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  1. #1

    High quality gaming on linux?

    Hi everyone!

    I have had Ubuntu and windows 7 in dual boot for a while now. The only reason for having windows still installed on my PC is gaming. Yet again I have become to the annoying point when my windows has slowed down and it would be time to format and re-install everything.

    So what I was wondering is if there is some way of installing and playing new games on any Linux distro. I store all my music in Linuxes partition and it would be nice to be able to listen to it while playing.. And and even despite that I would like to release al of my hdd space for Linuxes use.

    According to wine DB it isn't possible to install Battlefield 3 for example. So is there a possible way of succeeding by installing windows in VirtualBox etc? From what I have heard there are some problems ocurring with DX10/11?

    I guess I'm not the only one with the same problem, so has anyone figured out any other solution than dualboot?

    The games I would be intrested in playing are Bf3, Black ops and Crysis 1 & 2.

    Thanks for your responds!

  2. #2
    Administrator jayd512's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Hello and Welcome!

    I'm not much of a gamer. But from what I gather. a virtual machine is a great way to go for Windows applications.
    You may notice a slight drop in performance in some games, however.
    I would advise trying out a virtual install before wiping Windows, just to make sure that you're happy with the performance.

    New users, read this first.
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    Registered Linux User #463940
    I do not respond to private messages asking for Linux help. Please keep it on the public boards.

  3. #3
    Linux Enthusiast Steven_G's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Western US
    If you have some seriously rockin hardware the following can be done:

    VMware has a tool that will let you export your entire 7 install as VM.

    (Note: BACK EVERYTHING UP *FIRST* using a program like clonezilla [*nix] or To Do Back Up [doze] so that you can reinstall your entire system if you blow this up.)

    You'll need to hack your doze registry before you do this. I'm not at home so I don't have the link. The info is in the docs for virtual box. You'll need to "loosen up" the settings that doze uses to recognize the IDE it is installed on to. If you don't do these edits *before* you export the install as a VM then the VM will not run.

    Install Virtual Box to your *nix install and use it to run the VM. IMHO this is the best way to do it. VB is more stable in *nix than VW and has more features and "hackability". And it will run a VW created machine.

    When you export the VM you will have to decrease the amount of hardware you are using. This is why you need rockin hardware. When you start the export process it will want to make an exact copy of your doze install. If you allow it to do that then when you try to run it inside of *nix you are going to have huge problems because doze and *nix will be trying to use all available system resources at the same time.

    I have an i7 2720QM EE (Quad core hyper-threaded to 8 ) with 8GB DDR3 RAM and an Nvidia GT 540m with hybrid graphics.

    When I exported my doze install I gave it 4 cores and 4GB RAM. I set this up on my wifes system so that she could connect to a known dirty network at work with her machine using *nix to handle the connection and as a "filter" of sorts. She runs Dragon Speak on the VM (which is fairly resource intensive) and it runs just fine.

    But, that is not as resource intensive as your gaming will be. You'll have some other things to consider:

    Since I'm running hybrid graphics I have to run all of this on the onboard video instead of the video card. As I want to use both to help with battery life and heat; with hybrid graphics installed a VM will not run on the video card. So, if you set up hybrid graphics in your *nix install then your VM will only run on the onboard video. (I had to kill all of the 7 eye candy and take tight control of all running processes to make it work strictly on the onboard video.)

    If you don't have any video card at all then you'll need to get one.

    If you have hybrid graphics then you'll need to either setup up a *nix dual boot or some login in switches that allow you to unload the drivers for your onboard video and just use the video card directly when you want to play games on the VM. (I've read about it, but haven't done it.) Onboard video simply won't have the resources needed to do it.

    If you have a top quality video card and no hybrid graphics it will be a lot easier to set up but will still require some fairly in depth system tuning for performance. One thing to think about: If this is going to be used for games only then you may want to consider stripping out or modifying some if not all of your third party security software. If you're not using it for web surfing, etc then your chances of getting infected drop greatly. If you start taking out things like antivirus and third party firewall or use lighter weight tools or shift those functions to the *nix host you can greatly improve the performance of the VM.

    So, there are a lot of factors to take in to consideration. Not the least of which is your confidence in your ability to strike off in to what will be, for you, uncharted territory and your ability to recover if you blow everything up.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by Steven_G; 07-31-2012 at 03:31 PM. Reason: Typos / clarification

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  5. #4
    Trusted Penguin Dapper Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    The Sovereign State of South Carolina
    There are a number of native to Linux games you can play... see here for more. My kids and I love Minecraft which is ported to Linux. My son plays Cube. TuxRacer, SuperTuxKart and Frozen Bubble as well. Starcraft works well using wine as does Half Life one and two through Steam. Also, it's official. Gabe Newell and the folks at Valve are porting Steam for Linux. The first game available will be Left 4 Dead and Portal 2. Other Steam games will follow. Good luck running games through VM. I hope they run well for you.
    Linux Mint + IceWM Registered: #371367 New Members: click here

  6. #5
    Just Joined!
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    You could have a look at CodeWeavers (crossover). I have this on my Fedora Gnu/Linux system and it works good so give it a try and find out.

  7. #6
    While VMware Workstation/Player or for that fact any virtual machine software will run applications great they are not that great for heavy graphics games. They are not meant for that at least the workstation thing.

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