XBill

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'Xbill is also a colloquial abbreviation for Crossbill.
Gnome XBill level 20.
XBill icon.

XBill is an arcade style game for the X Window System. It was very popular among Linux gamers at the end of the 1990s, beating out Quake, though not Quake II, as Linux Journal reader's favourite Linux game in 1999.[1]

Written by Brian Wellington and Matias Duarte,[2] the game features a bespectacled character known as "Bill". The goal is to prevent Bill's legions of clones from installing "Wingdows", a virus "cleverly designed to resemble a popular operating system", on a variety of computers running other operating systems.

The operating systems are represented by logos shown on the computer screens. The computers the player must defend include PCs running Linux and BSD, SPARCstations with Solaris, SGI IRIX workstations, Apple Macs, Palm pilots, and NeXTcubes. When Bill installs Wingdows onto a computer, its current operating system is placed beside it.

Using the mouse, the player must slap Bill and drag discarded operating systems back to their computers. At the end of the level, points are accrued for every computer that is still running its original operating system.

On later levels, computers are connected to each other with LAN cables, causing Wingdows to spread faster. Some computers may also catch fire. This can be cured by dragging buckets of water onto them.

The game was later, deliberately ironically, ported to Microsoft Windows[3] as well as to Mac OS X[4] and to the OpenMoko, Android, Maemo and iPhone phones.[5][6][7] Re-implementations of the game also exist.[8]

The game holds four out of five stars on the Linux Game Tome[9] and was noted by DesktopLinux.com.[10]

In 2009, the project was resurrected as XBill-NG,[11] similar in concept to Lincity-NG.

Somewhat illustrating its notoriety, graphics from the game are used on the website of the Free Software Foundation campaign Windows 7 Sins.[12]

Despite its status, it is not always packaged with Linux distributions due to its "disparaging" content.[13]

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