Difference between revisions of "Gaming"

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[[Category:Gaming]]
 
[[Category:Gaming]]
[[da:Games]]
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[[da:List of games]]
[[it:Games]]
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[[es:List of games]]
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[[it:List of games]]
 +
[[ja:ゲーム]]
 
[[lt:Games]]
 
[[lt:Games]]
 
[[ru:Gaming]]
 
[[ru:Gaming]]
{{Article summary start}}
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[[zh-cn:List of games]]
{{Article summary text|Provides information about running games and related system configuration tips.}}
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{{Related articles start}}
{{Article summary heading|Related}}
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{{Related|List of games}}
{{Article summary wiki|List of Applications/Games}}
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{{Related|Xorg}}
{{Article summary wiki|Netbook Games}}
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{{Related articles end}}
{{Article summary wiki|Xorg}}
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{{Article summary wiki|NVIDIA#Gaming using Twinview}}
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{{Article summary end}}
+
  
This page only contains information about running games and related system configuration tips. For lists of popular games for GNU/Linux see [[List of Applications/Games]] and [[Netbook Games]].
+
This page only contains information about running games and related system configuration tips. For lists of popular games for GNU/Linux see [[List of games]].
  
== Game Environments ==
+
== Game environments ==
  
 
Different environments exist to play games in Linux:
 
Different environments exist to play games in Linux:
  
* Native – Games written for Linux (usually Free & Open Source).
+
* Native – Games written for Linux.
 
* Browser – you need only browser and Internet connection to play these types of games.
 
* Browser – you need only browser and Internet connection to play these types of games.
 +
** HTML5 games use canvas and WebGL technologies and work in all modern browsers but can be slow on weak machines.
 
** Plugin-based – you need to install plugin to play.
 
** Plugin-based – you need to install plugin to play.
 
*** [[Java]] Webstart – used to install cross-platform games very easily.
 
*** [[Java]] Webstart – used to install cross-platform games very easily.
 
*** [[Flash]] games are very common on the Web.
 
*** [[Flash]] games are very common on the Web.
*** Unity – specialized game plugin for browsers. Currently works only in Google Chrome. Most games are commercial and/or closed-source.
+
* Specialized environments (software emulators) – – Required for running software designed for other architectures or systems, (Heed the copyright laws of your country!). Check the  [[List of applications/Other#Emulators|list of emulators]] for more details.
** '''HTML 5''' games use brand new canvas and WebGL technologies and work in all modern browsers but can be '''very''' slow on weak machines.
+
** [[Wine]] – allows running of some Windows games, as well as a large amount of Windows software. Performance in Wine varies, the additional CPU overhead will cause slowdown in some games while in some cases games may run faster. Consult [http://appdb.winehq.org/ Wine AppDB] for game-specific compatibility information.
* Specialized environments (software emulators) – – Required for running software designed for other architectures or systems (Heed the copyright laws of your country!)
+
** [http://www.codeweavers.com/ Crossover Games] – members of the Codeweavers team are prime supporters of Wine. Using Crossover Games makes the installation & setting up of some games easier, more reliable & even possible, when compared to using other methods.  Crossover is a paid commercial product, which also provides a [http://www.codeweavers.com/support/forums/ forum] where the developers are very much involved in the community.  
** [[Wine]] – allows running of some Windows games, as well as a large amount of Windows software.
+
** [[DOSBox]] is a minimal virtual machine which runs a full DOS-compatible environment. It can be used to run classic DOS titles.
** [http://www.codeweavers.com/ Crossover Games] – members of the Codeweavers team are prime supporters of Wine. Using Crossover Games makes the installation & setting up of some games easier, more reliable & even possible, when compared to using other methods.  Crossover is a paid commercial product, which also provides a [http://www.codeweavers.com/support/forums/ forum] where the developers are very much involved in the community.
+
** {{Pkg|scummvm}} is an all-in-one engine reimplementation of many classic point-and-click adventure games. A full list of compatible titles can be found on the [http://scummvm.org ScummVM website].
** [[Cedega]] – game-oriented Wine derivative. Its packaged version is not free of charge unlike its CVS version.
+
** Similar to ScummVM, engine reimplementations exist for specific titles, such as Doom.
** [[DosBox]] – DOS emulator
+
* Virtual machines can be used to install compatible operating systems (such as Windows). [[VirtualBox]] has good 3D support. As an extension of this, if you have compatible hardware you can consider VGA passthrough to a Windows KVM guest.
** {{Pkg|scummvm}} – emulates games based on the [[Wikipedia:SCUMM|SCUMM game engine]], which ran many classic adventure games.
+
* Hardware emulators – emulate the whole device instead of software environment. The same thing about Copyright here.
+
  
 
== Getting games ==
 
== Getting games ==
 +
 
=== Native ===
 
=== Native ===
A good number are available in the [[Official repositories]] or in the [[AUR]].  [http://liflg.org/ Loki] provides installers for several games. [http://desura.com Desura] can be considered good source of games (if you don't care about security and bugs too much).
 
  
=== Wine ===
+
A good number are available in the [[official repositories]] or in the [[AUR]]. [http://liflg.org/ Loki] provides installers for several games.
* Centralized source of information about running games (and other applications) in Wine is [http://appdb.winehq.org/ Wine AppDB].
+
 
* See also [[:Category:Wine]].
+
=== Digital distribution ===
 +
 
 +
* {{App|[[Wikipedia:Desura|Desura]]|Digital distribution platform featuring indie games. It can be considered good source of games (if you do not care about security and bugs too much).
 +
|http://www.desura.com/|{{AUR|desura}}}}
 +
 
 +
* {{App|[[Steam]]|Famous digital distribution and communications platform developed by Valve. It has a large library with over 1000 Linux games. These include popular titles like Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, several AAA games, and lots of indie titles.
 +
|http://store.steampowered.com|{{Pkg|steam}}}}
 +
::*[http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Steam_under_Linux Steam under Linux.]
 +
::*[http://store.steampowered.com/browse/linux/ See linux-games catalog.]
 +
::*Not all Steam titles are native, some are packaged to run using Wine.
 +
 
 +
* The [https://www.humblebundle.com/store Humble Store]
 +
 
 +
* [https://itch.io/ itch.io]|{{AUR|itch}}
 +
 
 +
* [http://www.gog.com/games/linux GOG.com]
 +
::*The {{AUR|lgogdownloader}} package can be used to download GOG titles from the command line.
 +
::*GOG.com only officially supports Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Bear this in mind if requesting support from them; you will not get a refund if you are having trouble running games on Arch.
 +
::*Many GOG.com titles come pre-packaged with DOSBox, ScummVM or Wine.
  
 
=== Flash ===
 
=== Flash ===
Several huge flash games portals exists, among them are:
+
{{Note|The official Adobe Flash Player for Linux with NPAPI-based browsers is stuck at major version 11, whereas the current (as of August 25, 2015) major version is 18. An up-to-date Adobe Flash Player is, however, obtainable on Linux with PPAPI-based browsers. Please see [[wikipedia:Adobe Flash Player#Desktop platforms]] for more info. If you do not wish to install Chrome, however, there is an even more potent option to use the Windows version of Flash; see http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2028 for details.}}
 +
 
 +
Several huge Flash games portals exists, among them are:
 
* https://armorgames.com/
 
* https://armorgames.com/
 
* https://www.kongregate.com/
 
* https://www.kongregate.com/
Line 49: Line 67:
  
 
=== Java ===
 
=== Java ===
 +
 
* Lots of games smaller than 4kb (some are real masterpieces of game design) can be found at http://www.java4k.com.
 
* Lots of games smaller than 4kb (some are real masterpieces of game design) can be found at http://www.java4k.com.
 
* https://www.pogo.com/ – biggest casual Java gaming portal
 
* https://www.pogo.com/ – biggest casual Java gaming portal
 
* [http://www.javagametome.com/ The Java Game Tome] - huge database of primarily casual games
 
* [http://www.javagametome.com/ The Java Game Tome] - huge database of primarily casual games
  
== Running games in Arch ==
+
=== Wine ===
 +
 
 +
* Centralized source of information about running games (and other applications) in [[Wine]] is [http://appdb.winehq.org/ Wine AppDB].
 +
* See also [[:Category:Wine]].
 +
 
 +
It is recommended (especially for beginners) to use {{Pkg|playonlinux}}, which pulls all necessary dependencies during installation, automatically downloads Windows tools at first start-up to configure and set-up native windows applications to launch properly. For more information, see [https://www.playonlinux.com/en/ Official Website].
 +
 
 +
== Running games ==
 +
 
 
Certain games or game types may need special configuration to run or to run as expected.
 
Certain games or game types may need special configuration to run or to run as expected.
 
For the most part, games will work right out of the box in Arch Linux with possibly better performance than on other distributions due to compile time optimizations. However, some special setups may require a bit of configuration or scripting to make games run as smoothly as desired.
 
For the most part, games will work right out of the box in Arch Linux with possibly better performance than on other distributions due to compile time optimizations. However, some special setups may require a bit of configuration or scripting to make games run as smoothly as desired.
  
 
=== Multi-screen setups ===
 
=== Multi-screen setups ===
Running a multi-screen setup may lead to problems with fullscreen games. In such a case, [[#Starting games in a separate X server|running a second X server]] is one possible solution. Another solution may be found in the [[NVIDIA#Gaming_using_Twinview|NVIDIA article]] (may also apply to non-NVIDIA users).
 
  
=== Keyboard Grabbing ===
+
Running a multi-screen setup may lead to problems with fullscreen games. In such a case, [[#Starting games in a separate X server|running a second X server]] is one possible solution. Another solution may be found in the [[NVIDIA#Gaming using TwinView|NVIDIA article]] (may also apply to non-NVIDIA users).
Many games grab the keyboard, noticeably preventing you from switching windows (also known as alt-tabbing). Download {{AUR|sdl-nokeyboardgrab}} to gain the ability to use keyboard commands while in SDL games. If you wish to turn it up to 11, you can disable keyboard grabbing at X11 level using {{AUR|libx11-nokeyboardgrab}}, or with more fine-grained control with {{AUR|libx11-ldpreloadnograb}} using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable to run applications with particular grab prevention. Wine/lib32 users should also look at the respective lib32 libraries.
+
  
{{Note | SDL is known to sometimes not be able to grab the input system. In such a case, it may succeed in grabbing it after a few seconds of waiting.}}
+
=== Keyboard grabbing ===
 +
 
 +
Many games grab the keyboard, noticeably preventing you from switching windows (also known as alt-tabbing).
 +
 
 +
Some SDL games (e.g. Guacamelee) let you disable grabbing by pressing {{ic|Ctrl-g}}.
 +
 
 +
You can also download {{AUR|sdl-nokeyboardgrab}}{{Broken package link|{{aur-mirror|sdl-nokeyboardgrab}}}} to gain the ability to use keyboard commands while in SDL games. If you wish to turn it up to 11, you can disable keyboard grabbing at X11 level using {{AUR|libx11-nokeyboardgrab}}, or with more fine-grained control with {{AUR|libx11-ldpreloadnograb}}{{Broken package link|{{aur-mirror|libx11-ldpreloadnograb}}}} using the {{ic|LD_PRELOAD}} environment variable to run applications with particular grab prevention. Wine/lib32 users should also look at the respective lib32 libraries.
 +
 
 +
{{Note|SDL is known to sometimes not be able to grab the input system. In such a case, it may succeed in grabbing it after a few seconds of waiting.}}
  
 
=== Starting games in a separate X server ===
 
=== Starting games in a separate X server ===
In some cases like those mentioned above, it may be necessary or desired to run a second X server. Running a second X server has multiple advantages such as better performance, the ability to "tab" out of your game by using CTRL-ALT-F7 / CTRL-ALT-F8, no crashing your primary X session (which may have open work on) in case a game conflicts with the graphics driver. To start a second X server (using [http://alientrap.org/nexuiz/ Nexuiz] as an example) you can simply do:  
+
 
  xinit /usr/bin/nexuiz-glx -- :1
+
{{Merge|Running program in separate X display|same topic}}
 +
 
 +
In some cases like those mentioned above, it may be necessary or desired to run a second X server. Running a second X server has multiple advantages such as better performance, the ability to "tab" out of your game by using {{ic|Ctrl+Alt+F7}}/{{ic|Ctrl+Alt+F8}}, no crashing your primary X session (which may have open work on) in case a game conflicts with the graphics driver. The new X server will be akin a remote access login for the ALSA, so your user need to be part of the {{ic|audio}} group to be able to hear any sound.
 +
 
 +
To start a second X server (using [http://www.xonotic.org/ Xonotic] as an example) you can simply do:  
 +
  $ xinit /usr/bin/xonotic-glx -- :1 vt$XDG_VTNR
 
This can further be spiced up by using a seperate X configuration file:
 
This can further be spiced up by using a seperate X configuration file:
  xinit /usr/bin/nexuiz-glx -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf  
+
  $ xinit /usr/bin/xonotic-glx -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf vt$XDG_VTNR
A good reason to provide an alternative xorg.conf here may be that your primary configuration makes use of NVIDIA's Twinview which would render your 3D games like Nexuiz in the middle of your multiscreen setup, spanned across all screens. This is undesirable, thus starting a second X with an alternative config where the second screen is disabled is advised.
+
A good reason to provide an alternative ''xorg.conf'' here may be that your primary configuration makes use of NVIDIA's Twinview which would render your 3D games like Xonotic in the middle of your multiscreen setup, spanned across all screens. This is undesirable, thus starting a second X with an alternative config where the second screen is disabled is advised.
  
A game starting script making use of Openbox for your home directory or /usr/local/bin may look like this:
+
A game starting script making use of Openbox for your home directory or {{ic|/usr/local/bin}} may look like this:
$ cat ~/game.sh
+
{{hc|~/game.sh|<nowiki>
if [ $# -ge 1 ]; then
+
if [ $# -ge 1 ]; then
  game="`which $1`"
+
        game="$(which $1)"
  openbox="`which openbox`"
+
        openbox="$(which openbox)"
  tmpgame="/tmp/tmpgame.sh"
+
        tmpgame="/tmp/tmpgame.sh"
  DISPLAY=:1.0
+
        DISPLAY=:1.0
  echo -e "${openbox} &\n${game}" > ${tmpgame}
+
        echo -e "${openbox} &\n${game}" > ${tmpgame}
  echo "starting ${game}"
+
        echo "starting ${game}"
  xinit ${tmpgame} -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf || exit 1
+
        xinit ${tmpgame} -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf || exit 1
else
+
else
  echo "not a valid argument"
+
        echo "not a valid argument"
fi
+
fi
 +
</nowiki>}}
  
So after a chmod +x you would be able to use this script like:
+
So after a {{ic|chmod +x}} you would be able to use this script like:
  $ ~/game.sh nexuiz-glx
+
  $ ~/game.sh xonotic-glx
  
 
=== Adjusting mouse detections ===
 
=== Adjusting mouse detections ===
For games that require exceptional amount of mouse skill, adjusting the response rate can help improve accuracy.  Read more [[Mouse_Polling_Rate|here]].
 
  
=== HRTF filters with OpenAL ===
+
For games that require exceptional amount of mouse skill, adjusting the [[mouse polling rate]] can help improve accuracy.
For games using OpenAL, if you use headphones you may get much better positional audio using OpenAL's HRTF filters. To enable, edit {{ic|/etc/openal/alsoft.conf}} (Or copy the example configuration file if it doesn't exist) and change:
+
 
  #hrtf = false
+
=== Mouse focus in GNOME ===
to
+
 
  hrtf = true
+
{{Merge|GNOME}}
 +
 
 +
The 'sloppy' and 'mouse' window-focusing modes in [[GNOME]] are known to cause issues with a variety of games, causing a 'click-through' effect. Users can remedy this problem by switching the focus mode to 'click' (with a tool such as {{Pkg|gnome-tweak-tool}}), playing in a different desktop environment, or spawing their game in a separate X-session.
 +
 
 +
=== Binaural Audio with OpenAL ===
 +
 
 +
For games using [[Wikipedia:OpenAL|OpenAL]], if you use headphones you may get much better positional audio using OpenAL's [[Wikipedia:Head-related transfer function|HRTF]] filters. To enable, run the following command:
 +
 
 +
echo "hrtf = true" >> ~/.alsoftrc
 +
 
 +
Alternatively, install {{AUR|openal-hrtf}} from the AUR, and edit the options in /etc/openal/alsoftrc.conf
 +
 
 +
For Source games, the ingame setting `dsp_slow_cpu` must be set to `1` to enable HRTF, otherwise the game will enable its own processing instead. You will also either need to set up Steam to use native runtime, or link its copy of openal.so to your own local copy. For completeness, also use the following options:
 +
 
 +
  dsp_slow_cpu 1 # Disable in-game spatialiazation
 +
snd_spatialize_roundrobin 1 # Disable spatialization 1.0*100% of sounds
 +
dsp_enhance_stereo 0 # Disable DSP sound effects. You may want to leave this on, if you find it does not interfere with your perception of the sound effects.
 +
  snd_pitchquality 1 # Use high quality sounds
  
 
=== Tuning Pulseaudio ===
 
=== Tuning Pulseaudio ===
If you're using [[Pulseaudio]], you may wish to tweak some default settings to make sure it's running optimally.  
+
 
 +
If you are using [[PulseAudio]], you may wish to tweak some default settings to make sure it is running optimally.
 +
 
 
==== Enabling realtime priority and negative nice level ====
 
==== Enabling realtime priority and negative nice level ====
Pulseaudio is built to be run with realtime priority, being an audio daemon. However, because of security risks of it locking up the system, it's scheduled as a regular thread by default. To adjust this, first make sure you're in the '''audio''' group. Then, uncomment and edit the following lines in {{ic|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf}}:
+
 
 +
Pulseaudio is built to be run with realtime priority, being an audio daemon. However, because of security risks of it locking up the system, it is scheduled as a regular thread by default. To adjust this, first make sure you are in the {{ic|audio}} group. Then, uncomment and edit the following lines in {{ic|/etc/pulse/daemon.conf}}:
 
  high-priority = yes
 
  high-priority = yes
 
  nice-level = -11
 
  nice-level = -11
Line 108: Line 166:
 
  realtime-priority = 5
 
  realtime-priority = 5
 
and restart pulseaudio.
 
and restart pulseaudio.
 +
 
==== Using higher quality remixing for better sound ====
 
==== Using higher quality remixing for better sound ====
 +
 
Pulseaudio on Arch uses speex-float-0 by default to remix channels, which is considered a 'medium-low' quality remixing. If your system can handle the extra load, you may benefit from setting it to one of the following instead:
 
Pulseaudio on Arch uses speex-float-0 by default to remix channels, which is considered a 'medium-low' quality remixing. If your system can handle the extra load, you may benefit from setting it to one of the following instead:
 
  resample-method = speex-float-10
 
  resample-method = speex-float-10
 
  resample-method = src-sinc-best-quality
 
  resample-method = src-sinc-best-quality
 +
 
==== Matching hardware buffers to Pulse's buffering ====
 
==== Matching hardware buffers to Pulse's buffering ====
Matching the buffers can reduce stuttering and increase performance marginally. See [http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=44862 here] for more details.
 
  
=== Cgroups ===
+
Matching the buffers can reduce stuttering and increase performance marginally. See [http://forums.linuxmint.com/viewtopic.php?f=42&t=44862 here] for more details.
 
+
Cgroups are a kernel adjustment that allows processes to be grouped together and prioritized in userspace, allowing for minimum latency. They adjust several factors, such as IO prioritization and CPU prioritization.
+
 
+
==== Option 1 - Systemd (Recommended) ====
+
 
+
[[Systemd]] is able to handle Cgroups less specifically by itself, in order to make the system run smoothly with any number of threads running.
+
 
+
Simply install it to take advantage of this improvement.
+
 
+
==== Option 2 - Ulatencyd ====
+
{{Note|Ulatencyd seems to sometimes over-prioritize, especially when it comes to block IO, which can often starve other threads from the same process or process group. [[Systemd]] provides a much more lightweight approach.}}
+
 
+
[[Ulatencyd]] is a daemon which uses dynamic cgroups to give the kernel hints to reduce latency in the system. It comes with a number of configs, and is extensively helpful in prioritizing disk I/O. Installing it will again increase responsiveness and reduce input lag. To use, simply install and add to your DAEMONS in rc.conf.
+
 
+
In addition, Ulatencyd has it's own method for specifically reducing latency in games, by focusing in on that one individual process. To take advantage of this, add entries into {{ic|/etc/ulatencyd/simple.d/games.conf}}:
+
bit.trip.runner user.game
+
hl2.exe        user.game
+
/opt/cogs/*    user.game inherit=1
+
 
+
If you are using an SSD or simply have changed the default scheduler for any block devices, it may be advisable to edit the default settings, as [[Ulatencyd]] reverts the default scheduler back to cfq.
+
 
+
However, CFQ does seem to be best at load balancing when multiple threads are involved, which is a very common arrangement for games. It's best to try all available schedulers before settling on any particular one.
+
  
 
=== Double check your CPU frequency scaling settings ===
 
=== Double check your CPU frequency scaling settings ===
  
If your system is currently configured to properly insert its own cpu frequency scaling driver, the system sets the default governor to Ondemand. By default, this governor only adjusts the clock if the system is utilizing 95% of its CPU, and then only for a very short period of time. This saves power and reduces heat, but has a noticeable impact on performance. You can instead only have the system downclock when it is idle, by tuning the system governor. To do so, see [[Cpufrequtils#Improving_on-demand_performance]].
+
If your system is currently configured to properly insert its own cpu frequency scaling driver, the system sets the default governor to Ondemand. By default, this governor only adjusts the clock if the system is utilizing 95% of its CPU, and then only for a very short period of time. This saves power and reduces heat, but has a noticeable impact on performance. You can instead only have the system downclock when it is idle, by tuning the system governor. To do so, see [[Cpufrequtils#Improving on-demand performance]].
  
 
== Improving framerates and responsiveness with scheduling policies ==
 
== Improving framerates and responsiveness with scheduling policies ==
Line 148: Line 186:
 
=== For Wine programs ===
 
=== For Wine programs ===
  
{{AUR|wine-rt}} is a patched version of WINE that implements scheduling policies on a per-thread basis, using the equivalent of what the Windows developers had intended the threads to be run at. The default patch is more oriented towards professional audio users, and tends to be too heavy-handed of an approach for gaming. You may instead wish to use [http://pastebin.com/D9GBzBBv this patch], which also includes nice levels and uses more than one policy decision. Be warned that it uses SCHED_ISO, which is only properly implemented on [[Linux-ck]], and will simply renice THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL threads if your system does not support it.
+
{{AUR|wine-rt}}{{Broken package link|{{aur-mirror|wine-rt}}}} is a patched version of Wine that implements scheduling policies on a per-thread basis, using the equivalent of what the Windows developers had intended the threads to be run at. The default patch is more oriented towards professional audio users, and tends to be too heavy-handed of an approach for gaming. You may instead wish to use [http://pastebin.com/D9GBzBBv this patch], which also includes nice levels and uses more than one policy decision. Be warned that it uses {{ic|SCHED_ISO}}, which is only properly implemented on [[Linux-ck]], and will simply renice {{ic|THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL}} threads if your system does not support it.
+
 
 +
{{Pkg|wine-staging}} versions 1.9.5 and before incorporate the CSMT patchset which provides better performance for 3D accelerated games. The patchset has been disabled as of 1.9.6 pending an upstream update to the patch and incorporation into the main Wine source tree, so you will need to compile version 1.9.5 of wine-staging yourself if you wish to take advantage of this.
 +
 
 
=== For everything else ===
 
=== For everything else ===
  
For programs which do not implement scheduling policies on their own, one tool known as '''schedtool''', and it's associated daemon '''schedtoold''' (available on the [https://aur.archlinux.org/packages.php?ID=5556 AUR]) can handle many of these tasks automatically.  
+
For programs which do not implement scheduling policies on their own, one tool known as '''schedtool''', and its associated daemon {{AUR|schedtoold}} can handle many of these tasks automatically.
To edit what programs relieve what policies, simply edit /etc/schedtoold.conf and add the program followed by the schedtool arguments desired.
+
To edit what programs relieve what policies, simply edit {{ic|/etc/schedtoold.conf}} and add the program followed by the ''schedtool'' arguments desired.
  
 
==== Policies ====
 
==== Policies ====
First and foremost, setting the scheduling policy to SCHED_ISO will not only allow the process to use a maximum of 80 percent of the CPU, but will attempt to reduce latency and stuttering wherever possible.  
+
 
SCHED_ISO requires [[Linux-ck]] to operate, as it has only been implemented in that kernel. [[Linux-ck]] itself provides a hefty latency reduction, and should ideally be installed  
+
First and foremost, setting the scheduling policy to {{ic|SCHED_ISO}} will not only allow the process to use a maximum of 80 percent of the CPU, but will attempt to reduce latency and stuttering wherever possible.  
 +
{{ic|SCHED_ISO}} requires [[Linux-ck]] to operate, as it has only been implemented in that kernel. [[Linux-ck]] itself provides a hefty latency reduction, and should ideally be installed  
 
Most if not all games will benefit from this:
 
Most if not all games will benefit from this:
 
  bit.trip.runner -I
 
  bit.trip.runner -I
For users not using [[Linux-ck]], SCHED_FIFO provides an alternative, that can even work better. You should test to see if your applications run more smoothly with SCHED_FIFO, in which case by all means use it instead. Be warned though, as SCHED_FIFO runs the risk of starving the system! Use this in cases where -I is used below:
+
For users not using [[Linux-ck]], {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}} provides an alternative, that can even work better. You should test to see if your applications run more smoothly with {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}}, in which case by all means use it instead. Be warned though, as {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}} runs the risk of starving the system! Use this in cases where -I is used below:
 
  bit.trip.runner -F -p 15
 
  bit.trip.runner -F -p 15
  
 
==== Nice levels ====
 
==== Nice levels ====
 +
 
Secondly, the nice level sets which tasks are processed first, in ascending order. A nice level of -4 is reccommended for most multimedia tasks, including games:
 
Secondly, the nice level sets which tasks are processed first, in ascending order. A nice level of -4 is reccommended for most multimedia tasks, including games:
 
  bit.trip.runner -n -4
 
  bit.trip.runner -n -4
  
 
==== Core affinity ====
 
==== Core affinity ====
There is some confusion in development as to whether the driver should be multithreading, or the program. In any case where they both attempt it, it causes drops in framerate and crashes. Examples of this include a number of modern games, and any WINE program which is running without GLSL disabled. To select a single core and allow only the driver to handle this process, simply use the -a 0x# flag:  
+
 
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x1 #Use cores 1
+
There is some confusion in development as to whether the driver should be multithreading, or the program. In any case where they both attempt it, it causes drops in framerate and crashes. Examples of this include a number of modern games, and any Wine program which is running without [[Wikipedia:OpenGL Shading Language|GLSL]] disabled. To select a single core and allow only the driver to handle this process, simply use the {{ic|-a 0x''#''}} flag, where ''#'' is the core number, e.g.:  
 +
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x1
 +
uses first core.
 
Some CPUs are hyperthreaded and have only 2 or 4 cores but show up as 4 or 8, and are best accounted for:
 
Some CPUs are hyperthreaded and have only 2 or 4 cores but show up as 4 or 8, and are best accounted for:
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x5 #Use virtual cores 0101, or 1 and 3
+
  bit.trip.runner -a 0x5
 +
which use virtual cores 0101, or 1 and 3.
  
 
==== General case ====
 
==== General case ====
 +
 
For most games which require high framerates and low latency, usage of all of these flags seems to work best. Affinity should be checked per-program, however, as most native games can understand the correct usage.
 
For most games which require high framerates and low latency, usage of all of these flags seems to work best. Affinity should be checked per-program, however, as most native games can understand the correct usage.
 
For a general case:
 
For a general case:
Line 179: Line 225:
 
  Amnesia.bin64 -I -n -4
 
  Amnesia.bin64 -I -n -4
 
  hl2.exe -I -n -4 -a 0x1 #Wine with GLSL enabled
 
  hl2.exe -I -n -4 -a 0x1 #Wine with GLSL enabled
etc, etc.
+
etc.
  
 
==== Optimus, and other helping programs ====
 
==== Optimus, and other helping programs ====
As a general rule, any other process which the game requires to operate should be reniced to a level above that of the game itself. Strangely, Wine has a problem known as 'reverse scheduling', it can often have benefits when the more important processes are set to a higher nice level. Wineserver also seems unconditionally to benefit from SCHED_FIFO, since rarely consumes the whole CPU and needs higher prioritization when possible.
+
 
 +
As a general rule, any other process which the game requires to operate should be reniced to a level above that of the game itself. Strangely, Wine has a problem known as ''reverse scheduling'', it can often have benefits when the more important processes are set to a higher nice level. Wineserver also seems unconditionally to benefit from {{ic|SCHED_FIFO}}, since rarely consumes the whole CPU and needs higher prioritization when possible.
 
  optirun -I -n -5
 
  optirun -I -n -5
 
  wineserver -F -p 20 -n 19
 
  wineserver -F -p 20 -n 19
Line 189: Line 236:
 
== Using alternate kernels ==
 
== Using alternate kernels ==
  
The stock ARCH kernel provides a very good baseline for general usage. However, if your system has less than 16 cores and is intended for use primarily as a workstation, you can sacrifice a small amount of throughput on batch workloads and gain a significant boost to interactivity by using [[Linux-ck]]. If you prefer not to compile your own kernel, you can instead add [[Repo-ck]] and use one of their kernels. Using a pre-optimized kernel will most definitely offset any loss of throughput that may have occurred as a result, so be sure to select the appropriate kernel for your architecture.  
+
{{Note|Many users report inconsistant framerate and other performance hits when using [[Linux-ck]], even if the overall framerate is sometimes higher. You may wish to try using {{Pkg|linux-zen}} if you just want BFQ.}}
 +
 
 +
The stock Arch kernel provides a very good baseline for general usage. However, if your system has less than 16 cores and is intended for use primarily as a workstation, you can sacrifice a small amount of throughput on batch workloads and gain a significant boost to interactivity by using [[Linux-ck]]. If you prefer not to compile your own kernel, you can instead add [[Repo-ck]] and use one of their kernels. Using a pre-optimized kernel will most definitely offset any loss of throughput that may have occurred as a result, so be sure to select the appropriate kernel for your architecture.  
  
 
=== Using BFQ ===
 
=== Using BFQ ===
  
BFQ is an io-scheduler that comes as a feature of [[Linux-ck]], and is optimized to be much more simplistic, but provides better interactivity and throughput for non-server workloads. To enable, see [[Linux-ck#How_to_Enable_the_BFQ_I.2FO_Scheduler]]. It is important to note that although most guides recommend using either '''noop''' or '''deadline''' for SSDs for their raw throughput, they are actually detrimental to interactivity when more than one thread is attempting to access the device. It's best to use '''bfq''' unless you desperately need the throughput advantage.
+
BFQ is an io-scheduler that comes as a feature of {{Pkg|linux-zen}} and [[Linux-ck]], and is optimized to be much more simplistic, but provides better interactivity and throughput for non-server workloads. To enable, simply add the kernel parameter ''elevator=bfq'' to your [[bootloader]]. It is important to note that although most guides recommend using either ''noop'' or ''deadline'' for SSDs for their raw throughput, they are actually detrimental to interactivity when more than one thread is attempting to access the device. It is best to use ''bfq'' unless you desperately need the throughput advantage.
  
 
== See also ==
 
== See also ==
 +
 
* [http://www.linuxgames.com/ LinuxGames] - News on linux games
 
* [http://www.linuxgames.com/ LinuxGames] - News on linux games
 +
* [http://osgameclones.com/ OSGameClones] - List of open source game clones
 
* [http://freegamer.blogspot.com/ Free Gamer] - Open source games blog
 
* [http://freegamer.blogspot.com/ Free Gamer] - Open source games blog
 
* [http://forum.freegamedev.net/ FreeGameDev] - Free/open source game development community
 
* [http://forum.freegamedev.net/ FreeGameDev] - Free/open source game development community
 
* [https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Games#Gaming_News_sites SIG/Games] - OS/Linux gaming news sites and lists at Fedora's wiki
 
* [https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/SIGs/Games#Gaming_News_sites SIG/Games] - OS/Linux gaming news sites and lists at Fedora's wiki
 
* [http://live.linux-gamers.net live.linux-gamers] - Arch-based live gaming distro
 
* [http://live.linux-gamers.net live.linux-gamers] - Arch-based live gaming distro
* [http://www.gamesonlinux.com Games on Linux] - Commercial Games On Linux
+
* [http://www.gamingonlinux.com/ Gaming on Linux] - Active Linux gaming news and editorial source and community
* [http://www.gamingonlinux.com/ Gaming on Linux] - An active Linux gaming news and editorial source and community
+
* [https://unixgames.org/ Unixgames] - Q&A service for Linux gamers.

Latest revision as of 02:32, 25 April 2016

Related articles

This page only contains information about running games and related system configuration tips. For lists of popular games for GNU/Linux see List of games.

Game environments

Different environments exist to play games in Linux:

  • Native – Games written for Linux.
  • Browser – you need only browser and Internet connection to play these types of games.
    • HTML5 games use canvas and WebGL technologies and work in all modern browsers but can be slow on weak machines.
    • Plugin-based – you need to install plugin to play.
      • Java Webstart – used to install cross-platform games very easily.
      • Flash games are very common on the Web.
  • Specialized environments (software emulators) – – Required for running software designed for other architectures or systems, (Heed the copyright laws of your country!). Check the list of emulators for more details.
    • Wine – allows running of some Windows games, as well as a large amount of Windows software. Performance in Wine varies, the additional CPU overhead will cause slowdown in some games while in some cases games may run faster. Consult Wine AppDB for game-specific compatibility information.
    • Crossover Games – members of the Codeweavers team are prime supporters of Wine. Using Crossover Games makes the installation & setting up of some games easier, more reliable & even possible, when compared to using other methods. Crossover is a paid commercial product, which also provides a forum where the developers are very much involved in the community.
    • DOSBox is a minimal virtual machine which runs a full DOS-compatible environment. It can be used to run classic DOS titles.
    • scummvm is an all-in-one engine reimplementation of many classic point-and-click adventure games. A full list of compatible titles can be found on the ScummVM website.
    • Similar to ScummVM, engine reimplementations exist for specific titles, such as Doom.
  • Virtual machines can be used to install compatible operating systems (such as Windows). VirtualBox has good 3D support. As an extension of this, if you have compatible hardware you can consider VGA passthrough to a Windows KVM guest.

Getting games

Native

A good number are available in the official repositories or in the AUR. Loki provides installers for several games.

Digital distribution

  • Desura — Digital distribution platform featuring indie games. It can be considered good source of games (if you do not care about security and bugs too much).
http://www.desura.com/ || desuraAUR
  • Steam — Famous digital distribution and communications platform developed by Valve. It has a large library with over 1000 Linux games. These include popular titles like Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Team Fortress 2, several AAA games, and lots of indie titles.
http://store.steampowered.com || steam
  • The lgogdownloaderAUR package can be used to download GOG titles from the command line.
  • GOG.com only officially supports Ubuntu and Linux Mint. Bear this in mind if requesting support from them; you will not get a refund if you are having trouble running games on Arch.
  • Many GOG.com titles come pre-packaged with DOSBox, ScummVM or Wine.

Flash

Note: The official Adobe Flash Player for Linux with NPAPI-based browsers is stuck at major version 11, whereas the current (as of August 25, 2015) major version is 18. An up-to-date Adobe Flash Player is, however, obtainable on Linux with PPAPI-based browsers. Please see wikipedia:Adobe Flash Player#Desktop platforms for more info. If you do not wish to install Chrome, however, there is an even more potent option to use the Windows version of Flash; see http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/2028 for details.

Several huge Flash games portals exists, among them are:

Java

Wine

It is recommended (especially for beginners) to use playonlinux, which pulls all necessary dependencies during installation, automatically downloads Windows tools at first start-up to configure and set-up native windows applications to launch properly. For more information, see Official Website.

Running games

Certain games or game types may need special configuration to run or to run as expected. For the most part, games will work right out of the box in Arch Linux with possibly better performance than on other distributions due to compile time optimizations. However, some special setups may require a bit of configuration or scripting to make games run as smoothly as desired.

Multi-screen setups

Running a multi-screen setup may lead to problems with fullscreen games. In such a case, running a second X server is one possible solution. Another solution may be found in the NVIDIA article (may also apply to non-NVIDIA users).

Keyboard grabbing

Many games grab the keyboard, noticeably preventing you from switching windows (also known as alt-tabbing).

Some SDL games (e.g. Guacamelee) let you disable grabbing by pressing Ctrl-g.

You can also download sdl-nokeyboardgrabAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] to gain the ability to use keyboard commands while in SDL games. If you wish to turn it up to 11, you can disable keyboard grabbing at X11 level using libx11-nokeyboardgrabAUR, or with more fine-grained control with libx11-ldpreloadnograbAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable to run applications with particular grab prevention. Wine/lib32 users should also look at the respective lib32 libraries.

Note: SDL is known to sometimes not be able to grab the input system. In such a case, it may succeed in grabbing it after a few seconds of waiting.

Starting games in a separate X server

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with Running program in separate X display.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: same topic (Discuss in Talk:Gaming#)

In some cases like those mentioned above, it may be necessary or desired to run a second X server. Running a second X server has multiple advantages such as better performance, the ability to "tab" out of your game by using Ctrl+Alt+F7/Ctrl+Alt+F8, no crashing your primary X session (which may have open work on) in case a game conflicts with the graphics driver. The new X server will be akin a remote access login for the ALSA, so your user need to be part of the audio group to be able to hear any sound.

To start a second X server (using Xonotic as an example) you can simply do:

$ xinit /usr/bin/xonotic-glx -- :1 vt$XDG_VTNR

This can further be spiced up by using a seperate X configuration file:

$ xinit /usr/bin/xonotic-glx -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf vt$XDG_VTNR

A good reason to provide an alternative xorg.conf here may be that your primary configuration makes use of NVIDIA's Twinview which would render your 3D games like Xonotic in the middle of your multiscreen setup, spanned across all screens. This is undesirable, thus starting a second X with an alternative config where the second screen is disabled is advised.

A game starting script making use of Openbox for your home directory or /usr/local/bin may look like this:

~/game.sh
if [ $# -ge 1 ]; then
        game="$(which $1)"
        openbox="$(which openbox)"
        tmpgame="/tmp/tmpgame.sh"
        DISPLAY=:1.0
        echo -e "${openbox} &\n${game}" > ${tmpgame}
        echo "starting ${game}"
        xinit ${tmpgame} -- :1 -xf86config xorg-game.conf || exit 1
else
        echo "not a valid argument"
fi

So after a chmod +x you would be able to use this script like:

$ ~/game.sh xonotic-glx

Adjusting mouse detections

For games that require exceptional amount of mouse skill, adjusting the mouse polling rate can help improve accuracy.

Mouse focus in GNOME

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with GNOME.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: please use the second argument of the template to provide more detailed indications. (Discuss in Talk:Gaming#)

The 'sloppy' and 'mouse' window-focusing modes in GNOME are known to cause issues with a variety of games, causing a 'click-through' effect. Users can remedy this problem by switching the focus mode to 'click' (with a tool such as gnome-tweak-tool), playing in a different desktop environment, or spawing their game in a separate X-session.

Binaural Audio with OpenAL

For games using OpenAL, if you use headphones you may get much better positional audio using OpenAL's HRTF filters. To enable, run the following command:

echo "hrtf = true" >> ~/.alsoftrc

Alternatively, install openal-hrtfAUR from the AUR, and edit the options in /etc/openal/alsoftrc.conf

For Source games, the ingame setting `dsp_slow_cpu` must be set to `1` to enable HRTF, otherwise the game will enable its own processing instead. You will also either need to set up Steam to use native runtime, or link its copy of openal.so to your own local copy. For completeness, also use the following options:

dsp_slow_cpu 1 # Disable in-game spatialiazation
snd_spatialize_roundrobin 1 # Disable spatialization 1.0*100% of sounds
dsp_enhance_stereo 0 # Disable DSP sound effects. You may want to leave this on, if you find it does not interfere with your perception of the sound effects.
snd_pitchquality 1 # Use high quality sounds

Tuning Pulseaudio

If you are using PulseAudio, you may wish to tweak some default settings to make sure it is running optimally.

Enabling realtime priority and negative nice level

Pulseaudio is built to be run with realtime priority, being an audio daemon. However, because of security risks of it locking up the system, it is scheduled as a regular thread by default. To adjust this, first make sure you are in the audio group. Then, uncomment and edit the following lines in /etc/pulse/daemon.conf:

high-priority = yes
nice-level = -11
realtime-scheduling = yes
realtime-priority = 5

and restart pulseaudio.

Using higher quality remixing for better sound

Pulseaudio on Arch uses speex-float-0 by default to remix channels, which is considered a 'medium-low' quality remixing. If your system can handle the extra load, you may benefit from setting it to one of the following instead:

resample-method = speex-float-10
resample-method = src-sinc-best-quality

Matching hardware buffers to Pulse's buffering

Matching the buffers can reduce stuttering and increase performance marginally. See here for more details.

Double check your CPU frequency scaling settings

If your system is currently configured to properly insert its own cpu frequency scaling driver, the system sets the default governor to Ondemand. By default, this governor only adjusts the clock if the system is utilizing 95% of its CPU, and then only for a very short period of time. This saves power and reduces heat, but has a noticeable impact on performance. You can instead only have the system downclock when it is idle, by tuning the system governor. To do so, see Cpufrequtils#Improving on-demand performance.

Improving framerates and responsiveness with scheduling policies

Most every game can benefit if given the correct scheduling policies for the kernel to prioritize the task. However, without the help of a daemon, this rescheduling would have to be carried out manually or through the use of several daemons for each policy. These policies should ideally be set per-thread by the application itself, but not all developers implement these policies. There are several methods for getting them to work anyway:

For Wine programs

wine-rtAUR[broken link: archived in aur-mirror] is a patched version of Wine that implements scheduling policies on a per-thread basis, using the equivalent of what the Windows developers had intended the threads to be run at. The default patch is more oriented towards professional audio users, and tends to be too heavy-handed of an approach for gaming. You may instead wish to use this patch, which also includes nice levels and uses more than one policy decision. Be warned that it uses SCHED_ISO, which is only properly implemented on Linux-ck, and will simply renice THREAD_PRIORITY_ABOVE_NORMAL threads if your system does not support it.

wine-staging versions 1.9.5 and before incorporate the CSMT patchset which provides better performance for 3D accelerated games. The patchset has been disabled as of 1.9.6 pending an upstream update to the patch and incorporation into the main Wine source tree, so you will need to compile version 1.9.5 of wine-staging yourself if you wish to take advantage of this.

For everything else

For programs which do not implement scheduling policies on their own, one tool known as schedtool, and its associated daemon schedtooldAUR can handle many of these tasks automatically. To edit what programs relieve what policies, simply edit /etc/schedtoold.conf and add the program followed by the schedtool arguments desired.

Policies

First and foremost, setting the scheduling policy to SCHED_ISO will not only allow the process to use a maximum of 80 percent of the CPU, but will attempt to reduce latency and stuttering wherever possible. SCHED_ISO requires Linux-ck to operate, as it has only been implemented in that kernel. Linux-ck itself provides a hefty latency reduction, and should ideally be installed Most if not all games will benefit from this:

bit.trip.runner -I

For users not using Linux-ck, SCHED_FIFO provides an alternative, that can even work better. You should test to see if your applications run more smoothly with SCHED_FIFO, in which case by all means use it instead. Be warned though, as SCHED_FIFO runs the risk of starving the system! Use this in cases where -I is used below:

bit.trip.runner -F -p 15

Nice levels

Secondly, the nice level sets which tasks are processed first, in ascending order. A nice level of -4 is reccommended for most multimedia tasks, including games:

bit.trip.runner -n -4

Core affinity

There is some confusion in development as to whether the driver should be multithreading, or the program. In any case where they both attempt it, it causes drops in framerate and crashes. Examples of this include a number of modern games, and any Wine program which is running without GLSL disabled. To select a single core and allow only the driver to handle this process, simply use the -a 0x# flag, where # is the core number, e.g.:

bit.trip.runner -a 0x1

uses first core. Some CPUs are hyperthreaded and have only 2 or 4 cores but show up as 4 or 8, and are best accounted for:

bit.trip.runner -a 0x5

which use virtual cores 0101, or 1 and 3.

General case

For most games which require high framerates and low latency, usage of all of these flags seems to work best. Affinity should be checked per-program, however, as most native games can understand the correct usage. For a general case:

bit.trip.runner -I -n -4
Amnesia.bin64 -I -n -4
hl2.exe -I -n -4 -a 0x1 #Wine with GLSL enabled

etc.

Optimus, and other helping programs

As a general rule, any other process which the game requires to operate should be reniced to a level above that of the game itself. Strangely, Wine has a problem known as reverse scheduling, it can often have benefits when the more important processes are set to a higher nice level. Wineserver also seems unconditionally to benefit from SCHED_FIFO, since rarely consumes the whole CPU and needs higher prioritization when possible.

optirun -I -n -5
wineserver -F -p 20 -n 19
steam.exe -I -n -5

Using alternate kernels

Note: Many users report inconsistant framerate and other performance hits when using Linux-ck, even if the overall framerate is sometimes higher. You may wish to try using linux-zen if you just want BFQ.

The stock Arch kernel provides a very good baseline for general usage. However, if your system has less than 16 cores and is intended for use primarily as a workstation, you can sacrifice a small amount of throughput on batch workloads and gain a significant boost to interactivity by using Linux-ck. If you prefer not to compile your own kernel, you can instead add Repo-ck and use one of their kernels. Using a pre-optimized kernel will most definitely offset any loss of throughput that may have occurred as a result, so be sure to select the appropriate kernel for your architecture.

Using BFQ

BFQ is an io-scheduler that comes as a feature of linux-zen and Linux-ck, and is optimized to be much more simplistic, but provides better interactivity and throughput for non-server workloads. To enable, simply add the kernel parameter elevator=bfq to your bootloader. It is important to note that although most guides recommend using either noop or deadline for SSDs for their raw throughput, they are actually detrimental to interactivity when more than one thread is attempting to access the device. It is best to use bfq unless you desperately need the throughput advantage.

See also