An unexamined life is not worth living.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Chess on linux

Chess on Linux, well, is possible. Since my windows installation went down last week, I've been experimenting with running different chess (and other) software on Ubuntu 7.10 and learning whether migrating to Linux is really as painful as people say. A few discoveries:

- Wine does miracles. Both Chessbase Light 6.0 and Chessbase Light 2007 run in Wine (the 2007 version must be installed via Wine, the ancient 6.0 version can run from a windows partition)

- Blitzin does work from Wine, but moves get input with a bit of delay (very fast UI is the main benefit of Blitzin)

- Jin is nice, but I lost a 3 minute game on time, and I want to blame it on the 0.5 delay that the UI has for displaying the moves - you hear the sound of opponent's move first, and only later see the actual move on the board. Note that I had tried the web based version of Jin before on Windows, and it worked perfectly.

- There are a lot of tools that are still missing and that I have not tried to find an alternative for yet, like Palview, Windows media recorder, and Windows live writer - I pretty much relied fully on them for making blog entries and videos for my youtube channel.

All in all, the amount of free software on Ubuntu, and decent interoperability with windows programs really put me on the fence as to whether or not to go back to windows full time for my home computing needs.


  1. 7.04 is a little out of date. You might find a newer version of Ubuntu more to your liking.

    You're wine. Wine is pretty good. I play most of my games in BabasChess. But there is some significant delay.

    One of the most promising chess interfaces is Pychess. It's currently in Alpha stage and not quite usable. But check their website frequently to see if there is another version out yet. My guess is that later this year, this could be the go to client on Linux.

  2. Thanks for the tips - I will definitely upgrade Ubuntu, but for now I am now back to using Vista since my new computer came with it :(.

  3. somewhat late in this post

    I just started a series of posts on free chess software

    my first post as well as the following parts will be focused more on SCID and my aim is to do anything with open source software, analyze games, create repertoires, prepare for matches etc.

    The posts are somewhat tutorial based, as I think that SCID is awesome and is just lacking tutorials.


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