The Alien Isolation Linux Testing That Isn't Happening

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 28 October 2015 at 07:53 AM EDT. 29 Comments
While I was looking forward to yesterday's Alien: Isolation for Linux release, that has all changed now. Besides the game failing with open-source drivers, not all functionality from the Windows game is there in the Linux build.

Namely, Feral Interactive didn't port over the game's built-in benchmark mode from Windows. Alien: Isolation on Windows has a well-publicized benchmark mode -- such as outlined here. In fact, it's very nice and can be driven automatically -- just how I like it. There's a -benchmark command-line argument that can be passed to the game to start it up in an automated manner, another argument for feeding the game a text file of all the game engine settings you want, and then all of the performance data gets dumped to a CSV file on exit. I wish all games were like this... Thus was planning on an Alien: Isolation test profile for the Phoronix Test Suite.

Besides dumping just the average frame-rate, under Windows the game also dumps the min/max frame-rates as well as frame time information. So I was looking quite forward to running a number of AMD/NVIDIA benchmarks on Linux with the different drivers for this game given that it meets all of my testing requirements.

When the game was released, I quickly bought it and set out to run some benchmarks. Sadly, that failed. The benchmark argument doesn't work for the Linux port of Alien: Isolation. When looking at the strings within the AlienIsolation binary, there were still benchmark references, but no go at all in getting the game's benchmark mode working.

In looking like Feral didn't port that relevant code over to Linux, I asked them about it and this morning they commented on Twitter. "Alien: Isolation on Linux/Mac does support dark thrills and abiding fear... but not the benchmarking tool."

So, sadly, there will not be any Alien: Isolation Linux tests coming up on Phoronix since this feature was omitted from the Linux/Mac build. At least now I get to test Valve's Steam refund support in now having returned this game.
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Michael Larabel

Michael Larabel is the principal author of 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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