Best way to play IF in Linux Ubuntu?


I’m very glad I found this forum.
I’d like to know the best way to play interactive fiction on Linux Ubuntu.
I’ve tried installing a few softwares, but have not had much luck. Some of the install criteria and systems are pretty advanced for me.

I’d like a program that allows me to change font, size and also colours for more comfortable reading.

Any suggestions from Linux users in here?

Thanks :slight_smile:

For zmachine games, I just use frotz in an xterminal. Most have a way to change the font and make it larger.

For Gargoyle (gargoyle-free) under Linux, you can edit ~/.garglkrc and set the font size, scroll bar size, etc. Gargoyle plays ulx, gblorb, and z games.

Lectrote ( has a Linux build ready to do, although I’m relying on Electron’s binary so I don’t know exactly what it’s compatibile with. Big clunky app but it has font and color prefs.

Looks like it handles blorb, z-code, glulx, hugo, and ink (however z-code files with .dat extensions are not recognized by file->open so you’ll need to rename them to .z5 or .z8 or whatever).

Workspace 1_090.png

ztext (z-code text editor) loads but doesn’t respond well. I’m thinking ztrek and bureaucracy might also have some issues with their non-standard formatting as well, but I’ve yet to try those.

I always use Gargoyle, it plays most any IF.

There’s a list of interpreters here:

You could also use frotz inside cool-retro-term ( to get some old school flavor.

A Youtube video showing off how it looks (I did have to tweak some settings to get more columns by changing the width of the font in edit->settings):

And a screenshot of frotz in cool-retro-term:


I do most of my playing and creating on a Raspberry Pi (Mint and LXDE), I use Frotz for playing. On Windows (7) I use Frotz and also Glulx. :slight_smile:

I need to dig up one of my serial terminals and take some photos of Frotz displaying to one of those. Loads of fun!

Yes! Do it! If I still had my Apple Pisa (Apple Lisa with Raspberry Pi internals!) then i’d take a picture of Frotz on that. :slight_smile:

Thanks for that link @RealNC, I also use Linux and I am a bit lost in the jungle of IF software…

Fizmo “Fimzo interprets Z-machine opcodes” (actually “fizmo-ncursesw”) is one I use a lot for in-shell playing (it looks really nice), but only for .zX games. Gargoyle for everything else.

In terms of changing font sizes for Gargoyle, I made/edited “~/.garglkrc” and added the following to it:

monofont      Liberation Mono
monosize      14

propfont      Linux Libertine O
propsize      18

leading       30
baseline      18

Small changes seems to have had a big effect on my computer. I’ve not changed fonts yet (that’s next) but they look pretty good by default.

Thanks @howtophil! I’d been squinting to read the tiny text in Gargoyle, (well, tiny for me, anyway) and it really took the fun out of playing.