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Monday, March 31, 2008

A Look at the upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

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Ubuntu is one of the most popular desktop Linux distribution and a few days back Beta version of it's new upcoming Ubuntu 8.04 was released . Being such a huge Ubuntu fan i decided to give it a try now after spending almost 14 hours downloading the iso's on slow internet connection of the university i am studying in I was finally able to review the latest of the Ubuntu distro scheduled to be released on 24th April.


The first thing that you notice after booting the Ubuntu 8.04 beta CD is that now no longer you have to boot the entire CD into Live Graphical mode to install . Now there is an option in the opening grub menu that allows you to install Ubuntu 8.04 without loading the entire desktop .However one thing i disliked about this installation procedure was that it is still graphical , yes graphical installation simplifies things but there are old computers lying around(with less than say 512 megabytes of RAM ) and it's difficult to install Ubuntu using the graphical method on such PC's without having swap drive . Ubuntu Team might consider including a Text based installer too .



Opening Boot Screen of Ubuntu 8.04

Graphical Installer


Another significant addition to the installation process is inclusion of the windows based installer Wubi that allows easy installation of the Ubuntu on your Windows based desktop . It's a standalone graphical installer that installs entire Ubuntu desktop as a single file-image on your Windows drive without any need of partitioning or resizing of your existing partitions . Now this is a really welcome addition to the installation process because partitioning is one of the most difficult step of installation (which carries a risk of removing your entire data) so by eliminating that step ,Ubuntu team has made the entire installation process a lot more user friendly for people who are using Windows and want to try Ubuntu .
Wubi Installing Ubuntu 8.04 Inside Windows XP on my frnz PC

Now once the installation is over and you boot into your newly installed Ubuntu system , the thing that strikes you at first if you had been using the previous version of Ubuntu is updated theme and Wallpaper . Ubuntu 8.04 has a new theme based on the old Human theme and powered by the Murrine engine . The wallpaper features "The Heron" itself and the Login Manager has been updated too .
Updated Login Manager

New Wallpaper featuring " Heron"
Architecture wise Ubuntu 8.04 includes X.org 7.3 which adds the long demanded feature of dynamic resolution changing (Means you don't need to restart Xserver after changing resolution ). Ubuntu 8.04 also includes Pulseaudio sound server which is advanced sound playing architecture allowing things like per-application sound settings, transferring the audio to a different machine, changing the sample format or channel count and mixing several sounds into one it does so by acting as proxy for your sound applications. It allows you to do advanced operations on your sound data as it passes between your application and your hardware.

Ubuntu 8.04 includes a crash reporting tool that sends information about the crash to the Ubuntu's Launchpad(You would be seeing this a lot in beta version , the beta version i tested crashed a lot ) .All the earlier Ubuntu version were lacking a proper System Monitor and Ubuntu 8.04 does it's bit of addressing this problem by inclusion of a really impressive System Monitor Application .

World View Applet
Ubuntu 8.04 comes with Gnome 2.22 and has a number of interesting features and additions including the new World View applet :) .

System Monitor Application

There have been security improvements, including better memory protection and a fine-grained access control system called PolicyKit.

Software wise there are number of interesting additions .
  • Firefox 3 Beta 4 is included with Ubuntu 8.04 Beta and Firefox 3 would most probably be included with the final release of Ubuntu 8.04 .
  • Ubuntu 8.04 Beta comes with Brasero for CD/DVD burning . It is a neat application with simple looks allowing one to burn CD/DVD easily , however you might like to install a more mature and hmmm User Friendly DVD/CD burning tool like k3b .
  • Also included is Transmission which is a very popular BitTorrent client and
  • // Inkspace a vector graphics editing tool has PDF graphics editing support .

Brasero CD/DVD Burning tool & Transmission torrent downloading tool
Firefox 3 Beta -- Hmmm this list with name and address bar sucks seriously

Changes in Ubuntu 8.04 includes :
  • Inclusion of Gnome 2.22
  • X.org 7.3
  • Linux kernel 2.6.24-12.13
  • Pulseaudio
  • Policykit
  • Firefox 3 Beta 4
  • New apps like Transmission , Inkspace , Brasero etc
  • Brand new firewall
Conclusion : Ubuntu 8.04 Beta promises a lot and is shaping up to be a interesting update .The most important change/addition in 8.04 is simplification of installation procedure with inclusion of tool like Wubi making installation of Ubuntu on Windows based systems really easy. Firefox 3 and Brasero are welcome addition to Ubuntu . Also Ubuntu 8.04 seems pretty nippier and faster compared to the earlier releases . In short Ubuntu 8.04 is turning out to be an update worth waiting for .

Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (blogambuj@gmail.com)
For Linux on Desktop , http://linuxondesktop.blogspot.com
(C) 2008 , Ambuj Varshney


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Ubuntu and Fonts

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In this short tutorial i discuss some handy fonts related tips that could improve user's desktop experience . The tips include installing Microsoft True type fonts enabling one to render documents and web pages created in Microsoft Windows properly in Ubuntu Linux, Installing a set of cool looking fonts released by RedHat - Liberation fonts package , making fonts look good on your LCD Display by turning on subpixel smoothing , installing some cool and free fonts on your Ubuntu Desktop and finally how to install any font if you have it's ttf file .

1. Installing Liberation Fonts

RedHat sometimes back released a collection of really cool fonts as part of Liberation fonts package . This opensource font set includes a Sans, Serif and Mono set .

Here is how the liberation fonts look :

To install this font issue the following commands in the terminal window (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal)

echo "deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/corenominal/ubuntu gutsy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list
and

echo "deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/corenominal/ubuntu gutsy main" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list

and

sudo apt-get update

after completing above step issue the following command to install the font :

sudo apt-get install ttf-liberation

Liberation font package should be installed properly .

2. installing Microsoft fonts package

Even if you hate Microsoft Windows still majority of desktop computers around the world run some or other variant of Windows . Now sharing documents , web pages across Linux and Windows is bit difficult as document created in Windows do not render properly/or look as they did in Windows because the fonts which were present in windows are not available in Linux . Now even though Microsoft has released these fonts freely but still because of licensing issue most of the Linux distributions do not ship these fonts by default and you have to install them separately.

Here below we discuss how to install the following Microsoft fonts on your Ubuntu Desktop :

  • Andale Mono
  • Arial Black
  • Arial (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Comic Sans MS (Bold)
  • Courier New (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Georgia (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Impact
  • Times New Roman (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Trebuchet (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Verdana (Bold, Italic, Bold Italic)
  • Webdings
To install these fonts issue the following command in the terminal window (Applications -> Accessories -> Terminal ) { Assuming you have your repositories in order }

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts
After issuing the above command , apt-get will download few files and then you will be greeted with the following screen :

After clicking the Ok button , you will find the following screen showing the fonts are being downloaded .
After this process is over issue the following command in the terminal window :

sudo fc-cache
if the above steps worked without any problem the font should be installed properly on your system .

3. Improving clarity of fonts on LCD/Laptop Displays

Ubuntu does not enable Subpixel smoothing by default which improves the clarity of fonts on LCD displays . To enable it go to (System -> Preference -> Appearance ) and click on the Fonts tab

You will find a window like the one shown below , chose "Subpixel smoothing(LCD)" and close the window you should be able to see the change immediately .
Dialog Box With Subpixel smoothing Enabled

Same Dialog Boxes one with Subpixel smoothing enabled and one with Best shapes enabled


4. Installing some cool fonts

A number of good looking fonts are provided as GPL package , these fonts created by Dustin Norlander (http://dustismo.com) are available in repositories too .

Here is the package information abt this font :

This package contains various fonts from dustismo.com licensed under the GPL.

Dustismo and Dustismo Roman are general purpose Sans Serif and Roman TrueType
fonts (with bold, italic and bold-italic variations), and contain all the
European Latin characters.

The other fonts are beautiful for special decorations and headlines, but they
are limited to subsets of ASCII...

and this is how the font looks:

To install these font issue the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install ttf-dustin
George William's Font :

These fonts are provided by a independent font developer named George Williams and are available in Ubuntu Repositories .
This how George William's Font look

To install these fonts issue the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install ttf-georgewilliams
A couple of Handwriting fonts

To install this font issue the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install ttf-sjfonts

5.Installing any custom ttf font in Ubuntu

[ Not the following steps would add the font system-wide ]

Suppose you have myfnt1.ttf and myfnt2.ttf and you want to install this font for all the users . You can do so by following these steps :

First we create a directory where our custom fonts would rest :

sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype/mfnt

Now we copy these fonts in this custom directory :

sudo cp myfnt1.ttf myfnt2.ttf /usr/share/fonts/truetype/mfnt

and finally we update the fonts with the following command :

sudo fc-cache -f -v
if you want more fonts you might like to look at this page it lists a number of freely available fonts which you could install by following the above procedure .

Article written by Ambuj Varshney , blogambuj(at)gmail.com
For Linux on Desktop Blog ,(C) 2008 Ambuj Varshney

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Cool Desktop Applications(Part 2) : 25 Small and Simple Games for your Linux/Ubuntu Desktop

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Continuing my previous article about cool applications that you can install on your Ubuntu Desktop , in this article we cover some really cool games and emulators that you can install on your Ubuntu 7.10 Gutsy Gibbon Desktop (Am giving installation instruction to Ubuntu since it is one the most popular Desktop distribution right now but if you want to install these games in other distribution you can do so with little modification to the installation command/instructions ). Most of the games discussed in the article are simple and small so they should run flawlessly on computers with pretty modest configuration .


We begin this tutorial with instructions to setting your repositories in order so that command discussed below to install games work on your system .

Step 1 : - Enabling Additional Repositories

Now many applications need additional repositories to be installed or some to be enabled in Synaptic package manager so before trying out steps given below ensure that repositories in order.

Launch Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager ) , then in Synaptic package manager go to (Settings -> Repositories ) you will find window like this . Ensure that all the check boxes are marked leaving source code(if you want to you can enable this also but you are not going to need this unless you are software developer) the dialog box should look like this .
Dialog Box showing the repositories that should be enabled

After completing above step you will find a dialog box like this


After completing the above steps your repositories should be in order , and we can actually proceed to instructions on installing the games .

1. Pysol

PySol is an exciting collection of more than 200 solitaire card games. Its features include very nice look and feel, multiple cardsets and table tiles, samples and background music, unlimited undo/redo, load/save games, player statistics and log files, hint system, demo games, support for user-written plugins, integrated HTML help browser and lots of documentation

To install type the following command in the terminal window

sudo apt-get install pysol

after completing above step launch pysol from (Applications -> Games -> Pysol )

Pysol in action



2. Pingus

Pingus was started at the end of 1998 with the simple goal to create a Free (as in freedom, not as in free beer) Lemmingstm clone.if you don't know Lemmingstm, here comes a short introduction. Its a puzzle game developed in 1991 by DMA Design. The player takes command in the game of a bunch of small animals and has to guide them around in levels. Since the animals walk on their own, the player can only influence them by giving them commands, like build a bridge, dig a hole or redirect all lemmings in the other direction. The goal of each level is to reach the exit, for fix multiple combination of commands are necessary. The game is presented in a 2D site view.

To install type following in terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install pingus


then to launch pingus go to (Applications -> Games ->Pingus )

then to launch pingus go to (Applications -> Games ->Pingus )

Pingus Game in Action

3.Lincity

Lincity is a city simulation game. You are required to build and maintain a city. You must feed, house, provide jobs and goods for your residents. You can build a sustainable economy with the help of renewable energy and recycling, or you can go for broke and build rockets to escape from a pollution ridden and resource starved planet, it's up to you.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install lincity


and launch from (Applications -> Games -> Lincity ) .


Lincity game screenshot
4. Snake Game

This is a clone of the classic snake game , where you have to "snake around" and eat fruit, while avoiding the evil headbanger and not crashing into your tail.
Though the interface of the game is bit crude but still nevertheless iis fun to play .

To install this game type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install snake4
After completing this step you can launch snake (Applications -> Games-> Snake)


Snake4 Game in Action

5. Open-Invaders

Open-Invaders is a clone of the popular game Space-Invaders . Open-Invaders has been programmed using allegro game programming library and is fast-paced . However game is still under development and misses few features .

To install Open Invaders , type the following in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install open-invaders
and after completing above step either type " open-invaders " in the terminal window or launch it from (Applications -> Games -> Open Invaders )


Screen Shot of Open-Invader Game

6. Super Tux Kart

SuperTuxKart is an enhanced version of TuxKart, a kart racing game, originaly done by Steve Baker, featuring Tux and a bunch of his friends.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install supertuxkart



After installation launch it from (Applications -> Games -> SuperTuxKart )


Super Tux Kart in Action


7. Circus Linux
Circus Linux is a fun arcade game losely based on old Atari game "Circus Atari" , it's gameplay is similar to "Breakout" . The object is to move a teeter-totter back and forth across the screen to bounce clowns up into the air. When they reach the top, they pop rows of balloons and then fall back down.

To install type in the following command in the terminal winow:

sudo apt-get install circuslinux

and after competing installation launch it from (Applications -> Games -> Circus Linux )

Circus Linux Game in Action

8. MadBomber

"Mad Bomber" is a clone of Activision's classic Atari 2600 console
game, "Kaboom!" with enhanced graphics and SFX . It goes with the story line

The Mad Bomber is loose in the city and he's dropping bombs everywhere! It's your job to catch them before they hit the ground and explode. Luckily, you have a set of trusty buckets to extinguish them with.

To install type in the following command in the terminal window :


sudo apt-get install madbomber


and after completing above step launch it from (Applications -> Games -> MadBomber )

MadBomber in Action
9. LBreakout2
The polished successor to LBreakout offers you a new challenge in more than 50 levels with loads of new bonuses (goldshower, joker, explosive balls, bonus magnet ...), maluses (chaos, darkness, weak balls, malus magnet ...) and special bricks (growing bricks, explosive bricks, regenerative bricks, indestructible bricks, chaotic bricks). And if you're through with all the levels you can create complete new levelsets with the integrated easy-to-use level editor or challenge other humans via LAN or internet iin either deathmatch or normal levelsets. Fun!

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install lbreakout2
After completing above step launch lbreakout2 from (Applications -> Games -> Lbreakout2)

A Screen Shot of LBreakout 2

10. Burgerspace
This is a clone of the classic game "BurgerTime". In it, you play the
part of a chef who must create burgers by stepping repeatedly on the
ingredients until they fall into place. And to make things more
complicated, you also must avoid evil animate food items while performing
this task, with nothing but your trusty pepper shaker to protect you.

To install this game type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install burgerspace


and after completing above step type "burgerspace" in the terminal window to launch burgerspace .


Burgerspace game in Action

11. Gravitywars
Gravity Wars is inspired by Gravity Force, one of the greatest games for the Amiga.With better graphics and SFX . The aim of the game is to guide a spaceship using only thrust and orientation to the exit, fighting against gravity and inertia.

To install Gravitywars type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install gravitywars


After completing above step launch gravitywars by typing "gravitywars" in the terminal window .


Screenshots of Gravitywars game in Action


12. Bugsquish

Bugsquish is light arcade game where you have to squish the bugs trying to suck your blood before you run out of blood :)

To install bugsquish type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install bugsquish


and after completing this launch bugsquish from (Applications -> Games -> Bugs Squish )

Screenshots of Bugsquish in Action

13. . Tee wars

Tee wars is a multiplayer online 2d shooter arcade game that involves running , shooting , jumping and dying .
TeeWars' motto is Cute little buggers with guns . Now the entire game is really fun filled and has attractive graphics and well really cool sound effect . if you want to know more about this game you could visit the following sites :

Tee Wars official site : http://www.teewars.com/
Review of Tee War Game : http://mrcopilot.blogspot.com/2008/02/osggfg-31-tee-wars.html

To install Tee Wars type in the following command in the terminal window :

wget http://cesium.di.uminho.pt/pub/getdeb/te/teewars_0.3.4-1~getdeb1_i386.deb
and
dpkg -i teewars_0.3.4-1~getdeb1_i386.deb

14. Secret Maryo Chronicles

Secret Maryo Chronicles is an Open Source two-dimensional platform game with a style designed similar to classic sidescroller games. Secret Maryo Chronicles is a clone of the Classic "Mario bros" game . It features number of levels and stages , attractive sound and graphics and in game editor . Though not exactly small (the entire installation of Secret Maryo Chronicles was 58 megabytes download on my system ), still game is fun filled 2d side scroller with impressive graphics and sound hence i have included it in this list .

To install Secret Maryo Chronicles type in the following command in the terminal window

sudo apt-get install smc


and

sudo apt-get install smc-data

Secret Maryo Chronicles in Action :) Really cute graphics
15. Bomberman Clone

This is a Bomberman like game. You have to drop bombs which will be explode after a while. With this bombs you have to try to kill the other players. If you are the last player in the game you have won.

To install type the following command in the terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install bomberclone

After completing above step launch it by typing "bomberclone" in the terminal window


Screenshots of Bomberclone
16. Wormux
Have the mascots of your favorite free softwares battle in the Wormux arena. Using dynamite, grenades, baseball bat and others bazookas,... exterminate your opponent in a 2D toon style scenery and a funny environment.

Each player (2 minimum on the same PC or network game with 0.8 version) controls the team of his choice (penguin, gnu, firefox, wilber,...) and must destroy his adversary using more or less casual weapons.

Although a minimum of strategy is required to vanquish, Wormux is pre-eminently a "convivial mass murder" game where, turn by turn, each member of each team attempts to produce a maximum of damage to his opponents.


To install type the following command in terminal window : -

sudo apt-get install wormux


and then go to (Applications -> Games -> Wormux ) to launch the game .



17. Frozen Bubble
Get rid of all the bubbles by matching colors as quick as you can!

To install type the following command in the terminal window .

sudo apt-get install frozen-bubble

After completing above step launch frozen-bubble from (Applications -> Games -> Frozen Bubble )


18. Airstrike
Airstrike is a 2d dogfight game in the tradition of the Intellivision and
Amiga games 'Biplanes' and 'BIP'. It features a robust physics engine and
several other extensions of the original games Airstrike is a 2d dogfighting game with attractive graphics and sounds . Though still in development the game is attractive and fun enough to be featured here .


To install airstrike type in the following command in the terminal window :

sudo apt-get install airstrike

and after completing the installation launch airstrike from (Applications -> Games -> Airstrike )

19. Frenesia
Frenesia is a fun and addictive retro arcade Shoot em Up game with attractive graphics and cd quality sound . Objective of the game is to shoot aliens and collect bonusses and progress to the next level .

To install frenesia type the following command in the terminal window :

wget -c http://www.macgamesandmore.com/linux/files/frenesialinux.tgz
and

tar xvzf frenesialinux.tgz
and

cd FrenesiaLinux

and finally to run the game :

./FrenesiaLinux

Frenesia in action

20. Abe's Amazing Adventure

Abe's Amazing Adventure is a scrolling, platform-jumping, key-collecting, ancient pyramid exploring game, vaguely in the style of similar games for the Commodore+4. The game is very similar to the earlier dos and commodore based games in graphics and sound .

To install this game type in the following command in the terminal window :

wget http://neacm.fe.up.pt/pub/getdeb/ab/abe_1.1-2~getdeb1_i386.deb

and

wget http://neacm.fe.up.pt/pub/getdeb/ab/abe-data_1.1-2~getdeb1_all.deb

After downloading the files we need to install them too which we can do with these commands :

sudo dpkg -i abe-data_1.1-2~getdeb1_all.deb
and
sudo dpkg -i abe_1.1-2~getdeb1_i386.deb

After completing the above step launch Abe's Amazing Adventure (Applications -> Games -> Abe)

Screenshots of game Abe's Amazing Adventure



21. Rocks 'n' Diamonds

Rocks 'n' Diamonds is a Boulderd*sh game for X11 with more than just the falling rocks and diamonds of its namesake. The object is still to collect all the diamonds (and emeralds), then get to the exit before time runs out. But your character must make use of bombs, spaceships, and many other elements in order to fill his quota of jewels.

Installation : -

Type the following command in the terminal window

wget http://www.artsoft.org/RELEASES/unix/rocksndiamonds/rocksndiamonds-3.2.0.tar.gz
and

tar -xvzf rocksndiamonds-3.2.0.tar.gz

Now go to rocksndiamonds-3.2.0 directory and type

" ./rocksndiamonds "


22. Super Tux

SuperTux is a jump'n run like game, with strong inspiration from the Super Mario Bros games for Nintendo. Run and jump through multiple worlds, fighting off enemies by jumping on them or bumping them from below. Grabbing power-ups and other stuff on the way.

To install Super Tux type the following command in the terminal window .

sudo apt-get install supertux
after completing above step run supertux from (Applications -> Games -> Super Tux )


23 Playing classic DOS games with DOSBOX

DOSBOX allows you to run your old dos programs under Linux , DOSBOX provides a full featured dos environment inside your ubuntu box . DOSBOX allows running of DOS programs in Linux and Windows.

To install DOSBOX type the following command in the Console Window (Applications -> Accesories -> Terminal)

sudo apt-get install dosbox

Alternatively you can use the Synaptic package manager located in (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manager) for installing the DOSBOX emulator. Launch the synaptic package manager and click on Search button and type dosbox in the text field mark th checkbox of dosbox and click on install, for installation to start.

After completing installation, create a directory say (/home/user/games) where you would like to store your games,
now after copying your games to the directory launch dosbox by typing dosbox in terminal window.
Opening Screen of dosbox

In DOSBOX type the following command to make your games directory visible inside the dosbox emulator

mount d /home/user/games

Now go to d drive , then go to the directory of the game and launch the executable file of the game to start the game.
Alleycat game running under DOSBox

Some of the popular DOS games can be obtained at the following internet address : -

Bio Menace (This game and all it's three series were released as Freeware and can be downloaded from ) ,Commander Keen , Wolfeinstein 3D , Duke Nukem , Hocus Pocus , Crystal Caves and other can be downloaded at the following address some of the games are shareware and some freeware but trust me even shareware games would give you hours if not days of entertainment : - http://www.3drealms.com/downloads.html

Alley Cat ( This game released in 1984 is one of my all time favorite i have spent a lot of time playing this on my 386 computer ) this can be downloaded from the following : - http://www.dosgamesarchive.com/download/game/91

Dangerous Dave ( Well this game released in 1988 is a very simple game which is quite popular here in India even today in school labs you could find people playing this game !!!!!) :- http://www.abandonia.com/games/Dangerous%20Dave.zip

Mario Brother VGA ( Well this is also a nice game it even has a boss mode to fool your boss that you are working and to top it all it is only few kilobytes in size !!) :- http://www.abandonia.com/games/880/MarioBrothersVGA

Get more old dos games here at : http://www.abandonia.com
http://dosgamesarchive.com

Wikipedia page on list of all dos games : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:DOS_games

Wikipedia page on commercial games released as freeware (most of them dos) : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_commercial_games_released_as_freeware

24. Playing classic NES and SNES games

Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo Entertainment System were very popular gaming console in 1980's and early part of 1990's , they gave us some of the best titles including Mario, Contra, and others .Computing wise they may not be marvel considering they ran 16bit / 8bit processor compared to todays gaming console , they do promise however hours of fun .

There are a number of emulators available for running the games and the games run even on low hardware configuration owing to fact that these games don't demand much .I am only going to tell about one emulator for nes and one for snes since i have tried them however you can see other at this page : http://www.zophar.net/

Anyways for installing the emulator follow the following steps : -
If you like installing applications from command line you could iuse the following command at the terminal to install the zsnes emulator :-

sudo apt-get install zsnes

Now zsnes is a nice emulator that can play SNES games , it has a nice GUI and can run both on Windows and Linux operating system.

However if you don't like zsnes you can try other emulators also one popular one is fceu,To install fceu type the following command at terminal

sudo apt-get install fceu

fceu is for running NES games only.

However if you prefer to install application graphically launch Synaptic Package Manager (System -> Administration -> Synaptic Package Manger) and search for package fceu,zsnes and check them and press install button.


Now to launch fceu or zsnes go to (Applications -> Accessories -> terminal ) and type the following commands to run the emulator.

zsnes to launch the zsnes emulator it has it's own graphical interface and hence it use is self explanatory.
ZSNES in Action

For playing NES game you have to use fceu to launch fceu type the following command at the terminal.

fceu -inputcfg gamepad1 /home/user/Mario.nes (Or any other game nes and path)


Now fceu would ask you which keys you want to configure for what actions type the keys accordingly (you have to press twice to confirm the keys).

After this done next time you want to start fceu you dont have to specify your keys again you can use the following command to run fceu.
fceu ROM.nes (Where ROM.nes is your rom you want to run)

Mario Game running under fceu

Now for roms(nes and snes games ) you can use the Google for finding and downloading roms , since i don't quite know about legality of using these roms so i wont recommend any site to you , anyways they are quite easy to find using Google.

25. Playing Scummvm games

SCUMM stands for Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion and was scripting language developed at Lucas Arts for easy creation of graphical adventure game Maniac Mansion . You can think that it is like a gaming engine on which many other point and click adventure games have been developed including Maniac Mansion , The Curse of Monkey Island , Indian Jones series , and others .

Now ScummVM is a open source project that is being developed to allow many of the old games based on Scumm to be run on todays operating system which are incompatible with the original SCUMM engine allowing many of the classic SCUMM based games to run under OS's like Windows, GNU Linux and others.

This is what ScummVM site says about games it can run and what is scummvm : -

ScummVM is a program which allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, provided you already have their data files. The clever part about this: ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the game, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed!

Some of the adventures ScummVM supports include Adventure Soft's Simon the Sorcerer 1 and 2; Revolution's Beneath A Steel Sky, Broken Sword 1 and Broken Sword 2; Flight of the Amazon Queen; Wyrmkeep's Inherit the Earth; Coktel Vision's Gobliiins; Westwood Studios' The Legend of Kyrandia and games based on LucasArts' SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) system such as Monkey Island, Day of the Tentacle, Sam and Max and more.

To Install SCUMM-VM under ubuntu assuming you have all the repositories in order type the following command at the terminal : -

sudo apt-get install scummvm

This would download all the files needed to run SCUMM based games under ubuntu , and should take few minutes only.

Now after installation is over go to (Applications -> Games -> ScummVM ) to launch the ScummVM .

Now interface is quite simple since it is graphical so you should have no problem using ScummVM.

If you have your original CD's Floppy's or whatever start playing your favorite games again.

Putting ScummVM into action : -

To Test ScummVM i downloaded the Flights of Amazon Queen game , now after downloading the file(game was in a zip file) i extracted the contents of the archive into a directory say Games , now i launched the ScummVM (Applications -> Games ->ScummVM) . ScummVM provides a nice graphical look i went to the directory where game was located through ScummVM and clicked on chose .This showed me the following screen to add game into ScummVM.

After this i only had to click on run to start the game and this is how my game looked running inside ScummVM on Ubuntu .

Feeling inspired enough get the games for ScummVM here : -

Now many games are available online for download you can look at this under extras section for finding some games , you can find more games using google :-
http://www.scummvm.org/downloads.php

And also here is list of games released under Demo version : http://www.scummvm.org/demos.php
These may be demo version but do provide hours of entertainment.

and here is the full list of supported games : -
http://www.scummvm.org/compatibility_stable.php


Article Written by : Ambuj Varshney (blogambuj@gmail.com)
For Linux on Desktop blog , http://linuxondesktop.blogspot.com
(C) 2008, Ambuj Varshney