Using Asciiquarium for Aquarium Like Animation Effects in Linux Terminal

There are a bunch of Linux command tools that are more for amusement than serious work. Asciiquarium is one of them.

It provides a simple aquarium like animation effects in ASCII format for the Linux terminal.

Running default asciiquarium command

Looks interesting? Let’s explore it.

Install Asciiquarium in Linux

If you are using Arch Linux or Fedora, you can install it from your official repositories.

Fedora users:

sudo dnf install asciiquarium

Arch Linux users:

sudo pacman -S asciiquarium

Asciiquarium is not available in the default repos of Ubuntu. So, you either need to use a prebuilt binary or an external PPA.

Install Asciiquarium using PPA

First, add the PPA for Asciiquarium.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ytvwld/asciiquarium
sudo apt update

Now, install the package and its dependencies using:

sudo apt install asciiquarium

Remove PPA

To remove the Asciiquarium PPA, first remove the package.

sudo apt purge asciiquarium
sudo apt autoremove

Now, remove the PPA from your system:

sudo add-apt-repository --remove ppa:openshot.developers/ppa
sudo apt update

Install Asciiquarium using Binary


This needs separate Perl modules installed to your system. Also, it will install several Perl related packages to your system. So keep caution.

Installing Perl Dependencies during the installation process
Installing Perl Dependencies

To run the binary, you need the Animation and Curses module from CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network).

Install CPAN in Ubuntu using:

sudo apt install cpanminus libcurses-perl

Now, run:

cpan Term::Animation
Automatic setting up of Animation Module
Animation Module

This will ask for some configuration, just accept the defaults. Once both are set up, download the Asciiquarium release.

Extract the file. You will get a file called Asciiquarium. Now, make it executable.

Execution permission for Asciiquarium through Nautilus File Manager
Make Asciiquarium Executable

To do it via command line, open a terminal there and give the file execution permission using chmod command.

chmod +x asciiquarium

Now, to get the animation, you can run inside that location:


Or you can place the file in a location that is in your path.

Using Asciiquarium

Asciiquarium is a simple program. It does not have any command line options. Once you run asciiquarium, you will get the aquarium animation effect on your terminal.

Running default asciiquarium command

A couple of in-program keys are supported.

  • r: Repaint the animation
  • p: Pause or Play the animation
  • q: Quit


Also, you can use your Arrow keys to speed up the animation

Using Asciiquarium with lolcat

If you want to make Asciiquarium more colorful, you can use it with lolcat. Install lolcat first using:

sudo apt install lolcat

Now, run:

asciiquarium | lolcat
Ascciquarium displayed with rainbow colors using lolcat
Asciiquarium Lolcat

If you need more animation effect, tweak lolcat accordingly. For example,

asciiquarium | lolcat -p 200
Asciiquarium displayed with some options applied to lolcat command
Asciiquarium with lolcat tweaks

This will give you various color effects.

You can use the -i option of lolcat, to invert the colors:

asciiquarium | lolcat -i -p 200
Use lolcat to invert colors and display asciiquarium
Inverted Colors

Bonus: XFishTank (your desktop becomes the tank)

Another similar fun command is xfishtank. It creates an aquarium on your root window, that is the desktop. You can install it from the official repositories of Ubuntu.

sudo apt install xfishtank

Once installed, use:


There are several options which will help you to manage the number of fishes, bubbles etc. Use the man page of the command to learn more about it.

xfishtank -b 100 -f 15

Wrapping Up

As you can see, having a fish in your Linux terminal may not get you food but it would lighten up your mood.

No a fish lover? Get a cow.

Using Cowsay Linux Command Like a ProThe cowsay is a fun little Linux command line utility that can be enjoyed in so many ways. Here are several examples.

Enjoy Linux with these fun stuff 🙂

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