Vulkan-Using X-Plane 12 Flight Simulator Now Available In Beta Form

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Gaming on 12 September 2022 at 05:37 AM EDT. 8 Comments
Last week Laminar Research promoted X-Plane 12 to its early access public beta phase. This realistic flight simulator continues to natively support Linux -- and doing so well for many years -- and now with X-Plane 12, the Vulkan steps up past their long-used OpenGL renderer.

Back in 2020, Laminar Research added optional Vulkan support to X-Plane 11 while now with X-Plane 12, Vulkan takes on a greater role. OpenGL is still used in the case of some plug-ins for this flight simulator but even there they have been working to use Zink on Windows rather than relying on the sometimes poor OpenGL drivers on Windows.

Laminar Research recommends at least an Intel Core i5 8600K or AMD Ryzen 5 3500 CPU, 16~24GB of system RAM at least, a modern graphics card with recommending at least a GeForce GTX 1070, and Vulkan 1.3 compliant driver support. NVIDIA's proprietary driver is supported on Linux or if wanting to use AMD Radeon graphics at least Mesa 22.0 is needed.

X-Plane 12 introduces a photometric HDR lighting engine, a new weather engine, seven new aircraft, volumetric 3D clouds, new visual effects, new forests / water / vegetation and other new landscape, and much more. Among the new aircraft available in this real-world flight simulator are the Airbus A330, Citation X, SR22, F-14 Tomcat, R-22, Lancair Evolution, and others.

Laminar Research, X-Plane 12 Early Access

X-Plane 12 for personal use is available for $59.99 USD. Those wanting to learn more about the early access beta can visit

Assuming the X-Plane benchmark mode is still in good shape with X-Plane 12, I'll be running some system / GPU benchmarks soon with the beta.
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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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