Monday, November 24, 2008

Is that a Fish in Your CLI? The asciiquarium Screensaver.

We've all seen the aquarium screensavers with fish swimming around our monitor. Well that calming soothing fish love isn't just for the CLI haters. Command line activists can also go fishing via the terminal with asciiquarium.

asciiquarium is not in the Ubuntu repositories but don't let that scare you. asciiquarium is a perl script which gives us easy access to this fun little program. Before we can see our fishy friends there are some dependencies we need, perl (of course), curses and the Term::Animation module. perl and curses is found in most of Linux distros by default, but I had to install the Term::Animation module from source which was pretty easy on Ubuntu. You can get Term::Animation from Just download Term::Animation, uncompress, enter the newly created directory and proceed with the following steps in the terminal,

1. perl Makefile.PL
2. make
3. make test
4. make install

Once installed, download asciiquarium from here, uncompress, enter the newly created directory and type the following.


Once running, pressing "r" will redraw the image, "p" will pause the animation and "q" will quit the program.

Watching all these fish are making me hungry. I think I'm in the mood of a good fish taco.

Happy fishing.


Hiankun said...

Thank you for this introduction. I have installed the cool screensaver (with some minor troubles) and shared it on my blog.

XAntares said...

how i can use it as real screensaver ??