Linux / UNIX Desktop Fun: Terminal ASCII Aquarium

You can now enjoy mysteries of the sea from the safety of your own terminal using ASCIIQuarium. It is an aquarium/sea animation in ASCII art created using perl.

Install Term::Animation

Fedora Linux user simply run the following dnf command:
$ sudo dnf install asciiquarium

Debian/Ubuntu Linux install Terminal ASCII Aquarium

First, you need to install Perl module called Term-Animation. Open a command-line terminal (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and then type the following apt command:
$ sudo apt-get install libcurses-perl
Debian Linux Install GNU GCC Compiler and Development Environment as follows using the apt-get command $ sudo apt-get install build-essential
Finally compile Term-Animation:
$ cd /tmp
$ wget
$ tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.6.tar.gz
$ cd Term-Animation-2.6/
$ perl Makefile.PL && make && make test
$ sudo make install

Download and Install ASCIIQuarium

While still at bash prompt, type:
$ cd /tmp
$ wget
## Extract tar.gz file on Linux or Unix ##
$ tar -zxvf asciiquarium.tar.gz
$ cd asciiquarium_1.1/
$ sudo cp asciiquarium /usr/local/bin
$ sudo chmod 0755 /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium


mode of '/usr/local/bin/asciiquarium' changed from 0644 (rw-r--r--) to 0755 (rwxr-xr-x)

How do I view my ASCII Aquarium on Linux?

Simply type the following command:
$ /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium
$ perl /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium

(Fig.01: ASCII Aquarium [ click to enlarge ] )

Related media

Video 01: ASCIIQuarium – Sea Animation on Linux / Unix Desktop

Download: erminal ASCII Aquarium KDE and Mac OS X Version

Download asciiquarium. If you’re running Mac OS X, try a packaged version that will run out of the box. For KDE users, try a KDE Screensaver based on the Asciiquarium.

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

🐧 Get the latest tutorials on Linux, Open Source & DevOps via RSS feed or Weekly email newsletter.

🐧 37 comments so far... add one
CategoryList of Unix and Linux commands
Disk space analyzersdf ncdu pydf
File Managementcat tree
FirewallAlpine Awall CentOS 8 OpenSUSE RHEL 8 Ubuntu 16.04 Ubuntu 18.04 Ubuntu 20.04
Network UtilitiesNetHogs dig host ip nmap
OpenVPNCentOS 7 CentOS 8 Debian 10 Debian 8/9 Ubuntu 18.04 Ubuntu 20.04
Package Managerapk apt
Processes Managementbg chroot cron disown fg jobs killall kill pidof pstree pwdx time
Searchinggrep whereis which
User Informationgroups id lastcomm last lid/libuser-lid logname members users whoami who w
WireGuard VPNAlpine CentOS 8 Debian 10 Firewall Ubuntu 20.04
37 comments… add one
  • Doron Jan 5, 2011 @ 14:19

    Thank you.nice!
    You need to cd to asciiquarium after tar -zxvf asciiquarium.tar.gz

  • Karsten Jan 5, 2011 @ 14:42

    cpan install Term::Animation

  • Vikas Jan 5, 2011 @ 16:32

    That’s cool πŸ™‚

  • absurdo Jan 5, 2011 @ 18:00

    How can I compile rpm for CentOS 5.5?

    • Cj Jan 5, 2011 @ 22:27

      Cent OS users, try:
      yum install perl-Curses
      instead of
      sudo apt-get install libcurses-perl

      Worked for me πŸ™‚

  • wss8848 Jan 6, 2011 @ 1:38

    There is nothing about libcurses-perl in CentOS yum programme.where can i get it?

  • Brent Jan 6, 2011 @ 7:34

    Debian / Ubuntu
    dh-make-perl --build --cpan Term::Animation

    • Brent Jan 6, 2011 @ 7:35

      Forgot, then afterwards
      dpkg -i libterm-animation-perl_2.4-1_all.deb

  • absurdo Jan 6, 2011 @ 9:33

    As I know, in rpm-based OSes it’s preferable to build rpm with rpm-build and than install it.

  • pawel Jan 6, 2011 @ 11:35

    Nice. Someone must have been really bored to do this…

    If anyone asks – in OpenSuse 11.3 you need to add the CPAN repository (if you don’t have it):

    sudo zypper ar perl

    and install perl-Curses (for some reason the package name is different than in Ubuntu):

    sudo zypper install perl-Curses

    Have fun!

  • Jonas Jan 6, 2011 @ 12:12

    FYI: There is a slight difference between ASCII and ANSI. πŸ˜‰

    • Alex Jan 7, 2013 @ 3:26

      Strictly speaking this is a curses animation, it will work over any terminal with a proper curses descriptor not just an ANSI terminal.

  • Tsiolkovsky Jan 6, 2011 @ 23:38

    Cool, I see it is already installed by default in my KDE (Mandriva Linux). Love it.

  • Marc St-Jacques Jan 7, 2011 @ 0:17

    Just a small detail: chances are you are not the owner of the file you just sudo cp’d into /usr/local/bin, so you won’t have the necessary permissions to chmod at the end. It should be ‘sudo chmod’.

    A great find. Thanks.

  • stefan-m Jan 7, 2011 @ 8:05

    Wow nice πŸ™‚

    I want this as screensaver, does anybody has a solution to do this?

  • Branislav Viest Jan 8, 2011 @ 19:49

    Cool, Thanks for tip πŸ™‚

  • Michael Jan 9, 2011 @ 14:52

    Any idea how to Install Term::Animation on Fedora 14?
    The perl ‘Makefile.PL && make && make test’ fails with message:
    BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at Makefile.PL line 2.

    When I looked at this line I see:
    use ExtUtils::MakeMaker;
    Then I installed the perl-MakeMaker-5.41-10.i386.rpm package from:

    Ok. Installed without errors.
    Now I tried again ‘Makefile.PL && make && make test’
    And again it complains about BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at Makefile.PL line 2.

    Any ideas? Thanks in advance

    • Kirk Baucom Jan 10, 2011 @ 20:09

      I don’t have a Fedora system to test on, but you might want to try looking for a perl-ExtUtils-MakeMaker package.

      • Michael Jan 22, 2011 @ 11:30

        Thanks for your suggestion, but after that I’ve got still the same error message.

        • mwoolley Feb 18, 2011 @ 19:22

          you need to install Test::Pod
          cpan get Test::pod

          • Michael Mar 31, 2011 @ 17:28

            Thanks. Finally it is working now!

  • Kirk Baucom Jan 10, 2011 @ 20:09

    Glad you guys like it! I have a similar program that displays a scene based on the weather:

    If you have any problems or suggestions, let me know.

    In addition to the KDE screensaver version, there’s now a live wallpaper for Android ported by Claudio Matsuoka:

  • asda Jan 11, 2011 @ 23:06

    Is possible ascii aquarium in motd on ssh?


  • VipeR Jan 18, 2011 @ 11:42

    Thx For Your post

  • tony bogworth Jan 20, 2011 @ 20:10

    Redhat distro’s can also use “CheckInstall” to create an rpm package from the source code. Check out for more information. This should already be included in the latest CentOS repo’s. Works very well and allows one to easily remove the application with your package manager as well.

  • shahram Jan 22, 2011 @ 2:02

    that’s cool

  • Mike Feb 13, 2011 @ 9:55

    That’s very nice.

    10 points for your “bash street credibility” πŸ™‚

  • Peter Lohse Feb 17, 2011 @ 9:05

    That’s very funny ^^
    Thank you very much

  • jaysunn Mar 31, 2011 @ 17:23

    THis is really neat. LOve it>>>>


  • jaysunn Mar 31, 2011 @ 17:43

    Not sure if posted. For OSX. I became root and issued the command:


    I then accepted all the default prompts.

    Then I ran

    cpan>install Term::Animation

    Then I ran:
    shine:~ jasonralph$ asciiquarium

    Since it was in my path the binary ran perfectly.
    Afer that I was able to see the coolness. Very sweet.


  • jinoh67 Jul 15, 2013 @ 13:14

    This is awesome! I turned all my tty1~6 into this aqarium xD

  • Antz Jan 10, 2014 @ 10:59

    can u tell, how must I do after I get this message : BEGIN failedΓ’β‚¬β€œcompilation aborted at Makefile.PL line 2. I used fedora, thanks

  • Alex Oct 22, 2014 @ 22:43

    cd asciiquarium_1.0/
    needs to be
    cd asciiquarium_1.1/
    They updated it.

  • Siddharth Jul 30, 2016 @ 8:34

    Can it be made as a screen saver..?

  • Friendly_person Nov 13, 2020 @ 16:58

    You download version 2.6 but extract a different version:
    tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Use HTML <pre>...</pre> for code samples. Still have questions? Post it on our forum