[Mah Jongg tiles] [Mah Jongg tiles]


Real Mah Jongg is a social game that originated in China thousands of years ago. Four players, named after the four winds, take tiles from a wall in turn. The best tiles are made of ivory and wood; they click pleasantly when you knock them together. Computer Solitaire Mah Jongg (xmahjongg being one of the sillier examples) is nothing like that but it’s fun, or it must be, since there are like 300 shareware versions available for Windows. This is for X11/Unix and it’s free.

[Mah Jongg tiles] [Mah Jongg tiles]


  • Those pretty, round-edged colored tiles
  • Multiple tile sets (it comes with ten)
  • Multiple layouts (it comes with twenty-four)
  • Undo and redo
  • Helpful hints for happy play, and a clean button for cheating
  • Boards that are always solvable (but you can turn this feature off)
  • It can show you a solution
  • Aesthetics (or ugliness, depending on your taste)

We regret to report some featurecide relative to version 2: there are no tournaments, no visible board numbers, and no layout configuration mode. May these features rest in peace, probably forever.


Here they are, all big and colorful and wasting bandwidth.


  • Tilesets and layouts
    Xmahjongg can use layout files and tilesets designed for several other Mah Jongg programs. In particular, it can read layouts in Kyôdai Mahjongg, KDE Mahjongg, and original Xmahjongg format, and tilesets in Kyôdai Mahjongg, KDE Mahjongg, and Gnome Mahjongg format. (Tilesets must first be converted to GIF format.)


Like Mah Jongg, xmahjongg has a long and illustrious history: Mark Holm wrote the first version for SunView in 1988, with tiles designed by Dorothy Robinson. (Dorothy Robinson has provided two tilesets for the new xmahjongg, ‘dorothys’ and ‘dorwhite’.) Jeff S. Young wrote the first X11 version in 1989 and version 2 in 1990. (There was another X11 port by Jay Estabrook.) This is version 3, a complete rewrite by Eddie Kohler, which adds pretty colored tiles, among other things.

Several tilesets and layouts that come with xmahjongg are the work of others. First are Dorothy Robinson’s ‘dorothys’ and ‘dorwhite’ tilesets. The ‘small’ tileset was based on one found at Mahjongg.com, presumably by Berrie Bloem. The ‘gnome’ and ‘gnome2’ tilesets were borrowed from Gnome Mahjongg, and are by Jonathan Buzzard and Max Watson. The ‘real’ tileset is based on real Mah Jongg tiles scanned by Mark Sanctuary. Todd Michel McComb contributed twelve layouts, one for each animal in the Chinese zodiac. Some of the other layouts are versions of layouts distributed with Kyôdai Mahjongg, a fun Windows Mah Jongg game. In particular, ‘arena’, ‘ceremonial’, ‘deepwell’, ‘farandole’, and ‘theater’ are by Naoki Haga, and ‘hourglass’ and ‘papillon’ are by Vincent Krebs.

[Mah Jongg tiles]
Eddie Kohler
[Mah Jongg tiles]