XMahjongg (1988)

A game of XMahjongg, version 3.7

Right after Klondike solitaire, it's time for Mahjong solitaire. Computer versions of Mahjong solitaire have been around for a while. Like most, the goal is to remove all tiles on the board in pairs. Only tiles with one long edge not touching another tile is free to be used in matches.

The current version 3.x series includes a number of layouts and tile sets. It can list all layouts, tilesets and backgrounds using the --list command-line argument. The output from my install is:

Layouts in '/usr/share/games/xmahjongg/layouts':
    arena       ceremonial  dragon      hourglass   ram         snake
    arrow       deepwell    farandole   monkey      rat         theater
    boar        default     hare        ox          rooster     tiger
    bridge      dog         horse       papillon    schoon      wedges
Tilesets in '/usr/share/games/xmahjongg/tiles':
    dorothys    gnome       real        thick
    dorwhite    gnome2      small       thin
Background images in '/usr/share/games/xmahjongg/backgrounds':
    default     green

It does not include its own layout editor, but can use layouts from KMahjongg which does include a layout editor. It can also use layouts from the earlier 2.x series of the application, which I managed to track down:

A game of XMahjongg, version 2.0, with the wedges layout

It's a little bit uglier, but gets the job done. This one only comes with three default layouts:

As mentioned above, this version does include a layout editor, which can be invoked with the -s command-line option.

Version 1.0 of this game was written by Mark Holm for SunView in 1988, and is technically just "Mahjongg" since it's not for X Windows. Jeff S. Young ported that to X11 and released version 2.0 in 1990. The version 3.x series was written by Eddie Kohler. The earlier tile sets and some of the tiles in version 3 were created by Dorothy Robinson. A bit more information and credits can be found at the History section at the bottom of the official web site, which is still up. The changelog for the version 3.x series can be found there too.

The following is session on version 3.7, in which I clear the Boar layout:

XMahjongg can be downloaded from its offical web site. It is also packaged in Debian and probably other distros.

If you want to run version 2.0 tho, it takes a little bit more work. I originally found it in a Walnut Creek CD-ROM on archive.org. However, to save people the trouble of downloading and extracting it from the CD image, I've also re-uploaded the source RPM here.

To build, refer to the following directions. Note that commands with $ should be run as a standard user, while # should be run as root or with sudo.

  1. Extract the package per the info in the Old X Games article,
  2. Apply xmahjongg-2.0-config.patch.gz (sockets.patch was corrupt for me anyways).
  3. Download and apply my patch to fix the install paths and change the font compression method to gzip.
  4. Build using

    $ make -f xmahjongg.mk
  5. On a Debian system, I suggest using checkinstall for the install step as follows:

    # checkinstall make -f xmahjongg.mk install

    Other distro users should figure out a good alternate method to track the install; the bare install command is just make -f xmahjongg.mk install. For RPM users, the easiest method might be to edit the .spec file to include my patch and rebuild that way.

  6. Regenerate the font directory index and current session's font database:

    # mkfontdir /usr/share/fonts/X11/misc
    $ xset fp rehash

You should be good to go at this point. But who am I kidding? Nobody's going to actually install this version.

I also found version 1.0 on a different Walnut Creek CD-ROM. Good luck running this unless you have some old Sun hardware or have everything you need to get it going in QEMU. I've gone ahead and uploaded it in the interests of completeness. The archive includes the original usenet posts, then their resulting extracted files (from both packages) in a subfolder. README2 is the one from the patch, so you'll probably want to look there first to patch it up.

If anyone is crazy enough to run version 1.0 or 1.1, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message with the comment box below.

More general information on old X games can be found in the Old X Games article.

If the above video does not work for you, it is also available on my YouTube channel.


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