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Gaming Without Windows



I typically dont like light coming into my room when I game either. I usually put blinds over my windows.


I’ve also heard that certain games are allowing you to actually plug a keyboard and mouse directly into the xbone and play that way. I don’t have an xbone, but I might have to get one if that’s the case. Would be funny to make kids rage.


First let me apologize for inadvertently starting a flame war. Perhaps I should’ve known that would happen, but I’m relatively new to this forum and didn’t think I’d get that strong a reaction.

Some interesting ideas here. Let me see if I can sort through them.

The Nintendo Switch is a really interesting device. The main attractions for me would be Breath of the Wild and Skyrim. (I’m not really a Mario fan, so that stuff isn’t going to draw me in.) BotW looks genuinely interesting, but Skyrim without mods is half the experience. I’ve authored a few mods myself, and going without would seem restrictive. When I have a bit more cash, I may get one anyway.

KB+M on a console is a neat concept, but based on that video looks like it’s rather fiddly. I’d want to try before I buy, and I’m not sure that would be possible.

I’ve managed to get Windows VMs working on Linux with GPU passthrough, but there are always gotchas. Sound isn’t quite right (pops, clicks, distortions) and certain games won’t run. What I have gotten working nearly flawlessly is Windows VMs on VMWare ESXi (free version.) Now I know that’s proprietary software, but does anyone have any info about ESXi phoning home? I could set up a Win8 VM with GPU passthrough, but I think even Win8 has telemetry issues. I suppose I can set up a pfSense VM, but I’m not sure what ports/sites to block, or how to configure pfSense to do that.

I have managed to get Wine sort of working with Skyrim in the past. The problem is that after 10 - 15 minutes of gameplay, textures started vanishing and the meshes started turned purple. I saw that on two or three different systems. I’m not sure if it was something with my systems (Nvidia proprietary driver, maybe?) or if I was doing something wrong. Modding Skyrim on Linux is also a pain.

I’ve dual booted in the past, and while it works with less up front effort than VMs, it’s annoying to reboot everytime I want to switch from daily driver to gaming machine. Plus if I actually want to run some services with Linux, they vanish every time I want to play a game.

Just abandoning AAA games altogether is not an attractive option. I’m not an ideologue; I just want to be able to have some fun and enjoy the eye candy without all my data getting snarfed up.

So based on what I’ve read here, I think I’ll be setting up a Windows VM on ESXi (assuming it doesn’t phone home) and filtering it through pfSense once I do some research on the proper ports and sites/addresses to block. And I can also run Linux in a VM if I want to set up services, or just play with different distros. The main problems I face is that GPU options are limited for my Dell workstation, and it’s using an older, slower Westmere Xeon. I may have to get something like a GTX 1060 to meet its power restrictions.

One final question to @Goblin. While it’s true for now that Win7 will run the vast majority of games, DirectX 12 will eventually supplant DX11. Will you only play DX11 and lower games, or will you start running Win10 to play the latest and greatest?


The switch seems to becoming an indi gamers dream. It seems to be the perfect platform for a lot of indi games and expect more this year along with larger games.

On eldar scrolls pretty sure morrowind works really nice on Linux? And it’s pretty much the best one. Just s thought.


Pretty much this. I might just shift gears to having a small NUC machine for gaming only with Windows and every other machine I have run Linux only.


Your the fool for encouraging the behavior and calling out anybody questioning it. How about reading their own privacy statements before writing shit down. They admit to collecting data, which btw, we don’t see this level of telemetry with Ubuntu, not even when they pulled that Amazon crap on us (and that was only in Unity).

Btw, that isn’t the only problem with Windows 10, forced updates, that’s gonna hurt if some hardware ends up not working properly with Windows 10.


mate, when they start stamping DX11 only on the boxes, is when somebody is going to figure out how to make it work on 7.

But seriously, DX11 is so far from being the standard that I’m not even bothered. I feel the same way about Windows 7 that many people in this thread feel about Linux. It serves my needs the way I want it to, and no amount of strongarming is going to get me to move unless I want to. Somebody on Reddit suggested Windows 10 ltsb, which is supposedly cut down on the bloat and other things I find horrible, so if I do move it’ll probably be that.

I should probably add that another reason I don’t advocate for gaming on Linux is the fact that Nvidia drivers on Linux are known for being absolute hell to deal with, and the general sentiment is “fuck Nvidia” anyway, so if you’re going to shell out money for a GPU especially at these prices, you’re sort of trying to take a shower with a teacup.


Well, we are close to having a sufficient amount of games on Linux, at least for the life of me but I don’t speak for most people, in part thanks to WINE but also because a larger percentage of newer games now are supporting Linux than older games and we have older games being ported forward to Linux.


Like what games exactly?


There are quite a few. This particular window can scroll down several pages before it hits the bottom. The repo games have a history of not being particularly fun, but they’re making headway to fix that. Armagetron Advanced, for example, is easily the best Tron-esque game I’ve played in my many years of gaming.


I will list a few before I post the links to the sites that list them.
Most of the games listed can be found in the repos. Some need to be added via PPA. And others are manually downloaded and installed. But AFAIK, none of them require STEAM.

0 A.D
20,000 Light Years Into Space
Advanced Strategic Command
Alien Arena
Alien Blaster
Armagetron Advanced
Assault Cube / Reloaded
Balazar Brothers
Battle for Wesnoth
Beneath a Steel Sky
Cube 2: Sauerbraten

and so on.


Exactly what I’m going to do when I upgrade to a threadripper. Install Qubes OS, run fedora in a VM alongside windows 10 with GPU pass through using a single AMD GPU that’s virtualized to appear as two for each VM, then run pfsense in a VM that pulls the internet from my android phone USB tethering to my pc, and do the whole vpn setup on pfsense for extra security. This setup is perfect for my van, since I’m running on a solar charged 400 Amp/hr battery bank and can only spare enough power for one PC, and have my phone being used for internet under an unlimited 4G grandfathered plan. Just need the funds for threadripper and the motherboard and ddr4 ram that comes along with that :frowning:


You sure you need a TR for that? Ryzen 8 core, maybe second gen in a couple months should work just fine for that. Just get a bunch of RAM.


I normally would go for those options, they’re great CPUs for the price. I won’t just be virtualizing a few operating systems. Qubes OS virtualizes everything you do, and I’ll be adding pfsense on top of that. I also stream, and from experience, if I’m already doing all of that virtualization along with streaming, a threadripper would be very handy to use high quality CPU encoding on obs to stream full 1080p 60fps without lag. Most streamers have a separate PC for encoding, but since I don’t have that I’ll be relying solely on my single CPU. That’s why I want a threadripper


OK, with the streaming added to everything else that does make sense. Good luck with that setup, sounds like a lot of moving parts.


I personally dual boot and i try to affect my buying habits when it comes to games with some specific priorities:

  1. DRM-free/Linux native
  2. Linux native
  3. DRM-free/wine support
  4. Windows games

Games with a good chance to get Linux support i do not buy until the port is out.

The fortunate things for me is that most of the games i play tend to have native linux support or work fine with wine (TW:Warhammer, cities skylines, RPGs like pillars and torment). Latest wine versions have a pretty good dx9 support. And if you add more bleeding edge solutions like gallium 9 you pretty much get native dx9 support on Linux. It is bleeding edge now but i believe that in 6 months to a year they will be standard fare. Generally there are so many good games out there that even if you narrow yourself down to only linux games you will probably fill up your free time fully. Unless you have a lot of free time.

For me the only game at this point making me dual boot is Guild Wars 2. And i intend to check on gallium to see if i can run it on Linux with good performance.


For me the best solution in the scenario is PCI passthrough.

There are lots of good guides on this, and once it’s set up, it’s pretty flawless.

Audio issues can be fixed with a cheap and simple USB sound card, or PCI sound card if you want better audio.

If you need to upgrade hardware for this to work, it’s surely cheaper than going the OSX route.

Also, with technologies such as Looking Glass advancing quickly you will hardly even notice Windows and have a get to enjoy a nice, open source OS that you can configure however you like and doesn’t spy on you. As well as being able to play all the games you want :smiley:


I would say that too, only issue is that your cpu has to have 8 threads or similar and performance will be pretty much insane. #struggle amd_trinity_apu_here altho I’m probably gonna switch to i7-3770 to avoid this issue. rx460 seems pretty good for passthrou on ARCH.


The best way to game on windows is to get a copy of windows 10 LTSB. Is windows 10 without all of the extra microsoft fluff


y sure, no telemetry on win10 core #miracle_happened:not