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Feral GameMode v1.8 out now with CPU core pinning and parking

By - | Views: 29,179

GameMode, the tool for Linux originally from Feral Interactive, has version 1.8 released with some new features to tweak your system performance for gaming.

Feral designed it originally to help with their older Native Linux ports, as a stop-gap solution to problems with the Intel and AMD CPU powersave or ondemand governors but it continued on to pull in more optimisations to configure to get the best out of your system.

From the 1.8 changelog:

  • Add CPU core pinning and parking capability (#416)
  • Allow disabling the Linux kernel split lock mitigation (#446)
  • Fix building when pidfd_open is available (Fixes build with glibc 2.36) (#379)
  • Unify privileged group configuration between pam, systemd, & polkit (#375)
  • Various other bugfixes and improved default configuration

Some of the features it offers for optimizing include:

  • CPU governor.
  • I/O priority.
  • Process niceness.
  • Kernel scheduler (SCHED_ISO).
  • Screensaver inhibiting.
  • GPU performance mode (NVIDIA and AMD), GPU overclocking (NVIDIA).
  • CPU core pinning or parking.
  • Custom scripts.

See more on GitHub.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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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. Find me on Mastodon.
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14 comments
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a0kami Dec 6, 2023
Special thanks to Ahsan for keeping the project maintained, hope you're doing well!
sonic2kk Dec 6, 2023
Should be noted that this not only comes pre-installed on SteamOS but that it powers a lot of the Steam Deck's Game Mode performance behind-the-scenes!


Last edited by sonic2kk on 6 December 2023 at 9:50 pm UTC
t3g Dec 7, 2023
Quoting: sonic2kkShould be noted that this not only comes pre-installed on SteamOS but that it powers a lot of the Steam Deck's Game Mode performance behind-the-scenes!

So adding gamemoderun isn’t necessary in the launch options for a game? Or should we still add it?
Xpander Dec 7, 2023
Is this still even needed? The cpu governors used to be an issue like 6-7 years ago, but these days amd has amd_pstate and intel has its intel_pstate which are boosting correctly on the default governor so i dont really know whats the point of this.
I haven't noticed any difference when benchmarking stuff with this on or off at least.
Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark and Unigine Superposition.
hardpenguin Dec 7, 2023
Quoting: XpanderIs this still even needed? The cpu governors used to be an issue like 6-7 years ago, but these days amd has amd_pstate and intel has its intel_pstate which are boosting correctly on the default governor so i dont really know whats the point of this.
I haven't noticed any difference when benchmarking stuff with this on or off at least.
Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark and Unigine Superposition.
My decade old CPU still needs it lol. And since GameMode is a one-fits-all solution, all those settings are turned on regardless of the hardware.
Blisto Dec 7, 2023
Quoting: sonic2kkShould be noted that this not only comes pre-installed on SteamOS but that it powers a lot of the Steam Deck's Game Mode performance behind-the-scenes!

What do you mean?
Feral gamemode is not active when running games from Steam Deck game mode


Last edited by Blisto on 7 December 2023 at 8:55 am UTC
Xpander Dec 7, 2023
Quoting: hardpenguinMy decade old CPU still needs it lol. And since GameMode is a one-fits-all solution, all those settings are turned on regardless of the hardware.

Ahh that makes sense i guess for older CPUs as they cant use amd_pstate=active afaik?
Liam Dawe Dec 7, 2023
Quoting: sonic2kkShould be noted that this not only comes pre-installed on SteamOS but that it powers a lot of the Steam Deck's Game Mode performance behind-the-scenes!
You're probably thinking of Gamescope.
F.Ultra Dec 7, 2023
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Quoting: XpanderIs this still even needed? The cpu governors used to be an issue like 6-7 years ago, but these days amd has amd_pstate and intel has its intel_pstate which are boosting correctly on the default governor so i dont really know whats the point of this.
I haven't noticed any difference when benchmarking stuff with this on or off at least.
Cyberpunk 2077 benchmark and Unigine Superposition.

Well the pinning should be relevant if you have a cpu with non-uniform cache and/or frequencies and the split lock mitigation for those windows games that breaks it heavily (like God of War).

At least I hope it is so the work wasn't a total waste.
sonic2kk Dec 7, 2023
Quoting: BlistoFeral gamemode is not active when running games from Steam Deck game mode

I assumed it was, since it comes installed on SteamOS: https://i.postimg.cc/L6Bs4cRy/Screenshot-20231207-172622.png

This was taken on my Steam Deck OLED, but it's also installed on my Steam Deck LCD.

I had also remembered reading leading up to the Steam Deck's launch that Feral GameMode was going to be used for some of the power management.

Quoting: Liam DaweYou're probably thinking of Gamescope.

No, GameScope is a compositor, they're very different tools for very different purposes.

It seems I was wrong either way, but they're not easy tools to get mixed up.
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