Do you use Linux as your main gaming OS?

Also in today's open source roundup: The six best Linux gaming distributions, and Firefox 48 has been released

pc gaming
Credit: Messe Berlin

Linux as your main gaming OS?

Linux gaming has come a very long way from where it started, and Linux gamers have much to celebrate. But how many people use Linux as their main gaming operating system?

This question was raised in a recent thread on the Linux Gaming subreddit, and the folks there had some interesting comments to share.

LinuxForGaming: “Does anyone (besides me) actually use Linux as their gaming OS on their gaming rig(s) – are you primarily a gamer who uses Linux as their (main) OS?

I am primarily a gamer, it’s what I do mainly with my PC (a high-ish end gaming rig) and Linux is the only OS I use on it. I just find Linux to be soooo much better for gaming and much more fun - I’d much rather use WINE / Crossover etc, than have Windows installed (yuck).

Is anyone else like this - are YOU primarily a gamer that has also chosen Linux as their gaming OS? Also, if you are, perhaps why, as I’d be curious.”

Zanidor: “Yep, 100% Linux here, and I’m even a software dev for a game company. The number of games that run fine on Linux is greater than the number of games I have time to play anyway, and the occasional case where I have to miss out on a game that just doesn’t run on Linux makes me less sad than running Windows would make me.”

Demencia: “…I just like linux more. It’s not that Windows sucks so I choose Linux. They both have their pros and cons, and for me, I think linux is better and like it more, although there’s some stuff that I wish I could do on linux so I could save space on my SSD and remove Windows. I don’t think windows doesn’t work, it’s been my second system for more than 10 years and I’ve learnt how to use it and make it fail the least.”

Boisdeb: “I’m not gonna make friends here but… I’ve bought my gaming desktop computer a bit over a year ago and it’s always been 100% windows. Before I had that computer I played on a linux laptop.

I didn’t even bother with dual booting. The reason why I put windows on my gaming desktop is… because I only use it to play. And a bit of web surfing. Doing anything other than playing on a windows is plain impossible for me, but that’s okay since I don’t want to do anything else on a desktop computer. I far prefer using a laptop.

I’m pretty happy with this setup, windows desktop for games and lightweight laptop for work and entertainment and stuff.”

Uoou: “I use only Linux (and the odd bit of BSD) and do all of my work and play on Linux. I do a lot of gaming.

I’ve used Linux for a long time (15+ years) but always dual booted for gaming in the past. About 2 years ago I ditched my Windows installation entirely and it’s been great. /u/zanidor

put it best - Linux might not have all the games but it has more good ones than I could possibly play.

Reasons I use Linux… It’s partly the politics. I’m a firm believer in free software (and free culture in general). That’s what attracted me to Linux.

The reason I stay, though, is I just prefer it. It works however I want it to work, not how some profit-driven corporation and their shareholders and focus groups want it to work. As a result it’s just a joy to use.”

Yadda4sure: “100% linux user. I dont bother with wine or crossover either. for the little amount of time I get to play games, steams has tons of great titles. LIKE THE NEWLY PORTED STARDEW VALLEY!”

Poke86: “Have a look at the user stats on GamingOnLinux.com. About 70% of users report that they do not use a dual boot.

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/users/statistics

Personally, I keep a Windows dual boot for those times I really want to play a Windows exclusive that doesn’t run on Wine, mostly GTA V and Rise of the Tomb Raider. I haven’t booted Windows in months.”

Charlotterain: “I have kept windows on my hard drive for No Man’s Sky. I made the switch two years ago and two laptops ago. Just patiently waiting…”

WienerWuerstel: “Had no urge to boot Windows for the last couple years but when I got my GTX 1070 and my desire to play DOOM grew, I made a decision to install Windows 10 on my second hard drive for my “guilty pleasure” games.

I’m still going to use Linux for everything else and buy Linux games only unless it’s a game that means much to me ala DOOM or GTA V.”

Darkszluf: “…I would burn my pc instead of going back to Windows.”

MikeFrett: “Another 100% Linux user here. I disagreed with Microsoft and their tactics so much that when I switched, I threw out all my Microsoft Hardware and Software (Keyboard, Mouse and OS CDs). Hows that for serious?

The only thing I kept was an old model Sidewinder USB Gamepad.”

More at Reddit

The six best Linux gaming distros

Linux gamers have been enjoying a gaming renaissance in recent years. But which distributions are the best options for gamers?

A writer at Linux and Ubuntu has a helpful roundup of six of the best Linux gaming distributions:

Yes! You read right. As Linux is known for performance, stability and security but now it is also known for gaming. There are hundreds of games for Linux and so many Windows games have been ported for Linux.

But we have so many Linux distros, specially developed for gaming. In this article, I’m going to list out 6 Best Linux for gaming. Hope you enjoy it!

1. SteamOS

2. Ubuntu GamePack

3. Play Linux

4. SparkyLinux GameOver

5. Fedora Game Spin

6. GS Voyager

More at Linux and Ubuntu

Firefox 48 released

The Firefox developers have been hard at work on the latest release of the popular browser, and now Firefox 48 has been released. You can view the release notes for Firefox 48 to see all of the changes.

Peter Bright reports for Ars Technica:

After seven years of development, version 48 is at last enabling a multiprocess feature comparable to what Internet Explorer and Google Chrome have offered as stable features since 2009. By running their rendering engines in a separate process from the browser shell, IE and Chrome are more stable (a webpage crash does not take down the entire browser) and more secure (those separate processes can run with limited user privileges). In order to bring the same multiprocess capability to Firefox, Mozilla started the Electrolysis project in 2009. But the organization has taken substantially longer than Microsoft, Google, and Apple to ship this feature.

Mozilla’s delay was partly driven by changing priorities within the organization—Electrolysis development was suspended in 2011 before being resumed in 2013—and partly because Firefox’s historic extension architecture made this kind of separation much harder to achieve.

Even after all this time, Firefox’s multiprocess system is not a match for its peers. The rollout of Electrolysis is being handled conservatively in spite of a successful beta. For the next few days, only a fraction of a percent of Firefox 48 users will have Electrolysis turned on by default.

As much as Firefox lags in this area, it’s cutting edge in another. Mozilla’s Rust language is designed to give the same level of performance and control as C++ but without C++’s susceptibility to security flaws. The company has developed Rust code to replace the C++ code that currently handles complex media formats. This replacement code is now shipping in the stable version of Firefox 48.

More at Ars Technica

The news about the release of Firefox 48 spawned a large thread on the Linux subreddit, and the folks there weren’t shy about sharing their opinions:

Kuhmuh: “Seems like a big update with multiprocess, Rust and WebExtensions.

This sounds nice too: GNU/Linux fans: Get better Canvas performance with speedy Skia support.”

Reallukenukem: “Rust is the Open Source world’s little darling of a language. I love it, very easy to use, very powerful.”

Dbeta: “As hardly a programmer, I found it nice that they seem to lay down the law in a lot of ways. It is a tightly structured language that even nags you at compile time for not meeting their recommended standard of code layout. There are a lot of finer points I don’t understand, but it seems to be a solid language that is in a good position to replace C and C++ for most use cases.”

Mordocai058: “Enabling hardware acceleration makes a serious difference in performance.”

Lordkitsuna: “Just because Mozilla released it doesn’t mean that it is in the stable repositories yet. You are going to have to wait for your distribution to add it to the repositories. ”

GnomeGo: “Or you can manually install it from their website.”

YarnThrone: “All addons need Mozilla’s approval to be installed now.

I don’t want a company to dictate to me what I can and can’t do with software on my PC. Especially on the basis that is “might” be spyware. This seems like a powergrab together users to force users to download addons through the addon store thing instead of the official websites (think like the Windows Store)

If this is the case I’m jumping ship. I hear Pale Moon is pretty good.”

Vinni: “malicious add-ons is/was a serious problem, and Mozilla is kind-of in between a rock and a hard place trying to fight it (and so are the users). That said, add-ons can be signed without needing to be distributed through AMO: see “How do I get my add-ons signed if they are not hosted on addons.mozilla.org (AMO)?” here

As a compromise, Mozilla provide unbranded versions of Firefox that can load unsigned add-ons

I think it’s about as good a compromise as they could make. (Plus, it might be a good idea to get into the habit of not assuming worst intentions :) )”

Ilikebumblebees: “There’s a big difference between having the software’s default behavior be the safest configuration for inexperienced users and having the software’s only possible behavior be the safest configuration for inexperienced users.

Having to install a separate specialized build to restore control over the behavior of software running on your computer isn’t a very good user experience.”

E1ven: “I agree, and I dislike the change. However, in their defense, if there was a config switch that could be flipped, malware could just flip that switch.

One solution that I’ve seen used is Apple’s switch to disable SIP. In order to disable the switch, you need to boot the machine into recovery mode and swap the bit. This isn’t something that Malware could easily do.”

More at Firefox

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