circuslinux — The clowns are trying to pop balloons to score points!


circuslinux [--disable-sound] [--fullscreen] [--low] | [--digital] [--paddle] [--help | --usage] [--version]


This manual page was written for the Debian GNU/Linux distribution because the original program does not have a manual page. Instead, it has documentation in /usr/share/doc/circuslinux/README.gz

"Circus Linux!" is based on the Atari 2600 game "Circus Atari" by Atari,
 released in 1980. Gameplay is similar to "Breakout" and "Arkanoid"- you
 slide a device left and right to bounce objects into the air which destroy
 a wall.



If sound support was compiled in, this will disable it for this session of the game.


Run in fullscreen mode.


Disable some features so that the game might run better on low-end hardware. Titlescreen ballons and game backgrounds are disabled, and the game screen refreshes every 1/15th of a second instead of 1/30th of a second.


When using a joystick, left and right cause the teeter-totter to move incrementally. (This is as opposed to the default mode, where the analog position of the joystick is used literally.) Useful for playing with a digital gamepad.


For using real Atari 2600 paddles connected to a your PC's joystick port.


Display a help message summarizing command-line options, copyright, and game controls.


Display a brief message summarizing command-line options.


Display the version of Circus Linux! you're running.



Launch a clown by pressing RETURN, ALT or SHIFT or the Mouse/Joystick button.

Controlling the teeter-totter

Move the mouse/joystick left and right or press the left and right arrow keys to move the teeter-totter left and right.

If a clown is in the air, you can also click any of the mouse buttons to flip the teeter-totter. (This causes the low and high ends of the teeter-totter to change places, useful when the teeter-totter is at a far side of the screen and the low end is on the outside.)


To pause the game, you can press either the [SPACE], [TAB] or [P] key. To unpause, press one of those keys again.


To quit the current game, you can press [ESCAPE]. This forfeits your game (as though you ran out of lives).

To quit Circus Linux! altogether, you can use your window manager's close command or press EXIT on the title screen.


This manual page was written by Christian T. Steigies <>, for the Debian GNU/Linux system (but may be used by others).