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I'm sure this will excite some of our readers who are fans of game streaming: NVIDIA has added the ability to play GeForce NOW game streaming via the browser.

Currently, it's limited to ChromeOS and Chromebooks as per their announcement. However, you can easily get around that because of how stupidly flawed browser agent strings are. Spoofing it is easy, although it only works in Chrome and not Firefox from my own testing. Just grab a User Agent Switcher plugin (like this), then add this as an option:

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; CrOS x86_64 13099.85.0) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/84.0.4147.110 Safari/537.36

That allows NVIDIA GeForce NOW to run on desktop Linux, simply in a Chrome browser. Just like Google Stadia has been able to since release. Here's a video of it in action on my Linux desktop:

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Well, how about that? Another barrier broken down for Linux gaming fans. Surprisingly it did actually work really well. Input was responsive and the picture quality was really good.

NVIDIA GeForce NOW is quite different to Stadia, in that it uses games you have in your library across Steam, Origin, Ubisoft, Epic Games and more. However, if you wish to play past 1 hour, you have to pay a monthly subscription. The integration also feels far weaker than Stadia, which is a proper platform. On GeForce NOW, it's clearly Windows machines in the cloud to the point of hearing the Windows 10 ping sound when you click around as it doesn't let you. Stadia feels much tighter as a system and platform but GeForce NOW has the big benefit of games being available locally on your system as you "own" them as well as streaming them which Stadia does not, Stadia can only stream the games.

Obviously, at this point NVIDIA are not supporting the Linux desktop with GeForce NOW in any way and it could break any time - so keep that in mind. A mod on the community GFN Reddit did indicate this looks like the direction NVIDIA are going (having it in the browser), to open it up to more. Options are good for everyone though of course and we're just here to bring the tips.

You can try it on play.geforcenow.com.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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64 comments
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Hori 19 Aug
Quoting: elmapul
Quoting: Alm888
Quoting: elmapuli dont know if the developers were going to drop support for linux anyway or proton was the issue.
Agreed, guessing "What Have been if…" is a mug's game.
Quoting: elmapulyes, but we were comparing proton to gfn, not proton to oem windows...
Correct. And that is a downside.
On the plus side, though, GFN provides support for some games that are not (and will likely never be) available trough Proton™, like Fortnite® and all "anticheat" games.
So, overall GFN is net-positive for Linux.

cloud gaming in general has some issues like:
being an perfect DRM (if the game is cloud exclusive)
killing video game preservation (if the game is exclusive to the cloud and the game/service is discontinued)

those are serious issues, but on the flip side, we can find the perfect anti cheat system, without putting backdoors in the players machines.
You also don't need a thousand dollar gaming PC which is also a bit of an advantage. Not much, just a little.
Rooster 19 Aug
Quoting: Alm888
Quoting: elmapulactually steam will count the sale as an linux sale, if you play it on proton
Means nothing. British people have a proverb starting with "If it flies like a duck…" :)
All most developers care about is whether a user purchases their product or not. And in Proton's case, a user purchases their Windows product, so it is for all intents and purposes (s)he is a Windows user. How (s)he will play the game afterwards is of no importance. Yes, some developers are willing to "support" Proton™. While others are more than happy to mock "Linux gamers" on Twitter or in interviews. As I've said, it all comes down to the person responsible. What would happen it Proton™ did not exist? Maybe that kind developer that "supports" it would make a native version instead? Who knows?

Then it is the developers fault for wrongly evaluating market data. Right now, it doesn't matter to the devs because it is such a small percentage that it doesn't make sense financially to care about the 0.05% market which plays their game using Proton. But imagine if it was something like 20%. Would the developer take this into consideration when developing their new game? Dumb developer won't. Smart developer surely will. They would make sure their next game works on Proton as well. Or they might even decide to develop a Linux native version because of this data.

Of course, that is hypothetical scenario, which is far from the current situation. But that doesn't make me responsible for a developer wrongly evaluating me as Windows user, just because I play their game using a compatibility layer, when they clearly have access to this data.
I like to think of GeForce NOW as a tool to play games that currently don't run in Proton / Wine, especially due to Anti-Cheat. Otherwise, use native ports and Wine/Proton whenever you can.

Here is a list of games to consider. There are a few "Native Linux" games that work well and are listed. Those and can be ignored and played bare-metal.

The GFN in Wine on Lutris has also had big improvement in bandwidth utilization and steam sync is fixed.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Hj0n6WiYMbXOq6TlFRmxvcDque5SZN7CDKyZ-pm7gRk/edit#gid=0

If anything is missing on the list, please help us get it added.


Last edited by Xaero_Vincent on 19 August 2020 at 2:17 am UTC
Shmerl 19 Aug
Quoting: Xaero_VincentI like to think of GeForce NOW as a tool to play games that currently don't run in Proton / Wine, especially due to Anti-Cheat. Otherwise, use native ports and Wine/Proton whenever you can.

Well, if you think one step further, why they work through it, it's because they run on Windows.
CatKiller 19 Aug
Quoting: Alm888Proton™

This is really obnoxious.
Alm888 19 Aug
Quoting: elmapulcloud gaming in general has some issues like:
being an perfect DRM (if the game is cloud exclusive)
killing video game preservation (if the game is exclusive to the cloud and the game/service is discontinued)

those are serious issues, but on the flip side, we can find the perfect anti cheat system, without putting backdoors in the players machines.
That is a particular case of a greater problem: server-side dependency.
What if a game is a native Linux one (like "War Thunder"), but is solely multiplayer with server-based infrastructure? If the servers get offline, that's it.
Or if a game uses Valves' servers for match-making. If those go puff, that's it (number two).
In order to circumvent this problem, we need to own games in full, including network infrastructure.
Streaming gaming is just one small step to the logical conclusion: games as a service. Some say we are already there.
I loathe DRM, so I personally will not use Steam (till it drops its DRM client and server-shackles, which probably will never happen)., but it is a general consensus, that the ability to play has a priority.
So, gaming first, ideological preferences second. If you need Proton™ to play a game, so be it. If you need Stadia™, so be it. If you need GeForce Now, so be it. If you need PlayStation 5, so be it.
But if one insists on ideological part of things, then I do not understand this faint-heartedness, bashing one thing (GeForce Now), but totally tolerating the other (Steam). It is either/or in my opinion.
At least, GeForce Now™ is better than Stadia™: it relies on ones' owned games on other stores and provides just streaming service, not "games as a service".
Quoting: Rooster…a developer wrongly evaluating me as Windows user…
Oh, come on! They are not wrong. In a financial way of thinking, at least. They are making Windows™ games and you are purchasing their Windows™ games. And everyone is happy. They will not lose you as a customer if they target only Windows™ in their future products. In this light, technical details are of no importance. Let Valve figure them out.
Rooster 19 Aug
Quoting: Alm888Oh, come on! They are not wrong. In a financial way of thinking, at least. They are making Windows™ games and you are purchasing their Windows™ games. And everyone is happy. They will not lose you as a customer if they target only Windows™ in their future products. In this light, technical details are of no importance. Let Valve figure them out.

Yes they will, if their new game doesn't work through Proton. Or at the very least, I will not buy the game on day 1, but wait until it works in Proton and buy it on sale. Either way, they are losing money on me due to only targeting Windows. Proving they are wrong in financial way of thinking.
Hori 19 Aug
For anyone interested, I've created an Electron application for GeForce Now.

https://github.com/hmlendea/geforcenow-electron

I also made a PKGBUILD for Arch-based distrois: https://github.com/hmlendea/PKGBUILDs/tree/master/pkg/geforcenow-electron

If anyone has issues or suggestions, please create an issue on GitHub.
The way this app works was based on this article: It opens the GFN page with the same custom User Agent string mentioned here.
It's just that you have it separate from Chrome/Firefox/whatever and you don't have to mess with UA-changing extensions.


Last edited by Hori on 19 August 2020 at 11:47 am UTC
dpanter 19 Aug
Quoting: AsciiWolfDoes not seem to work on my Fedora 32 machine running Chromium with Chrome OS user agent. I get a "0xC0F2220E" error every time I try to launch some game. Maybe I am missing some codecs?
Same on Debian sid. I assume we need Chrome, or Vivaldi (as mentioned by Massinissa).
Grazen 19 Aug
Quoting: DribbleondoYou own games you purchase via stadia.

You *own* the games as much on Stadia as you do on Steam - in fact the licenses are similar across Steam / PlayStation / Xbox etcetera. People in the Linux community seem to be confused about what "owning" a game means... users are licensing games... big difference. The fact that you can't store every game that you license locally on Stadia is a different issue - but then I don't store every game I license via Steam or any other platform locally either. TO do so would be a tad... anal.


Last edited by Grazen on 19 August 2020 at 4:44 pm UTC
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