How do I install and run asciiquarium in Ubuntu? It seems kind of complicated, and I don't know how to compile source code.

2 Answers 2


No compiling is required as there is a PPA that I believe is run by a Debian developer dedicated solely to asciiquarium. Open a Terminal window and paste the following two commands:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ytvwld/asciiquarium
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install asciiquarium

And then the application is yours to run:

enter image description here

Enjoy :)

Note: This PPA now has packages available for all versions of Ubuntu from Precise to Cosmic!

  • 1
    yes that is more convenient, but I would like to note that some people are uncomfortable with adding additional PPA's to their system. :) Jun 21, 2017 at 13:28
  • 1
    @CurticeGough I agree with you completely :). And now our questioner has a choice to make...
    – andrew.46
    Jun 23, 2017 at 4:47
  • 3
    Hey, I'm maintaining this PPA. Please ping me if I forget to update it for new versions. As for the question of whether to trust PPAs: Launchpad builds the packages from source. So, if you run apt-get source <package>, that's the exact code I uploaded. If you don't trust me, compare the .orig file to the upstream sources. :) Also, I upload the build files to GitHub.
    – YtvwlD
    Apr 27, 2020 at 18:57

These instructions will work for Ubuntu 12.04 and later.

Install term-animation

First, you need to install Perl module called term-animation. Open a command-line terminal by pressing CTRL+ALT+T.

First, type

sudo apt install libcurses-perl

This will install the program that will run perl scripts on your system.

Next, run

cd /tmp

to change your working directory to /tmp, this is the folder where temporary files are stored.

After you are in /tmp, you are going to have to download the source code for term-animation. To do this, type

wget http://search.cpan.org/CPAN/authors/id/K/KB/KBAUCOM/Term-Animation-2.6.tar.gz

Extract the tarball you just downloaded by running this command:

tar -zxvf Term-Animation-2.6.tar.gz

Change your working directory to the folder you just extracted (NOTE: if you ever forget where your working directory is, simply type pwd).

cd Term-Animation-2.6

Next, you are going to run the perl script "Makefile.PL"

perl Makefile.PL &&  make &&   make test

(The && operator separates commands)

Finally, we can finish installing term-animation by running this command

sudo make install

Download and install Asciiquarium

Once again, we are going to change our working directory to /tmp.

cd /tmp

Now we are going to download the perl script that runs asciiquarium.

wget --no-check-certificate http://www.robobunny.com/projects/asciiquarium/asciiquarium.tar.gz

Extract the tarball you downloaded.

tar -zxvf asciiquarium.tar.gz

Now change the working directory to the folder you extracted.

cd asciiquarium_1.1

Next, we need to copy the perl script to /usr/local/bin where all of the executable commands are.

sudo cp asciiquarium /usr/local/bin/

Finally, to be allowed to run asciiquarium, you need to give yourself permission to execute the perl script.

sudo chmod 0755 /usr/local/bin/asciiquarium

Running asciiquarium

To watch asciiquarium in your terminal, simply type


Asciiquarium v1.1

Simply press CTRL+C to stop the animation.

  • 1
    Instead of building Term::Animation yourself, you might just run cpan -I Term::Animation (uppercase i), and later perl -I ~/perl5/lib/perl5 asciiquarium (also uppercase i) May 17, 2020 at 14:51

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