Play the Classic Snake Game in the Linux Terminal

Do you feel bored sometimes and wish that you could have some fun on your computer? While there are tons of games that you play on your machine, nothing beats the old classic snake game that we all used to play on our cellphone. And to make it better, play it in the terminal (or even the command prompt in Windows).

nSnake is a small command line application of the classic snake game. It has a very simple interface, but comes with lots of possible game modes and the ability to save scores for each mode.



Note: This tutorial is done on a Linux (Ubuntu) machine, but the game will work in Windows as well.

nSnake is available in most Linux repositories, but for the latest version, it is best to compile from the source.

1. Grab the source code here. The latest version is 2.0.0.


Alternatively, if you don’t mind playing the older version, you can easily install with the command:

sudo apt-get install nsnake

2. Extract the archive to your Home folder. Open a terminal and type:

sudo apt-get install libncurses5-dev
cd nsnake
sudo make install

3. Once installed, you can start playing nSnake with the command “nsnake“.

Playing nSnake

The navigation menu is on the right side of the screen. You can use the Up/Down arrow key to move around and select the different option. To get started, simply select the “Arcade” option. You can then choose the difficulty level, random walls, and screen size.



At any point of time you can pause the game by pressing the “p” button or quit the game completely with the “q” button.



If you followed this tutorial and compiled from source, you can uninstall the game using the following commands:

cd nsnake
make uninstall

For those who install the game via apt-get, the uninstallation command is:

sudo apt-get autoremove nsnake


nSnake is not on par with the top-end games that require several gigabytes of storage space and high-end graphics card, but it is definitely a classic game that’s worth checking out to play when you are bored. Not to mention that it is lightweight and doesn’t require much resources. You can play it on almost any type of PC.

Have you tried nSnake? Do you find it fun?


Damien Oh started writing tech articles since 2007 and has over 10 years of experience in the tech industry. He is proficient in Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iOS, and worked as a part time WordPress Developer. He is currently the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Make Tech Easier.

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