Linux Mint and gaming with Steam...

Discussion in 'Windows & Other OS Discussion & Support' started by jandarsun8, Sep 3, 2015.

  1. jandarsun8

    jandarsun8 Active Member

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    Anyone playing around with Linux lately? I've started playing around with some different flavors of it since the Steam hardware has come out and so far Linux Mint seems to be the best version for gaming as far as I can tell (besides Steams OS itself which I haven't tried yet) so I thought I'd ask what versions you guys have/are using?

    So far, I've only installed it on a couple of laptops, Dell E6400, Lenovo T410 and W520 series however I'm putting together my old AMD phenom II 6 core to see how well it really handles games thru Steam.

    Of the different versions of Linux I've tried, Mint seemed to be the only one that I could get Steam to install and play on. Ubuntu, which is what everyone originally recommended, wouldn't complete the install of Steam no matter which laptop I used, and honestly I didn't care for it at all. It seemed to be have really been dumb down for easy access to everything yet not really give you the technical information I was looking for like Video card settings or even what hardware it recognized. It was really generic on everything which I didn't care for.

    Steam would install on SUSE but not launch correctly. It kept getting errors that I couldn't fix. Since this was the main reason of installing Linux, I didn't really play around with this Distro much.

    Mint comes with VLC for video and music, GIMP for picture editing and Firefox preloaded on it and if you install Open Office, your pretty much all set for free.

    With the laptops, I haven't really ran into driver issues, all three systems had everything working right after install so I'm hoping that once the desktop is up and running, I'll be able to game with it decently enough especially with Steam pushing their own hardware and Linux support, that I'll be moving away from Windows. I love Windows 10 but I'm kind of excited about learning something completely different and I love that Steam is pushing this a long. It's probably the biggest reason for not moving to Linux sooner was lack of game support.

    The one thing that I haven't done much of is domain access and AD controls with Linux on a Server 2012 Windows Domain but that's a different issue all together.

    Anyway, thought I'd see what you have ran into with gaming with Linux.
     
  2. Trusteft

    Trusteft HH's Asteroids' Dominator

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    I have no recent experience with Linux, last time I tried it was when Ubuntu first came out.
    I am considering it though as I see MS becomes more and more big brother-ish and I don't care for it.
    The problem is that very few games support Linux, although there seems to be a trend change that.
    I have one gaming pc (a laptop) and I am simply not going to lose support for all of my games to have a small portion of them keep working. I don't have a second gaming PC to just install linux, so I am not actually doing anything like installing it. At least for now.
     
  3. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    It's interesting that Steam installed correctly for you on Mint, having previously failed on Ubuntu because Mint is, effectively, Ubuntu (much more so than Ubuntu is Debian). Mint, however, is the most user-friendly for users migrating from Windows. Come to think of it, if you're using an AMD graphics card and Ubuntu automatically chose one set of drivers (open source) but Mint chose another (proprietary) that would explain it - Steam does not like it if you're running the open source AMD Drivers so you'll need to run the proprietary drivers. You can change the drivers that are being used in Ubuntu Software Centre > Edit > Software Sources > Additional Drivers.
    In case you haven't come across it already I'd recommend downloading and installing Play On Linux, which automatically configures the necessary Linux options (including Wine) to allow you to install Windows applications on Linux. Note that if you have Windows games on Steam that you want to play on Linux then you will need to install Steam through Play On Linux as well, which is a separate version of Steam to the one that you install natively.

    You may want to look into working towards a Windows KVM, which is where you can dedicate a graphics card to a Windows virtual machine. You'd need two graphics cards for that, however, though an onboard graphics card should work there, where you tell Linux to use one graphics card and the virtual machine the other. During the configuration you'd need to physically unplug the monitor from one graphics card and connect it to the other but once finished you could use Steam's in-home streaming option to play the games once the virtual machine is up and running.
    This is just an option, however, which you may or may not want to look into. It's one step further than Play On Linux.

    I have personally used CentOS, Mint and Ubuntu with good results. I use Ubuntu at work and I've toyed with running it on my main PC. The difficulty for me to run it as a daily driver is that I program in VB.NET (and currently learning C#) and depend heavily on Microsoft Office and Photoshop CS6. Libre Office is my preferred Linux suite but there are some aspects that just don't work quite as well as MS Office. For most people, however, Libre Office is more than adequate and they would probably prefer it over MS Office.
    I did try installing Linux on my laptop but, sadly, the system kept freezing, even in single user mode. It's a touchy laptop, though, even with Windows on it.
    I'm considering installing Arch at some point, probably in a VM, because you have to work from the ground up, forcing you to learn the CLI. I've also contemplated installing it on a PC that is dedicated for gaming at a friend's home but everyone else there is running Windows with Windows games and may be completely alienated by Linux; it's probably just going to cause unnecessary complications.

    For anyone interested in installing Linux and you have an Nvidia graphics card DO NOT install the drivers from the Nvidia website. Use this PPA instead:
    Code:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:mamarley/nvidia
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install nvidia-XXX
    Where XXX is the version of the Nvidia drivers to install. If you need to find the latest version of the drivers I would recommend installing aptitude for an easy way to search the available installation packages:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install aptitude
    aptitude search nvidia
    That will bring back the available packages with "Nvidia" in the name. You should see an entry like "nvidia-415" so in that instance you would run:
    Code:
    sudo aptitude install nvidia-415
     
  4. jandarsun8

    jandarsun8 Active Member

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    Hey Takaharu, thanks for the reply and suggestions. I've been swamped working some side jobs since Sept so haven't delved into this to much as of yet however I did try installing Linux Mint on my old AMD 6 core and having quite a few issues with it not recognizing drivers for the board (Gigabyte doesn't have any Linux drivers available for it at all) so I'm still working on this.

    The Lenovo W520 laptop is working pretty slick though. It's got an i7 in it with 16 gigs of ram, 256 SSD drive in it, Nvidia vid card and everything is pulling up fine in that. I've been able to play Serious Sam 3, Portal 2 and Borderlands 2 through Steam on Mint without it being played through Wine so I thought that was cool. Graphics and game play were both smooth as silk for all three. Again I have to do some more testing with it as I have a lot to learn with Linux yet and I'm not to familiar with either Wine or Play on Linux but so far I'm really loving this.

    I'm not sure what to do with the Gigabyte box at this point, with the W520 working as well as it is, I'm going to try and get it working as I'll prob learn a lot trying to get it going but my time may better spent working on the laptop that's already working and playing around with Wine and Play on Linux instead. With no Gigabyte drivers to be found, it may be a lost cause anyway? Anyway, have a good one man and thanks.

    Jand.
     
  5. Takaharu

    Takaharu Unus offa, unus iuguolo

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    Out of interest, what aspects of the motherboard were not working correctly?

    On a side note I managed to get Mint running smoothly on my laptop and, just recently on my main desktop PC. So, I'll be toying with that some more on my main PC.
     

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