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New Comments By Ryan Gordon On Linux Gaming, Drivers

Gaming

Published on 15 November 2011 06:15 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming
18 Comments

Our friends over at OSNews have written about the state of Linux gaming in a new editorial. What's interesting, in particular, are the comments by veteran Linux game porter Ryan "Icculus" Gordon.

Gordon is known for making interesting comments, going back to an interview I did with him over six years ago. Earlier this year Ryan made some controversial remarks about open-source GPU drivers not being ready (for mass consumption) and it's putting Linux desktops into dangerous positions since distributions are relying upon them. He's also made comments concerning open-source use of S3TC texture compression and is known for recommending the NVIDIA binary Linux driver as the only reliable Linux driver for serious users. Gordon continued with more Linux driver comments this summer.

He's also come out in support of open-source games and efforts like the Humble Indie Bundle.

Ryan Gordon is responsible for porting Unreal Tournament 3 to Linux (albeit it was never publicly released), Prey, America's Army, Google Earth, Crysis Wars, and countless other titles since his days at Loki Software.

He's also been responsible for various open-source creations like MojoSetup and FatELF.

Among the comments made by Ryan Gordon in the OSNews' The State of Linux Gaming 2011 include:

- Linux video drivers are becoming more available. He acknowledges more viable alternatives are coming around than just using a GeForce graphics card with the NVIDIA blob. "This is an awesome step forward. But, as this is all work in progress (and, as new hardware ships, a moving target), it can certainly feel like a terrible step back"

- Ryan is impressed with the progress made in the past year by the open-source Intel and ATI/AMD drivers. Hey, we're nearly at OpenGL 3.0!

- At the end of the day, he still recommends NVIDIA hardware and their binary driver for Linux. "If you don't have moral objections to closed-source drivers: get an Nvidia GPU."

Aside from the Linux graphics situation:

- Ryan recommends game developers never give exclusive distribution rights to any independent entity. In fact, he doesn't recommend indie developers even use a game publishing company. "They'll only make your life miserable and eat your profits."

- Ryan recommends never using source-less middle-ware.

- The usual open-source libraries and projects earn Ryan's recommendations: SDL, OpenAL, OpenGL, PhysicsFS, SQlite, ManyMouse.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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