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  • Gaming under Linux

    This topic contains 14 replies, has 6 voices, and was last updated by  johnf 4 months ago.

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    • #195402 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      As PC Gaming is mentioned on some of the other threads, I thought it deserved it’s own placeholder!

      So, feel free to talk about your gaming experience, issues, and how you get around them using Linux…Video Cards (and their drivers), MMORGP, emulators, wine, Steam, GOG, various ports of AAA games, older games, Linux ports, etc. are all fair game.

      To start off, I have older equipment (HP Z600 with 24 gigs Ram, Nvidia Quadro 600, Linux Mint XFCE 18.3), but I’m able to play a ton of stuff under Dosbox (Wolfenstein and its variants, as well as a lot of other Dos Games), Doomsday for Doom/Heretic, various Emulators (Mame, Retroarch, Dolphin) which allow me to run old NES, Sega, Nintendo 64, Gamecube and Wii stuff.

      I know I’ll probably have to upgrade the Video card (and maybe go to Cinnamon) for the AAA stuff, but how’s your experience?

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #195421 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Lounger

      You may want to take a look at the Steam Client for Linux.  It seems that Steam has a lot of Linux compatible titles available these days.  I have the Steam client for Windows which works very well on Win7, but haven’t tried it on any Linux yet due to lack of owning robust hardware dedicated to the task.

      https://itsfoss.com/best-linux-games-steam/

      https://store.steampowered.com/linux#p=0&tab=TopSellers

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #195469 Reply

        johnf
        AskWoody Lounger

        Good thought. I have played around with a Steam install on Mint 17.3, and it installed properly, but the PC I had it on was fairly old, so I didn’t try to run games…that was just a test to see if I could do the install. I’ll have to try it again.

      • #195500 Reply

        Ascaris
        AskWoody MVP

        I don’t have any robust hardware dedicated to Linux, but all my regular machines that are capable of dual-boot are set up that way (in other words, all but my Dell laptop with only 32GB of available storage with no upgrade possible… it’s Linux only).

        I’ve always been wary of Steam, as it is in large part a DRM platform, not to mention an ideal platform for telemetry, and those things are not my favorites.  Someone wanted to play Portal 2 co-op with me for a while, even though it’s an older game, but after some resistance on my part,  I gave in– once I discovered that Portal 2 was available in Linux.  It would be an experiment!

        I downloaded and installed Steam for Linux on my main PC without a problem.  It’s a Sandy Bridge i5 with 16GB of RAM and a Nvidia GTX 760, so Portal 2 should have run flawlessly on my PC, and it did.  Before we were able to arrange the co-op gaming, I played through the single-player levels.  It was completely flawless; no visual glitches, no hitches or stutters, no crashes.  Smooth, tear-free (I use vsync), and very convincing that Linux is a capable gaming platform.

        The co-op play was just as good.  We eventually finished all of the co-op levels and did some of the player-created levels (which were seldom as good as the official ones, but there were a few).

        I got a special deal on both Portals for 2 dollars more than Portal 2 alone when I first attempted to buy Portal, so after I finished Portal 2, I went back and played the original.  That one I installed on my Core 2 Duo laptop (T7800 at that time, 2.6 GHz, 8GB of RAM, 1440×900, with Nvidia GT220 1GB, which is an upgrade from the original GPU).  It ran quite well with Portal in Linux at the LCD’s native resolution… I won’t call it flawless, but it was very good.  There were occasional, minor stutters here and there, but nothing that got in the way of entertaining play.  I don’t remember tweaking the graphics settings, so it seems to me that whatever way it came out of the box worked.

        Eventually, I decided to try another Steam game in Linux.  When I am browsing through the games, I just skip the ones that don’t have Linux versions, since I don’t know what any of them are anyway.  One called Slime Rancher was on sale, so I decided to give it a try on my main PC under Linux.

        The game has somewhat simple, cartoonish graphics, but that fits in with its whimsical nature.  Despite this, there were somewhat frequent stutters and moments when the frame rate was obviously low.  I reduced the graphic settings a bit from the maximum in a few of the graphical options, and it’s a little better, but still highly variable.   I have vsync on (the graphics option, not to be confused with G-Sync), so anytime the frame rate drops below the refresh rate of 60, it goes right to 30, causing a noticeable stutter.  I could turn vsync off or use Nvidia’s adaptive vsync setting, but then I’d get tearing, and tearing to me is worse than the stuttering.   G-sync (the proprietary variable refresh rate ability by Nvidia) would fix this, and Nvidia’s drivers for Linux do support it, but my monitor doesn’t have that ability.

        I decided to try the same game in Windows to be able to compare them.  I installed the Steam client on my main PC, and upon its first run, the first thing I got was a message indicating that one of its parts had crashed.  It still seemed to work, so onward!

        As I might have expected, the game does run better in Windows… but not perfectly.  While the moments of slideshow-like framerates are less common than in Linux, they still happen with the same graphics settings as in Linux, and the vsync-triggered stutters do too, just less often.  For a game with what appear to be such simplistic graphics, it sure demands a lot of the hardware.

        It should also be noted that the game’s official requirements only say something like a dual-core 2.2 GHz CPU and a video card with at least 512 MB of RAM.  My Core 2 Duo laptop is a dual-core 2.6 GHz with 1MB on the video card, so it should be no problem, right?

        Ha!  At the LCD’s native resolution of 1440×900, with minimum graphics settings, I get…6 fps.  Linux or Windows made no difference in this case.  If I set the resolution to 1024×768, the resolution I was running in the early 1990s on my CRT monitor, I get about 12-15 fps.  The CPU was not reaching full utilization; it was dancing in the 85% region, but the GPU was pegged at 100% when trying to render the game, even at low resolution and with low graphics settings.  It’s definitely GPU-limited.

        I think there is a bug in the terrain data or something like that where it’s getting caught up trying to render something that can’t be seen, under the visible terrain, perhaps.  The minimum graphics card requirement probably was true once, but the game is in constant development and has had a number of expansions, so the issue could have occurred at any time.  If you have a mid-range or better modern GPU, you probably didn’t even notice a problem, and that probably means that it slipped under the dev’s radar during their own testing.

        I submitted the low fps as a bug report, but it’s anyone’s guess if they actually read them.

        Group L (Linux): KDE Neon User Edition 5.14 (based on Ubuntu 18.04) + Windows 7 in Virtualbox VM

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #195504 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Lounger

      I refuse to run Steam, or any other gaming client on my main desktop PC due to data collection worries, but I have a dedicated Win 7 home entertainment desktop PC in my living room with no personal info stored, and I use a burner email to activate everything.  I may try to dual boot the thing with Steam on Linux just for fun, as it is a Intel Core 3.4Ghz with Nvidia GTX950 GPU.

      A while back I did try to get a couple of older games working on a dedicated Linux desktop, without a GPU, just relying on the Intel HD graphics on the CPU.

      One game worked with “Play on Linux” which is a bit like Wine or Codeweavers, and comes with a preset list of apps and games that it’s pre-configured to install, but you still need to have the install media for the game.  Takes the technical hassle out of setting up and installing Wine, if your game is supported.  I think it was “The Elder Scrolls IV – Oblivion”.

      For another game that would not play with “Play on Linux”, I installed an old copy of Win XP in a VirtualBox VM, and installed the game on that.  Remember “Doom 3”?  That worked.  The weird thing is that I tried a clone of that same VM on the same version of VirtualBox running on Windows 10, with same model of motherboard and CPU, and the game choked graphically.  So I can only assume that VirtualBox guest OS on Linux have better access to the Intel HD drivers in the Linux host OS, compared to Windows.  Weird.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #195506 Reply

      radosuaf
      AskWoody Lounger

      I have played a bit of Brutal Legend a few months ago on Ubuntu and I have to say that optimisation of games for Linux is a big “area for improvement”… Nevertheless, unless yu don’t chase a specific title, there’s quite a lot to check out…

      MSI H110 PC MATE * Intel Core i5-6402P * 2 x 8 GB Corsair Vengeance LPX DDR4 2133 MHz * Gigabyte GeForce GTX 1050 Ti D5 4G * Samsung 840 EVO 250GB SSD * Western Digital Blue 1TB HDD * Seagate Barracuda 1TB HDD * DVD RW Lite-ON iHAS 124 * Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer PCI * Windows 10 Pro 1803 64-bit + Windows 10 Mobile 1709 (Lumia 640 LTE)
      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #195911 Reply

      anonymous

      It can run Doom. That’s the only game you need.

      On a serious note though, if you are not someone who buys a ton of Triple A games and sticks to older titles, most of them will work under Wine these days.

      • #195917 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Lounger

        It can run Doom. That’s the only game you need.

        On a serious note though, if you are not someone who buys a ton of Triple A games and sticks to older titles, most of them will work under Wine these days.

        It was Doom 3, released in 2004 for Win 2000/XP, min specs Pentium 4, 1.5GHz, 384MB RAM, DirectX 9.0b acceleration required.  Original Windows CD-ROM set.
        I had to run this on a registered copy of WinXP running as a guest VM in VirtualBox on Linux Mint.  No luck with Wine or Play on Linux, so had to resort to Windows in a VM.
        The good part is the hardware in the host PC only had integrated Intel HD 2500 graphics, and whatever support for that exists in the VirtualBox hypervisor.  The frame rate and play was fine!
        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #195914 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Had problems installing Steam from the Software manager on Linux Mint 18.3 (XFCE); it kept giving me a ui error (possibly because the Steam client is still on a 32 bit architecture). Went fine, though, when I installed the Flatpack for it!

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #197627 Reply

      johnf
      AskWoody Lounger

      Winepak Could Make it Easier to Install Windows Apps on Linux

      From the article:

      It’s called Winepak and, as you might guess from the name, it’s focused on packaging Wine applications as Flatpak bundles for faster, fuss-free use.

      “Winepak installs custom desktop and appdata files, integrating cleanly into your desktop.”

      Although it’s early days for the project a number of games appear to be available on the Winepak repo already, including Fortnite, Overwatch, and World of Warcraft — though a number, Fortnite included, do not currently work.

      This is very early in the project, so I wouldn’t install it, but this has a ton of potential. Pre-Wine configured Windows Flatpacks would massively open up Gaming in Linux.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #197634 Reply

        JohnW
        AskWoody Lounger

        That sounds interesting from a few angles.   I noticed that some flatpacks had appeared after some recent app installs on Linux Mint.

        After visiting http://www.flatpak.org to get some details, it sounds like a very good solution to the platform fragmentation that has long held back desktop development in Linux.  The idea that developers could release a cross-distribution installation that would be compatible with any distro is a big step forward.

        So if Winepak (as it uses Flatpaks) could continue forward with that idea by running Windows apps under Wine on Linux, but without the configurations hassles of setting it up each time, that would also be great.  Plug and play, eventually!

        Down the road, hopefully the Linux desktop can gather enough market share so that more developers will give their attention to Linux.

        Flatpak technology may be just the thing to convince more developers to give it a shot!  🙂

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #197675 Reply

      Bill C.
      AskWoody Lounger

      I have a question regarding gaming on Linux Steam, and or gaming a Linux port of a Windows game. Specifically, on the same game title, i.e., say the Half-Life 2 series and derivitives or Mods for which there is both a Steam Windows and a Steam Linux variant, is one more demanding on the GPU than the other. For instance, would a Linux game require more GPU power, or less to maintain the same video quality such as FPS and lack of tearing. I run all games at 1920×1080 under Windows on a 32″ monitor (better for spreadsheets and document editing with old eyes).

      If this planned Linux PC was a Windows build, I would be looking at a GTX-1070Ti minimum, but for Linux, since there are not as many games, I am looking at the GTX-1060 at a significant savings.

      With JohnW’s reference to Doom 3, was that the original ID games version or the one re-released under Steam? (I assume the original as he said he avoids Steam) I found the Steam version graphics better under Windows (higher resolutions and widescreens), but could do without the Steam acheivements.

      I am still moving forward, but far slower now as I am trying to decide between Linux and a 27″ iMac for non-gaming work. The build is cheaper, but I can have it my way on hardware, vs. the iMac. However I do have a Mac version of my image editing software, and do not like GiMP.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #197680 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Lounger

      With JohnW’s reference to Doom 3, was that the original ID games version or the one re-released under Steam? (I assume the original as he said he avoids Steam) I found the Steam version graphics better under Windows (higher resolutions and widescreens), but could do without the Steam acheivements.

      The Doom 3 was run under a Windows XP VM on VirtualBox under Linux.  It was the original ID version published in 2004 on compact disc.  The graphics adapter on  the host Linux system was only a modest Intel HD 2500, integrated on the Core i3-3240 CPU chip.

      I tried running the same VM on a Windows host with the same CPU and integrated Intel HD 2500, and the game graphics were a fail.  Same version of VirtualBox.  So my impression is that VirtualBox was able to provide better virtual hardware acceleration on the Linux host, using the same hardware.  I am not sure what that means in terms of using a real GPU on a Linux host in regards to a Virtual Machine.  There is only so much that a VM hypervisor can pass on to a guest OS regarding hardware abstraction, so it is rather limited.

      I use the Steam client on a Windows box with a GTX950 with decent results on games, but have never tried the Linux version of Steam.

      • This reply was modified 4 months ago by  JohnW.
      2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #197686 Reply

      JohnW
      AskWoody Lounger

      My other experience with games under Linux was using the “Play on Linux” app to setup a Wine prefix for “The Elder Scrolls IV- Oblivion”.  I used the original install disk for the game, and it worked well.

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