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Odds and ends, the Linux and gaming Sunday Section

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Sunday is a day mostly of rest, relaxation and kicking butt in some games. Before that though, let's have a little look at a few bits and pieces of missing news and what was interesting recently.


It was recently announced that the source code for the PC version of Saints Row 2 had been found, so Volition said "work has begun on updating/fixing performance, stability, multiplayer, and adding the previously console-only DLC". The Linux version was done by Virtual Programming back in April 2016 and it was quite messy. In reply to a question about updates for Linux, they said on Twitter "Our focus right now is fixing the Steam windows release which all other ports are based on.".

The OldUnreal team, who work to keep the classic Unreal Tournament alive have reached an agreement with Epic Games to allow them to properly take over maintenance of the Unreal Tournament code base. They also said they will be looking for Linux testers. Read more about it here.

Seems like gaming on Chrome OS might be about to get a little better. You've been able to run normal Linux applications and games on Chrome OS using Crostini for a while but it's had limits and problems. One problem is pointer lock, with 3D games in particular needing better access to your mouse. A change to help with that has now landed, it's not perfect but it's a step in the right direction.

Valve have been teased the huge update coming to Dota Underlords, their free to play auto-battle strategy game. Across the posts we've learned that there's going to be a lot more heroes and new alliances including Insects (Weaver, Broodmother, Nyx Assassin), the Champion Alliance with Legion Commander, the Brute Alliance with Lifestealer and Magnus plus Shadow Demon, Bristleback and Sven with even more being announced tomorrow. No date for the big update other than "Soon" and that it will mark "the beginning of the end of the Underlords Beta".

Ubuntu and all the extra flavours like Kubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Budgie and so on officially released the 19.10 update a few days ago bringing them much more up to date with all the upstream packages. You can find many enhancements like NVIDIA drivers on the iso, experimental ZFS file system support, faster boot up and more. In addition, System 76 also released their Pop!_OS 19.10.

On the subject of Ubuntu, today it turns 15. Has it really been that long? Yes it has! The first release of Ubuntu was 4.10 (Warty Warthog) on 20 October 2004. I might not be here without all the effort that was put into it and the following releases. I stuck around and a few years later launched GamingOnLinux. Happy Birthday Ubuntu!

How about some more distribution news? Entering the GOL mailbox recently was a message from the founder of GamerOS, a distribution built on Arch Linux with an aim to create the "definitive couch gaming experience". Think of it like an alternative to SteamOS, with an interesting update system where they give you a single downloadable image that is put into a read-only volume to give "zero downtime updates that require no human interaction".

To end our little roundup, I saw someone mention that Steam recently passed six thousand Linux games. Well, not quite. It's getting close but there is a problem with how Steam lists game releases. Even when you sort by release date there's a lot that aren't actually released. Steam is showing me 6,059 games but 80+ in the first ~33 pages don't even have a release yet. Just something to keep in mind.

Recent noteworthy updates:

Sales reminder:

 

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Unless something urgent comes up, see you all tomorrow for another week full of news. Hope everyone has had a fantastic weekend.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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About the author -
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.
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Dunc 20 October 2019 at 12:45 pm UTC
To be fair, the Linux version of SR2 wasn't bad considering the difficulties. VP were actually able to mitigate some of the bugs in the Windows release with their compatibility layer. It's still not great though, and the source being discovered is good news even if it only means a stable Windows version to run under Proton.
Shmerl 20 October 2019 at 5:15 pm UTC
In other news, radv/aco started working with Navi a lot better due to mitigation of various GPU hazards (basically doesn't hang anymore for the most part). Performance wasn't the focus yet, so it's even behind llvm at the moment. But ACO developers are going to focus on it next.


Last edited by Shmerl on 20 October 2019 at 5:31 pm UTC
g000h 20 October 2019 at 9:32 pm UTC
This article mentioned Chrome OS and thinking about that in relation to the gaming sector and Stadia. It would seem to add up that Chrome OS with Stadia will provide most of the operating system features that the typical Windows user would want - gaming and casual computer use. In which case, we could be on the verge of people ditching Windows and MacOS, then switching to Chrome OS devices. Noting that Android started off as the underdog and dominates the mobile market (and where is Microsoft there now?) even putting Apple in the shade. Not saying this will happen immediately, or even at all, but just stating the potential.
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