What Alien Isolation Looks Like On The Open-Source AMD Linux Driver

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 27 October 2015 at 09:38 PM EDT. 19 Comments
To the excitement of many Linux gamers, Feral Interactive announced today the release of Alien: Isolation. However, for now you're best off using the NVIDIA proprietary driver followed by AMD Catalyst while the open-source drivers aren't yet ready.

Feral recommends -- and only officially supports right now -- the proprietary NVIDIA driver as best for supporting this popular strategy game first released for Windows in 2014. While AMD Catalyst isn't officially supported right now, Phoronix readers have reported that the game does work... However, like many Linux games currently, the performance is slow. A Phoronix reader for instance reported a Radeon R9 390 with Catalyst 15.9 (the latest) yielding, "all video settings at max: usually 20 or 30 FPS, 15 FPS in complex scenes, all cutscenes at 60 FPS, loading screens at 1-2 FPS."

A Phoronix reader also tried using the RadeonSI open-source Gallium3D driver for this game on a Radeon R9 290X with Gentoo for which he was met by:

Yeah, the game doesn't work with the RadeonSI driver.

The Linux port of Alien: Isolation needs OpenGL 4.3, for which none of the open-source drivers currently support. You can see the Mesa Matrix, but it will probably be a number of months before OpenGL 4.3 is officially supported by AMD RadeonSI (or even longer until R600g), the Intel driver, or Nouveau NVC0.

Other Linux driver discussions about this latest high-profile Linux game port can be found via this existing forum thread.

Unfortunately, it doesn't look like any Alien: Isolation Linux benchmarks will be coming... Although the Windows version of the game has a nice, automated-friendly benchmark mode, under Linux it appears completely broken. I haven't been able to get it to work under Linux. Still waiting to hear anything from Feral, otherwise I plan to return the darn game for the benchmark functionality not working at all in this port.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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