Kids Apps on Linux

What if you give a little kid (3 - 6 years old) a Raspberry Pi?
Better add some free and open kids games!

Linux has had a lot of idealistic attempts to develop kid focused software. Unfortunately, most of the projects seem to fade away and are pretty dated today. Luckily, little kids really don’t care! They are tickled just to play with a computer. So, here is my list of apps that seem to successfully amuse little kids.


  • Potato Guy (KTuberling), sudo apt-get install ktuberling. Fun “stamp” game where you move stickers onto a scene such as a potato head or moonscape.
  • Tux Paint, sudo apt-get install tuxpaint. Easy to use paint program with Tux.
  • Bam Bam, sudo apt-get install bambam. Abstract infant game that is a lot of fun. Hitting any key or moving the mouse creates random visual and audio outputs filling the screen. The app locks to full screen, the only way to get out is to type quit.


  • GCompris, sudo apt-get install gcompris. A full suite of educational games, including activities that introduce using computer peripherals. Check the official site for more up-to-date packages.
  • Childs Play, sudo apt-get install childsplay. A suite of games for kids, some educational, some amusing. Official site.
  • PySio Games, sudo apt-get install pysiogame. Pygame based suite of games, see official site.
  • sudo apt-get install pysycache. Another Pygame based package for younger kids to learn the mouse.
  • Tux Type, sudo apt-get install tuxtype.
  • Tux of Math Command, sudo apt-get install tuxmath.
  • Gamine, sudo apt-get install gamine. Basic mouse-based “game” for very little kids.
  • Debian’s educational games, sudo apt-get install games-education. Many of the packages above can be installed at once with this metapackage. See full list.


  • Classic games from KDE: kblocks kbreakout kapman
  • oneko cat follows your mouse
  • frozen-bubble
  • ri-li toy train sim

Fun with parent interaction:

  • Stellarium, sudo apt-get install stellarium. Night sky simulator with lots of options.
  • Celestia. 3D astronomy simulator. It’s not in many repositories right now due to a history of buggy-ness, but you can get it from the official site.
  • VirtualLab Microscope, http://virtual.itg.uiuc.edu/
  • xball, sudo apt-get install xball. Bouncing ball simulator.

Full distros

  • DouDou Linux is rather dated, but still works well as a totally ready to go, self-contained, live disk.
  • Sugarlabs unique kid focused distro originally developed for One Laptop per child project. Check On a Stick or on Ubuntu.
  • Ubermix is for a bit older kids, but has a clever install system to make restore seamless if users mess up the system.