Stats show Linux now a "viable" game platform

Originally published at: Stats show Linux now a "viable" game platform | Boing Boing


We’ll always have nethack.


There, fixed it for you.


“Linux is now a “viable” game platform for those who would rather fiddlefuck with game and OS settings than actually play a game” - fixed your headline for you.


“viable desktop platform” - hey, it’s been MY viable desktop for 20 years. If it’s not meeting YOUR needs, that’s hardly my problem. :slight_smile:


Same here.

Linux will never attain the mainstream benchmark of what makes a ‘viable’ desktop platform, but who cares? It works for me and many thousands of others.

And it’s not as fiddly as some people seem to think it is.

I do more fiddling and teeth-gnashing when I try to get my Windows machine to behave the way I want. Don’t even mention MacOS - I can’t even.


I remember when it was only 1% for MacOS users too.


I just did my first build in over a decade, installed Ubuntu and Steam, and was surprised to find that about 1/3rd of the titles in my library were compatible. Unfortunately I need visual studio and ended up getting windows license, now they’re all compatible.


The way this story was written is silly and demeaning. I tossed out Windows two years ago, and have found it to be a sheer joy to no longer have to worry about ransomware, malware, telemetry, having my machine seized by an update process while in use, and so forth.

Since the pandemic began I’ve played over a dozen recent games and a handful of older ones on Proton and other variants of Wine. A few of them required some setup options to be set, but the information was easy to find.

Microsoft retains a lock on much of the software industry due to its decades of monopolistic practices. As a result the other platforms including Linux are stuck having to chase after their file format updates, device driver changes, and security features that are often complicated by DMCA protections.

I have nothing but admiration for the people who swim upstream against the current of those who want to “weld the hood shut” on our computing devices. Linux has made tremendous progress in recent years and is much further along than this article suggests.


This is great. I just started playing around with Steam on the Linux side of my new laptop.


You know, I’ve always wondered how people manage to get that bad at computers that they need to do that constantly, then I watched a youtube video by a moron who was going to show “how to get your linux system working to play games”, and I realised the problem. He was an idiot. Here are the things he did wrong:

  1. Picked a random weird and obscure distribution that maybe six people have heard of before (seriously, Ubuntu just works these days, for pretty much anything you need. If you’re new and don’t want to fuck with shit, use that)
  2. Decided that he was clearly smarter than the people writing the instructions, and ignored important steps like “know what video card you’ve got and install the right drivers” - which wouldn’t have even been needed if he’d just used a common distro, since even freakin’ CentOS (the one that’s all about doing science, and doesn’t care about games or office work) auto-detects all modern video cards and auto-installs the right drivers. So he was using NVidia drivers, and an AMD card, and got no video.
  3. Decided to randomly delete shit, because that’s totally a good way to ensure that things are going to work. Seriously, if you’ve only got a 250G hard disk, don’t install every package in existence, and if you’re removing things, use the package manager to do it, instead of being a moron and typing things like “rm -rf /user/bin”.
  4. Did things you’re supposed to do as a normal user as root, because he was a lazy ass and couldn’t be bothered switching back and forth, or using the sudo command.

Seriously, it’s like he was deliberately setting himself up to fail so he could point to that and say “nope, still gotta use windows, Linux is impossible!” - despite billing himself as a Computers and Linux expert somehow.

Meanwhile, I’ve been playing current games on Linux just fine for the last ten years and more, with zero problems. I haven’t even used a Windows system since the 90s, because I haven’t needed to, and frankly I find them awkward, slow, and annoying.


This is y how our natively-compiled cross-platform product is used across platforms: ~1% Linux, 10% macOs, the rest all Windows. Very mainstream product, too. macOS Users leave a bit more money, but that’s probably because there are no cheap Macs out there.

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My only experience with Linux is watching CS major roommates beat their heads against it trying to make it do super-basic things like recognize devices or function in any useful way at all. I know that was a while ago, but it’s really tainted my perception of it

That’s like saying “my only experience with air planes was watching the Wright Brothers crash them when driving them off of cliffs, I know it was a while ago, but it’s really tainted my perception of them”.


Sure, but if G’ma barely managed to crawl away from a plane wreck in 1920 as a little girl, she might be understandably hesitant to board a 777 today.


Yeah, but we had working operating systems back then. It’s more akin to someone bumbling along trying to innovate the first ‘Flying Contraption’ out of sticks while a passenger jet flies overhead


I thought about playing video games so I tried the original Zelda game online with a USB Nintendo controller. I quit after about 30 minutes. I considered a Nintendo Switch. The games are ~$50 each. I’m glad I never got hooked on this habit.

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That must’ve been super long ago. At times when even Windows was truly shitty to work with, when you had to do weird interrupt settings to get some device recognised. Thankfully, that’s past us, I even forgot the original problem.

(Wrote medical software back then, interacting with sensors. Man, was that a shitshow … what was a reliable, easy way on MacOS X - opening /dev/cu.serial –something to read was plug and pray and reboot and FIRST enter the plug THEN turn on the device. But I digress. Edit: Linux would’ve worked too. I did some long term data capture on linux, as opening serial devices basically works the same on Linux as it does on “real” UNIX systems like MacOS. But the customer had mostly Windows customers and a handful of MacOS customers, but no one with Linux.)

I actually started on Linux when one had to calculate the graphic card settings by hand to get X11 running, but switched fully to Mac as soon as they switched to X, but I still use it headless because it runs well on cheap hardware.

Personally, I still don’t get its appeal as a desktop machine. From what I’ve seen at my colleague’s workstation, it’s still years behind the others and I generally run circles around him on the command line, the one thing where Linux is as good if not a bit better than macOS. Something many are apparently giving up upon, because it seems to become harder to find Linux tool that don’t come with a mandatory interface when a command line tool would be far superior.




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