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X-Plane 11, the detailed flight simulator is finally closing in on an update that will bring in Vulkan support as detailed in a new developer blog post.

Firstly though, the upcoming X-Plane 11.40 update is going to be focusing on the physics. They've spent a good six months going over their physics system as part of an upgraded and currently experimental flight model. The new system will not be the default in the 11.40 update but it will eventually replace the current flight model. If you're interested in learning more about that side of it, see the video included below (Vulkan info below the vid):

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The more exciting part for Linux fans of this sim is likely the Vulkan API addition coming with X-Plane 11.50. This is going to be a huge change, making it more modern and prepares X-Plane 11 for future enhancements as the foundation of what comes next.

It won't be done quickly though, as they said they expect the beta period for Vulkan to "be a relatively long one" but they want to get it out the door and started this year. Sounds like their team are quite excited about using Vulkan (and Metal for macOS) as they say a lot more of what happens compared to OpenGL will be directly inside their own code. They claim what happens inside the drivers are "more predictable, bounded, and can be viewed via modern profiling tools". They think it "should be straightforward to get the information we need to really make the Vulkan renderer scream".

For those of you interested, I've started following their developer blog posts to keep an eye on it for more information on when X-Plane 11.40 and X-Plane 11.50 will actually release in full.

You can pick up X-Plane 11 on Steam and the official site.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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37 comments
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Mountain Man 21 October 2019 at 1:48 am UTC
Cyba.Cowboy
Mountain ManI agree that competition is a good thing.

Gonna be picky here, but Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is not expected to support Linux-based operating systems though, so technically, X-Plane has no real competition...
Not on the Linux platform, at least; unfortunately, Linux is only a tiny sliver of X-Plane's overall sales, so frankly, we're lucky Laminar chooses to support it at all.
iiari 21 October 2019 at 3:28 am UTC
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Cyba.CowboyCall it "geeky", but this post just sold me on X-Plane, 100%... Knowing that this Linux supported flight simulator is so in-depth and complete makes me want to rush out and buy it now - except that right now, I only own a laptop with above-average gaming capabilities - so it will sit on my "wish" list for the time being.
Oh, no, you should do the opposite and definitely buy it. It might actually run reasonably well on low to medium settings. I've read of it even being quite playable on low end hardware. The problem is you shouldn't expect to upgrade graphics or mods all that much. And don't think some hardware tweaks here or there will help, as an additional issue with XP11 is the code is older, utilizing a single core only no matter how many you've got and passing very little through the GPU. So some users, like one of the posters up above, are frustrated that monster i9's with 2080 Ti's are limping along at 25 FPS with beefly graphics mods and that doesn't represent a dramatic improvement in FPS over their old 1050 Ti gaming laptop. The code just can't do much with the better hardware. That's where MS2020 will be a game changer potentially, being coded for the machines of today...

Cyba.CowboyDoes X-Plane support all those fancy flight input / output devices (such as all the stuff Logitech sells)? What about virtual reality headsets - are they supported under Linux-based operating systems?

If those things are supported, I could build a pretty slick - Linux powered - flight simulator in my garage... ;-)
I can't speak for VR, which I don't use, but yes, all the other toys work very well and the sim overall runs via easy to understand and modify scripts, configs, and .ini's, and thus is perhaps the most infinitely configurable title I've ever played.


Last edited by iiari on 21 October 2019 at 3:31 am UTC
iiari 21 October 2019 at 3:37 am UTC
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Cyba.Cowboy
Mountain ManI agree that competition is a good thing.

Gonna be picky here, but Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is not expected to support Linux-based operating systems though, so technically, X-Plane has no real competition...
I can't imagine even the hardest core, Richard Stallman worshiping Linux flight sim fan wouldn't do a dual boot or get a new machine to run MS 2020 when it comes out (assuming Proton doesn't work). I mean, dating myself here, I'm a flight simmer back to C64 and Apple IIe days, and MS2020 seems to be what we've all been waiting for our entire lives. It looks that good. Also, the dev team has been doing astonishing communication with the community, with near weekly updates and vids, and some of those vids have been terrific. They have an amazingly candid and detailed timeline online that they update regularly. They're also fully planning to embrace the third party mod community which has kept FSX and P3D alive all these years, very directly opposite the stand-offish reputation that Laminar XP has with that community. MS seems fully aware of current FSX and XP weaknesses and are addressing those. The only ones I can see being disappointed would be those using VR, as they've said they don't expect that working on release.


Last edited by iiari on 21 October 2019 at 3:39 am UTC
Ehvis 21 October 2019 at 8:10 am UTC
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iiari
Cyba.CowboyGonna be picky here, but Microsoft Flight Simulator 2020 is not expected to support Linux-based operating systems though, so technically, X-Plane has no real competition...
I can't imagine even the hardest core, Richard Stallman worshiping Linux flight sim fan wouldn't do a dual boot or get a new machine to run MS 2020 when it comes out (assuming Proton doesn't work). I mean, dating myself here, I'm a flight simmer back to C64 and Apple IIe days, and MS2020 seems to be what we've all been waiting for our entire lives.

You're talking about an unreleased product. For now it's all hype. I don't have particularly much faith in the big data approach. Good data is only available for a relatively small part of the world. I expect the rest to look pretty mediocre. On top of that, is there any way you're expecting this online service not to be a subscription model? This is Microsoft after all. They may start out without it to gain traction, but that's where it will be going.

Also don't forget the amount of money that a lot of simmers have invested in their sim with specific add ons and scenery packs. That's not something you just dump to start over. Besides, even if they did make it run natively on Linux, I have no reason at all to trust Microsoft for the future. I'll stick with X-Plane.
Dedale 21 October 2019 at 8:23 am UTC
At the risk of shocking some, i couldn't be arsed to keep a win partition to play Falcon 4 BMS, which is an excellent hardcore F-16 sim. So, no FS 2020 for me.

But it is just me. They are going to be a strong competition and Laminar Research has a small team. What they achieve is amazing with such a small team but M$ has an infrastructure they don't have.
Cyba.Cowboy 21 October 2019 at 10:32 am UTC
EhvisBesides, even if they did make it run natively on Linux, I have no reason at all to trust Microsoft for the future. I'll stick with X-Plane.

This. I trust Microsoft as much as I trust Mark Zuckerberg - which is not at all... Call it "paranoia" if you want, but I don't trust Microsoft in any context.
Mountain Man 21 October 2019 at 4:34 pm UTC
EhvisYou're talking about an unreleased product. For now it's all hype.
He's definitely strayed into shill territory.
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