Anybody game on Linux?

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ulfrinn

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#1 ulfrinn
Member since 2019 • 158 Posts

Seeing benchmarks for Proton and DXVK coming within 5fps of native Windows and able to play virtually any PC game on Linux now, I've been thinking of going back to it. One of the only reasons I stopped using Linux and went to Windows was gaming. And since you can use even lighter GUIs, or eliminate the OS GUI entirely while gaming, I wonder if you could close the gap on performance even more?

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DaVillain-

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#2 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 39962 Posts

While I won't say anything bad about Linux, it's just not for me and doesn't work for me in terms of gaming compare to Windows 10. Old habits die hard and I just can't give Linux a 100% honest chance before switching back to Windows. The closest I get to Linux for daily usage is Android.

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ulfrinn

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#3 ulfrinn
Member since 2019 • 158 Posts

It used to be that way with gaming, but with Proton and DXVK which uses a compatibility later to translate DirectX onto the Vulkan API, virtually every PC game for Windows can now be played on Linux and usually with only a loss of 5-10FPS. Some games actually have more FPS than when played natively on Windows.

The only issues remaining in getting ALL Windows games to run on Linux is getting a Linux version of the BattleEye anti-cheat that some games use. And that is in the works.

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osan0

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#4  Edited By osan0
Member since 2004 • 15542 Posts

I do and really enjoy it overall. It's been fascinating to see it evolve from a place where gaming was an afterthought, AMD GPUs were a no go and the OSS GPU driver stack was just made to put a desktop on the screen to a place where it is actually really good at playing games.

I think you may be over selling it a bit though @ulfrinn.

Not everything is playable with proton. wine/proton are great and improves on a regular basis. But anything with anti cheat software is, at best, going to be a challenge to get working. Also many games still dont like it. ProtonDB is a good website to check out to see how things are going.

If you like to tweak clocks and things like that: it can be done but the tools available for doing it are limited to non existent. It requires more digging. If you just want to use something like MSI afterburner: not happening for now.

If you like your VR then its still in a pretty rough place at the moment. The 3 big issues are that there are very few native VR games for linux so you are relying on proton, No support from Facebook (anything oculus on the hardware side is a no go and i would be surprised if getting oculus games running is simple) at all and SteamVR for linux is still very much a beta (At the time of writing: also a little broken with the latest release. Hopefully fixed soon and there is a branched off workaround).

I'm not saying don't try a linux distro for gaming or in general. If you are curious i certainly recommend it. There are tons of games available for it now natively, loads do work well through proton too and it continually improves as a gaming OS all the time.

Most of the time it is also a smooth and hassle free experience. But i just mention these things so you are aware.

Also remember the golden rule when approaching Linux: Linux is not Windows. It's always important to remember that. If you go in just expecting everything to be like windows you will be in for a massive shock.

Edit: Sorry @ulfrinn: some of the weaknesses i mention you also mention....i missed them when first reading your post.

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mrbojangles25

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#5 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 45371 Posts

How user-friendly is Linux? I've always been curious about it, but if I have to be a half-decent programmer forget about it.

Or are there, I don't know..."mods" you can get from the community?

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pyro1245

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#6 pyro1245
Member since 2003 • 5722 Posts

Yeah I'm considering going to Linux for my next build. My plan was to make a Windows 10 VM. Having a bunch of Ryzen cores and an excess of RAM, it seems like the way to go.

DXVK is a compelling option, it does not currently support DX12 though.

AS for GUIs, I haven't used one for Linux in a long time. I use Linux on all my servers, but it's just CLI. What would you recommend for a good, lightweight GUI?

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DaVillain-

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#7 DaVillain-  Moderator
Member since 2014 • 39962 Posts

@pyro1245: If you don't mind me asking, what's so bad about W10? Ever since I upgrade from W7, I totally loved it and while I ran into issues early on, MS got right to it and haven't had issues since.

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osan0

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#8  Edited By osan0
Member since 2004 • 15542 Posts

@mrbojangles25: You certinaly dont need to be a programmer. If you are completely unfamiliar with the linux world i can point out a few things:

  • you dont download linux specifically: you download a linux distro such as Ubuntu or Manjaro. A distro is basically a collections of software packaged together and sent to the user. They contain the Linux kernel, everything you need to get a desktop and generally some pre installed applications like Firefox and Libre Office (OSS version of MS office). I use one called Solus which is a rolling release distro a bit like windows 10. I have been using it for 3 years now and it has generally been a smooth experience. Ubuntu is generally recommended one for people trying a Linux OS for the first time. Linux Lint is also often recommended.
  • If you are using a VM or are installing it onto a PC that will only be running the Linux Distro is generally very straight forward. Probably the trickiest part is getting the DVD/USB stick set up but most places where you get the distro will also have installation instructions. But once you have loaded the installation wizard its a bit like installing an application on windows. A few nexts, enter some info like account details and let it off. If you want to dual boot with windows on the one machine it is a little trickier but nothing too complicated (you dont need to run any commands to do it either).
  • In terms of GUIs...it has all that. You dont have to run everything from the command line or anything like that. For general day to day use you dont need to run anything from the command line. You just launch your applications by clicking on them as you would on windows.
  • installing applications is also very different to windows (well old windows anyway). It works more like Android/Ios (or android/ios work a bit more like a linux distro technically). you basically go onto a store and select an application to download. it then takes care of downloading it, any dependencies it has and installs the application for you. All of these applications you install this way are also updated automatically when you update the OS.

Edit: Just to reiterate though: Linux is not windows. It is completely different on almost every level. If you try to use it as just a drop in replacement for windows you will get frustrated. The environment is completely different.

Edit 2: Bloody hell i forgot drivers. Dont go onto the AMD/Nvidia website to update your GPU drivers. you get those from the distros repos also.

For AMD, if its GCN based you dont need to do anything after installing the distro and updating it. AMD runs on the OSS GPU driver. If its pre GCN it will still work but gaming will be more hit and miss. If its RDNA you will need a distro that ships with kernal 5.3 or newer...something to be aware of.

For Nvidia you will probably need to install the Nvidia driver to fully enable your GPU but check online for specific instructions (most distros have a driver enablement tool of some sort that takes care of it).

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pyro1245

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#9 pyro1245
Member since 2003 • 5722 Posts

@davillain- said:

@pyro1245: If you don't mind me asking, what's so bad about W10? Ever since I upgrade from W7, I totally loved it and while I ran into issues early on, MS got right to it and haven't had issues since.

Well for me, I know exactly what Linux is doing because that's what I told it to do. I've been using Linux for a long time in server environments so I have a pretty good understanding of how it works at a low-ish level.

Windows 10 on the other hand seems to have a mind of its own. My computer will leave sleep in the middle of the night, presumable to update. It does all sorts of telemetry crap that you can't disable. I'm always wondering if Windows has started some process that will be using resources when I need them.

Windows 10 is fine as a desktop environment, I just feel like it's not 100% mine. Microsoft is providing me a service - even tho I paid the full, fat $200 for a Pro license back in 2015.

It's just, after 5 years, I'm ready to sideline it and only use it when I need to run certain games or SolidWorks.

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mrbojangles25

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#10 mrbojangles25
Member since 2005 • 45371 Posts

@osan0: Thank you for taking the time to write that, it was very informative.

I might give Linux a try one of these days. It will have to be a dual-boot setup.

I build my own PC's, install my OS myself, update drivers and flash my BIOS, hopefully that is enough familiarity with basic computer stuff to fumble through Linux :)

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xantufrog

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#11 xantufrog  Moderator
Member since 2013 • 12109 Posts

I do whenever I can. Why? Simply because it's a free open platform and I know Valve and others are tracking usage. So - the more people who actually DO it, the better support will become. Support has improved in a mindblowing way, too - I was an early user of Linux and the platform is worlds from where it started. And Steam's work with Proton has just been phenomenal - it works like a charm for many games that "don't support Linux". Indeed, I play many games on Linux through this channel as well.

That being said, some games just won't work at this time on Linux, and I have no problem playing them on Windows

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xantufrog

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#12 xantufrog  Moderator
Member since 2013 • 12109 Posts

@mrbojangles25: on thing to consider is you don't have to install linux to try it. The distros typically support a "live CD" where you can burn the image to a DVD in Windows, reboot your computer, and goof around with the OS running off the disc without installing anything.

Of course, many features will not work (can't install stuff to a DVD), but you can at least get a quick free experience with the OS. In my experience the OS will often run a bit slow too - since it's being read from the disc directly. But anywho.

I'd check out Ubuntu

Mint

or for something a bit OSX-ey (but less customizable - you can make Ubuntu and Mint look quite different), Elementary OS (which is what I'm currently using)

All three are Debian-based distributions, which I VASTLY prefer over the other ancestral lines of Linux. These are well-supported and a bit less alien from Windows or OSX; their app stores are fairly full and work well; Steam works well (although I had to goof around a bit with Elementary - can't remember what it involved)

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br0kenrabbit

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#13 br0kenrabbit
Member since 2004 • 16270 Posts

@xantufrog said:

All three are Debian-based distributions, which I VASTLY prefer over the other ancestral lines of Linux.

I was using Gentoo on a spare PC up until it died in '14. Wasn't gaming on it, just used it as HTPC/FTP. I've been looking at getting back into Linux now that I have another spare box sitting around, but I've kinda been looking at Arch. Any experience there?

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xantufrog

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#14 xantufrog  Moderator
Member since 2013 • 12109 Posts

@br0kenrabbit: hm no - I haven't actually spent time with Arch, sorry!

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xantufrog

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#15 xantufrog  Moderator
Member since 2013 • 12109 Posts

@br0kenrabbit: hm, sorry I actually haven't spent time with Arch!

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DEVILinIRON

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#16 DEVILinIRON
Member since 2006 • 5344 Posts

I used to.game on Linux with my laptop. Pretty good, but doesn't play all games. I've got a more powerful tablet that runs on Windows and plays more games.