First, a disclaimer. I'm a complete noob/ignoramus on this subject. I've done some Googling, so I know the very basics(I hope), but I was hoping someone here might be able to shed more light on this subject.
With the release of Windows 10, precipitated by Microsoft's ultra-aggressive push to get everyone with Windows 7 and 8 upgrade to 10 for free so they can be forced to use SkyDrive and Cortana and be data mined to the fucking moon and back, I began to explore other options for possible operating systems. Of course one of my main concerns is gaming, so I'd only be interested in switching to another OS if it allowed for most of my games to be played at a reasonable quality level. From what I've read, even though .exe files are written for Windows, apparently you can run them through a pseudo-emulator called WINE. The problem is that WINE has many of the same limitations that emulators have, so the programs you run with it may not run as well.
Does anyone here have any experience using Linux or Ubuntu, and can you comment on whether or not it is feasible for a serious gamer to exclusively use one of these OS?
Post by Miss Muffin on Dec 17, 2015 17:58:19 GMT -5
I've been gaming exclusively on linux for a couple years now, with no real complaints. Of course I mostly only play Doom / TF2 / Counterstrike / Skyrim / the odd indie game, so your mileage may vary. Most windows games I've tried run well via WINE (or have linux versions), but certainly not all do. The other biggest thing to pay attention to, in my experience, is your hardware. Make sure your gpu has solid linux drivers, that'll go a long way.
If you absolutely need to play every brand new game flawlessly as soon as it comes out, then maybe stay away. (i.e. a colleague of mine is chapped that he can't play Fallout 4 on his linux box yet.) If you have a bit of patience, and don't mind learning a few new ways to do things, then I think you should take the plunge.
As far as what games I play, I stick mostly to stuff that either came out in the 90's or early 2000's, or stuff that looks like it came out then. Occasionally I'll try out a current game, but I'm usually disappointed by the disparity between how good the graphics are and how vapid the gameplay is. So I'm probably ok with not being able to play the latest and greatest new games. A lot of "new" games I purchase are on GOG, and are either old games which have been re-worked so that they run on modern operating systems, or they are new games that are heavily inspired by older classic games.
So can you recommend some good links which contain FAQs for a brand new user? The more I think about it the closer I get to just ditching Windows for good, or at least having a dual boot system until I feel confident enough to use Linux exclusively.
Post by Miss Muffin on Dec 17, 2015 21:22:37 GMT -5
In my experience, '90s-2000s games will usually run at least as well via WINE as they do via the compatibility layer that modern windows uses for them. So if that's what you're into, you're probably in luck.
I can't personally vouch for any FAQs, new user setup guides, etc. I wish I could tell you the best way to start using modern linux, but I had to learn it in a (probably unnecessarily) slow + painful way from a textbook, way back in college. Given how much the 'user experience' side has become more convenient, the 'academic' way of getting started w/ linux is probably going to seem really out of touch to modern desktop users, yet that mindset is what's seared into my brain. I'm sure someone else could give you a better roadmap for what to know, how to do common tasks, how to get things set up.
What I will recommend: -Don't be afraid to try more than one distro, especially if you're on the fence - making a few bootable USBs or live CDs is really easy these days. Give a few a no-commitment spin before installing anything permanently. If you can find a distro that MOSTLY suits you out-of-the-box, then the transition will probably be more like jumping into a hot tub, rather than an ice bath. I really like Zenwalk/Slackware, but coming from Windows, something Debian-based (i.e. Ubuntu) is probably going to be an easier adjustment.
-Once you find one you like, if you can set up your current machine to dual-boot, absolutely go for it. Even if you keep linux in its own seperate partition, you can generally install a third-party NTFS file system driver. That'll let you access files from the windows partition at will while running linux. I still have a multi-boot setup like this, and it's handy for me because I have programs that must be run natively on different versions of windows, but for manipulating their output files, I need a linux-only tool. In short, you should be able to get started with a new OS by dual-booting, and not have to worry about copying all your files over right away (i.e. not unless you want to ditch windows altogether).
-The WINE user community is generally very helpful. I don't honestly know much about WINE itself beyond a few basic config details, because info on how to run a certain program well with it tends to be widely available.
Well, I've been tinkering around with Lubuntu for a few days now. It definitely has a certain charm despite being a bit less intuitive than Windows. I found a great deal of tutorials to help me as well. Due to Doom Builder 2's inability to work through WINE, I'm gonna transition to Slade and see how viable it is as a map editor.
Well I compiled ZDoom last night, and IT WORKS! For an old pro like you that's probably child's play, but for me it was a Herculean effort. At least I learned a lot in the process. Now I just need to compile Slade and I'll basically be good to go. I've already got Steam, Audacity, and OpenOffice running, which are three of my most used Windows programs, so perhaps in the next few months I could divest myself of Windows altogether.
Last Edit: Dec 24, 2015 11:06:45 GMT -5 by Deleted
A small update: I am still enjoying Linux, but now I really want to get started on mapping in this new OS. I actually made a post about this on the ZDoom forums. Basically the gist of the post was that neither Slade nor Eureka really fits the bill as far as the type of mapping I want to do, so despite it's finicky nature I do need Doom Builder 1 or 2 if I'm going to map effectively. I've read just about every how-to thread and followed the instructions as well as I can, but for the life of me I cannot get DB1 or DB2 to work in Wine, even after configuring Winetricks appropriately. I'm hoping that someone will show up with a tutorial or at least a hint for me on how to get DB to work in Wine.
But honestly what would really be cool is if CodeImp decided to just port Doom Builder 2 to Linux, although my guess is that that is way harder than it sounds due to Doom Builder's dependencies on .dlls and .net framework stuff.
Last Edit: Dec 31, 2015 14:33:55 GMT -5 by Deleted
I finally got Doom Builder 2 to work in Wine by configuring Winetricks. I now understand that there are two types of .cfgs, 32-bit and 64-bit, and that you can switch between them by renaming the folder as needed. I also got a reply from Simon Judd(SLADE's creator), and apparently sometime in the near future he is going to do some video tutorials for SLADE's map editor function.
I decided to take the plunge in earnest and deleted my Windows partition entirely. I'm glad I switched to Linux. The whole OS seems more geared to my personality type.