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BeamNG.drive gets experimental Native Linux support

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With the new 0.25 release of BeamNG.drive, the developers have now put up an experimental Native Linux version for you to try and give feedback.

What is it? BeamNG.drive is a driving sim based on realism. They have spent a long time on their sim, along with their soft-body physics engine simulating all parts of their vehicles in real-time that they say results in "true-to-life behavior". It's a huge game on Steam, with an Overwhelmingly Positive review score from over 100,000 users.

From the release announcement:

With the release of 0.25 we are including EXPERIMENTAL support for BeamNG Linux. We know that this is something a number of you have wanted for some time, and it seems the time has come to give our players the chance to experiment with this.

Since this is an experimental work in progress product, we do not offer customer support for BeamNG on Linux. This product may be buggy, crashy, unstable or all of the above, but if you are a Linux enthusiast we encourage you to try it out.

Your feedback will be invaluable in helping us get a properly supported version of BeamNG for Linux. In case of questions, please make use of this thread, but make sure to read the guidelines first.

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Ehvis 15 Jun
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Did not expect that!

Since you didn't mention it, I went and checked whether I could find the Linux depot, but that doesn't exist. It turns out they included the Linux binaries in the Windows depot, but did add a separate Linux configuration. First time I see it done like that. Does that actually work properly in the Steam client?
slaapliedje 15 Jun
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Interesting. Wonder if we'll eventually actually see things like The Witcher 3 (4?) be native. How many Devs will be like 'hey, it's finally happening, let's port for Deck!'?
You know, I feel like ever since the Steam Deck got going, contrary to some of the more pessimistic predictions, and even my own broad expectation, there have actually been more native Linux ports. People were thinking that with Proton working pretty dashed well, and Proton being to a fair extent the face of the Steam deck, developers wouldn't be bothering to do native versions but instead would rely on Proton. I thought so too, I just figured it would be worth it and eventually reverse if the Deck led to greatly increased Linux market share.

But even at this early stage, just looking at the native games mentioned here at GoL lately, it feels like that isn't how it's working. Instead it's like the Steam Deck has increased the visibility of Linux again so more developers are thinking about it and feeling like it's a viable platform. Sure, there's quite a lot of tweaking Windows versions to work better with Proton and/or the Deck, which itself may be an improvement since in the past a lot of those games wouldn't have had Linux versions, they just wouldn't have been tweaked. But I've been surprised how many articles I'm seeing about Linux versions of stuff, sometimes unexpected Linux versions of stuff. Maybe it's a false impression, I haven't exactly done a survey. But the native Linux front feels surprisingly positive to me lately.


Last edited by Purple Library Guy on 15 June 2022 at 4:36 pm UTC
slaapliedje 15 Jun
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Quoting: Purple Library GuyYou know, I feel like ever since the Steam Deck got going, contrary to some of the more pessimistic predictions, and even my own broad expectation, there have actually been more native Linux ports. People were thinking that with Proton working pretty dashed well, and Proton being to a fair extent the face of the Steam deck, developers wouldn't be bothering to do native versions but instead would rely on Proton. I thought so too, I just figured it would be worth it and eventually reverse if the Deck led to greatly increased Linux market share.

But even at this early stage, just looking at the native games mentioned here at GoL lately, it feels like that isn't how it's working. Instead it's like the Steam Deck has increased the visibility of Linux again so more developers are thinking about it and feeling like it's a viable platform. Sure, there's quite a lot of tweaking Windows versions to work better with Proton and/or the Deck, which itself may be an improvement since in the past a lot of those games wouldn't have had Linux versions, they just wouldn't have been tweaked. But I've been surprised how many articles I'm seeing about Linux versions of stuff, sometimes unexpected Linux versions of stuff. Maybe it's a false impression, I haven't exactly done a survey. But the native Linux front feels surprisingly positive to me lately.
There is a problem I'm seeing though. Games that have native ports being installed using Proton by default on Deck.

Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance (Deck verified) was using Proton instead of native. And Fantasy Grounds Unity (which is now 'playable') also was using the Windows version, which completely crashed my deck when in the DeckUI mode, so I downgraded to the stable OS, and went into desktop mode... where the installer hung the system, and I had to kill it, force it to use the Steam Linux Runtime. Then hook up a keyboard so I could type in my login password... But hey, at least it should be working correctly now, unlike Fantasy Grounds Classic, which for some reason is 'Verified' but still requires keyboard input, was hanging half the dialog off the screen, and was otherwise unusable...

I suppose instead of ranting here, I should post it somewhere more useful :P
Termy 16 Jun
Quoting: slaapliedjeThere is a problem I'm seeing though. Games that have native ports being installed using Proton by default on Deck.
I must admit this does have some merit, especially for older games. I've had several instances where the native version wouldn't work (at all or properly, mainly controller-issues) but running it with proton worked like a charm.
Don't get me wrong, i'm all for proper native versions! But compared to abandoned and/or poorly done native versions, proton is the better option.
So depending on the rules on how/when proton is prefered on the Deck (personally have never noticed a native game being run by default on proton?), it might actually be the "safer" option ^^
Beamboom 16 Jun
Quoting: TermyI must admit this does have some merit, especially for older games. I've had several instances where the native version wouldn't work (at all or properly, mainly controller-issues) but running it with proton worked like a charm.

This is indeed my experience too. A significant performance or stability improvement - or even the game not fully working in the "native" version.
For example I've had several audio issues running the native version who were gone when switching to Proton.

So statistically, for a device that should "just work", the safer route is to run it all under Proton - also for future stability. There's plenty examples of games with a native version where the Linux version lagged severely behind on patches.


Last edited by Beamboom on 16 June 2022 at 8:26 am UTC
slaapliedje 16 Jun
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Quoting: Beamboom
Quoting: TermyI must admit this does have some merit, especially for older games. I've had several instances where the native version wouldn't work (at all or properly, mainly controller-issues) but running it with proton worked like a charm.

This is indeed my experience too. A significant performance or stability improvement - or even the game not fully working in the "native" version.
For example I've had several audio issues running the native version who were gone when switching to Proton.

So statistically, for a device that should "just work", the safer route is to run it all under Proton - also for future stability. There's plenty examples of games with a native version where the Linux version lagged severely behind on patches.
In the two cases where I ran into it (Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and Fantasy Grounds Unity), BG:DA has the problem with not keeping cloud syncs multi-platform (so Deck defaulting to the Windows version made it so my save games were not automatically available on my Linux Desktop), and Fantasy Grounds Unity literally crashed the Deck when trying to install via DeckUI, and caused some weird bug in desktop mode where the the on screen keyboard kept flipping on / off and it still would not let me install it. Somehow FGU is marked as 'playable' in this state. It only started working at all after I forced it to use the Steam Linux Runtime.

One with think, since they're doing 'verified, playable, non-working, untested', that the would actually make each game also be able to say 'proton=yes' or 'proton=no' since I do know they tie each to different versions of Proton. Or at least I would think they'd kind of have to, as otherwise games would randomly break if they were 'current version'. They should hopefully never pin against Proton Experimental...
slaapliedje 16 Jun
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Should be a simple process here;

if native ask;
if native version is working...
is the game released cross platform or ported by a third party?
if third party, has third party been keeping it in sync with first party?
if no; go proton
if yes; go native
if cross-platform released by first party; go native

Just assuming everything should be Proton first also means that with each release of Proton, do they need to make new tests / re-verify to see if a newer version gives better performance? Do they leave this up to the developers, or do they have people just testing things constantly? Seems like a losing battle...
Beamboom 21 Jun
Quoting: slaapliedjeShould be a simple process here;

if native ask;
if native version is working...
is the game released cross platform or ported by a third party?
if third party, has third party been keeping it in sync with first party?
if no; go proton
if yes; go native
if cross-platform released by first party; go native

Problem is, it's not that easy. What defines "working"? How can they automate a test on performance proton vs native? How about multiplayer games that won't work cross platform? Or native versions that's abandoned next week? Or single player games with a multiplayer additional mode that's not working? Or a game that runs well native, but with a DLC that's not ported?

I think they need to keep it simple for practical reasons. If it works on Proton, chances are very high that it'll work as good or better than the native version. That's just the reality.
slaapliedje 21 Jun
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Quoting: Beamboom
Quoting: slaapliedjeShould be a simple process here;

if native ask;
if native version is working...
is the game released cross platform or ported by a third party?
if third party, has third party been keeping it in sync with first party?
if no; go proton
if yes; go native
if cross-platform released by first party; go native

Problem is, it's not that easy. What defines "working"? How can they automate a test on performance proton vs native? How about multiplayer games that won't work cross platform? Or native versions that's abandoned next week? Or single player games with a multiplayer additional mode that's not working? Or a game that runs well native, but with a DLC that's not ported?

I think they need to keep it simple for practical reasons. If it works on Proton, chances are very high that it'll work as good or better than the native version. That's just the reality.
But then you get into the conundrum of which version of Proton?
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