Voxelands for Linux


Jarret W. Buse

Voxelands for Linux

For many people, a game called “Minecraft” has become very popular and there are few who have not heard of it. For Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, a free clone is available called Voxelands. For all of these Operating Systems, the code needs to be compiled to run. This article only covers the code for Linux.

Voxelands is considered a “sandbox” world. In this case, “sandbox” refers to a game in which the landscape is customizable. Similar to a child’s sandbox, the landscape can be completely altered.

Voxelands provides numerous block types, items and creatures for the player to use.

Before going on too far, let’s look at getting the game installed.

sudo apt-get install build-essential libirrlicht-dev cmake libbz2-dev libpng12-dev libjpeg8-dev libxxf86vm-dev libgl1-mesa-dev libsqlite3-dev libogg-dev libvorbis-dev libopenal-dev git libfreetype6-dev

Next, download the Voxeland source files found at http://www.voxelands.com/download.html. Save the file wherever you wish on your system. Once downloaded, open the tarball file.

NOTE: The file I downloaded was for Voxelands version 1504.01. The filename was “Voxelands-1504.01-src.tar.bz2”

Once the file is opened, there should exist a folder called “Voxelands” which can be extracted to you Home folder. Switch to a terminal and then go to the Voxelands folder you extracted (~/Voxelands). Here, you can start building the source code after you performed the previous commands to install required packages.

To finish the building of the file, perform the following two commands:

cmake . -DRUN_IN_PLACE=1
make -j5

The process may take a bit depending on your system, but once done you can start the program with the commands:

cd bin

NOTE: Or you can click the executable.

At your initial start, you should be shown a screen similar to Figure 1. Here, you will create your character. You have many possible modifications to personalize your character. Once done, select the “Done” button.

Figure 1.jpg


Now, you should be at the main screen (Figure 2) where you can configure your world with which you will be interacting. Here, under “Single Player”, you can choose from three different play modes. These modes are:

  • Creative
    • Infinite inventory
    • No player damage – no suffocating/drowning and no requirements to eat
    • No tool wear
    • Inventory or Creative Chest from which everything is available
    • Passive Creatures
  • Adventure
    • Full crafting and smelting - must mine/farm/craft to get blocks and items
    • Passive and Aggressive Creatures
    • Player damage and Tool wear is on - no suffocating/drowning and no requirements to eat
    • Player has an initial inventory
  • Survival
    • Same as Adventure mode except the following points
    • Passive, Aggressive and Destructive Creatures
    • Player must eat
    • Suffocation/Drowning is possible
Figure 2.jpg


Under the “Map Options”, you can select to create a new map. When a new map is created, the old one is lost. With a new map, you can choose from the following map types:

  • Flat
  • Flatter
  • Smoother
  • Default
  • Hilly
  • Mountains
  • Crazy
  • Crazy Hills

By selecting “Settings” to the left side, you can then make more game changes. Here, you can also change the controls by clicking on the “Change Keys” button. The default controls are:

  • Forward - W
  • Backward - S
  • Left - A
  • Right - D
  • Use - E
  • Sneak – Left Shift
  • Jump - Space
  • Inventory - I
  • Chat - T
  • Command - /
  • Toggle Fly - K
  • Toggle Fast - J
  • Range Select - R
  • Print Stacks - P
  • Next Item - .
  • Previous Item - ,
  • Look - Mouse*
  • Hotbar Switching – Mouse Wheel/1 through 8*
  • Hide / show hud - F1*
  • Hide / show chat - F2*
  • Disable / enable fog - F3*
  • Disable / enable camera update - F4*
  • Toggle through debug information - F5*
  • Toggle through profiler (info on FPS, chunk updates, etc.) - F6*
  • Screen Shot - F12*

NOTE: When a screen shot is taken, the resulting PNG file is saved to the same directory as the voxelands executable. The controls marked with an asterisk (*) are not configurable under the “Change Keys” option.

To look around, use the mouse to maneuver where the player is looking. The left mouse button causes the item you are holding to be used.

You can also set the option for Full Screen mode under the Settings menu. Of course, this would be your personal preference of a full screen or a windowed game.

Be aware that the game uses audio, so be sure to have headphones or speakers to be able to enjoy the game to its fullest.

Download the game and try it since it is about the same as Minecraft and more improved than Minetest. Two of my sons approve of this game and find it fun to play. The resources required are not too much since I am running this on the Symple PC under Linux Mint.


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After the make -j5 command you need to
$ sudo make install
for the game to be installed into /usr/local/bin and make a menu entry in your Games section.
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