Many people discount Linux gaming without a second thought, thinking that it must be a long, complicated process involving lots of terminal commands, text-only interfaces, terrible graphics and a comprehensive knowledge of electronics. However, with a CuBox, this is far from the truth.
We might focus on a few key applications for the device, but it's useful for all sorts of other things, and if you're looking for something quick and easy to do over the weekend, why not load up a few games! You could even turn it into a family affair and get the kids involved - plus they'll have something fun to play with afterwards.
All you need is a CuBox (with keyboard, mouse and monitor), a Linux install (we used the very stable Ubuntu 10.04), and an internet connection to start off with. Once you've installed your games of choice, unplug the ethernet cable and play to your heart's content!
Firstly, install your preferred Linux distro. If you have a favourite for CuBox, go with that one, otherwise the Ubuntu 10.04 install that comes shipped with the device is perfect for the job.
If you're installing Ubuntu 10.04 from scratch, there are a couple of known potential issues, but these are easy to fix by followingtion the instructions on the Wiki - even if it's your first time playing with Linux!
Once you've got that installed, plugged in and set up, it's time to work out what game you'd like to play. There are a few restrictions on what's possible on the CuBox, but there are plenty of titles that run more than happily.
The method for finding and installing your game will vary from distro to distro, but if we're staying with Ubuntu 10.04, it's super-easy. Open the Ubuntu Software Center, click the Games tab, and look for something that catches your eye. Everything listed under the Games tab is compatible with Ubuntu 10.04 for ARM, which means it should work on your CuBox, however there will be a few exceptions - some titles just need more grunt than a CuBox can offer!.
Our first pick: OpenTTD, an open source version of the 1995 simulation Transport Tycoon. Installation was a breeze (don't forget to grab the extra Audio packs if you want your game to have sound), and it runs just about as well on this tiny device as it does on my (much) larger, (much) more expensive gaming PC. There's a little slowdown when the screen is full of trains, but playing on smaller, less dense maps is an absolute joy.
Have you considered gaming on your CuBox? What do you most want to play? What have you played already?