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It's Been Five Years That Ubuntu Has Tried To Improve For Linux Gaming

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  • It's Been Five Years That Ubuntu Has Tried To Improve For Linux Gaming

    Phoronix: It's Been Five Years That Ubuntu Has Tried To Improve For Linux Gaming

    Next month will mark five years that Steam has been available for Linux and it's been about the same length of time that Ubuntu has tried to improve itself as a gaming platform, but has it worked?..

  • #2
    I think most people who use Linux are not so much into gaming, they are more into development, engineering and research. Many users are software developers.

    Most gamers are acquainted with Windows. Even if Linux was a good gaming platform then there is no compelling reason to use it, because so is Windows.
    Windows is a great gaming platform and it is for more reasons than just games, but for software for VoIP, communication, mouse configuration, keyboard configuration, streaming, gameplay capture and screen recording, etc.

    Too bad there are few open sources games too. Tesseract was a cool engine, too bad it kind of died off. Quake II and Quake III engines had a active community, too bad not much happened with the Doom 3 engine.


    • #3
      Aside from technology enthusiasts or open source advocates most gamers I know simply want access to the most content with the best performance while having everything "just work". I love Steam on Linux, but I can say right now, of my 87 Steam Linux titles there are about a dozen that simply don't work or used to work but don't any more. I'm sure some of those games I could futz with and get them to play, but my point is if you click play in Steam and the game does not start, that is a bad gaming experience.

      While I would love Linux use to grow, I think the only way that is going to happen is if computers (including gaming computers) come pre-installed with Linux (Ubuntu or otherwise) and those average users have a better experience then they have had in the past on Windows. I hope that some day this happens, but obviously that day is not today.


      • #4
        Gaming market share will be a continual problem for Linux in general much less Ubuntu because of the perception that Linux is not a viable desktop for most normal folks weened on 30 years of Windows and Mac. Until that changes, nothing much will happen on the Linux gaming front. Also you have to contend that the market has already chosen three platforms for games. Consoles, PCs and Phones/Mobile. The consoles have their own proprietary OS/s and tooling, PCs are Windows and Phones/Mobile are Android and iOS. It's going to be very difficult if not impossible for Linux to break into any of those gaming markets as Linux can't even break into the general desktop PC market. Microsoft learned this lesson too late when they tried to bunghole Windows onto a phone when the market had already been saturated with Android and iOS. Even Blackberry who was a market leader in mobile OS was thrown to the ground by both these OS's. And mighty Intel was an epic failure in trying to scale an x86 chip down to such an extent to compete with ARM in the low powered mobile hardware space. Once markets have chosen a particular platform or two it becomes almost impossible to break into without some REALLY compelling reasons. And Linux doesn't provide any compelling reason enough for the general population to switch and thus hardware manufacturers will not follow suit and make the hardware necessary to facilitate this switch. And thus, you will not find software makers following suit. It becomes the classic "chicken and egg" problem. With the added problem that the general public neither wants or even knows of the chicken or the egg.


        • #5
          Valve's efforts with steam on Linux must be seen as malevolent. I have not seen a more finnicky framework and it still is not 64 bit even when most distros are abandoning 32 bit support. You cannot arrive at this situation otherwise than completely abandoning development, or being willfully malevolent.


          • #6
            Open source gaming will never improve until the tools improve. 18 years of advocating for better tools and nothing has changed. Quake 1/2/3 had gtkeadiant and models were simple enough to edit in tools available. Newer open source engines lack tools and there are no good texturing tools on Linux. Aside from maya and blender so you have to either have money or pray blender works in your workflow. We need clones of light wave, 3dsmax and zbrush.


            • #7
              It's simple, but yet it seems to be the hardest thing to do. Wine needs to implement windows API's accurately enough to reproduce it's runtime behavior. But because although it -is- an emulator they continue to claim that it's not and as such they don't give a shit about reproducing it's actual behavior. It is completely true that native games are the long term solution, but you need gamers before games, it's a catch22. Wine needs to be able to play windows games.

              EDIT: The point is more or less, it isn't Ubuntu's fault, it's wines fault. Their ideology for its implementation is simply wrong. They made it waaay the fuck more complex than it should be. Translation layers between API's should immediately get replaced with native implementations of those same API's. Wine would become ten times smaller and a hundred times more compatible.
              Last edited by duby229; 10-14-2017, 11:50 AM.


              • #8
                1) Get a kernel that gives a damn about latency. Everyone heavily invested in kernel development unfortunately has servers in mind, so not likely that will change.
                2) Get a framework in place that can mark all related components as latency-critical, and favor them always or on request.
                3) Accept that all your precious benchmarks, ironically including gaming FPS will take a nosedive (while at the same time improving response time).
                4) Who cares for Steam or Ubuntu? I dont want to be drawn into a damn client or distro bc of gaming, much less a bottom feeder one.

                Fat chance of this happening in my lifetime. Thanks god I got a PS4 and don`t have to game on Linux (or Windows).


                • #9
                  linux operating systems don''t have taken benefit form their potentiality, also, microsoft has still the monopoly of gaming market although vulkan APIs will change this curse (but linux has to be ready).


                  • #10
                    I've been quite happy with my gaming experience on Linux. My first milestone was being able to get World of Warcraft working flawlessly that convinced me to abandon my Windows partition permanently about 10 years ago.

                    Playing games on Wine / Crossover has worked well for most of the intervening time. Skyrim took up too much of my life for a while with the only niggle of needing to ctrl alt backspace after each session.

                    In the last couple of years I've been quite happy with the native gaming experience in Steam, and the quality of games available. Great experience with Tomb Raider, for example.

                    It feels like developers are taking linux seriously as a platform, and that it can only get better.