Debian

#> sudo apt-get install tuxtype tuxtype-data-nonfree

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TuxMath – Educational Maths Software


Using a combination of hand to eye co-ordination the would be Mathematician quickly calculates sums that cascade slowly to ground entering any correct answer for any given sum on the screen, answering with any correct answer will destroy the relevant raining equation completely, (or so my littlen tells me). The object of the game is to disguise the fact that a child is using their brains to calculate mathematical equations to resolve mathematical problems. The participant is rewarded with a score for each correct answer, different levels and degrees of difficulty are available, with repeated practice it is possible there could be another Einstein in the making.

Tux, of Math Command (TuxMath, for short) is an open source arcade-style video game for learning mathematics, initially created for Linux. The game-play mechanic is based loosely on that of the arcade game Missile Command, but with comets falling on cities, rather than missiles. Like Missile Command, players attempt to protect their cities, but rather than using a trackball-controlled targeting cross-hair, players solve math problems that label each comet, which causes a laser to destroy it.

Eventually the city imagery was replaced with igloos, to match the arctic theme of Tux, the Linux penguin, who stars in the game. (The first alpha of the game was released by its initial developer, Bill Kendrick, in September 2001, days prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. It was decided that the imagery of exploding buildings no longer suitable.)




#> sudo apt-get install tuxmath

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A Word About Games

Many people are frustrated for want of a better expression with Linux because they think it is lacking in the Games department, all said and done this is not an accurate assessment. Want to know what Gutsy Gibbon support by way of games just look here Intrepid Ibex Games and Ubuntu Community Docs Games

  • True you don’t have to buy Games for Linux Systems most have always been free via open source
  • Windows OS holds the Market share for Commercial games. Yep and you can pay huge sums for it.
  • It is also true that it is unlikely that the latest well known commercial games will be written exclusively for Linux and even if they were, these are unlikely to be free or open source, however if commercial games are available and open source you could donate using the money you save from paying Micro$oft.

It is false to say that Linux games are in anyway inferior to that of games written for the Windows platform. It is also false to say that Linux games are graphically less acceptable or exciting than it’s Windows counterpart. Linux supports a rich variety of games covering the basic Tetris and familiar card games to the highly complex strategy and shoot em up games.

It is equally true for both Linux and Windows that performance improvements can be gained as with any game or application, by the purchase of high end hardware, by that we mean CPU, Memory and Graphics card. Many gamers conduct a lot of research to find the right equipment to use with their many different games especially under Windows.

What does this wiki aim to provide?

Linux and Ubuntu in particular are well supported for games, you can even obtain an Ubuntu distro specifically with games in mind, however these distro’s tend to focus more on giving you every game possible or and/or every application possible. Because of this we will focus more on the specifics of the individual games themselves rather than everything, in the hope that if you have what you need less clutter will allow you to appreciate the distro more.

We can not stress enough, certainly for the games side of things that if you want to play shoot em games in Hi Res you will need good graphic’s card a reasonable CPU and plenty of memory and good or reasonable hard disk 80Gb plus.

We and I in particular are not gamer’s as I have little or no interest in gaming other than that of others are interested in this side of it, and the rich graphical content that it portrays. We are interested in promoting Linux not necessarily exclusively on Ubuntu although it may appear that way, however appearances can be deceiving.

Gaming Distro’s

Do you know of a gaming distro not covered in this wiki then please send an email to linux at we will be happy to amend the links provided the content and distro is currently available. Most if not all the distro’s listed are links to current or archived ISO in CD or DVD format, torrents are also listed.

As you might already be aware yes Ubuntu have cornered the market with their games distro not altogether sure that Ubuntu are responsible for this distro, anyways it is based on the Fiesty Fawn 7.04 to date very stable until you upgrade it. Shed loads of games and other stuff if you want everything then this is one of the distro’s you will be happy with. The desktop has a script which itself will be updated when you run it. There are a number of versions both 1.5 and 1.4 should work and indeed does work with Athlon AM2 Dual Core plus 32 bit CPU’s.

Ubuntu Ultimate

SupergamerVL based on Vector Linux SuperGamer used to be based on PCLinuxOS we have had problems running this dvd as a Live DVD and never got past this point to install it, however you are welcome to try, link below is to a torrent file compatible with application Azureus.

Supergamer Downloads

Knoppix has a games distro also we have no idea what it offers, if someone would be kind enough to tell us we will be pleased to update this page.

Konoppix Games
Another Knoppix site


Ever heard of (MMORPG) Massively Multiplayer On-line Role-playing Game these are online games played played by large communities of gamers. Some of the links via the menu on the left will take you to more information about these particular games.

We do not pretend to know all the Linux gamers CD / DVD there are out their, if you email us and let us know we will investigate and if current we will add them to the list.

Shootems or FPS

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 4097
Last modified: Alan Campion - 2015-01-23

Categories: Games

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ESA JHelioviewer

ESA JHelioviewer a Window on the Mechanics of the Sun


I wouldn’t call myself an Astronomer or anything close but I do have an avid interest in application tools that change or can change my perspective on what we are, where we came from and perhaps where we might go. I have found many, well some at any rate, simulator applications don’t really belong in games for games they are not. This and these are all very serious tools that help the more intelligent amongst us understand, hopefully our small part in the Universe. The “ESA JHelioviewer” is a Java program therefore you will need java to run it, it also means you can run in any platform that supports java, this includes Linux and of course Windows.

The “JHelioviewer” is an application that can look at many aspects levels, if you will of the Sun’s make up, our Sun. Through this one application you can look at specific dates and times that might for instance precipitate changes to the Earth’s Atmosphere or perhaps Continental Tectonic Plates. Linux is a fantastic and free platform with which to view and immerse yourself in a vast array of tools that many professional themselves use.

What is JHelioviewer

JHelioviewer website –

JHelioviewer is visualization software for solar image data based on the JPEG 2000 compression standard. JPEG 2000 offers many useful new features and has the potential to revolutionize the way high-resolution image data are disseminated and analyzed. The JPEG 2000 Interactive Protocol (JPIP) enables serving data in a highly compressed, quality-progressive, region-of-interest-based stream. These features minimize the data volume transmitted while maximizing its usability. This is especially relevant for solar physics since NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory has started providing more than a terabyte of image data per day.

You will be able to explore 15 years or more of data from SOHO data archives and the HI res image database of SDO additionally.

Java Installation

In order to run this program you will need Java installed here is how you can install this with the minimum of fuss:

># sudo apt-get update
># sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jdk

JHelioviewer Application Installation

Download the tool from the main website


It should be noted with software such as this that you may encounter bugs with this software I myself have noted problems shutting down the application when finished. Just in case you encounter such a problem we strongly suggest you have a terminal window remain open, so you can use the xkill command on the command line to disable the application after use. Unfortunately the Ubuntu Dash search cannot find xkill.

Using JHelioviewer

One of your first tasks will be to locate where you have downloaded the file “JHelioviewer.jar” once located you will need to change the permissions of that file so Java can run it, see screen image below.


If you have just downloaded “JHelioviewer.jar” you need to access the file properties from within the “Nautilus File Manager” or similar, select permissions tab for the file and locate the Execute option ensure you “Allow execute file as program”.


To run the program right click on the “JHelioviewer” and select Open with > OpenJDK Java 7 Runtime see screen below




Now you have access the program we can show you some of the functions available, as you run the program you will be provided with a default capture you can then press play and view the Sun revolving.


However hidden beneath it’s controls it can do a great deal more than play just the current default group of images. You can also select a new layer defining the parameters you wish to view for both the SOHO craft C2 and C3 and SDO.

Lets stay with the movie controls for now, these are located to the upper left of the application and just below the viewport of the movie image snapshot. You can obviously step Forward or Back and Play the default selection of 1 to 48 images, however you can also expand on this option directly. Selecting More options will give additional controls similar to those as seen on the SOHO website such as the “Animation mode”, “loop, Stop and Swing”. Additionally you can change it’s speed and it’s gradients


Ignoring Layers for the moment, you have a group of options below it entitled Adjustments these only act on the current layer as do the HEK bowit it


Going through all these options is beyond the scope of this article and perhaps spoil your enjoyment. The HEK option also act on the current layer and will when activated label points of your interest on the Sun images itself.

Layers – I will touch only briefly on this but essentially when you add a new layer you can define the craft, date and date range you wish to view. To access this option select the plus “+” icon and add your new layer as you can with Gimp each of the layer can be defined to your needs and deleted when no longer required. However we suggest you always have at least one layer in layer options before closing the program.


Last thing I would remind you of are the controls at the top of the application Zoom controls and so on which are worthy a mention, but trust you know how these controls can be used to best effectiveness.

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 4102
Last modified: Alan Campion - 2015-01-23

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Warsow, often abbreviated as WSW or WASW (the latter following its logo), is a multiplayer first-person shooter computer game first publicly released on June 8, 2005. The game is actively developed by a crew of freelance software developers and artists. Warsow prides itself on high-quality content standards with thorough testing by selected members of the community. Warsow’s codebase is free software, distributed under the terms of the GPL; it is built upon Qfusion, an advanced modification of the Quake II engine. The artwork and other media are licensed under the proprietary Warsow Content License, which allows the contributors of this media to use the work in a “personal portfolio” but not in any other game. Because of this Warsow is freeware, not open source.

Warsow is loosely based on the E-novel Chasseur de bots by Fabrice Demurger. The novel is the basis of the game’s cyberpunk visual style, which is achieved by combining cel-shaded cartoon-like graphics with dark, flashy and dirty textures. Since visual clarity is important in maintaining competitive gameplay, Warsow tries to keep effects minimalistic, clear and visible.

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 4278
Last modified: - 2012-11-16

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Sauerbraten First Person Shootem

Sauerbraten (a.k.a. Cube 2) is a free multiplayer/singleplayer first person shooter, built as a major redesign of the Cube FPS.

Much like the original Cube, the aim of this game is not necessarily to produce the most features & eyecandy possible, but rather to allow map/geometry editing to be done dynamically in-game, to create fun gameplay and an elegant engine.

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 4279
Last modified: - 2012-11-16

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Alien Arena

Alien Arena First Person Shoot

Set perhaps in the future surroundings which are very unfamiliar with little devils for Aliens and many of them. During installation you will be asked the question if you wish to proceed normally the default is (Y/n) under which circumstances you can just press the enter key, however where a package can not be verified it will default to (N/y) in which case if you press the enter key installation will abort. To continue with installation press the lower case “y” instead. You can dispense with the response question by using “-y –allow-unauthenticated” after install and before alien-arena thus:

#> sudo apt-get install -y –allow-unauthenticated alien-arena

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Alien Arena 2007

Alien Arena 2007

This installation is a little more challenging than that above but with a little bravado on your part, achievable none the less. Alien Arena 2007 does not exist in the Fiesty or Gutsy Repository so we need to tell the Package manager where to find the necessary files, we do not have any idea just how different it is to AlienArena or even if it is, all we can tell you is how to install on the basis that it might be better.

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 4281
Last modified: - 2012-11-16

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Action Cube

Action Cube

ActionCube is a total conversion of FPS called Cube. Set in a realistic looking environment, as far as that’s possible with this engine, while gameplay stays fast and arcade. This game is all about team oriented multiplayer fun.

Author: Derek Shaw - Page reference: 4282
Last modified: - 2012-11-16

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