Windows 7 Gamer thinking of switching to Linux

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by AlatusVir, Nov 16, 2013.

  1. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Oh, of course. Puppy Linux is lightweight because it lacks features and drivers. Puppy Linux has a smaller kernel meaning less modules/drivers. Puppy Linux is intended for slow hardware. Games can be played on Puppy Linux, but users may find it easier to use a different distro. Also, game developers usually release games as a *.deb. Source code is commonly available, but most users are not sure how to compile and install. So, games can only be installed via *.pet packages or source code. {However, Precise Puppy accepts Debian files}

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  2. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    Thanks.
  3. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    Why is ubuntu suitable for gaming, whereas opensuse is not?
    Why are slackware and arch more suitable for gaming?
  4. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    No joy on OpenSUSE anyways, for some reason, both live DVD and USBs failed to boot up. So I am now on Mint KDE, which I know is based on ubuntu but seems to be alot springer. Faster response, faster screen draws, faster installs. Just can't figure out why. Gotta head off to work so, gonna test driver / game installs later when I get home :)
  5. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    Slackware and Arch are small systems that do not contain a lot of active services, but they still contain many drivers.

    OpenSUSE consumes a lot of memory (~1GB) and seems unstable. OpenSUSE is designed for businesses. Why would someone want to use a business distro for gaming? Ubuntu is more of a general system. It is still relatively small as far as memory consumption is concerned (~600MB on a fresh install on AMD64 architecture).
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  6. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    While working with it this morning, it (openSUSE) installed fine on my son's laptap (well, mine actually, he hijacked it, I just hijacked it back ) but won't boot from both Live DVD / USB on my PC, which is odd to say the least. UEFI recognized both as boot volumes but they just won't boot on my PC. (Asus P8-77 series mobo) Logically there should be *no* reason why my more recent firmwared mobo can't read or boot up openSUSE while my aging 6 year old lap could. /shrugs

    My exercise in trying out openSUSE or Fedora for that matter would be to see if they are actually viable for gaming even if they were built with business and corporate productivity in mind. (sic ... heh, corporate productivity, now there's an oxymoron) Which to be honest some of my more puritan colleagues even back during my time made a point of; "Linux isn't for games! Its for *SERIOUS* work!" ... "Don't need a stinking GUI, what's wrong with using the command line?"
    Sound familiar? ;)

    Which brings me to Arch Linux.
    I was curious and looked it up. My god! They weren't kidding when they said it is *not* for beginners and meant for power-users. While I can definitely see the potential of Arch, I akin it to a Porche Carrera GT, it can be really powerful, a real beast to use but not for the uninitiated and definitely not for anyone who is not comfortable working and installing from the command line.

    This post is already in the TLDR spot.
    Sorry for the wall of text. :)
    I'll post my thoughts on gaming on linux later.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2013
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  7. lobo

    lobo Active Member

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    True enough.
    openSUSE is not "designed for businesses", I'm not sure where you got this idea from. SLES/SLED are.
  8. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    Going back to the OP's post, the truth is, Linux is *at the moment* NOT as gaming centric as Windows and one should not use Linux expecting it to completely replace windows as a gaming platform yet.

    However, with Valve's involvement, and more and more developers now making games available for Linux as well as Microsoft insisting on making Windows more and more irritating to use not to mention costly if they had their way with a yearly subscription model for both Windows and office suites, Linux never looked better as an alternative.

    From my perspective, the different distros and Linux DE variants in general reminds me of the hayday of PC computing. As then as is now, we have different DEs / OSes vying for consumer support and while some platforms such as the Amiga were in my opinion better for gaming / multimedia, what it really comes down to is numbers of users / cost of using said platform. A little thing called DOS came along and even though many other platforms were superior, DOS became the defacto platform developers developed for, simply because it was the most used. (Piracy helped of course but Bill Gates and Co. would never admit to that fact. ;) )

    So now from my perspective, I see a similar event playing out.
    Windows had been the king of the hill in gaming simply because there was no one else, because no AAA title dev would even consider to develop a game for Linux.

    Valve and crowd-sourcing / crowd-funding portals such as Kickstarter is changing that however.
    My own motivation for jumping back into Linux space is due to Valve and certain games that I backed on Kickstarter, Namely Pillars of Eternity, Star Citizen and Tides of Numenera. All had backers asking for Linux support as part of a milestone event or right off the bat, reason for their contribution. Star Citizen recently hit over $35 million in funding and with linux support planned.
    That is a clear message to anyone that Linux isn't "just meant for servers" anymore.

    With Valve's choice to use Ubuntu though, I see the PC gaming sphere shift even further and perhaps solidifying Debian (and its forks) as the "goto" linux as opposed to Slackware and Redhat (and their forks).

    As it was back during DOS days, its all down to numbers and I am pretty sure I am not the only PC Gamer to be suddenly interested (or in my case, rekindled interest) with Linux and we will see an influx of new users looking to see which linux will do the job as a gaming platform.

    At the moment, I feel that Debian and its variants stand the most to benefit.
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  9. Kryyll

    Kryyll Active Member

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    I've used Slackware before, it's amazingly stable. I played some free knock off of Quake 3 on it and it run beautifully. I never tried to run steam on it. I use debian for just about everything so thats would be my choice. Debian is very stable and has tons of software and stuff. Steam runs extremely well on my system. Minus Team Fortress 2 (Not sure why, still trying to figure out why everything is so dark), but games like Dota 2 and Left for Dead 2 run amazing. I would agree with archonsg and say that the Debian variants or Debian itself are a good choice.

    A good starting linux distro is linux mint, it's easy to learn how to use and is based on Ubuntu so its all good. I've never ran it seriously so I don't know if it's stable or not, I would imagine it would be.

    Lastly, I love Puppy Linux, its the best for computing on the go. I used puppy to fix computers that have problems and won't boot. Plus the little dog icon is fun.
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  10. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    Update:
    Am currently running Kubuntu, (figured out why it was so slow in getting updates on MUON)

    Anyways, is it just me or does the <kill> command not seem to work?
    Skyrim-Windows on wine will crash once in a bit and once it does, sometimes the window its in refuses to close and exit entirely.
    However even using the <kill> command does not seem to work. Is there a better way to kill all process/ process tree for when such an event occurs?
  11. Cyber-Berserker

    Cyber-Berserker Active Member

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    I believe Skyrim is a few years old, so have you tried older versions of Wine from the Wine archive? I have only used Wine once, to play Skyrim's predecessor, Morrowind. I had to try several older versions of Wine before I found one that could play the game. Wine is always being updated to play the latest Windows games, but little, if any, attention is paid to how changes affect the performance of older software. The result is what Wine's developers call "regressions," which is a cute term for bugs that cause incompatibility with older software.

    A second factor affecting Wine's ability to play games is the OS. When I played Morrowind on an Ubuntu system, the performance was bad when the game was started and was unplayable within half-an-hour. With the same game and same version of Wine on Debian, the game worked perfectly.

    So there may be two factors at play. Newer versions of Wine may not be able to play the game properly and/or there may be a problem with your system's ability to play the game.
  12. samtheemo

    samtheemo New Member

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    The primary objective of Linux operating systems is not gaming. If you use computers for high-end gaming, there is no reason for you to waste time installing a completely different operating system just to play more games. If there is a game that you're desperate to get but only works for Linux machines, then go for it. However, if you're not interested in computer stuff and just want to play games, you wouldn't want to get Battlefield again in your new Linux system. In that case, just stick to Windows!
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  13. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    Valve certainly don't think so.
    They certainly think that Linux can be and is more then a viable platform for primetime AAA title gaming.
  14. DevynCJohnson

    DevynCJohnson Well-Known Member Staff Member Staff Writer

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    How are you using the kill command?
    Check out this article on kill - http://www.linux.org/threads/kill-commands-and-signals.4423/
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  15. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    @devyn

    Thanks!
    I didn't use caps so that's probably it.
    Though it seems that the xkill command would be easier to use.
  16. MikeyD

    MikeyD Active Member

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    In the interest of being devil's advocate, I have to agree at this point in PC gaming, Windows still has a definitive advantage over Linux. That's definitely changing, but there are still a number of hurdles (mostly business-related) to overcome. The only computers I have that still run Windows are my custom gaming rig and my work PC (because it is mandatory). The library of games for Linux is continually growing, but the majority are still indie titles or small-scale projects.

    I also play EVE online and much to the dismay of Linux users (there is a Linux forum on the EVE website) CCP has no intention of creating a Linux port in the future so the best way to run that will be through Wine, which adds another layer of communication between the hardware and your game so games will always be slower through a Wine VM than on a native Windows machine. And large gaming companies like Bethesda and Blizzard are always behind deadlines as it is, they don't have/won't want to devote the additional time and manpower to port these massive games like Skyrim and World of Warcraft to Linux.

    I think things will continually get better for Linux gaming especially with the recently renewed support of AMD and Nvidia on Linux, but at its core the things that make Linux so great like security, multi-user support, and networking are the reason why it is such a popular server/hosting OS and don't really add any great functionality for gaming. It doesn't help that OpenGL API is still much easier to use on a Windows system than Linux. Heck, just look at the difference in steps between "Getting Started" with OpenGL on Windows compared to Linux: http://www.opengl.org/wiki/Getting_Started.
    Couple that with the fact that most game dev "vets" have been and are more comfortable developing for Windows and still unfortunately reach a larger audience on Windows than they would on Linux, still leaves big hurdles for the Linux gaming movement.

    That doesn't mean there is no reason for the OP to use Linux. I'd recommend running Linux initially through a VM while learning, and Linux is still by far my favorite OS for "getting things done" (coding, writing, web designing, even browsing the web), but I don't see the point of intentionally handicapping yourself if all you care about for this PC is gaming.


    P.S. - Regarding Skyrm on Linux, it might be a bit more stable running through PlayOnLinux. Check this tutorial: http://www.gamersonlinux.com/forum/threads/the-elder-scrolls-v-skyrim-guide.331/
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2014
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  17. Virneto

    Virneto Member

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    We┬┤re all excited with SteamOS latest developments....
    Nothing but smoke untill now, since there's nothing special for final users for now.

    @AlatusVir... Boy, I know what you mean! I've came to Linux and this is the thing I haven't still been amazed yet. :(
  18. Archonsg

    Archonsg Member

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    @MikeyD
    @Virneto

    Yeah.
    But there in is the rub, Windows has the numbers, thus Windows is first choice for any developers. As with Apple's iOS when it came out, people clamored to get on that bandwagon, compared to Android when it first came out.

    But as with any business decision, as numbers climb for a platform in user base, to ignore that platform's advances and potential is not only fool hardy, but in the long term damaging.

    Hence, my motivation to learn how to use a linux box. (I am at the moment on Ubuntu proper again, making myself use it for at least a few weeks to see if I really would prefer Mint)

    Playing native Steam-Linux games help drive those numbers up.
    And like it or not, people like EA / Bethesda / Ubisoft need numbers to make it worth their while to do anything.

    Which brings us to the indie or crowd funded (such as kickstarter) developers who don't need sales in the millions to consider a product to be profitable.
    So far, my crystal ball for Linux Gaming's future is quite rosy.
    I'll have Tides of Numenera, Pillars of Eternity for certain, Maybe CD Project Red's Cyberpunk 2077 (really want this!), Maybe Starwars Battlefront and very possibly Valve's own long awaited Half Life 3.

    All these are in the future but there's no reason not to now learn what I need to work a linux box is there?
  19. mek42

    mek42 Member

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    Why not?
  20. Cappii

    Cappii New Member

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    I've not seen anyone mention Crossover. I've not tried it personally, but, I've always heard that it's better at Windows programs than WINE.

    In my personal experience, I've been able to get Grand Theft Auto San Andreas up and running on Ubuntu, but it took me copying everything from my system32 folder from a Windows Machine over to my WINE system 32 to make it work flawlessly. I had limited success with Sims 2, however their faces would be about 1" away from their skulls... which was, needless to say, creepy.

    All in all, I have to agree with the above posts in that if your primary focus is gaming, for now, stick with Windows.

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