View Poll Results: What Distro do YOU prefer for WINE Gaming!

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  • Fedora Core

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  • Mandrake 10 (or is it 9??? God lost count!)

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  • Gentoo

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Thread: What Distro do YOU prefer for games?!

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  1. #1
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    What Distro do YOU prefer for games?!

    @ Home my brother and I have been messing w/ WINE on the new FC3. We've come acrossed a few snags, Diablo2 doesn't work right has problems w/ CD and install, WarCraft3 has issues as well as a hand full of other games. Now we may suspect its his hardware but things were fine in FC2. I'm thinking of trying out GenToo as a Gaming option but was curious on everyones opinion! Happy voting it'll be interesting to see!
    Thanks! EX :shock:

  2. #2
    Senior Member comtux's Avatar
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    I use a custom slackware build for my games never had a problem with Diablo2 or Warcraft3 but marrowind sucks to try to get working there isn't a linux game i can't build or play but if i was going to choose another distro then i would go with gentoo i tend to stay away from rpm based distros .
    rpm's scare me!
    Wenn Sie Spaß meines Englisch mich Willensfuckingtötung Sie bilden.

  3. #3
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    Re: What Distro do YOU prefer for games?!

    Everything's better with Debian :mrgreen: .

    But... If I knew Slack well enough, it would get my vote for a nice, trimmed down setup.
    Steve

  4. #4
    Mentor jro's Avatar
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    Gentoo all the way. Compiled specifically for my system specs and only the progs I want. Fast as hell.

    Hey, comtux, how did you get Marrowind to work? Are you running it through WineX? (Cadega)
    jro - http://jeff.robbins.ws
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  5. #5
    Senior Member comtux's Avatar
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    Runs with TransGaming WineX 3.1 under Linux
    And some of the top-ranked and top-voted games included:

    Battlefield 1942
    Morrowind (Elder Scrolls III)
    Command and Conquer: Generals
    DeusEx

    Some other winblows game installers for linux
    http://icculus.org/~ravage/

    To install MW/Trib/BM, you basically have to repeat these steps for each part, making sure you understand what you are doing. Don't follow these steps writing exactly what I typed, the steps are just indicative of what you would be doing. Use your brain and replace the actual commands with something that makes sense for your system and setup:

    1) mount the CD in your drive (usually "mount -t iso9660 /dev/hdc /mnd/cdrom" or something similar is enough. Do that from root, or change /etc/fstab to allow standard users to mount the CD. Trivial system administration)
    2) from the user environment launch the setup installer ("cedega /mnt/cdrom/Setup.exe" most of the time)
    3) follow the onscreen stuff, just as you'd install it under windows. Actually, you're fooling the installer into thinking it's installing the game into a real "C:" drive! And all three installers work fine and believe they're being installed on a real windows system.
    4) once the installation is finished, unmount the CD ("unmount /mnt/cdrom && eject")
    5) download the patch for the just-installed component. I suggest moving the patch into the Morrowind dir:
    "mv downloaded_patch_1.X.YYYY.exe ~/Transgaming_Drive/Where/You/Put/Your/Copy/Of/Morrowind"
    6) patch the game component by launching it under cedega: "cd ~/Transgaming_Drive/Path/To/Morrowind && cedega patch_1.X.YYYY.exe"
    7) some patches use a graphical intstaller, some don't. All of the listed ones above will work with cedega 4.0.1.
    8) return to step 1, and continue with the next component till there are no more components, i.e. you patched Bloodmoon to the 1.6.1820 release.

    Now you have all the game installed in the relevant linux directory.

    Time to start the game. BEWARE: you *need* to be in the game directory before starting the game for the game to run! If you run the executable from anywhere else, it will complain it can't find a font, and bail out:

    "cd ~/Transgaming_Drive/Blah/Blah/Morrowind && cedega -bigexe Morrowind.exe"

    Better yet, write down this line into a simple script, call it "morrowind", chmod +x it, stick it somewhere in your path (~/bin is great, /usr/bin or /usr/local/bin also nice).

    In a few moments, a small window bar without the actual window will appear on the upper left corner of the screen, followed by a blanking of the screen and the start of the Bethesda flying logo anim.

    You're done. Reach your way upto the menu, start new, load game (".ess" saved games can be copied from the Saves dir on a windows install without any trouble), options, etc.

    CAVEATS

    The game runs far from perfectly under winex/cedega. There are minor and not-so-minor issues when running under Linux. Known stuff. Hardly they will be corrected. The sale impact of MW is long gone, patches are unlikely, and so are patches to the emulator to further correct these issues (unless the developers would patch the same areas for newer games and these patches will affect favorably Morrowind and its kin).

    So, be particularly wary of:

    1) Movies and video flics will work BAD. They will be skippy, slow, chopped and appear at times to have frozen your machine. MW uses the Bink video engine, which is still hard to emulate (proprietary stuff - you know the score). Yes, even the starting Bethesda flying logo. You have a weapon against that: the ESC key. Hit it as soon as possible when a movie starts, and you will be spared the pain of seeing a slideshow of graphics with out-of-sync rapping sound. Yes, this will remove a lot of environmental beauty from the game (the initial "new game" prohpecy, Azura's speech at the Cavern of Incarnate, main quest movie ending, etc.), but that's the price you pay for having software houses picking proprietary standards for their trivial stuff (and at least they learned to use MP3s and OGGs for audio clips. One day they will appreciate the use of MPEG4, OGG or DIVX codecs also in video).

    2) Copy protection will bite you. Hard. Remember when you wiped those five Camonna Tong guys at the Council Club in Balmora? Just a tad worse. The game WILL be skippy and freeze from time to time when the code checks for the CD in the drive. Linux/windows differences in I/O will impact very bad unto this aspect of game flow. There's a solution, and I will post it in the next message. But of course it implies "working around" CD checks. So I don't want to pollute this post risking to have it deleted. DO NOT PIRATE SOFTWARE, but let software houses know how much you hate being treated like a pirate when you buy their goods.

    3) Memory allocation differences between linux and windows mean that the game will crash and exit when it needs to load many different areas since it starts. Example: start in Balmora, go to the MG, guildguide to Caldera, get out of MG into the town, return in MG, guildguide to Vivec, exit from Foreign Quarter... *BAM* crash. It's due to the loading of different cells. Outdoor cells are *far* "heavier" memory-wise, so you could visit all the internal areas of Vivec and have no problems, but move from one city to another (or wander around in the wilderness for a while), and the memory allocation bug will hit you. Solution: cycles of F5-F9 from time to time. When you reload the quicksave, the game will flush the memory used for cells, and thus allow you to move freely if you take the habit of "checkpointing" your quest when you feel you're about to load a new big chunk of data. Experience will tell you when to hit F5-F9. With this trick, the game can be played for hours on end, periodically flushing the memory from old cells to make room for new ones.

    4) Even if your gfx card supports the pixel shader (as mine does), the emulated DirectX libs won't take advantage of that. OpenGL is more than enough to offer a decent experience (20-70 fps depending on location on my machine all the time), but the pixel shader isn't implemented. Standard water, get over it!

    5) OSS/ALSA sound drivers are more than enough to offer you a good audio environment. I use ALSA (reconfigured cedega to use it) and stereo is great, ingame music, sfx, voice-overs and footsteps are all done nicely. Sound is perhaps the most stable aspect.

    6) The game will freeze for 0.5-1 second from time to time. Normal. Rare. Live with it. No solution known to me. Sound will keep playing even when game is frozen. Just the display is temporarily "snapped in place". Not too annoying after a short while. Not related to loading of data, or I/O. Frankly, don't know why it happens.

    7) Kernel should be fine tuned, and base system (kernel, glibc, libs, drivers) should be recompiled to take full advantage of the game. In this, Gentoo shines. Same environment tested under Fedora Core2 shown a choppier performance. You may ask me privately the .config of my actual kernel, if you want to experiment some.

    8) You might want to edit the emulator's system registry to attain certain resolutions on your monitor. My 18" LCD is a nice flat panel topping 1280x1024, linked thru DVI to the GeForce4 card. Yet the game doesn't let me pick 1280x1024 from the Video Options in the Options menu. It will go upto 1280x960, which is terrible on a digital flat panel. By manually changing the values of "Screen Height" and "Screen Width" in the Morrowind section of ~/.transgaming/system.reg (the equivalent of windows' registry, only text-based!), you can adjust the actual screen size. Beware, the values are in hexadecimal, so 1280 would be "dword:00000500" and 1024 would be "dword:00000400". Black magic? Nah, just some trivial hacks.

    9) Standard tweaking of Morrowind.ini (font substitution, graphics fiddling, etc.) should be relatively painless. Keyword here: should.

    10) Mods and optional components SHOULD work. Just copy the files in the Data dir, or launch the installer prepending the name with "cedega" from command line. There's a graphic glitch in the selector of ".esm" files, in which you cannot read the actual name of the .esm file next to the checkmark. I used no mods so far in my game, so I can't help you should you need a particular mod, official or unofficial.

    11) Performance related to windows can be considered "mostly equal". The emulation layer obvious slowdowns are somehow compensated, IMHO, with the cleaner system layout. But, of course, YMMV. Even if I had the chance to move back to windows and play the game in that environment, I honestly would prefer to stick ot the "linuxised" game engine. Just a personal opinion, feel free to ignore.

  6. #6
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    i prefer the blue one

  7. #7
    Mentor jro's Avatar
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    Nice, did you write that up CT? I can't wait to get home and try this out. I love Marrowind, been dying a little everytime I have to reboot to play it. Thanks for the post!
    jro - http://jeff.robbins.ws
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  8. #8
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    From todays www.distrowatch,com


    Knoppix Games Edition (public release)

    The recently released specialist (non-public) edition of the Knoppix live CD Games Edition has attracted so much interest that the developers are now planning a public release early next month: "After receiving a lot of positive feedback concerning the Knoppix PCGH-Edition we decided to build a public games version. This version is a true Knoppix and I'll try to sync the releases with Klaus Knopper in a way that the base of the Games Knoppix is the most current public Knoppix. The date of our first release will be Monday, the 6.12.2004 (St. Nicholas Day ." Read the full announcement for further details.

    * * * * *

  9. #9
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    Wow I"ll have to look into that, I had the idea of doing a Gentoo distro and just making it a Multimedia box for games. Maybe this will be better.

  10. #10
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    Re: What Distro do YOU prefer for games?!

    Damn, you just can't top compiling the base libraries a game is built on from source. What a difference a few optimizations can make. (Compiling SDL and being semi-harsh on your optimizations can easily bump Doom3 up 5fps or more on most systems) Gentoo 4 Life

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