Linux: The best distros for gaming?

Also in today’s open source roundup: 5 of the most popular Linux gaming distros, and the 8 best Linux gaming distros

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The best Linux gaming distribution?

Linux has much to offer gamers these days, but the sheer range of distribution choices can also be confusing. A writer at Softpedia recently shared some of his experiences and asked his readers which Linux distro they preferred to use for gaming.

Marius Nestor reports for Softpedia:

In the last few months, we tried multiple GNU/Linux distributions for gaming purposes, and we have come to the conclusion that there's no perfect operating system out there designed for Linux gaming.

We all know that the world of gaming is split between Nvidia and AMD users. Now, if you're using an Nvidia graphics card, even one from five years ago, chances are it's supported on most Linux-based operating systems because Nvidia provides up-to-date video drivers for most, if not all of its GPUs.

We found the entire situation quite disheartening, at least for some AMD Radeon gamers using a bit older graphics cards. For now, we have discovered that the best gaming experience with an AMD Radeon HD 8xxx GPU can be achieved only by using Mesa 17 from Git and Linux kernel 4.10 RC.

So we're asking you now - if you've found the perfect GNU/Linux distribution for gaming, no matter if your using an AMD Radeon or Nvidia GPU, but we are most interested in those who are using AMD GPUs, what distro and settings are you using and can you play the latest games or are still experiencing issues? Thank you!

More at Softpedia

Softpedia readers shared their thoughts about the best gaming distro for Linux:

IDCboutu: “If we're talking strictly for gaming here, then I would go with SteamOS. I install it in a separate partition and run it alongside Windows 10 on my production machine. It just works. Period. No need to fiddle with graphics drivers or settings, just install and play.”

Lihis: “Arch Linux. It just works.”

Freechelmi: “Until some updates break everything…”

Haki: “Deepin. You got Steam and Crossover (for free!) pre-installed. I am using AMD.”

Meowers: “I know it might sound strange but the best distro for me has been ParrotSec. I only had to install the meta package nvidia-driver and everything worked perfectly. Every other distro I've tried has always had issues.”

Kaf Shiel: “Well I had no idea that you could use Parrot Security for that but I'm a big fan of the distro. After testing Kali (heavyweight desktop, too slow) and Backbox (always had issues with USB drive+persistence or full installation to an USB key) I went for Parrot on an USB flash drive. It's lightweight (thanks to MATE) and works on a gazillion computers.”

JML: “Linux Mint. Comes with the Optimus settings installed for my Nvidia/Intel Card and Steam works fine. For my Windows only games I use PlayonLinux/Wine to install and play them. Easy enough, and in most cases, sometimes with a bit of fiddling, it works just fine.”

Vikruntasas: “Solus. Manjaro would probably be second.”

Kaf Shiel: “Ubuntu 16.04 with Wine for my Windows games. It's fairly easy to install 3rd party drivers but I don't know if it works well with AMD graphics cards. I only use Intel and Nvidia.”

Doctorx: “when ubuntu 16.04 came out, i tested every version available.... my results were so unbelievable i scrapped them and started over... same result. The top 2 DE was in order (unity (gasp!) and gnome-desktop). The bottom two were xfce and lxde. I could not find a reason for the flip from 14.04. So i swallowed my pride and made unity work, and for gaming, many games are just as fast as they were in windows.”

More at Softpedia

5 of the most popular Linux gaming distros

Back in January of last year, TechRadar had a helpful roundup of 5 of the most popular Linux gaming distros. It’s worth reviewing that article again now if you’re interested in gaming on Linux.

Shashank Sharma and Nick Peers report for TechRadar:

A gaming distro, by definition, is host not only to a large variety of games, or software that allows one to play games, but it also has drivers and support for essential devices such as graphics cards and controllers.

Unlike most other genres of Linux distributions, gaming distros aren't a thriving bunch. But this isn't because Linux users dislike games, instead it's due to the fact that this niche category is almost redundant thanks to most modern desktop distros. Almost all desktop distros are equipped nowadays with drivers for the majority of modern graphics cards, which means that just about any distro can be turned into a gaming station.

Despite this, some distros continue to churn out special gaming editions which provide hundreds of games right out of the gate, and the means to install even more with additional software such as Play on Linux, Wine and Steam.

So without further ado, we'll highlight five of the best gaming distros.

Fedora Games Spin


Sparky Linux

Ubuntu Gamepack


More at TechRadar

The 8 best Linux gaming distros

It’s FOSS also had a helpful roundup of some of the best Linux gaming distros last year.

That time has long gone when gaming on Linux was next to impossible. In fact, gaming on Linux has grown quite stable in recent years.

Although there are hundreds of Linux distros, all with different mantras and for various purposes, distros made for the sole purpose of Gaming are not so common. But, of course, there are some really great options available. We are going to list the best Linux gaming distributions today.

These distros are equipped with various drivers, software, emulators and things for convenient gaming experience so you can just install it and get the gaming going.

Distros listed here is not in any specific order. It is totally up to you which distro best suits you needs.:

Steam OS

Sparky Linux – Gameover Edition

Game Drift Linux

Play Linux

Lakka OS

Fedora Games Spin

Ubuntu GamePack


More at It’s FOSS

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