Proposal: Drop the games from Ubuntu Desktop's full install

During the Ubuntu 23.10 development cycle, there was a major discussion about rethinking Ubuntu desktop’s default install. As a result of that discussion, Ubuntu’s default install was switched to a more minimal variant while still offering a full install option. One idea mentioned then that was not fully explored was removing the games from the full install.

GNOME used to distribute a set of games alongside its desktop, but in recent years, GNOME has refined its recommended suite to a set called GNOME Core and the games are not part of it. Ubuntu used to include all those games but years ago, Ubuntu’s default set was reduced to

  • Aisleriot Solitaire
  • Mahjongg
  • Mines
  • Sudoku

As time goes by, I believe even those selected games are increasingly less representative of what Ubuntu and the wider Linux community has to offer to gamers. People who install Ubuntu and want to play games are welcome to install those games as they will still be available for install, but they may also prefer to try additional games, either through the Steam Snap or other games available in the App Center or from third parties.

I personally like Aisleriot’s solitaire games, but just because I like the app does not mean that everyone who chooses the full install needs to have it pre-installed.

What do you think?


I think we have to offer some productivity software, so 100% for games removal.

1 Like

I’m of a (cough, cough) generation which had its first contact with graphical desktop environments via the products of a well-known company based in Redmond. And there were all these games there: Solitaire, Minesweeper, etc. (As it later turned out, Solitaire was actually an ingenious way to train users on the basic mouse operations in a desktop environment, see here.

As I moved on to pastures greener (and more “libre”), I kept associating these “games” with two things. One, office cubicle workers procrastinating. And, two: yes, that Redmond-based company. I think the fact that a Cupertino-based rival company never included games in their default OS install was a way to mark distance from these things: office cubicles, and that company from Redmond.

You are correct in pointing out that anyone interested in games (or “gaming”, as young people call it these days) wouldn’t care much about these offerings.

So, this is a rather convoluted way of saying I agree with you and I second this motion.


Excellent idea, that would make room for needed
space for the Ubuntu basic architecture.

I mean… just how much space are these taking anyway? I don’t think we stand to gain much by removing those, but for offline users it removes a nice-to-have. I get that allowing enough things to creep in results in bloat, but when something’s been there for like a decade, I don’t think it exactly counts as having “creeped” in. I don’t think there’s anyone who dislikes their presence unless they want to strip out tons of stuff, and that’s what the new minimal install does. I can think of a group of people who would be upset if they were removed though.

I’m -1 on it. I’m not that attached to their presence, but I’m not in favor of them being removed either.

alan@nuc:~$ sudo apt autoremove aisleriot gnome-mahjongg gnome-mines gnome-sudoku 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  aisleriot gnome-mahjongg gnome-mines gnome-sudoku
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 4 to remove and 11 not upgraded.
After this operation, 15.2 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

15.2MB doesn’t seem like a tremendous cost for having some fun.


I see your 15.2 MB, Alan, and I give you a quality-over-quantity alternative:

kamen@Indaba:~$ sudo apt install bsdgames nethack-console
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Reading state information... Done
The following additional packages will be installed:
  libfl2 nethack-common wamerican
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  bsdgames libfl2 nethack-common nethack-console wamerican
0 upgraded, 5 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 2937 kB of archives.
After this operation, 9019 kB of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

Only joking, really. (Young people would have found Steam on the Snap Store by now.)


Strange. I love those four games more than 96% of the stuff in Steam.


Aisleriot is the only thing keeping guile-3.0-libs in the default install (or in main). That’s at least 50 MB more.


macOS still comes with Chess.

Which was a fork from glChess / Gnome Chess.

I think it’s the only one though. :thinking:


Ah, but chess is for REAL gamers! :wink:


These are the first things I always uninstall from my ubuntu clean install.


GNOME Circle has a lot of games and apps, KDE in snaps has also a lot of games but are individually packaged. Maybe problem is that if you click on on KDE icon in some game, it shows all KDE apps, but with snaps it is not so in GNOME case…

GNOME vs KDE: hearing 1 :sleeping:

My view is, and I know there will be a lot of opposition, that Ubuntu needs only one installation variant and that’s the minimal (plus the always handy options for updates and codecs while installing). A clean OS on the user’s PC without all the “extras” (bloat) he/she never opted in for.

1 Like

I believe that the games can be deleted without problems, anyone who wants them can install them after installation, especially since sol (aisleriot) has had problems for months:

And the games you propose to eliminate people usually play on their phones

1 Like

I always install the minimal install, so clearly I don’t want default games in my install :slight_smile: And then I install Quadrapassel. :grin:

Should the full/larger install include games? Why not, if they work and are not too large.

But should these certain four games be installed? It seems no one ever chose them in particular, they’re just there out of interia.

Thank you for participating in this discussion! Since today is Ubuntu 24.04 LTS Feature Freeze, I’m going to make this change now. There definitely are people who prefer having the games pre-installed, but there is wider support and stronger arguments here for removing them from the default install.


Dam, I am too late too participate!! I think the future of the Linux desktop is modular. There are more than enough choices of Applications to install. Just provide a bare minimum with file manager, terminal and text editor, and some essential utilities. I use LibraOffice AppImage. Games are for children. The only game I have on my PC is Gnome chess, which I hardly ever have time to play. Once the basic system is installed, everyone can install, customize and personalize to their heart’s content. Because that is what most people do in any case…

Closing. The window of input had ended.