Linux / Unix Desktop Fun: Cat And Mouse Chase All Over Your Screen

Oneko is a little fun app. It will change your cursor into mouse and creates a little cute cat and the cat start chasing around your mouse cursor. The word “neko” means “cat” in Japanese and it was originally written by a Japanese author as a Macintosh desktop accessory.

Install oneko

Type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get install oneko

Sample outputs:
[sudo] password for vivek: 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 10 not upgraded.
Need to get 38.6 kB of archives.
After this operation, 168 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Get:1 squeeze/main oneko amd64 [38.6 kB]
Fetched 38.6 kB in 1s (25.9 kB/s)                     
Selecting previously deselected package oneko.
(Reading database ... 274152 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking oneko (from .../ ...
Processing triggers for menu ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Setting up oneko ( ...
Processing triggers for menu ...

FreeBSD unix user type the following command to install oneko:
# cd /usr/ports/games/oneko
# make install clean

How do I use oneko?

Simply type the following command:
$ oneko
You can make cat into “tora-neko”, a cat wite tiger-like stripe:
$ oneko -tora

Not a cat person?

You can run a dog instead of a cat:
$ oneko -dog
The followin will runs Sakura Kinomoto instead of a cat:
$ oneko -sakura
Runs Tomoyo Daidouji instead of a cat:
$ oneko -tomoyo

Check out related media

This tutorial also available in video format:

(Video.01: Demo – Install and use oneko under Linux)

Other options

You can pass the following options:

  1. -tofocus : Makes cat run to and on top of focus window. When focus window is not in sight, cat chases mouse as usually.
  2. -position geometry : Specify X and Y offsets in pixels to adjust position of cat relative to mouse pointer./li>
  3. -rv : Reverse background color and foreground color.
  4. -fg color : Foreground color (e.g., oneko -dog -fg red).
  5. -bg color : Background color (e.g., oneko -dog -bg green).
  6. See oneko man page for more information.

If you enjoyed this desktop fun app, you may also like to use the following apps on Linux/Unix:

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🐧 7 comments so far... add one

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7 comments… add one
  • Dep Sep 30, 2012 @ 14:24


  • Menno Oct 12, 2012 @ 10:24

    Just added a little script that starts oneko to ~/.kde/Autostart on my gf’s laptop.
    See what she says when she comes home :-)

  • Daniel Clarks Dec 5, 2012 @ 2:09

    funny :)

  • candyman Apr 4, 2013 @ 21:31

    How to run in permanently???

    • Jeevan Reddy Mandali May 29, 2015 @ 17:43

      add it to startup applications

  • rongmu May 4, 2013 @ 3:43


  • Paul Jan 31, 2021 @ 23:13

    This brings back memories. In the early ’90s, I had a Neko extension for my Mac. When I had to switch to Windows at the end of the century, I discovered that the desktop background could be set to an html page and embed Java applets, which already existed for Neko. (Flash games/videos could also be embedded, leading to more fun pranks.) I have not seen Neko since switching to Ubuntu over a decade ago. I must check this out.

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