Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Machinarium - A Tasty Gaming Treat

What would you do if you were thrown and locked out of town separated from your true love? You'd fight every obstacle to return and rescue her, of course. And that's your goal in Machinarium. As the hero, you must figure out how to out-smart the bad guys and to save your lovely girlfriend.

As the game opens you find yourself broken and discarded in the dump outside the city wall. Your first task is to reassemble yourself. Once that is accomplished, you can begin your quest to return to the city and your girlfriend. Your adventure unfolds as you solve puzzle-like problems in order to progress. For example, how do you trick the guard to lower the drawbridge? Or how might you enter a tunnel that remains sealed except for the few seconds when a train cart passes?

The back story is revealed through Josef's memories seen as thought bubbles as the story progresses. Some of the first memories recollect our hero and his love as children playing around in an oil bath laughing and splashing. Later, dirty deeds of the antagonists against our hero, how he came to be in the city dump, and how the girlfriend came to be captured are revealed. It's amazing how these small glimpses into Josef's mind, feelings, and motives start to build a three dimensional character and pull the player in from almost the start. You care about him and want to see him reunited with his girlfriend. The environment is as much a character as the robot. It's a mechanized world of greasy and rusting metal fallen into disrepair - dirty, dangerous, and desolate. It's like Dr. Seuss meets the Road Warrior. Yet ironically, there's something quite beautiful in the cold metallic smoggy maze.

The game doesn't waste much time before the puzzles become challenging. Fortunately, you're not all on your own. Each puzzle environment has a hint bulb that will give you one quick hint usually pointing to the one thing that will make the rest fall into place. But if that's not enough, there's a book of sketchboards containing almost the full sequence of steps. Although the book is locked by a side-scrolling Alien Invaders type of game you must complete before gaining access. This will prevent someone from seeking answers too soon and also avoids the scramble of trying to find a walkthrough full of spoilers. However, Josef provides help himself. If you try to send him somewhere or do something inadvisable, he'll shake his head and mumble, "uh huh." Sometimes he'll give you hints through his thought bubbles as well. It's just an utterly charming game.

The best thing about Machinarium is that it also runs on Linux. News of this game's existence almost missed the Linux community entirely. However, upon its official release on October 15, a Linux version was also released. Surprisingly, after remitting the small fee users are given access to versions for all three platforms as well as the background music in MP3 format. An online demo is available to try before you buy, but a word of warning, once you begin you'll want to finish.

The Linux version is packaged as a compressed archive, or tarball. Some users will be able to simply click on this tarball and an archive manager will open. At that point click "Extract" to unpack the files. For others, open a terminal and change directories where you'd like the game installed. Unpacking it and running it from your home directory is perfectly acceptable and many times preferred, but if you'd like it available to other users, su to root and change directories to perhaps /usr/local/games. Just extracting the tarball is all that's required. You can start the game in a terminal or you might wish to make a link on your desktop. In summary, for example:

1. cd ~
2. tar -zxvf ~/Downloads/Machinarium_full_en.tar.gz
3. To play: cd Machinarium/
4. ./Machinarium

To unpack the background soundtrack:

1. unzip ~/Downloads/

Machinarium is a Flash-based game and as such the gameplay might be a little different from other games you've played, but it's described as point and click. Cursor clues drive the game action. Tests here found it didn't play very well under the KDE 4 environment with only one gigabyte of RAM. However, under other window environments, it played well for the most part. Some areas of the game suffer a bit of lag, but those with more memory shouldn't experience any negative issues with performance. Some suggest disabling (or enabling) Hardware Acceleration in your Flash settings (right click anywhere on the game screen), but this didn't seem to effect performance here either way. However, disabling Fullscreen when encountering these "heavy" areas helped a bit1. There is an active user forum if you need assistance or just want to learn more.

Machinarium is an imaginative game with a beautifully rich environment and amazing details. You'll fall in love with the ineffable main character and become addicted to his alien world. It's well worth the small fee for the hours of enjoyment received in exchange. For us Linux users, it's an especially tasty treat.


1. Adding another gig of RAM cured the lagging/hesitation issue.

(Update: If it begins to lag again real bad after playing and quitting a few times, eating up all CPU, try rm -rf ~/.macromedia - after moving your saved game file located at ~/.macromedia/Flash_Player/#SharedObjects/<some random number>/#localWithNet/Machinarium/Machinarium.sol)

More in Tux Machines Website Says Microsoft's Software Is Malware has a category on its website named “Philosophy of the GNU Project,” where the Microsoft software is described as malware, along with Apple and Amazon. Read more

Ubuntu Touch Devs Might Release an OTA-8.5 Hotfix Update for Ubuntu Phones

Earlier today, November 25, Canonical's Łukasz Zemczak sent his daily report for the day of November 24, 2015, informing all Ubuntu Phone users about the latest work done by the Ubuntu Touch developers on the Ubuntu for phones operating system. Read more

Systemd — unit dependencies and order

Welcome back to our continuing series on systemd features. As you’ve guessed from our previous articles, systemd brings more power and flexibility to service startup and management. One of the most important changes in systemd from legacy SysVinit is how it starts up units. You may have heard from casual users that systemd starts everything together. Some people believe this is true, and that’s why the system starts faster. But the reality is not quite that simple. Let’s look a little more deeply at how systemd understands unit relationships. Read more

today's leftovers

  • AWS launches EC2 Dedicated Hosts so you can bring your own Linux licence
    AMAZON WEB SERVICES (AWS) has announced the arrival of a new service called EC2 Dedicated Hosts. The new feature will allow companies to run the software they pay for on multiple virtual machines using a single server, giving more granular management to finding what applications are working on what virtual machine. AWS has outlined the advantages of EC2 Dedicated Hosts in a blog post by evangelist Jeff Barr.
  • Unikernels, meet Docker!
    The demo described here is just the beginning. There are many implementations of unikernels and there’s plenty of work ahead to ensure they can all reap the benefits of integration, as well as improving Docker itself to make the most of these new technologies. Look over the collection of unikernel projects and contribute your experiences to this blog!
  • AMD Radeon Software Crimson Edition Is A Letdown On Linux
    While leaked slides indicate AMD was planning better gaming on Linux for Crimson, in the end they really didn't deliver. Even for their mentioned games, when testing various Linux OpenGL games on three different systems the performance was largely unchanged.
  • New HPCG Benchmark List Goes Beyond LINPACK to Compare Supercomputers
    The High Performance Conjugate Gradients (HPCG) Benchmark list was announced this week at SC15. This is the fourth list produced for the emerging benchmark designed to complement the traditional High Performance LINPACK (HPL) benchmark used as the official metric for ranking the TOP500 systems. The first HPCG list was announced at ISC’14 a year and a half ago, containing only 15 entries and the SC’14 list had 25. The current list contains more than 60 entries as HPCG continues to gain traction in the HPC community.
  • New Opera 34 Beta Is Based on Chromium 47.0.2526.58, Brings Linux and Mac Fixes
    Opera Software, through Aneta Reluga, has announced the release and immediate availability for download and testing of a new Beta build for the upcoming Opera 34.0 web browser for all supported operating systems, including GNU/Linux, Mac OS X, and Microsoft Windows.
  • Hamster rediscovered
    If you like to track your time in a fine granular way, consider to use project-hamster with the GNOME Shell extension.
  • Distro hopping: feeling good with my time on LXLE
    Well the time has come to officially switch off from LXLE. This time around however I find myself in a weird spot. I’ve honestly struggled with LXLE; not in using the distribution itself but rather coming up with things to write about it. That isn’t to say that LXLE is bad by any stretch of the imagination, in fact it is quite good, it’s just that once you get used to the light weight desktop environment (DE) there is a perfectly capable “heavy weight” distribution underneath. What I mean by this is that once you get used to the DE and it fades into the background you’re left with a perfectly functional distribution that could just as easily have been Ubuntu or Linux Mint or Fedora or {insert your favourite one here}.
  • Netrunner 17 'Horizon' is here -- download the Kubuntu-based Linux distro now
    About a week ago, the Netrunner team released an update to its rolling release operating system. Based on Arch/Manjaro, I advised Linux beginners to steer clear, and instead opt for the Kubuntu-based variant. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, the Ubuntu community is arguably friendlier and better for newbies -- there are a ton of instructions and .deb files available too. More importantly, however, the rolling release could be less stable overall.
  • Netrunner 17 Screenshot Tour
  • KNOPPIX 7.6.0 Screenshot Tour
  • Tumbleweed install for November
    For this month, I installed Tumbleweed on my laptop. I had installed Leap 42.1 to overwrite my previous Tumbleweed install on that laptop. This computer uses legacy booting. I gave Tumbleweed a 40G partition, which I formatted as “ext4”. I also allowed it to use the swap and home file systems from my encrypted LVM on that computer.
  • Python 3 Porting FAD: Lessons Learned
  • Fossetcon 2015 Orlando Florida – Lake Buena Vista Hilton 19 – 21 November 2015
  • Reproducible builds: week 30 in Stretch cycle