Linux / UNIX Desktop Fun: Terminal ASCII Aquarium

last updated in Categories Download of the day, Linux desktop, UNIX

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

First, you need to install Perl module called Term-Animation. Open a command-line terminal (select Applications > Accessories > Terminal), and then type:
$ sudo apt-get install libcurses-perl
$ cd /tmp
$ wget
$ tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.4.tar.gz
$ cd Term-Animation-2.4/
$ perl Makefile.PL && make && make test
$ sudo make install

Download and Install ASCIIQuarium

While still at bash prompt, type:
$ cd /tmp
$ wget
$ tar -zxvf asciiquarium.tar.gz
$ cd asciiquarium_1.0/
$ sudo cp asciiquarium /usr/local/bin
$ sudo chmod 0755 /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium

How do I view my ASCII Aquarium?

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:


Posted by: Vivek Gite

The author is the creator of nixCraft and a seasoned sysadmin, DevOps engineer, and a trainer for the Linux operating system/Unix shell scripting. Get the latest tutorials on SysAdmin, Linux/Unix and open source topics via RSS/XML feed or weekly email newsletter.

35 comment

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

      Worked for me 🙂

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.


  5. can u tell, how must I do after I get this message : BEGIN failed–compilation aborted at Makefile.PL line 2. I used fedora, thanks

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