Running in the window (it can run in fullscreen mode as well) is the JJFFE version of David Braben’s Frontier First Encounters (Elite 3). The desktop is GNOME 2.8 under Ubuntu Linux 4.10 “The Warty Warthog”. Getting FFE to compile is a snap, but you’ll need to download the rest of the game files from the Elite Club.
Also worth checking out (if you can grab it) is Elite: The New Kind. Its a reverse engineered version of the BBC version of Elite. Unfortunately due to copyright issues, I probably shouldn’t link to anywhere the source is. If you manage to track it down, you can use my Makefile to compile it under Linux. One thing I’d love to be able to do (and can’t figure out if it can) is whether it can run in windowed mode. I fear that the now unavailable EliteGL source code might be the key to getting it going.