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Best desktop applications for Linux gaming available today

best desktop applications for Linux gaming available today

So maybe you have a new desktop or #gaming laptop for Christmas? Probably coming with a new installation of Windows, but you want to #install your favourite Linux distro. Hence the new lightning fast hardware is lacking some must-have #applications upon install. So we have included the best desktop applications for linux gaming. Some of these are obvious, things like like Steam and Google Chrome.

Since there are plenty of other everyday programs that deserve to be on your system. We are going to give a brief overview of the programs we suggest as the best desktop applications for linux gaming. Then we will throw in a couple more of our go-to apps.

Here are the best desktop applications for linux gaming

Web browsers

Google Chrome – The obvious choice, but Firefox already comes with most every distro.

Slimjet – Hence, if you are looking for something more secure. Maybe not the ultimate but better security to browse the internet with some very apt features. You can check out for yourself here. And we suggest running the browser in Private Browsing mode.

Vivaldi – Now, if you are someone who likes watching livestreams and gameplay videos. Vivaldi is where it’s at. The hardware acceleration and overall performance is definitely ideal. Which you can download here.

Messaging

Skype – As much as we hate to admit it, Skype improves the user experience. We should probably have it to chat with your parents, significant other or fellow gamers. The Skype of Linux Alpha is still the better choice. Unless you want to go old school, then the old classic version is still there.

Compression

7-Zip – Zip or unzip anything you throw at it. Free and lightweight and it’ll never bug you to pay for it. Just install the “p7zip” or “p7zip-full” in your package manager.

Media

VLC – VLC can play anything and is a reliable all-around media player. We have another media player recommendation below, too.

Spotify – (Optional) If you’re a subscriber, might as well grab the desktop app for Linux (Debian package).

Online storage

Dropbox – You most likely have a Dropbox account for quickly moving files between systems. Grab it here.

Image Editing

GIMP – Since this the runner-up to Photoshop. GIMP is still a great free tool for editing and image modification. Which should already be available in your package manager.

Gaming

Steam – Get your game on. We already know what it is and how it works. So needless to say, this will be one of the first few apps to install on Linux.

Itch – So if you are a deep into the Indie scene or just keen to creative new titles. Then it will be a good ideal to install the Itch.io installer for Linux.

Discord

Discord has become a go-to chat client over this past year, with a very solid Linux test build. Making it easy to join channels with a quick invite link and chat, via desktop application or a web client. Plus it is completely free, hosted on remote servers instead of your own PC. Since it keeps getting better social integrations and other features every month. The Linux Game Consortium channel is another cool place to hang out.

f.lux

So the applet makes your screen look orange and weird. But stick with f.lux for a few days. Then you will wonder how you stare at the eye-searing LCD without it. The application does help prevent headaches and improves your quality of sleep. Which really is true. f.lux automatically color tints your monitor as the sun sets to mimic natural lighting. Hence this kicks in towards the end of the work day. Therefore warming the typical LCD white-blue to be much easier on the eyes.

linuxgameconsortium-gaming-news-and-community

AMD Catalyst 14.4 RC available for Linux and Windows

AMD has made its Catalyst 14.4 Windows and Linux drivers available for download. This Release Candidate (RC) driver is expected to arrive in its official WHQL form in a week or two but for those who like the look of the #improvements and regularly install beta drivers it may well be appealing. The headline features of this driver include; support for the AMD Radeon R9 295X, enhancements and fixes for people running #CrossFire configured systems and full support for #OpenGL 4.4.

amd catalyst 14.4 drivers available and no mantle support for linux

If you have an AMD CrossFire PC gaming system, the new 14.4 RC driver is said to solve problems with Eyefinity 3×1 systems using 3x 4K panels. Also Eyefinity setups with V-sync and mid-Eyefinity resolutions will experience less stuttering problems.

Looking at CrossFire gaming improvements the following positive changes have been made:

  • Crysis 3 – frame pacing improvements
  • Far Cry 3 – 3 and 4 GPU performance improvements at high quality settings, high resolution settings
  • Anno 2070 – Improved CrossFire scaling up to 34%
  • Titanfall – Resolved in game flickering with CrossFire enabled
  • Metro Last Light – Improved Crossfire scaling up to 10%

Some Mantle beta driver improvements have also come along in this Release Candidate driver and have, in particular, fixed the performance slowdown in Battlefield 4 when Alt/Tab task switching. A10 Kaveri system users will also be cured of fuzzy images when playing in a “rotated SLS resolution”.

OpenGL 4.4 now is fully supported in this latest driver from Windows and Linux. However Linux users don’t get the CrossFire gaming and Mantle enhancements listed above. Read more about the extensions supported here.

Finally there are still some known issues which haven’t been fixed in time for this driver release. These include crashes in Power Director 11 and install problems on Dual AMD Radeon R9 295X systems running Windows 8.1 with the following motherboards: ASUS Crosshair V Formula-Z (990FX), ASUS Maximus VI Extreme (Z87), ASUS Rampage IV Extreme (X79). On those configurations the driver will continue to install after a black-screen hang followed by a simple reboot.

Reblogged from: hexus.net

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title=

Joystick and Other Game Controllers for Linux

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Linux systems support a wide variety of games and emulators. Obviously, many Linux gamers will want to use joystick controllers or other game controllers for gaming instead of a keyboard. Thankfully, Linux supports many game controllers. The Linux kernel contains drivers for several joysticks and controllers, so many Linux gamers can plugin their game controller and begin playing. However, the Linux kernel does not support all joysticks and controllers. Adding support for these controllers and making them work is easy to do.

First, here are some random facts that may be helpful to know about Linux and game controllers. The xf86-input-joystick module is not a driver for gaming. Instead, it allows users to move the cursor with a joystick rather than the mouse. The xserver-xorg-input-joystick driver acts the same way. So, on Linux gaming systems, uninstall xserver-xorg-input-joystick and xf86-input-joystick if they are on the system. Otherwise, the joysticks will only control the cursor and not a game. It is also helpful to know that on Linux, the device path for the first game controller to be plugged in is /dev/input/js0, the second would be /dev/input/js1, and so on.

If the Linux system does not recognize the game controller, then the gamer has one of two issues. One, the game itself may not allow controllers. For instance, the video game Supertux v0.1.3 does not support controllers but Supertux v0.3.3 does support controllers. The second possible problem may be the lack of support for the game controller. To fix this issue, install “joystick” by installing it through the system’s package manager or by typing “sudo apt-get install joystick” in a terminal with root privileges. This is a joystick driver that adds support for more controller types. Users may also want to install the joystick configuration utility “jstest-gtk” by typing “sudo apt-get install jstest-gtk” in a terminal with root privileges. This tool (discussed later) can help make a controller work by calibrating the device.

If the controller is still not recognized by the system, then check /dev/input/js0. If the file /dev/input/js0 is missing (if the controller in question is js0), then check the connection ports and cables associated with the game device. Also, make sure that the controller is not broken. If the controller has a light that turns on when plugged into a computer, then the gamer will know that the connection and power is fine between the Linux system and the controller. If the controller requires batteries, then try putting in new batteries. To make sure that Linux is recognizing the device, type “cat /dev/input/js0” in the command-line. Now, when a button is pressed or a joystick is moved, odd symbols will appear on the screen. When finished with this last test, press “Ctrl-c”. If all of these tips fail, then perhaps one of the suggestions further on in the article will help.

The joystick configuration utility “jstest-gtk” allows gamers to calibrate their controller and test the controller’s functionality. With the controller(s) plugged in, click a controller to configure the settings. Under the buttons heading on the controller configuration window, are several white boxes with a number inside. For every button pressed on the controller, one of those boxes turn black. This allows users to make sure that each button is recognized by the system. If two buttons make the same box dark, then the system is acting as if those two buttons are the same. This would mean the user needs a different driver. After checking the buttons, try moving the joystick(s). The “+” in one of the circular graphs should move. This calibrator shows three graphs, so if the controller only has one joystick, do not worry, the controller was not detect incorrectly. If a joystick is moved to the upper-left corner and two or three of the bars below show -32767, then the joystick is detected. Moving the joystick up should show -32767 and moving down should display 32767 (not negative). Moving the controller left should make one or two bars show -32767 and moving right will display 32767. When testing all of the joystick’s directional movements, move the joystick all of the way to each direction. If a number other than positive or negative 32767 is shown and/or the numbers are not zero at the joystick’s default position, then calibration is needed. On many controllers, testing the arrow keys uses the graph and number bars like the joysticks. Testing and calibration is the same.

NOTE: If a joystick(s) or arrow keys are not recognized or the test results show numbers other than +/-32767, the controller may have an “Analog” button that changes the controller’s behavior. Pressing this button may make a joystick and/or arrows work correctly.

NOTE: For calibration and testing, the controller must be turned on (if it has an on/off switch or button) and powered properly.

NOTE ON WIRELESS DEVICES: If the controller is wireless, make sure that the bluetooth, radio, infrared, etc. settings are correctly configured and installed. Often times, users assume that the wireless controller’s connection is fine. Also, interference from other devices may play a part in the controller’s odd behavior.

Some hardware manufacturers supply Linux drivers. A Linux gamer could still use an unsupported controller if the manufacturer supports a Linux driver. If not, then the gamer should look for a driver by searching websites like Launchpad.net, Sourceforge.net, and Google Code. The user may also try searching their package manager for a driver. For instance, a user may have a Wii controller that they wish to use on their Linux system. To make this device usable on the system, they may search their package manager or the Internet and find the xwiimote driver. This is a driver specifically for the Wii remote.

NOTE: To install the xwiimote via command-line, type “sudo apt-get install xwiimote” in a terminal with root privileges. Alternately, search for the driver in the system’s package manager.

NOTE: When installing drivers, it is best to restart the computer. Although Linux does not seem to require this most of the time, it is a better practice to restart the system when adding drivers or changing the kernel. Other than that, the user does not need to perform other tasks for the driver. The kernel will handle the rest.

Some games may need to be configured for controllers. To do this, look through the options, setting, and/or preferences of the game in question. Under the settings for game controls, change each keyboard button to a key on the controller. Depending on the game, this can be done by selecting a particular command (like jump) and press a button on the controller that should be “jump”.

Once a gamer has tried all of these tasks, their game controller should work. If not, try setting up an account here https://bugzilla.kernel.org/, and report that the kernel does not support the controller. However, before reporting to the kernel developers, make sure that the system is up-to-date, especially the kernel. Also, be absolutely sure that the device itself is fine and that the game supports controllers. When the report is filed, be thorough about describing the device. This means including the model number, manufacturer, date made, connection type (it may be an issue with the port driver – unlikely), and one or more easy ways to obtain a controller of that type. Informing the kernel developers on how to obtain the device is not required, but it will help the kernel developers and make their task easier. They can then obtain the controller and use it to test and develop drivers.

Reblogged from:  linux.org
”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

 

RPMize your Humble Bundle Linux games for Fedora 17/18

If you ever bought a Humble Bundle game pack you already know they provide game installers for Windows, Mac OS and Linux (some packs also support Android) in addition to a Steam / Desura activation key. While the installers are fine (usually tar.gz or sh), using more of them on your machine may cause confusion as to what’s installed on your system. Some developers do provide rpm installers for their games, but those might not necessarily be 100% compatible with your OS.

Luckily for Fedora 17 and Fedora 18 there is an alternative. By the help of Mumble RPMs you can build your own rpm packages using the game Linux installers provided by Humble Bundle. You don’t have to know anything about building RPMs, the web site comes with specific instructions for each games, so all you need is good copy & paste skills.

The Mumble RPMs come as nosrc rpm packages. While typical source rpms include a spec file and one or multiple source files, a Mumble rpm only provides the former and you would have to own the latter in its original state as provided by Humble Bundle.

I was able to successfully build, install and play 3 Linux games on my Fedora 18 (Waking Mars, Legend of Grimrock and Zen Bound 2), here’s a quick guide for Waking Mars taken from the Mumble RPMs instructions page:

step1: prepare the build environment

sudo yum -y install rpm-build rpmdevtools ImageMagick xz-lzma-compat chrpath rpmdev-setuptree

step2: build the rpm (this assumes you have the original Linux installer downloaded on your machine)

cd ~/Downloads
cp WakingMars-1.2.1-Linux.tar.gz ~/rpmbuild/SOURCES
wget https://mumble.knobgoblin.org.uk/nosrc/wakingmars-1.2.1-1.nosrc.rpm

setarch i386 rpmbuild —rebuild —target=i686 wakingmars-1.2.1-1.nosrc.rpm

Note:

  • the last command will rebuild the rpm binary and place it in ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/i686 as wakingmars-1.2.1-1.i686.rpm. If you want to modify the spec file (to change the package name, version, description etc.) you can install the nosrc rpm instead and issue the rpmbuild command after that against the modified spec file:

rpm -ivh wakingmars-1.2.1-1.nosrc.rpm
cd ~/rpmbuild/SPEC
setarch i386 rpmbuild -b —target=i686 wakingmars.spec

step3: install the newly built rpm:

sudo yum localinstall ~/rpmbuild/RPMS/i686/wakingmars-1.2.1-1.i686.rpm

Reblogged from: linuxsysconfig.com
 

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

FSGamer to Improve Linux Gaming Performance

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Gaming on Linux

Ever since the advent of Steam for Linux, performance issues have miffed gamers; especially those who are using Ubuntu’s Unity and are forced to use Compiz as their display compositor. Those issues have been combated in several ways. Nvidia and AMD have been ‘stepping up to the plate’ so to speak with increased performance from their drivers, and developers have been working towards more granular performance enhancements geared towards playing well with Xorg. Step one for most users is to simply unset Compiz for fullscreen applications, KWin for KDE users. The former is the most affected, and that was the catalyst behindMichael Bethencourt’s FSGamer.

So what is it?

FSGamer is a simple concept, that is “sloppily written, and may crash everything and make you cry” — so says the author. What is does is start a seperate X session with Openbox, and then launch the game. By default it uses tty8, though that could probably by changed. A quick ctrl-alt-f7 will get you back to your usual login session. What to give it a try?

”how-to-improve-linux-gaming-performance”

Installing

Among items on the to-do list is to have the Debian package call out the the proper dependencies, but for now, it doesn’t. Here is what you need?

sudo apt-get install openbox espeak

Then, simply gove yourself the sufficient rights to fire up an additional Xserver on another tty.

sudo cp /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config /etc/X11/Xwrapper.config.backup

Now, edit your Xwrapper config file. Change this line:

allowed_users=console

to

allowed_users=anybody

Now, let’s allow audio in your seperate Xsession:

sudo usermod -a -G audio $USER

Then, install the deb package.

wget https://bitbucket.org/michaelb/fsgamer/downloads/fsgamer_0.1_all.deb

sudo dpkg -i fsgamer*

Lastly, reboot your system and let us know how it works in the comments section. We’d tell you, but we haven’t tried it yet. But we did streamline the install instructions just a little bit from the instructions mentioned on the site.

What next?

Launch the FSGamer application and import your games. The FSGamer application acts as a launcher for each game. It also offers the ability to run custom commands, so you can really run just about anything you want to. More details on usage can be found here.

Reblogged from: thepowerbase.com

”linux-game-gaming-gamer-news” title="Linux Game Gaming News

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