Join us on our own very special Reddit: /r/Linuxers

War Thunder, the huge free to play online battle game across land, sea and air just had a huge game engine upgrade with the latest release.

Something that has been in progress for a long time, is that the Linux version got Vulkan support as the default now too. This is a feature our contributor BTRE interviewed the CEO of Gaijin Entertainment, Anton Yudintsev, for back in 2018 so we've been waiting some time on it. With their Dagor Engine 6.0, it brings with it tons of visual upgrades and enhancements to existing graphics.

It's not just new visuals though. They're also adding in the first vertical take-off and landing aircraft, 14 new or upgraded tanks, a rework of naval progression and the introduction of Dreadnoughts and much more. Check out the trailer:

YouTube Thumbnail
YouTube videos require cookies, you must accept their cookies to view. View cookie preferences.
Accept Cookies & Show   Direct Link

They also announced their own Battle Pass system is coming, which will be a Seasonal item you can unlock items for free on or purchase it to access everything from it. So it sounds like the same system a lot of other free to play online games use.

Currently, they're still working out some of the major kinks in the Vulkan renderer and the update has caused quite a big mess on Linux. For starters, it seems in my own testing it no longer runs directly from Steam, instead I had to run the launcher directly from the folder. Additionally, I've seen that if you're on the xorg display server, you're likely to see a black screen whenever the launcher or game is in focus. Apparently the game works well on the newer Wayland display server. Hopefully they will fix those quirks soon because it stops it being playable for a lot of Linux users.

Update: 19/11/20 - all black screen issues appear to be solved! The game performance seems massively better than when it was using OpenGL. They still need to fix it launching directly from Steam, as of this date you need to manually run the game / launcher. However, if you add this as a Steam launch option it makes it work for now to run directly from Steam:

env LD_PRELOAD="" %command%

Right click the game -> Properties -> Set Launch Options… and then enter that.

Update: 20/11/20 - the workaround to launch directly from Steam is no longer needed, and the Steam Overlay now works with it too.

You can download War Thunder for Linux direct from the website or Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Free Game, MMO, Steam, Vulkan | Apps: War Thunder
11 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
53 comments
Page: 1/6»
  Go to:

Termy 18 Nov
So still the same issues with vulkan that have been there for years now - and they just declared it to "stable".
Especially the black screen issue was there since the first time you could try out the vulkan renderer...
On the one hand it's good they support linux at all, on the other hand, the native client is in a sorry state for several years and seems to be treated as a second class...who am i kidding - seventeenth class citizen ever since :/

It worked well with proton, but since EAC got introduced thats no longer an option for realistic and simulator battles...
Korhaka 18 Nov
So that explains why the game is now unplayable for me. You would think 2 years is enough time to work this stuff out, or at least give people the option and tell them about it. I would test the vulkan version every few months and it has always been broken, failing to even get as far as seeing the login screen. Comments about it would be dismissed as "its only beta", so I gave up trying.

Hopefully now they have pushed it out they will actually fix it, apparently if it actually works you get a huge performance bonus compared to OpenGL.


Last edited by Korhaka on 18 November 2020 at 10:14 am UTC
Samsai 18 Nov
Yup, the problem seems Xorg specific. Works just fine here on Wayland from what I'm seeing, except for the fact that it doesn't launch from Steam and you must fire it up manually. Maybe you peeps just need to get with the times? :P
I don't know, it's a black screen on xorg, but on wayland I'm getting a graphic initialization error and incompatible vulkan driver version error right after =\

I watched an interview with the producer (I think) and they said they are not really investing into linux, because while it works somewhat it's fine, but no major investment/improvement planned because linux is such a mess.

That's very disappointing since I think War Thunder was the first game I managed to run back in 2013 when I've started my switch to linux.
[quote=Termy][quote=Korhaka]
Same issue here, yet got it fixed.

When running WarThunder native (without Steam) under Kubuntu or other distros, the window manager doesn't succeed in selecting the Vulkan-window as the active foreground window.

I found the solution here in the WT forum, cf. below TheRiddick, Oct. 26

Hence I run

killall kwin_x11
(and optionally) xrandr --output DP-0 --gamma 0.92

before starting WT via the "launcher" file in //media/USERNAME/DRIVE/WarThunder/linux64

The difference is quite impressive, with OpenGL I got 30-40 fps (20 when flying over towns) on medium settings, now I get 60-70 fps (40-50 over towns) on high with most sliders set to the max.
Termy 18 Nov
[quote=Cecco_d_Ascoli][quote=Termy]
Quoting: KorhakaSame issue here, yet got it fixed.

When running WarThunder native (without Steam) under Kubuntu or other distros, the window manager doesn't succeed in selecting the Vulkan-window as the active foreground window.

I found the solution here in the WT forum, cf. below TheRiddick, Oct. 26

Hence I run

killall kwin_x11
(and optionally) xrandr --output DP-0 --gamma 0.92

before starting WT via the "launcher" file in //media/USERNAME/DRIVE/WarThunder/linux64

The difference is quite impressive, with OpenGL I got 30-40 fps (20 when flying over towns) on medium settings, now I get 60-70 fps (40-50 over towns) on high with most sliders set to the max.

yeah i know about that - but i don't really want to kill my session to play a game. I've pretty much given up on WT, and for the occasional AB i use proton which gives me 4-5 times the FPS on max compared to openGL on min details...


Last edited by Termy on 18 November 2020 at 11:18 am UTC
CatKiller 18 Nov
Quoting: Lord_PhoenixI watched an interview with the producer (I think) and they said they are not really investing into linux, because while it works somewhat it's fine, but no major investment/improvement planned because linux is such a mess.

For clarification, if that's their position, they're saying that Linux is not supported, which means that no one should give them money in exchange for their Linux support.

Like a Proton title, that lack of support from the developer means that the product just isn't worth as much as if it were supported.
[quote=Cecco_d_Ascoli][quote=Termy][quote=Korhaka]

Understandable, before they introduced EAC, I preferred (Vulkan for Windows through) Proton as well, yet I only play mixed RB and thus don't really have a choice.


Last edited by Cecco_d_Ascoli on 18 November 2020 at 11:31 am UTC
Nanobang 18 Nov
Quoting: SamsaiYup, the problem seems Xorg specific. Works just fine here on Wayland from what I'm seeing, except for the fact that it doesn't launch from Steam and you must fire it up manually. Maybe you peeps just need to get with the times? :P

I love everything about Wayland, except that it doesn't play nice with Nvidia --- unless that's changed recently.


Quoting: Lord_PhoenixI watched an interview with the producer (I think) and they said they are not really investing into linux, because while it works somewhat it's fine, but no major investment/improvement planned because linux is such a mess.

Though I'm grateful for everything Valve has done for Linux gaming, the one place where I feel they've dropped the ball is in creating and maintaining a standard Linux for Steam gaming. Originally it was Ubuntu 12.04, wasn't it? And/or SteamOS? But in the first case they never updated it and in the second it never left beta, I think. (When did SteamOS have it's last update, anyway?) Perhaps valve could/should have taken a page from Microsoft's playbook and actively promoted it and working with devs developing for Linux/SteamOS.
CatKiller 18 Nov
Quoting: NanobangThough I'm grateful for everything Valve has done for Linux gaming, the one place where I feel they've dropped the ball is in creating and maintaining a standard Linux for Steam gaming. Originally it was Ubuntu 12.04, wasn't it? And/or SteamOS?

They did. It was the Steam Linux Runtime, which was based on the libraries that were in Ubuntu 12.04. If developers targeted that rather than any particular distro, they'd have many fewer things to deal with. The issues with that implementation, and the things they've done to improve it since, are detailed in some recent videos that Liam put up some articles about. They're worth a watch.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
Login / Register

Or login with...
Sign in with Steam Sign in with Twitter Sign in with Google
Social logins require cookies to stay logged in.

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts