Readers of a certain age are in for a shot of delicious nostalgia today. Back in the dawn of time (i.e. the 1990s), many of us had our first taste of multiplayer gaming in text mode, playing things called MUDs, or Multi-User Dungeons. MUDs are where games like World of Warcraft and virtual worlds like Second Life have their roots – and they were enormous fun.

Duncan Jauncey wrote something called Alternate Universe MUD ten years ago, and he’s just ported it to the Pi.

If you want to relive some of the text-based fun you had back in the 90s, head over to Duncan’s website, where you’ll find some more information and installation instructions for your Pi.


Tom avatar

just logged in, hehe!

> telnet 1063


Dave Akerman avatar

1990’s were the “Dawn Of Time”??

Now I feel old!

Colossal Cave apparently started in 1976, and I remember playing that on mainframes around 1980.

You’re In A Maze Of Twisty Little Passages, All Alike ….

Michael avatar

I actually played Adventure (not yet called Colossal Cave) and Lunar Lander on a PDP/11 in 1976. They were loaded from punched tape – after the BASIC interpreter had first been so loaded!

HaggisHunter avatar

Thanks, I feel slightly younger now. I did spent quite a few hours on the Very Big Cave Adventure, which was heavily based on Colossal, but a decade or so (and a thousand puns) later.

Jeff Tranter avatar

I also wrote a text adventure game for the Raspberry PI. You can find it here in the Raspberry Pi store (it’s free):

ukscone avatar

if you need a bigger retro fix then YAZE & Z80pack both run on the raspberry pi and you can play all your favourite Infocom games incl. the Zorks as well as run wordstar, dbaseII, and other CP/M programs

liz avatar

Bet Zork: Nemesis doesn’t. :(

ukscone avatar

well lets see. the worst that can happen is that you are likely to be eaten by a grue although it doesn’t seem to have a cp/m version so it’d be dosbox rather than yaze or z80pack. i think the last one i checked was zork3 and maybe a couple of others

Andrew Scheller avatar

Ahhhh, that brings back memories! I used to spend ages on “The Chatting Zone” MUD when I was at Uni. I’d built my own virtual multi-room house and everything :)

Jon avatar

MUDs are still going relatively strong, actually. has a list of active MUDs; maybe this one should be added. I wonder how many concurrent users the Pi will handle…

HangFire avatar

Ah.. Colossal Cave.. and that magic password..

Google it and it’s no longer a secret. :-(

Xyzzy has a Wikipedia entry, a website and even annual awards it seems.

I think I spent more lunch hours playing ‘rogue’ though. And more recently loads on the Pi equivalent ‘Powder’ of course :-)

Marc avatar

Thats excellent!
For you retro lovers goto for old school Play by email gaming also running on a Raspberry Pi

dextrus avatar

You can of course, just play MUD.

Andrew Scheller avatar

Ergh, didn’t realise that even MUDs had become infected by casino spam :-(

David Given avatar

I’ve actually been working with the LambdaMOO server recently (via its reinvention at It’s a really nice system. It’s got a proper garbage collected scripting language with a robust permissions and security model, allowing for arbitrary players to run untrusted scripts slowly; it supports online development so you don’t need to restart it or reset the database every time you want to change something; and it’s fast and efficient — a running LambdaMOO server uses less than 4MB of RAM! And you don’t need to run a MUD on it. It makes an excellent general purpose app server.

(Runs fine on ARM, too.)

Soruk avatar

TinyMUX runs out of the box on the Pi.

When I took on the job of hosting, I ran into a problem with a gcc bug on my vhost causing some mathematical operations to crash when compiled with -O2. While tracking it down, I brought up the developers MUX on the Pi to try to narrow down the problem (different compiler and architecture). It came out without even the slightest amount of faff.

Duncan Jauncey avatar

Wow, I’m humbled to have AU feature on the Raspberry Pi front page, thanks Liz!

The Pi is serving around 10-15 players at the moment, hardly breaking a sweat (30-60% CPU, still 50 degrees core temperature), although we did have an internet connection failure a while ago – looking ok now though (touch wood).

Thanks again for such an amazing device.

Tom avatar

I noticed. I was wondering if this would be called slashdotted, or mud pi’ed or just plain old raspberry pi’ed.

Apperently it’s pi-dotted :)

Jon avatar

I signed up, and have been quite enjoying the MUD. It’s been pretty responsive, serving about 15-20 users at a time since I’ve been on.

Look forward to seeing y’all on there.

-Jon (aka Sentar)

Speef avatar

For those who want their own MUD, tbaMUD (a currently-maintained verison of CircleMUD) compiles and runs great on a pi with the regular Raspbian distro.

Gordon Henderson avatar

Ah good old MUDs. FWIW, I’ve been running one for a little longer than Duncans (which is pretty good in its own right though!) My MUD has been online more or less continually for just over 20 years now (it was 20 last September). Back then it ran on a 20MHz 68020 system with 12MB of RAM now it just runs on a server because I sort of like it there and I don’t need to turn it off…

So if you’ve a fancying for olde-fashioned text-only adventures, give mine a try – it’s what I originally used the name ‘Drogon’ for too!

telnet 6123

and off you go ;-)


JustThisGuy avatar

Pennmush pulls straight down from the repo and runs just fine on Rasbian.

Jeremy avatar

Good to see this MUD back an fully alive! =)

If any new players see me (jeremy) online, don’t hesitate to ask me for help! I love assisting new players.

Werewolf avatar

You an also use Tinyfugue “tf” runs nicely on the Raspberry as well. I use it to play on TinyTIM mush. guessing my character on there is about 19 years old real time lol.

Gregor avatar

only read about MUD, never played one. not much of a text person. maybe cause English is not my language. plus back then all i could get was a spectrum. no PC for me–way too expencive at the time. let alone internet/BBS/telnet. anyway i might give it a try if i can find some time. also te drogon one. is the colosal cave still running?

omenie avatar

I read the title and was hoping for a rendition of Tiger Feet.

MAJ avatar

I have the source code for one of these games we used to play at UKAEA Culham in the early 80’s. It’s written in Fortran IV and ran on a PR1ME box. Unfortunately, it’s in the form of a listing on about 500 sheets of fan-fold paper. Still, I have a scanner…

Pato avatar

I’ve been trying to play this tonight and keep getting connection refused. Too many ppl playing this again?

MegaGumbo avatar

Finally! So there *still* are some MUD / text adventure people out there! Great work, just logged in to explore… :)

Eddy Beaupré avatar

I am the current lead developper for TinyMUSH, (MUSH are a kind of Mud server more oriented toward role playing) which is currently in the alpha stage of its next release, and the Raspberry PI is one of the varrious platform i use to validate each new build and is a supported platform out of the box.

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