Gaming on Linux 2019 | A GNU Era of Gaming

la_briola

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,356
A Linux hardware question, but not really a gaming one. I'm in the market for a new laptop which is extremely lightweight, openly supports linux, has awesome battery life, and is reasonably priced. It's basically going to be a throw it in my bag, all-day note taking and presentation making machine.
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Maybe look at the Acer Swift 1. It does not "openly supports linux", but is "extremely lightweight", has "awesome battery life", and is "reasonably priced".
 

Dave.

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,206
A Linux hardware question, but not really a gaming one. I'm in the market for a new laptop which is extremely lightweight, openly supports linux, has awesome battery life, and is reasonably priced. It's basically going to be a throw it in my bag, all-day note taking and presentation making machine.

As far as I can tell, my best option seems to be to wait until the Pinebook Pro releases, or buy a used Chromebook and convert it into a Linux laptop. Anyone have any other ideas?
Dell XPS 13 - https://itsfoss.com/dell-xps-13-ubuntu-review/

Can even save €50 buying the preinstalled Ubuntu version according to this!
 

Deleted member 50949

User Requested Account Closure
Banned
Dec 16, 2018
489
Do games that support modding work on Linux/Proton? I've generally seen people talk more if a game works properly or not, but how different would it be installing mods on Linux/Proton?
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,583
Do games that support modding work on Linux/Proton? I've generally seen people talk more if a game works properly or not, but how different would it be installing mods on Linux/Proton?
It's usually fine, as it's just changing the assets more than the executable. Even things that change the executable should work, but it's more a matter of if the tool used to do it works.
 
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Nappael

Nappael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,178
Do games that support modding work on Linux/Proton? I've generally seen people talk more if a game works properly or not, but how different would it be installing mods on Linux/Proton?
As previously mentioned, most mods are fine. However, I thought I would add that DLL injection mods sometimes do not work. Nier Automata's FAR for instance doesn't work.

Is Steam Workshop operational with Proton?
As far as I know, yes. I can test it though if you want, I don't usually use the workshop much.
 

Parsnip

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,051
Finland
Does Skyrim script extender work on proton? Or really any of the gamebryo script extenders?


fake edit: Before I actually posted this reply I took a look at the protondb and looks like skse works at least.
 

Parsnip

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,051
Finland
Double post but I don't care.

I was talking about this a bit with my brother earlier today, and I was wondering what do you guys think.
With Microsoft being more into linux and open source in general as of late, do you think we could see a future where Windows natively supported some popular linux filesystems, starting with basic support but going so far as to having the ability to install Windows on Ext4 or something?
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,583
I don't see them supporting installing Windows on anything other than NTFS or their other own filesystems in the future. Having a filesystem driver in place that actually works and is native for, say, ext3/4/5/whatever, btrfs, etc would be useful for everything, not even just Linux games. There was a 3rd party driver I used yeeeeears ago that kind of worked, but it would cause weird issues at times when flipping back to my Slackware install.
 

nded

Member
Nov 14, 2017
3,870
Steam beta update released. Mostly typical improvements and bug fixes, but this bit caught my eye:
Shader Pre-Caching
  • Re-worked the shader system to enable downloading and pre-compiling of the whole collection of Vulkan pipelines for a given game. As a result, shader data downloads will now show in the Steam download manager. Pre-compiling will be enabled in a future Beta build.
Could be an implementation of that Fossilize project Valve incorporated on github a while back.
 

bmfrosty

Member
Oct 27, 2017
561
SF Bay Area
I've often dreamed of Windows becoming more about open source in the post-ballmer world.

I deeply wish they'd deprecate DX12 and embrace Vulkan. Maybe embracing and improving DXVK, D9VK, and VKD3D to do it to maintain compatibility with older games.
 

spool

Member
Oct 27, 2017
328
New Microsoft likes to support Linux if they think they'll benefit from it. Helping Linux users get their work done on Windows instead of Linux seems to be the goal of many of their Linux-related projects. Things making it easier for Windows users to switch to Linux is something I wouldn't expect to see much of. Full Linux filesystem support is just asking for users to start dabbling with dual booting.

I am sort of, kind of enjoying Visual Studio Code though. The default keyboard shortcuts are a trash fire and it looks and feels so very out of place on the desktop, but it's alright in terms of functionality, something that can't be said of every text editor. So thanks for that Microsoft?
 

bmfrosty

Member
Oct 27, 2017
561
SF Bay Area
If you listen to Robert Cringely, then Windows has fallen pretty far down their priorities list in recent years. From the latest article where he spoke about it:

My second prediction a year ago: The end of Windows supremacy. This is NOT a prediction that MacOS or Linux will take over from Windows. It’s more complex than that. What I am seeing is that Windows is becoming less and less important to Microsoft and as Microsoft’s focus changes so will our focus as consumers of personal computing. It’s not surprising that Microsoft is changing because desktop PC sales are down and Redmond can’t get much money anymore for Windows upgrades… Under Satya Nadella, Windows Phone is gone and Microsoft’s concentration is on (in this order): 1) Azure (Microsoft’s public cloud); 2) Azure services like storage and — to some extent — Office 365; 3) Microsoft Office, and: 4) Windows. That’s Windows going from first to fourth and Microsoft Office going from second to third. That’s huge.
Source: https://www.cringely.com/2019/02/19/looking-back-at-2018-predictions-bob-was-somehow-70-percent-correct/

Is it more about them owning the operating system, or having the most profitable cloud provider? I keep hearing about how great Azure is vs AWS, but I have a deep reluctance to do anything there.
 

nded

Member
Nov 14, 2017
3,870
These caching files can be pretty big. I guess relative to the size of some modern games it's fairly reasonable.


Edit: There are a lot of these queued up in my download list, some for games that are currently borked in Proton. Guess they're covering their bases.
 
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Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,545
Wow im suprised! But its manageable. Small price to pay.

Another 600mb is much less intrusive than those stutters. Negligable, in fact.
 
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Nappael

Nappael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,178
So the Vulkan shader cache thing has actually improved stuttering?

I guess I'll try a few games now to test.
 

nded

Member
Nov 14, 2017
3,870
So the Vulkan shader cache thing has actually improved stuttering?

I guess I'll try a few games now to test.
Apparently the actual shader compilation step hasn't been implemented in Steam yet, but the state caches alone will improve shader stutter in-game. I've read some posts on reddit from people who have compiled Fossilize themselves to generate full shader libraries, and it completely eliminates the stutter as expected.
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,583
Every time I see a performance improvement to a driver or Proton I hope it will make Neptunia U not run like shit when enemies are on the screen. I am always sad.
 

Toast

Member
Oct 28, 2017
151
do you think we could see a future where Windows natively supported some popular linux filesystems, starting with basic support but going so far as to having the ability to install Windows on Ext4 or something
^Would be great, but they would probably make a new filesystem. Now, if they opened up NTFS and exFAT, that could make handling files on different OS'es a lot easier.
 
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Nappael

Nappael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,178
Yeah, my dream scenario is common Linux filesystem support in Windows (Ext4, etc), and Microsoft open sourcing NTFS and exFAT.

But as Micsosoft's open source and Linux efforts are more designed to keep potential Linux developers using Windows and not to actually improve the state of Linux, I think this is highly unlikely.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,441
I'm happy to report that Nioh is now totally playable via Proton. I've been checking on that one since Proton launched, and until now it would crash after the initial settings popup. There's an issue with FMV, but everything in-engine looks good, didn't notice any performance issues.

Another one I'm watching that doesn't work is MGS Ground Zeroes. It crashes immediately on start. Weird because the Phantom Pain has always been solid.
 

nded

Member
Nov 14, 2017
3,870
Took some time to confirm MvCI being playable on Lutris using Wine 4.4. Now if someone could figure out SFV I could seriously cut down on my Windows time.
 

BeImonkey

Member
Dec 9, 2017
1,249
Silly question: are "one click" OS installs a thing? In some discussion about Steam machines, I was saying it'd be pretty cool if you could press a button in Steam and it would automatically install STEAMOS to an appropriate place without risk of breaking anything or going through tedious steps. Wasn't sure if that sort of thing would be easily doable though.
 

hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,583
Silly question: are "one click" OS installs a thing? In some discussion about Steam machines, I was saying it'd be pretty cool if you could press a button in Steam and it would automatically install STEAMOS to an appropriate place without risk of breaking anything or going through tedious steps. Wasn't sure if that sort of thing would be easily doable though.
It's doable to an extent, assuming you're okay with default usernames and certain settings for disk partitioning. All things considered, given a disc that can be completely wiped it would be painfully easy to script out even an Arch installation. It can be unattended other than "pressing install" or whatever method you'd prefer, though it would probably be better to at least prompt for one or two things first (username, maybe specify a disk on multi-disk systems, etc). I keep an Arch installer on my USB keychain (don't ask) that has a custom script I made to install everything I need from the official repos and set certain variables for me so I don't have to do anything other than setup the partitions.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,545
Silly question: are "one click" OS installs a thing? In some discussion about Steam machines, I was saying it'd be pretty cool if you could press a button in Steam and it would automatically install STEAMOS to an appropriate place without risk of breaking anything or going through tedious steps. Wasn't sure if that sort of thing would be easily doable though.
Have you tried steamos yet? Ive been on steam OS 2 for like 3 or 4 years. It was great until a year or two ago when they seem to move their efforts towards the mythical steamos 3. I ended up getting really tough bugs and stuff. They still persist. All kinds of people have them in they're hard to work around. It sucks because it was trouble free for years.

SteamOS3 better be a big jump forward or I will be disappointed! Either way, I would definitely not recommend steamos right now. It's too bad. It was so nice before.
 
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Toast

Member
Oct 28, 2017
151
Sad multiplayer is Linux-Linux only. Devs should work together to bring a way to make it cross-platform if its possible.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,545
I got to try one of those games. I jump in on this one, but I keep having these spending fits and I need to claw any money I can lol. last week I was up too late and I popped a hundred bucks on Saturn stuff off of eBay. And the last one was before that when I bought like four hundred bucks worth of imported toys.

The total war games look amazing, though. I don't know if I've ever played anything quite like that.
 

thebishop

Member
Nov 10, 2017
1,441
Have you tried steamos yet? It's been on steam OS 2 for like 3 or 4 years. It was great until a year or two ago when they seem to move their efforts towards the mythical steamos 3. I ended up getting really tough bugs and stuff. They still persist. All kinds of people have them in they're hard to work around. It sucks because it was trouble free for years.

Steve-O S3 better be a big jump forward or I will be disappointed! Either way, I would definitely not recommend steamos right now. It's too bad. It was so nice before.
Yeah, I wouldn't revisit SteamOS until the Proton stuff is fully baked in. Not sure if that will happen before the long-awaited UI overhaul (for all platforms).

My main system is Ubuntu 18.04 where I have Steam set to start in Big Picture mode at boot. It's not as smart as SteamOS about scaling games to full screen, but still less fussing than Windows. The major pain point is all the games distributed by Origin, UPlay, BattleNet etc.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,545
Yeah, I wouldn't revisit SteamOS until the Proton stuff is fully baked in. Not sure if that will happen before the long-awaited UI overhaul (for all platforms).

My main system is Ubuntu 18.04 where I have Steam set to start in Big Picture mode at boot. It's not as smart as SteamOS about scaling games to full screen, but still less fussing than Windows. The major pain point is all the games distributed by Origin, UPlay, BattleNet etc.
You can download the latest steam OS session and compositor from valve and have it all. The only thing is that logging out of the session doesn't really work, so you have to restart or make a little script.

Edit: oh and it highly mitigates screen tearing.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,545
I have no idea. That seems like the one part of steam OS that is not only seriously advantageous but super reliable and works great. I could see them doing one from the ground up if they learned a lot from doing it the first time and think they could do better.
 

Dave.

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,206
2019, year of the AMD gaming rig Linux desktop! I don't see why it wouldn't be but I hope the good open source driver support continues straight in to Navi release
 
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Nappael

Nappael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,178
Yeah, I see no reason why AMD's open source Linux support wouldn't continue. It's been great so far and appears to be benefiting them.

I'm quite some way from needing to upgrade my rig, but in a couple of years when I actually am at that point I'll probably be going all in on AMD unless something major has changed.

I really want AMD to try and make a push into the GPGPU/scientific computing market. That market is like 99% Nvidia and everyone uses CUDA. If anything stops me it'll probably be this, although at work I've been trying to make sure I don't get locked in.
 
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itsamiracle

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,451
AMD has ben making a lot of big deals lately, both on the industrial and consumer market. Tbh I don't really care about their success on the x86_64 platform. The sooner we move away to more open architectures the better (namely ones without ME and intel in general). More bandwidth for nvme drives with pci4.0 will be welcome for now though.
 
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Nappael

Nappael

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,178
I can't see the consumer market moving away from x86_64 any time soon. Maybe a few Arm laptops - especially if the rumours of Apple looking into an Arm MacBook are true - and a handful of workstations aimed at developers looking to deploy on Arm servers, but that's about all.

Arm unfortunately also has the whole licensing and binary blob GPU issue (although I guess there is the Lima project which helps on that). Risc-V is the real hope, but we are a solid 5 years away from it being good for anything except embedded devices and tinkering, and probably even longer for the ecosystem around it to catch up.
 
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datschge

Member
Oct 25, 2017
365
2019, year of the AMD gaming rig Linux desktop! I don't see why it wouldn't be but I hope the good open source driver support continues straight in to Navi release
I'd wager cloud game streaming solutions like Stadia using AMD graphics are due to the good state of the open source graphic drivers. Assuming this should ensure good support for Navi as well.

I really want AMD to try and make a push into the GPGPU/scientific computing market. That market is like 99% Nvidia and everyone uses CUDA. If anything stops me it'll probably be this, although at work I've been trying to make sure I don't get locked in.
If not earlier the Frontier exascale supercomputer (with 1.5 exaflops) to be built in 2021 will use a toolchain translating Cuda into ROCm (and a development budget of $100 mil), so this particular ecosystem should get a major boost.
 

Crayon

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,545
I use my personal phone for work, and I am going to ask my it if it's okay if I run Kali on my phone. I was hoping to probe a bit with you guys since you might have some insight on how would be the best way to ask them about it.

They install the work versions of Google apps on my phone. The ones with the little padlocks on the icons. The biggest question is of course, can those secure apps be run in a way that will satisfy my IT guys?

Theyre already deploying linux machines around the lab to replace expiring Windows 7 licenses because they seem to find it easier. So I'm optimistic.

But yeah. Can those secured Google apps run in a way that doesn't compromise them? I'm hoping that as sandboxed apps, it wouldn't be a problem.
 

itsamiracle

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
1,451
I have been replaying Chrono Trigger lately, does anyone know a workaround for the fmv cutscenes? The game unhangs eventually so it's not really a big issue.
 

Vash63

Member
Oct 28, 2017
643
These caching files can be pretty big. I guess relative to the size of some modern games it's fairly reasonable.


Edit: There are a lot of these queued up in my download list, some for games that are currently borked in Proton. Guess they're covering their bases.
It's automated, Steam ships any caches that they receive caches from users for. If a single user can get a single vulkan pipeline to compile & has shader cache downloads enabled, Steam will have a copy of it and ship it to everyone.

Shane SFV never got the linux port they announced.
From what I've heard the port works but they couldn't get the copy protection working.
 

discotrigger

Member
Oct 25, 2017
229
Alright, so the Stadia Connect just ended and with it we got a decent list of games. The Tomb Raider 'trilogy' makes sense since Feral has been porting them to Linux (although the Vulkan requirement doesn't apply to the first game, so maybe that's not essential after all). We also have a lot of interesting ports like Mortal Kombat 11 and Metro Exodus.

One port of note to me is Final Fantasy XV. There was a Vulkan renderer in the works before Square pulled the plug on the game's continued development. This either means that the Vulkan work was completed during that time (perhaps for Stadia), or that they're using the Direct3D 11 renderer somehow. Given the selection of games they'll have out of the gate, it feels like Google may be using some sort of translation layer. Either that or they just have a lot of sway with (or cash to spend on) developers. I'm hoping it's the latter so we can see more investment with companies getting their engines and development workflows compatible with Linux in the first place.

However, given Google's pricing strategy (buying the games to play them, even when you pay monthly for Pro) doesn't seem to offer a substantial value over gaming on existing platforms unless you want compressed 4K 60 FPS HDR gameplay with some latency (how much we aren't sure yet). This could limit the platform's success, but I suppose it's also a way to ensure the developers are happy with their choice since they'll be getting the same amount of money they would on other platforms if a full game purchase is required. I suppose if you don't already own a modern gaming device, this is a decent way to try high-end gaming without much up-front cost. Now, if devs choose to include a Steam key with your Stadia purchase, that could change some minds.

What do you guys think about this? I suppose until we know native Vulkan renderers are required on the developer end rather than being automagically translated by Google to run on Debian, we can't know what kind of impact this will realistically have on Linux gaming.
 
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hikarutilmitt

Member
Dec 16, 2017
2,583
Yeah I'd like to see how they're doing some of these, particularly Destiny 2, since they're windows only right now and, at least in the case of D2, don't run or cause issues (D2 bans you right now).
 

discotrigger

Member
Oct 25, 2017
229
I'm hoping against hope that they're actually convincing these devs to write Vulkan renderers, as their developer documentation says a Vulkan renderer running on Debian is a requirement. But realistically they may be providing some kind of translation layer to assist devs. Still, whatever it is, I'm sure they're very serious about efficiency so they can ensure 4K 60 FPS gameplay with 'Ultra' settings across all titles (as well as upcoming cross-gen games). If there is any 'secret sauce', I hope we'll hear about it either from Google themselves or maybe some indie devs down the line.