Is Linux good for gaming?

Also in today’s open source roundup: Ubuntu 17.10 code name released, and DistroWatch reviews Ubuntu 17.04

linux games

Is Linux good for gaming?

Linux has come a long way from where it started, and it’s certainly made progress when it comes to gaming. But there are still folks who doubt the ability of Linux to run games.

One redditor recently asked about gaming on Linux, and he got some very informative responses in the Linux subreddit.

JooJoona started the thread:

I'm planning on building a reasonably high end gaming PC. The problem is that I hate Microsoft, and would like to get completely rid of all their nonsense if possible. The only choise for an OS in that case would be some kind of Linux, I reckon.

So how does Linux compare with Windows in regards to gaming? How is performance? How is Steam on Linux? How much would I be restricting myself when it comes to the number of games available if I choose Linux?

EDIT: My goal is to hit 1920x1080 with =>60fps with max graphics settings in most triple A titles. I don't have any particular future releases in mind right now.

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His fellow redditors responded with their thoughts about gaming with Linux:

K900: “Depends on what games you're playing. Performance varies highly between games. Some run faster than on Windows, some run slower, some run a lot slower. Steam on Linux is the same as it is on Windows, not great, but not unusable either. A full list of Linux compatible games on Steam is here, so just see if what you play is listed there.

There's also Wine, which is getting DX11 support pretty quickly, so should be usable for running at least some newer Windows games (and has been fine for older games for a long time).

Also, /r/linux_gaming might interest you.

Edit: also, think about your graphics card choice. It matters more on Linux than on Windows. AMD drivers have improved a lot recently, and are open largely source, but Nvidia's proprietary driver still holds the performance crown.”

Tekuzo: “The way I go about this is if there is a Linux version, then I play the Linux version. It has worked out good for me so far.

I am just using Ubuntu and the official steam client for Ubuntu and most of my multiplatform games run without any issues.

I have been playing big powerhouse games, like Serious Sam 3 and Metro2033 on Linux without any issues. Just about everything developed with unity runs without any headaches so cities skylines, pillars of eternity, chroma squad run great.

I have recently run into an issue where my controller stopped working with a couple of titles, I was half way through hyper light drifter and suddenly the controller stopped working, it never worked with yooka laylee and I have no idea why, it still works with big picture and rocket league so I'm not sure what is going on.

I haven't noticed any performance difference that is noticible with the exception of games developed in unity have horrible screen tearing when the camera pans, no idea what is up with that. But take that with a grain of salt I have an i7, gtx 970 and 32gb of ram so my computer can brute force through most performance issues.”

Wolfman8612: “When Windows 10 came out, I got so frustrated with it that I dual booted Linux. Now almost all of my gaming and work is done in Linux, only needing to go to Windows for Overwatch and a few misc. games. It's definitely viable, and luckily there are multiple forces in the gaming community pushing for Linux gaming.”

PDP10: “Roughly one-third of newly-released games are coming to Linux today, I'd estimate. However, that one third is rather uneven. Besides the usual platform exclusives paid for by Sony or Microsoft or Nintendo, several of the big game conglomerates that make franchise titles and avoid Steam in favor of proprietary portals and DRM do not support Linux.

On the other hand, it seems like Linux gets every single turn-based strategy or tactics game made. And you'll notice that the most-played games on Steam are predominantly on Linux: Dota2, CS:GO, Rocket League, TF2, or Football Manager 2017, etc.”

Hkmarkp: “This has been asked a lot over the past 3 or 4 years and every year it is leaps and bounds better. Pretty amazing when before that Linux was barely not even an option. Right now if there is a Linux title, buy and play on Linux. Games devs are getting the message. I never thought there would be so many games so quickly.

Keep playing on Linux!”

Bishopindict: “If you can do without Blizzard-titles, very. I don't use wine or anything, but for the last year or so I haven't actually felt the need to boot up my Windows partition which is more or less only used for gaming.

Exception was when the last WoW expansion came out, which I much prefer on windows as opposed to Wine.”

Xorous: “GNU/Linux is fine. Game developers are the problem.”

TheCarpetMonster: “Any game that runs natively in Linux, I use in Linux. Otherwise I have a Windows 10 VM with a dedicated GPU for the others. I mostly play Battlefield 1/4, Overwatch, and a few other games that just don't support Linux. ”

Vaskozi: “Wine is very much a hit and miss and degrades performance by a significant factor. If you have a modern motherboard you can get native (95%+) performance running Windows in a virtual machine with GPU pass through.”

Luxtabula: “I have a hard time recommending Linux for gaming. Sure there are a lot of titles available, but you still have to deal with big companies either focusing on Windows first before porting to Mac OS or Linux, or ignoring the latter entirely. I generally steer the Windows haters towards a PS4.”

More at Reddit

Ubuntu 17.10 has been dubbed “Artful Aardvark”

It’s always fun to find out the code name for the next release of Ubuntu. This time around Ubuntu 17.10 has been dubbed “Artful Aardvark.”

Adarsh Verma reports for Fossbytes:

The next short term Ubuntu release, i.e., Ubuntu 17.10, is codenamed Artful Aardvark. While Canonical boss Mark Shuttleworth is yet to make an official announcement, the Artful repos are now in existence. In an earlier announcement, Canonical has made it clear that Ubuntu 17.10 will comes with Wayland display server by default.

Unlike the past codenames, Artful Aardvark has a pretty straightforward meaning.

While Artful is an adjective which means to be skillful and clever, probably in a unique way, Aardvark is an African mammal with long ears. Aardvark is famous for tubular snout and long extensible tongue, which help him feed on ants and termites.

More at Fossbytes

DistroWatch reviews Ubuntu 17.04

Ubuntu has been getting quite a lot of attention in the media lately, with the news that the distro is moving from Unity to the GNOME desktop. A writer at DistroWatch has a full review of Ubuntu 17.04.

Jesse Smith reports for DistroWatch:

For the most part, not much has changed on Ubuntu's Desktop edition in the past year. Unity 7 has more or less remained the same while work was progressing on the next version of the desktop, Unity 8. However, now that both desktops are being retired in favour of the GNOME desktop, running Ubuntu 17.04 feels a bit strange.

This week I was running software that has probably reached the end of its life and this version of Ubuntu will only be supported for nine months. I could probably get the same desktop experience and most of the same hardware support running Ubuntu 16.04 and get security updates through to 2021 in the bargain. In short, I don't think Ubuntu 17.04 offers users anything significant over last year's 16.04 LTS release and it will be retired sooner.

That being said, I could not help but be a little wistful about using Unity 7 again. Even though it has been about a year since I last used Unity, I quickly fell back into the routine and I was once more reminded how pleasant it can be to use Unity. The desktop is geared almost perfectly to my workflow and the controls are set up in a way that reduces my mouse usage to almost nothing. I find Unity a very comfortable desktop to use, especially when application menus have been moved from the top panel to inside their own windows. While there are some projects trying to carry on development of Unity, this release of Ubuntu feels like Unity's swan song and I have greatly enjoyed using the desktop this week.

While there is not much new in Ubuntu 17.04, the release is pretty solid. Apart from the confusion that may arise from having three different package managers, I found Ubuntu to be capable, fairly newcomer friendly and stable. Everything worked well for me, at least on physical hardware. Unity is a bit slow to use in a virtual machine, but the distribution worked smoothly on my desktop computer.

More at DistroWatch

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