Community Thread -- Gaming on Linux Video with LTT

BETA: This article will be updated several times over the next few weeks so keep an eye on this space. Have some wisdom to add to the community knowledge pool? Do so in the comments at !

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Gaming on linux will work really well if you plan ahead of time for it. This includes everything from picking what games you buy to what hardware you use.


What’s very promising at this current point is DXVK, which is a DirectX 11 to Vulkan translation layer for Wine. Unfortunately, it’s so bleeding edge, only the latest Vulkan drivers from Nvidia and the latest Mesa version will work with it. DXVK deserves more praise.

Also, using OpenGL flags for Unity games with OpenGL as a renderer option built into the final executable is a way to get around all the DirectX translation nonsense. But only select developers do it. Confirmed games that render OpenGL using Unity over Wine are PC Building Simulator and Subnautica.

The most common ones are -force-opengl and -force-glcore45

I’m totally down to make a step-by-step for Looking Glass and OBS streaming, as that’s what I’m currently doing for my Twitch channel. It’s in my plans to make that video on my own channel once I get a AVio 4K. This tutorial is specific to speedrunning too, if you have to use LiveSplit in native Windows in a VM. This is why I need a AVio 4K badly.

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I just watched the video on Linus’ channel, and at the end he says:

“The experience off camera was not as perfect and smooth as we made it out to be”

Of course it wasn’t. Linux is still not ready for the desktop.




I like the video, one day I would like to setup GPU passthrough, but the video makes gaming on Linux seem more complicated than it really is. You can just install Steam and have access to 1000’s of games without any additional work then there is on Windows.


32 posts were merged into an existing topic: Vacuum

Well, eventually it all depends on taste for game and avalibleness of those. I’m actually on linux since december last year w/o need to sw to win for games since i play only dota2/wow that has amazing support for vulkan/d3x9. I was running pci passthrou and it worked pretty good except my pc isn’t really good enough cuz a8-5600k can’t really handle the workloads cuz ‘need moar powa’ but still, you have a good point that people can get their satisfaction on native linux gaming (except in csgo).

Oh dang, that reminds me of something I wanted to do…

Viva La Linux !!!

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I agree that it’s always best to try and fix something before throwing it out; provided it doesn’t consume all your time.

But if you want to give linux a try out of general curiosity then you are more than welcome here.

And welcome to the forum @Chaython :slight_smile:

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I think about this all the time. Sometimes, it keeps me up at night.

Side tangent that may or may not be relevant to the discussion at hand

There are times, even days when I agree with you (or, really, this statement). Other times I disagree.

Much like the Linux operating system itself, it’s complicated.

I think of all the great and wondrous things you can do on a Linux distro. When zooming out and reflecting on the situation, though, Linux and it’s OS’es are really late to the party. There are problems that plague the desktop and have been an issue for the last 20 years. There are things that are so cool and easy that I sometimes think “Why don’t Windows/OS X think of that?”

When I get down to it and ask myself why I use Linux, the answer that seems to resonate with me and come quickly is “I can allocate a great deal of resources to the task I want to accomplish”. OS X and Windows laptops throttle (so does Linux, to be fair), and the Windows desktop will sometimes hamper itself to preserve resources (could have been an anomaly for my crappy code).

I don’t use Linux to avoid spyware, telemetry, hackers, NSA, or governments. Nor do I use it to feel 1337, play a game, watch a movie, or produce content. While I’ve done all of these things on Linux, I really use it for one solid reason: Their UI and APIs make my work as an engineer relatively easier than the other platforms. My primary interface is the terminal and the tools through the shell (Vim, javac, php, etc.) as well as a handful of editors and IDEs (that are cross platform and I can use anywhere).

Now, does this count as Linux being “ready for the desktop”?

I don’t know. Doubtful. If someone says “Hey, you need to jump on this meeting” and they’re using RingCentral, GoTo Meeting, or Amazon Chime, I cannot connect.

“Yes you can, through the brows–”

And if they ask me to screen share with them? Am I supposed to demand my clients, consultants, managers, executives, and coworkers use other software because I chose to use an incompatible operating system? My apologies if they do work now, but this leads to another point. I don’t really have the time (nor the interest and desire) to read about Linux releases for mainstream software. I play catchup once in a while, but I don’t actively keep up with this information.

Bottom line, Linux is cool. Actually, scratch that, Linux is f**king awesome. It’s my favorite tool by far, and it compliments my workflow perfectly. But, I think the time to cater to new users or “gamers” has past the point of no return. I sincerely appreciate the effort on Linus and Wendell’s part here. I think the video was awesome, and I can imagine how much effort went in, because I did all of the setups they had (just didn’t film it and make a tutorial :wink: ).

I think these challenges prevent mass adaptation of Linux as a desktop. Is it ready for the desktop for my needs? Sure, mostly. I’ll always have Windows or OS X around for top notch games, communication software, and overall pretty GUIs that’ don’t screen tear or stutter.

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Appreciate the collab with Linus, but I do have to say I’m disappointed.

Disclaimer: I do not know the relationship between Linus and yourself and as such have no idea what the requirements were for the video and the script that LMG wanted to follow. I’d like to echo some of the concerns of the community as well as my own opinion of the video.

I do not believe this was a beneficial video under the title “Gaming on Linux”. The opening was worth a good laugh, but after the intro we start with my concerns.

The GNU/Linux copy-pasta was neat, but for me it came across as arrogant and unfortunately a majority of Linus’ audience does not know of the reference.

First off, suggesting to manually install the binary graphics driver from the manufacturer is a very big no-no on Linux. Debian explicitly states to never use manufacturer GPU driver sources. Understandably for bleeding-edge GPU compatibility this is true but as per your example (1080 & 1080 Ti) have been supported in the packaged nvidia-kernel-dkms driver since January. For a windows centric gaming channel implying that users need the driver from Nvidia’s website seems pretty poor and contrary to most distributions’ recommendations. The beauty of Linux is that all you really need is included and in reality very easy for a new user to setup, whereas this step contradicts this very philosophy.

Again, not sure if the editing or LMG’s direction skewed the message that you were hoping to deliver, but we now enter many minutes of installing new repositories and replacing stock packages/kernel due to age. (on a personal note this is why I do not like “freeze and release” distros like Ubuntu and why I personally use a rolling release - Debian Testing) The video rolls through a decent amount of what I would consider material that is not acceptable to present to new users. (updating kernel, updating mesa)

And now we reach my main issue with this video and where the title “Gaming on Linux” is not accurate to the content. This video does not cover or speak of native Linux gaming in any useful capacity. A more accurate title would be “Running Windows games on Linux in 2018 - What’s new from 2008?”.

At 5:16 we reach something I had been screaming internally about since WINE was first mentioned in the video. To a new Linux user, what is WINE? It is mentioned many times but never explained until almost 5 minutes in. To any unfamiliar users the first 5 minutes of content would be a complete blur, pure technical jargon without the context of how WINE fits into the equation of enabling API and compatibility between Windows applications and the Linux kernel ( & GNU utilities). It takes this long to finally get the explanation as to what you are working on and the goal that you are trying to reach as a demonstration later on.

Your explanation of WINE is pretty spot on, well said and translates easily to the common user.

9:40 - yes Linus, we all know you need a GUI and expensive software to do PCI passthrough. :wink:

When it comes down to it the entire video mentions nothing about the leaps that native Linux gaming has had in the last few years in terms of the increase in games and community development. Our message to the masses should be primarily promoting native Linux games and development, not how Linux can emulate and virtualize other operating systems. We are not gaining any ground by continuing to push for better compatibility, we should be pushing for native games. EON wrappers, bad ports, and developers outright discounting the Linux community is the issue. As I personally have experienced if I am going to bother dealing with compatibility and emulation, I might as well just run windows as the host. What do I gain by dedicating all my resources to a virtual machine or wasting hours and performance with compatibility layers?

Furthermore PCI passthrough and virtualization is portrayed as a valid alternative and it certainly is quite a feat of RedHat’s KVM, but in reality PCI passthrough is an absolute pain to get working if you run into any snags along the way and cannot be easily summed up in a single guide (as I have learned myself from my own video). I would consider PCI passthrough to be applicable to advanced Linux users, and even under that the requirements and process is overwhelming if you have not done it many times before.

I certainly apologize if you were under a difference pretense when creating this video, and the result was not what you were expecting. But as it seems from the end-user and as an avid Linux user this video mostly portrayed that Linux is not a capable gaming platform and only serves to create major hassles to avoid Windows spying.

I would have really appreciated a focus on native Linux games with a minor mention of DXVK, Lutris, and WINE.


You skipped the companion article I take it?

Most of the comments in the video don’t support this.

Pre-emptive kneejerk. Unless the video has been edited weirdly, we talk about getting the latest kernel for open-source drivers on AMD because AMDGPU. That work is to be lauded. We talk about Ubuntu’s driver thingie for the nvidia driver which is not what you describe.

I think at one point later we mention the amd driver as being freesync, or that getting the closed source/binary was maybe a thing on AMD, but that is no longer the case.

At any rate on our ubuntu driver, the binary nvidia driver doesn’t install automatically so you have to do something to get it.

It’s fine, I promise. This is so we can show DXVK/Lutris full capabilities.

Literally that’s the other half following the stallman quote.

This is just show – don’t tell. Wine lets you do this ____ then you get the audible explanation.

This is honestly fine. There are 4 videos coming that expand on this topic as explained in the article. This was meant to show a lead-in to the 4 things, convered in the linked article, which will be covered more in depth.

I benchmarked a lot of games that run fine on linux natively, but when we got to looking, none of them were from 2018.

So I’d say your reaction is premature and I would ask that you keep in mind the content is aimed more at Linus’ audience, not ours. I think for their audience, they did a fine job. Can it be improved for the future? You bet.

I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, tbh.


Appreciate the response.

Of course, but opening the additional drivers GUI utility and clicking “install” leaves a much better impression than manually adding PPAs and updating mesa.

I certainly understand the necessity, but starting with a clearer explanation of how WINE, DVXK, and Linux work together to achieve the goal of Windows compatibility would have gone a long way, from an viewer’s perspective it feels like we jump right into command line updates and installations immediately before we can even get to state where we are ready to install a Windows game.

Again understood but for the first video in a series I feel that an overview of options for Linux gaming would have been more beneficial, rather than “Gaming on Linux” being an entire video about running Witcher 3 on a Vega GPU in Ubuntu.

Fair point, but I don’t see how 2018 would be a requirement. Many games from years past are very active and desirable, especially multiplayer online games.

I have to disagree again, I would argue that Linus’ audience does not contain the most savvy of users, especially judging by his content. (not knocking his channel, I enjoy some of his work but the majority of his coverage is surface-level and aimed at the general PC gaming populous) For their first Linux gaming video in years to contain immediate use of updating old utilities and requiring manual driver installs seems like a pretty poor portrayal.

In hindsight it might have been better on LMG’s side to push this video out while reinforcing that it is part 1 of a series. State clearly at the beginning of the video that the two of you will show WINE and DXVK in this video, and then demonstrate the steps necessary to do so (so really just roll into the rest of the video). Meshing the beginning of a demonstration and then cutting to what I would argue should have been at the beginning (that 5:16 mark explanation of WINE) before continuing felt thrown together.

I certainly would have jumped at the opportunity to speak to Linus’ audience, as you mentioned in the vlog you just uploaded and I appreciate the intent. I would just have desired it to be structured differently especially for his audience.

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I just saw the videos regarding Gaming on Linux, and to be honest - I was not aware of a Vulcan wrapper for DX11. And, the progress of looking-glass is extremely interesting - and could be a real “game changer” in my eyes.

I’ve been searching for a minimal KVM Linux distribution, that would run from ram , do VFIO - and be easy to maintain. The closest I could find was oVirt (which is actually quite nice)… But, for my needs - still a bit on the heavy side.
If anyone know of such distros - PLEASE let me know !

Mean-while - I decided to build my own based in AlpineLinux. The OS is about 80mb, and takes about additional 60MB to boot. The rest can be used for the guests.
I then have a simple script, that easily starts wither my Linux guest, or my Windows guest if I want to play a game.
For me - it works quite nice… (I called it DKVM for “Desktop KVM”) :stuck_out_tongue:

I might be the only one in the world looking for such a distro - but, in anycase I’ve uploaded a little more details, and the source-code to my blog. Fell free to steal from it :slight_smile:


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This is not the first video in a series of 4. The first video, not out yet, is gaming natively. This video is literally an overview of those 4 options. But Linus isn’t going to have those 4 videos on his channel because his audience doesn’t care.

Again, this video is show, don’t tell. They know their audience well. It works well for their audience in all the ways that matter.

If you’d like to do a write-up with videos or screenshots of exactly what you have in mind for structuring the presentation here, the level1 community will more than welcome that I’m sure.


I would imagine Chrome OS will make Linix more desktop worthy.

There are some talks about GeForce Now coming to Chrome OS.

I’m not looking for a 'beginner Linux" series, it just didn’t seem that the video portrayed the message you want to present. Certainly did not get the “here is an overview of Gaming on Linux” when the majority of the time was spent installing packages and running DXVK.