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Integrating Windows in a Linux gaming pc
Liemaeu 7 Sep

I switched to Linux on my gaming pc around 2 years ago. It is really great and it got even greater in this time. Never used Windows again.

Sadly some games (most because of anti-cheat) don't work on Linux. There are a view I would really like to play, so I decided to use Windows (again), as my secondary gaming os.


I found 2 possible ways: Virtual machine with gpu passthrough and using a extra Windows pc. (Dual Boot is of cause not an option).

The virtual machine would have the advantage, that I don't have a "real" Windows pc. But the problem is, that some anti-cheast detect and block virtual machines. Yes, I know there are patches for KVM/QEMU, but because a lot of cheaters use vms to "hide" their cheats, it would always be a fight against the anti-cheat developers, which I don't like. So I decided to take the second option.

I will only play games on Windows, no Discord or other stuff. So it would be best if I can view the Windows-screen on Linux. My current favorite setup would be:

-USB switch (so I can use my mouse & keyboard on Linux and Windows "simultaneously")
-3,5mm Y-splitter (so I can here the Linux and Windows sound at the same time with my headset)
-Caputure Card (to view the Windows screen e.g. with mpv on Linux)

What do you think about this? Will this work (nearly) delay-free with the capture card (1080p@60fps should be fine for a good gaming experience)? At the moment I have a tendency to the ZasLuke Game Capture Card (https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08D3PHT58/). Do you have any experiences with a setup like this?

Quoting: LiemaeuDual Boot is of cause not an option
Why?
Have you tried Proton? Lately there are some developments regarding anti-cheat as well. So you basically want to use some kind of remote desktop setup?

dr_jekyll 8 Sep

In your situation I would try other solutions first, like:
- Steam in-home-streaming: you can also add non-steam applications to your steam library (that at least worked for me a few months ago :) ) and use it.
- Nvidia Gamestream: works only for nvidia gpus of course; there are linux clients available: https://moonlight-stream.org/
- Other "regular" remote protocols/applications (RDP, vnc, ssh -x): They are maybe not designed for a such a usecase (low latency, high framerate), so I don't know how good that would work.

Nonetheless your idea seems to be a waste of ressources, unless you would use a very energy-saving computer as client.
I would try Proton first, the virtual machine solution second and the second computer solution last.


Last edited by dr_jekyll on 8 September 2020 at 2:34 pm UTC

Liemaeu 2 days ago

Quoting: dr_jekyllIn your situation I would try other solutions first, like:
- Steam in-home-streaming: you can also add non-steam applications to your steam library (that at least worked for me a few months ago :) ) and use it.
- Nvidia Gamestream: works only for nvidia gpus of course; there are linux clients available: https://moonlight-stream.org/
- Other "regular" remote protocols/applications (RDP, vnc, ssh -x): They are maybe not designed for a such a usecase (low latency, high framerate), so I don't know how good that would work.

Nonetheless your idea seems to be a waste of ressources, unless you would use a very energy-saving computer as client.
I would try Proton first, the virtual machine solution second and the second computer solution last.
Quoting: dr_jekyllIn your situation I would try other solutions first, like:
- Steam in-home-streaming: you can also add non-steam applications to your steam library (that at least worked for me a few months ago :) ) and use it.
- Nvidia Gamestream: works only for nvidia gpus of course; there are linux clients available: https://moonlight-stream.org/
- Other "regular" remote protocols/applications (RDP, vnc, ssh -x): They are maybe not designed for a such a usecase (low latency, high framerate), so I don't know how good that would work.

Nonetheless your idea seems to be a waste of ressources, unless you would use a very energy-saving computer as client.
I would try Proton first, the virtual machine solution second and the second computer solution last.

Actually this is the last solution. The streaming possibilities are fine and could work, but using Windows without a screen, didn't have the best experiences with that. So I need the "normal" windows screen.

dr_jekyll 2 days ago

Quoting: Liemaeu
Quoting: dr_jekyllIn your situation I would try other solutions first, like:
- Steam in-home-streaming: you can also add non-steam applications to your steam library (that at least worked for me a few months ago :) ) and use it.
- Nvidia Gamestream: works only for nvidia gpus of course; there are linux clients available: https://moonlight-stream.org/
- Other "regular" remote protocols/applications (RDP, vnc, ssh -x): They are maybe not designed for a such a usecase (low latency, high framerate), so I don't know how good that would work.

Nonetheless your idea seems to be a waste of ressources, unless you would use a very energy-saving computer as client.
I would try Proton first, the virtual machine solution second and the second computer solution last.

Actually this is the last solution. The streaming possibilities are fine and could work, but using Windows without a screen, didn't have the best experiences with that. So I need the "normal" windows screen.

Well, it's all your decision.
But many people tested the streaming solutions (including me) and in a fast enough cable-network at home, this works very well.
I am not sure what you mean with "normal screen", but I assume you mean having a "normal" windows desktop (while many streaming solutions only show the Games and/or Clients like Steam).
While I mostly only use these client/game solutions, it is quite easy to use the windows desktop as well.
I can't promise anything, but some time ago I read about people who also used steam-in-home-streaming and nvidia gamestream for this (there are (or were) "escape methods" to get to the desktop).
If that doesn't work, the obvious alternatives are the already mentioned standard remote access protocols.
In the end it would only be like switching between windows (e.g.: window 1: remote access protocol-software; window 2: streaming software)

Last edited by dr_jekyll on 27 September 2020 at 3:26 pm UTC

Jared a day ago

The closest remote desktop service I know that could potentially allow you to stream games (without the use of local streaming services listed above) would be NX found on NoMachine. You could try giving it a try. Whilst it wouldn't be as efficient as streaming, it's "faster" than RDP or VNC, witht he only downside being that it can only connect to local machines.

1xok a day ago

The easiest way is probably to install Windows FIRST and then Linux. Because most distributions install themselves automatically as dual-boot if you select that. Of course Windows does not do that.

You have to do it yourself. There are enough HOW-TOs on the net. I would probably put Windows on its own SSD. A dual boot is still the best solution if you need Windows on top. And always remember: Before you do anything, backup your data.

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