Linux Candy

Linux Candy: oneko – animal chasing fun

Last Updated on May 25, 2022

Who loves eye candy? Don’t be shy — you can raise both hands!!

Linux Candy is a series of articles covering interesting eye candy software. We’re only featuring open-source software in this series.

If you spend all day embroiled in political in-fighting, battling red tape nonsense, coding an innovative program in Python, sit in countless meetings wishing you were relaxing on a Caribbean island, you’ll need some light relief at the end of the day. And what better way by making your desktop environment a bit more fun.

You couldn’t get anything more candy like than oneko, a program that creates a cat chasing after your mouse cursor. Makes me want to watch some Tom & Jerry cartoons.


There’s a package in the Arch User Repository for Arch-based distros. I haven’t checked out other distributions, but compiling is trivial in any event.

$ git clone
$ cd oneko
$ clang -Wno-parentheses -std=c11 -pedantic -D_DEFAULT_SOURCE oneko.c -o oneko -lc -lm -lX11 -lXext

In Operation

So what does oneko do? By default, it creates a little cat which chases after your mouse cursor.

When the cat catches up with the mouse cursor, it stares at the screen, scratches an annoying itch on its body. The cat then proceeds to yawn (after all, it’s tiring chasing around a mouse), and falls asleep until the mouse cursor moves.

oneko - help

There’s a few options, as detailed in the screenshot above.

The interesting options change the cat to a Sakura Kinomoto, Tomoyo Daidouji, a dog, and even a BSD daemon.


oneko is a harmless, even frivolous piece of fun. If it brightens up your day, it’s achieved its goal.

The word “neko” means “cat” in Japanese. The program was created by a Japanese author as a Macintosh desktop accessory, but has seen a number of forks.

Support: GitHub Code Repository
Developer: Tatsuya Kato, based on “xneko” written by Masayuki Koba, and modified by many other people
License: Open Source

oneko is written in C. If you’re looking to improve your knowledge of this language, check out our recommended free C books and free C tutorials.

Complete list of articles in this series:

Linux Candy
ASCIIQuariumEmbrace marine life from the terminal with beautiful ASCII art
ASCII Art ConverterA small utility that converts images into ASCII art
BobRossQuotesCollection of quotes from Bob Ross
BoxesCommand line ASCII boxes
BuohOnline strips comics reader
cacafireColor ASCII fire
catclockxclock with an enhanced cat mode
cbonsaiGenerate bonsai trees in the terminal
christmasfetchFestive cheer on the desktop
chucknorrisChuck Norris jokes in your terminal
cornyjokesCorny jokes for the terminal
CMatrixncurses program that simulates the display from “The Matrix”
ctreeA Christmas tree right on your terminal
eDEX-UISci-fi computer terminal emulator and system monitor
emojSimple tool that to find suitable emojis for pasting to your clipboard
EmoteModern popup emoji picker
EvolvotronInteractive generative art
FantasceneDynamic wallpaper changer
FondoFind beautiful wallpapers from Unsplash
gtiTypo-based curio inspired by Steam Locomotive
HollywoodFill your console with Hollywood melodrama technobabble
linuxwaveGenerate music from the entropy of Linux
lolcatRainbows and unicorns
No More SecretsRecreates the data decryption effect from the Sneakers movie
nyancatTerminal-based Pop Tart Cat Animation
onekoAnimal chasing fun
pipes.shAnimated pipes terminal screensaver
ponysaycowsay reimplemention for ponies
projectMMusic visualizer originally based on Milkdrop
pscircleA different take on the venerable ps command
pyjokesOne line jokes for programmers
PywalGenerate color schemes on the fly
RelaxatorRelax to soothing sounds
Rusty AquariumMonitoring by visualization
Steam LocomotiveC program written in 295 lines. It's harmless fun
TernimalAnimated lifeform in the terminal
terminal-parrotParty parrot time
tetrisTile-matching puzzle video game in your terminal
VarietyWallpaper manager with many desktops and wallpaper sources
WallGenGenerate HQ poly wallpapers with a few arguments.
WallpaperDownloaderDownload, change, and manage wallpapers
xcowsayDisplays a cow on your desktop with message
XDecorationsAdd some festive cheer to your desktop
XScreenSaverFramework and collection of screensavers
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4 years ago

wow that’s really cool I might do this on my terminal as well.

4 years ago

I had oneko last month for 2 days. I had to turn it off as during scrolling when mouse cursor is on oneko, the virtual desktops are change. First day I did not understand what was going on and that my Mint went crazy, but finally found out that the change happens when mouse cursor is over oneko and I scroll (either way). So I had to turn oneko off as this way its almost unusable for me, for example you read some text, then want to scroll down/up, but unfortunatelly move the cursor a bit over a sleeeping oneko and bum, you are in a different desktop. But I have to finally find the settings for this and turn off desktop changes through mouse scroll (as I do not use it anyway) and turn oneko back on as its really cute 🙂

3 years ago

clang -Wno-parentheses -std=c11 -pedantic -D_DEFAULT_SOURCE oneko.c -o oneko -lc -lm -lX11 -lXext

result: clang: error: no such file or directory: ‘oneko.c’