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Laminar Research have now released a huge upgrade to their flight simulator with X-Plane 11.50, which brings in lots of rendering changes and advancements.

A massive release, since they completely rewrote their rendering engine to provide Vulkan (on Windows and Linux systems) and Metal (on Mac). This should provide X-Plane 11 players with smoother frame rates, with far less stuttering and better performance overall. For the Linux version you need at least NVIDIA 440.26 and for AMD they're supporting the 'official AMD GPU drivers' along with amdvlk but they didn't state any particular version.

Pictured - X-Plane 11.50 on Linux.

What else does it bring in? Looking over what they've done it adds:

  • 498 new airports
  • 1,742 airports had either no scenery or 2D-only scenery in 11.40, but have 3-D scenery in 11.50
  • 2,427 airports gained some new scenery
  • Tons of bug fixes

That's a huge amount that went into it, all in addition to a much more modern and performant rendering engine.

It may take a while for things to settle down, especially when it comes to all the addons since a lot of them need updating for the new systems. According to the release announcement, it's a staggered release. With the standalone you can manually check for an update, whereas on Steam it's still in a Beta branch but it seems they will push that to the main install for everyone tomorrow.

You can pick up X-Plane 11 on Steam and their website.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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21 comments
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Ehvis 10 Sep
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I've held off on testing the Vulkan renderer so far. Mostly because I've been busy with other things. But it looks like it's time to give it a spin again!
AzP 10 Sep
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Interesting! I've seen many comments (from the developers I think) that the graphics engine really isn't their main bottleneck, but more or less "everything else". But another native Vulkan-based engine is always welcome!

I'm looking forward to tests of it on Phoronix (or other sites).


Last edited by AzP on 10 September 2020 at 1:40 pm UTC
slaapliedje 10 Sep
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Quoting: AzPInteresting! I've seen many comments (from the developers I think) that the graphics engine really isn't their main bottleneck, but more or less "everything else". But another native Vulkan-based engine is always welcome!

I'm looking forward to tests of it on Phoronix (or other sites).
I could be wrong here, but moving to Vulkan should make the VR stuff work in Linux? As I believe native Vulkan is a requirement at this point?

So there is that... which also means I should really dig into it with my overly expensive Thrustmaster Warthog set up + Valve Index :)
Ehvis 10 Sep
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Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: AzPInteresting! I've seen many comments (from the developers I think) that the graphics engine really isn't their main bottleneck, but more or less "everything else". But another native Vulkan-based engine is always welcome!

I'm looking forward to tests of it on Phoronix (or other sites).
I could be wrong here, but moving to Vulkan should make the VR stuff work in Linux? As I believe native Vulkan is a requirement at this point?

So there is that... which also means I should really dig into it with my overly expensive Thrustmaster Warthog set up + Valve Index :)

Nah, that worked with OpenGL as well. What didn't work were the index controllers since the default bindings left you without the ability to interact.

Performance wasn't the main focus of going Vulkan. It was really about getting the rendering engine into a debuggable state where they could actually fix things according to real data instead of having to guess where the OpenGL driver was having issues. This in turn should (eventually) lead to a stutter free flying experience. Having a more modern platform for the future was of course a thing as well. Eventually they will have to overhaul the weather (rendering) engine.
bisbyx 10 Sep
Whenever I see "linux support" and "VR support"... I feel like that doesn't always guarantee "VR on Linux support"

linux + valve index + this game = ?
slaapliedje 10 Sep
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Quoting: Ehvis
Quoting: slaapliedje
Quoting: AzPInteresting! I've seen many comments (from the developers I think) that the graphics engine really isn't their main bottleneck, but more or less "everything else". But another native Vulkan-based engine is always welcome!

I'm looking forward to tests of it on Phoronix (or other sites).
I could be wrong here, but moving to Vulkan should make the VR stuff work in Linux? As I believe native Vulkan is a requirement at this point?

So there is that... which also means I should really dig into it with my overly expensive Thrustmaster Warthog set up + Valve Index :)

Nah, that worked with OpenGL as well. What didn't work were the index controllers since the default bindings left you without the ability to interact.

Performance wasn't the main focus of going Vulkan. It was really about getting the rendering engine into a debuggable state where they could actually fix things according to real data instead of having to guess where the OpenGL driver was having issues. This in turn should (eventually) lead to a stutter free flying experience. Having a more modern platform for the future was of course a thing as well. Eventually they will have to overhaul the weather (rendering) engine.
From my understanding of it, that would have required OpenGL to Vulkan wrapper? As I thought SteamVR only supported Vulkan on Linux. Granted, I could be completely wrong.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/250820/discussions/5/133261370000921428/


Last edited by slaapliedje on 10 September 2020 at 4:55 pm UTC
vipor29 10 Sep
probably runs better than microsoft flight sim too
Eike 10 Sep
I bet they had Berlin's new airport ready before Berlin had? :D
I've been trying to get this game to work for weeks on Void. I had it running on Arch months ago, but for some strange reason it does not work on Void. I get no sound and it crashes whenever it's done with the initial load. If anyone wants to help I have more details here - I would be super grateful for any help.
slaapliedje 10 Sep
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Quoting: vipor29probably runs better than microsoft flight sim too
Ha, I bought FS 2020, tried to run it, it asked me to log in... tried to find my old hotmail address, finally got in, it said it needed the xbox live app.. I grumbled, installed it, then it proceeded to crash to the desktop before even trying to download the data. So I promptly removed the game, removed the xbox live crap, and refunded the damn thing.
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