What 2D/3D engines and game development SDKs are available that run natively on Ubuntu?

Please limit one engine/sdk per answer - and include why you enjoy the engine/sdk.


7 Answers 7



Simple DirectMedia Layer is a cross-platform multimedia library designed to provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, 3D hardware via OpenGL, and 2D video framebuffer. It is used by MPEG playback software, emulators, and many popular games, including the award winning Linux port of "Civilization: Call To Power."

SDL supports Linux, Windows, Windows CE, BeOS, MacOS, Mac OS X, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, BSD/OS, Solaris, IRIX, and QNX. The code contains support for AmigaOS, Dreamcast, Atari, AIX, OSF/Tru64, RISC OS, SymbianOS, and OS/2, but these are not officially supported.

SDL is written in C, but works with C++ natively, and has bindings to several other languages, including Ada, C#, D, Eiffel, Erlang, Euphoria, Go, Guile, Haskell, Java, Lisp, Lua, ML, Objective C, Pascal, Perl, PHP, Pike, Pliant, Python, Ruby, Smalltalk, and Tcl.

SDL is distributed under GNU LGPL version 2. This license allows you to use SDL freely in commercial programs as long as you link with the dynamic library.

Installing sdl library in ubuntu

  1. Install bulild essentials

    sudo apt-get install build-essential

  2. Install sdl libraries

    sudo apt-get install libsdl1.2-dev libsdl1.2debian

    enter image description here



This is one of the most professional Open Source 3D engines available. It is a bit difficult to set up, but it is rather powerful. The standard API is in C++ but there are bindings for several other languages.

More info at the OGRE Wiki.



V-Play provides reusable components for handling multiple display resolutions and aspect ratios, animations, particles, physics, multi-touch, gestures, path finding and much more, allowing you to prototype and build games in just days.

V-Play also comes with ready-to-use game templates for the most successful game genres including tower defense, platform games or puzzle games. Just replace graphics and sounds with your own and you're ready to publish your own game!

Develop your game in a declarative way with JavaScript & QML for iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Symbian, MeeGo and also for Windows, Mac OS X & Linux, thanks to a native engine core every single one with best performance.

  • Incredible Engine! Sep 8, 2013 at 1:50


It has a C++ interface too and it's quite powerful. There might be some Ubuntu packages in a PPA available, but i recommend to download the source code and build it manually.



offers something like Google GWT integration, which offers you to develop games in Eclipse (just by using the library) which you can than export to Android, iOS, Java, HTML5 Canvas



Python & C++ interface. Quite a tool.

  • Panda employs both a Python and C++ api, and the irc community is quite strong and helpful. Panda had received significant development support from Disney.
    – Anon
    Apr 19, 2014 at 15:14


Stencyl is a 2D game engine/creator. It has an easy to use drag and drop method to design your games. It is suited for non-coders with basic programming knowledge and also has a code editor for advanced users.

It has a native version for Ubuntu (requires the non-free JVM). You can make your games on Ubuntu and publish for iOS, Android*, Flash, HTML5*, Windows and Mac (* as of Stencyl 3.0).

The full featured free version is available for download and can publish to 'Flash'.

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