Can Librem 11 play games like Minecraft?

Was thinking of getting my son a Librem 11 but he likes playing games like Minecraft and I wasn’t sure if the OS is compatible with different games or if its only some small number on their app store?
Sorry I have no experience with anything from Purism or their OS. Just started looking at them after seeing a video about the use based company and was interested.

Hi. I don’t have a Librem 11 but I am a Librem 5 user which I think uses the same package manager system.

What I find with Librem 5 is that the idea of ann open source device is to put the user in control, so whether it does what you really want ends up being up to you.

For example, if I was being an ideological person, I would tell you Microsoft is evil and after they bought Minecraft my login quit working and I can’t seem to download the game anymore, even though the terms of agreement that I signed with the original Minecraft with that guy Notch said that I would own the game and all future versions of the game and all DLC, because he wanted to make sure that in the future corporations wouldn’t Minecraft into some ripoff revenue stream. That might mean I have grounds to sue Microsoft for changing login schemas and making my account not work, but Microsoft is probably betting that they are so rich and powerful that I wouldn’t want to sue them and wouldn’t win, based on some technicality, and they are probably right.

So, ideologically, as with any technology, it is much preferable to use a GPL equivalent solution to solve a problem. For example, I recall hearing that some tech gurus created Minetest, where they wrote an almost 1:1 clone of Minecraft concepts, but they published it with a copyleft freedom license. I downloaded it and played it on my PC one time, and it was a nice experience. I would rather to play that than the Microsoft Minecraft, because the Minetest as a copyleft product would allow me to change the rules of the game or study how it was created. If I had a kid, I would likewise start them out with Minetest on their tablet if possible.

So, I have a 10 year old x86 tablet where I installed PureOS this year over top of what it had before, and I think it is probably a similar experience to Librem 11 although maybe slightly less polished and lower specs (and mine has a hardware kill switch for wifi). Since the software is the same, here’s how I think it would go:

I would download and run the Minetest for this device and offer it to my hypothetical child. I might find controls only work with a mouse plugged in, not sure, but if so then on Minetest we could hack the game to add tablet controls or else find a plugin where someone else already did, since the code is free to modify. Maybe more here (havent read this myself):

But if Minecraft is the same as it was for me 10 years ago when I played it – and I’m not sure it is – your kid might want to play the original Java game. I’m sure the old JARs are around, and those run fine on Linux because they are Java, so it should be possible to install a JRE and run the version from back then just fine, even if Microsoft might have locked down new version somehow (I’m a little out of date on this).

Minecraft – originally – was an LWJGL game. And so, that’s going to run fine on PureOS. I have tried two LWJGL games on my Librem 5 and they basically work other than my own bugs in my own code, and the Librem 5 is an arm device. In general x86 like the Librem 11 is older and even more likely to work.

So, disregarding whatever Microsoft did to Minecraft, the original game would work on an x86 tablet running PureOS. But it might not have tablet controls like Android, and it might be harder to add such controls than on Minetest. Worst case, in the old days, mcp could decompile it and hack it so it would in theory be possible to add touch controls to the classic Java game, but again Microsoft might have done their best to make that harder in newer versions.

So, how I would do this if I were you and decided on a Librem 11:

  1. Download an install Minetest for the kid
  2. If they complain its fake Minecraft not like their friends, find a texture mod that adds the official block styles Owned By Microsoft to the liberated code game
  3. Then when the kid complains its still not “right” and that “they can’t join their friends’ servers” (since peer pressure is probably how Microsoft stops your kid from using liberated software) then at that point try to get official Minecraft Java version but since Microsoft probably tried to use the rights to remake the game on a different codebase that does a better job locking to Windows, you will probably have to read the fine print from Microsoft to get the “Java version,” and then when you actually do get it they might make it very hard to have tablet touch controls since they control the code.

Microsoft changed the login from a Mojang-account to a Microsoft-account. That was also the reason why I lost my right to play the game I bought (don’t agree with a MS-account).

With a cracked version you can play Minecraft, but you cannot join a lot of servers (the best thing of the game).

But I have to counter your argument with Minetest and it’s copy-left. Minecraft was always a strong modified game, even without a copy left license. You can change what ever you want. On the theoretical side you’re right. On the real side, it does not matter much in this case. However, copy left is always preferable, so you have a point.

The short answer is no.

Not without major time investment, extensive learning and a bunch of caveats and even then not in the way your son is used to.

Try Multi-MC.

Minecraft uses a proprietary license, so it will not be available on PureOS.

Minecraft is not “free as in beer” so it is not installed by default on MS Windows either.

Minecraft at one time could be installed on most systems that run Java. I’m unsure whether that is still true, but it looks possible: