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The latest articles from GamingOnLinux
Updated: 3 hours 18 min ago

Unity 2019.2 released with lots of new features, improvements and fixes

Wednesday 31st of July 2019 11:52:27 AM

Tags: Game Engine, New Release

Further pushing what game developers are able to make, Unity 2019.2 is now officially available with plenty of new features, improvements and bug fixes.

You can see a pretty handy overview of the new features in their release video:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Unity are also further attempting to make the editor a bit leaner and modular, by moving existing features into packages. This includes the Unity UI, 2D Sprite Editor and 2D Tilemap Editor so they can be easily upgraded or removed.

There's also various improvements to their OpenGL and Vulkan API implementations. For OpenGL, it can now use the SRP batcher. For Vulkan, it now supports all GPU formats for RenderTexture, multiple Vulkan crashes were solved, fixes to dynamic resolution when using Vulkan, multiple Vulkan XR fixes and so on. Curiously, Unity will now force NVIDIA drivers on Linux to turn off VSync.

The Linux editor received a healthy bunch of fixes too, as Unity progress towards their previous announcement of getting Linux out of Experimental state and into Preview:

  • Editor: Fixed a holdover of the alt modifier in the Editor when gaining focus for Linux editor from alt+tab (1104979)
  • Editor: Made the "Add Component" popup window receive focus in Linux editor. (1098140)
  • Linux: Fixed an issue that caused submenus to lose focus and close prematurely. (1142911, 1144233)
  • Linux: Fixed an issue that caused the Editor to overwrite the PlayerPrefs file at launch. (1072116)
  • Linux: Fixed an issue where the Editor crashed when started from the Hub (1140369, 1154319)
  • Linux: Fixed non-printable characters being allowed in GUI text objects in the Linux Editor. (1126208)
  • Linux: Linux Editor no longer fails to delete assets on partitions or network drives that do not contain trash directories. (1062162)
  • Linux: Pausing the Linux editor while playing with cursor lock mode set to locked or confined will now free the cursor. (1132336)
  • Linux: Vuforia link is now hidden in the Linux Editor for Linux. (1144110, 1157123)

You can find the official announcement here and the larger changelog here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Blender 2.80 is out, a major advancement for this FOSS 3D creation suite

Wednesday 31st of July 2019 11:25:41 AM

Tags: Misc, Game Dev, Apps

Hot on the heels of the announcements of both Epic Games and Ubisoft supporting further Blender development, the massive Blender 2.80 release is now available.

An incredible step-up for the project including a needed revamp to the user interface, along with a new dark theme and modern icon set. There's also "Eevee", a new physically based real-time renderer, with support for some advanced features like volumetrics, screen-space reflections and refractions, subsurface scattering, soft and contact shadows, depth of field and more.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Also included is a new modern 3D viewport, with support for a bunch of interactive tools. A full 2D drawing and animation system called Grease Pencil, a bunch of rendering optimizations were done including combined CPU and GPU rendering, glTF 2.0 importer and exporter, WebM support and absolutely tons more.

Fantastic work, so much exciting progress for this awesome FOSS tool.

Find out more and download from the official Blender website.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Valve's new "ACO" Mesa shader compiler for AMD GPUs now has vertex shader support

Wednesday 31st of July 2019 11:01:11 AM

Tags: Valve, Misc, Open Source, Mesa

For our third bit of Valve news today, they also recently announced that their Mesa shader compiler "ACO" had a bit of an upgrade recently as well.

Quick Reminder: ACO is a new Mesa shader compiler for AMD hardware, announced by Valve earlier this month. It's aimed as a replacement for LLVM and its main two goals are best-possible code generation for game shaders, and fastest-possible compilation speed.

Announcing the recent update on Twitter, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais said:

ACO now has vertex shader support, which helps bring down the compile times even further. Support has been pushed to our testing packages, along with some VS-specific instructions: https://steamcommunity.com/app/221410/discussions/0/1640915206474070669/

Griffais included this image, to show just how much difference it makes against the original LLVM, then a previous version of ACO and the latest ACO with Vertex Shader support. The results really do speak for themselves in this case:

Valve said that while it's currently only targeting the RADV Vulkan driver, they do intend to look at supporting RadeonSI later as well.

It's truly incredible to see the effort Valve is constantly putting in to improve Linux gaming. With Steam Play, xrdesktop and this too things are ridiculously exciting right now for Linux enthusiasts.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The Humble Crusader Kings II Bundle seems like an amazing deal for strategy game fans

Wednesday 31st of July 2019 10:48:28 AM

Tags: Game Bundle, Game Sale, Humble Store

Humble Bundle are back and they've provided a pretty good one this time, with the Humble Crusader Kings II Bundle. If you enjoy strategy games, this is a seriously good deal not to miss out on!

First up, if you only pay $1 or more you will get:

  • The full Crusader Kings II game
  • Plus these DLC:
    • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
    • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
    • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
    • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
    • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam

By itself, that's a pretty ridiculous deal.

However, if you stick your hand a little deeper into your wallet to pay above the average (currently around $11) you will also get:

  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II - Sons of Abraham

Finally, if you pay for the top tier at $15 you will get:

  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: The Reaper's Due
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave

Check out the bundle here if interested.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

xrdesktop, a new Valve-funded open source project to bring Linux desktops into VR

Wednesday 31st of July 2019 10:36:32 AM

Tags: Open Source, Virtual Reality

Valve seem to be pushing Linux support even harder now, with the announcement of the open source xrdesktop project from Collabora.

This new project, funded thanks to Valve, enables interactions with traditional desktop environments, such as GNOME and KDE in Virtual Reality. With xrdesktop, Linux window managers will be aware of VR and be able to use VR runtimes to render your desktop windows in a 3D space. It also gives you the ability to manipulate them with VR controllers, which sounds pretty fun.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Unlike other similar projects, xrdesktop is not limited to a VR only compositor, with an aim to integrate into existing Linux desktop environments. Collabora say this removes the need of running a dedicated compositor just for VR and makes it usable for existing setups, with the initial focus on GNOME and KDE but it's designed to work with any desktop.

They have a good roadmap of work up like support for OpenXR, support for Wayland and plenty more. You can see the full announcement and some instructions on the Collabora blog.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Steam Play Proton 4.11 released, a pretty huge release pulling in D9VK and a replacement for esync

Wednesday 31st of July 2019 10:24:49 AM

Tags: Steam Play, Update, Valve, Steam, Wine

Valve have announced the release of Steam Play Proton 4.11, this is a pretty exciting one and it's pretty huge overall.

Firstly, it was re-based on top of Wine 4.11. So it brings thousands of improvements over, considering that's quite a version bump. Additionally, 154 patches from Proton were upstreamed directly to Wine!

The next exciting bit is that Valve are now funding D9VK (and have been since June according to developer Joshua Ashton), along with shipping it in Proton as part of this update. This Vulkan-based Direct3D 9 renderer is still experimental, so it's not enabled by default as you need to use the "PROTON_USE_D9VK" setting.

Additionally DXVK was updated to 1.3, your current display refresh rate is now actually reported to games, there's more fixes to window management and mouse cursor focus, VR users rejoice as there's support for the latest OpenVR SDKs, FAudio was updated to 19.07, GameMaker titles got a fix for networking and there's a joystick input lag fix and rumble support for certain games.

Possibly just as exciting, is that a bunch of Wine "modules" are now built as Windows PE files instead of Linux libraries. Eventually, this will help some DRM and anti-cheat systems as work progresses on it. Fantastic to see work on that being done!

Is that all? Oh no—there's more.

When Valve identified issues with multi-threaded games as Proton development was being ramped up, CodeWeavers worked on developing the "esync" patchset to address it. It worked well but it came with multiple issues. As Valve said it needed a "special setup" and can cause "file descriptor exhaustion problems in event-hungry applications", they also think it "results in extraneous spinning in the kernel". So, they're working on what they're calling fsync and suggesting changes to accommodate it in the Linux Kernel.

Valve also showed off some proof-of-concept glibc patches, to expose the Kernel patches as part of the pthread library to get it all working. They said that if it's all accepted, "we would achieve efficiency gains by adopting it in native massively-threaded applications such as Steam and the Source 2 engine". You can read more about all that work in this Steam forum post and fsync testing instructions here.

As always, the Proton changelog for Steam Play can be found here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

NVIDIA have three new Linux driver releases out today

Monday 29th of July 2019 06:36:04 PM

Tags: NVIDIA, OpenGL, Vulkan, Drivers, Beta

Today, NVIDIA have released a new stable driver update in addition to an updated Vulkan beta driver and a new OpenGL beta driver.

Starting with NVIDIA 430.40 which is a stable driver release in their "Long Lived" branch which includes these changes:

  • Added support for the following GPUs:
    • GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER
    • Quadro RTX 3000 with Max-Q Design 
  • Fixed a driver installation failure in Linux kernel configurations with CONFIG_HOTPLUG_CPU.
  • Updated nvidia-bug-report.sh to search the systemd journal for gdm-x-session logs.
  • Added support to nvidia-installer for systems which provide ncurses libraries supporting the ncurses widechar ABI only.

They also put out the 418.52.18 Vulkan beta driver, which is where they test out the latest Vulkan features and new extensions. It comes with support for two new extensions added with Vulkan 1.1.117 and one from Vulkan 1.1.116:

Finally, they also just started doing an OpenGL beta driver 418.52.18 (same version number as the Vulkan beta) which includes support for "Vulkan-style subgroups extensions" (source):

Note: Currently the OpenGL beta and the Vulkan beta driver are the same. However, this will likely change in future. An NVIDIA developer mentioned to us on Twitter, that their schedules aligned for this release.

Busy day for NVIDIA drivers but it's really great to see them promptly release, especially helpful for developers looking to test out the very latest features of the different APIs.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Beamdog have announced that Axis & Allies 1942 Online will release on July 31st

Monday 29th of July 2019 05:06:26 PM

Tags: Upcoming, Steam, Strategy, Early Access

Beamdog, the developer known for Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition, Neverwinter Nights: Enhanced Edition and plenty more have now revealed their strategy game Axis & Allies 1942 Online will release on July 31st.

This is the official adaption of the classic board game, Axis & Allies 1942 Second Edition, and the release into Early Access will come with Linux support, as confirmed by Beamdog to us in their press release.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • The complete Axis & Allies 1942 Second Edition experience
  • Asynchronous gameplay with custom defense profiles
  • Optional computer AI players
  • Learn to play with introductory tutorials
  • Selectable victory conditions
  • Keep informed with the action log and war diary
  • Over 20 minutes of all-new period appropriate music

You will be able to play with up to five other players, each controlling one or more of the Axis or Allied powers in multiplayer, one-on-one, hotseat, or AI mode. So you're not forced to play online, since you can play against the AI if that's more your thing.

You can check it out on Steam, it will be $19.99 when it's up. I'm hoping to take a look sometime after release, as Beamdog have already sent over a key to test. They continue to be great supporters of Linux gaming with all their recent titles having Linux support.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Khronos releases the OpenXR 1.0 specification aimed at unifying VR and AR

Monday 29th of July 2019 03:47:05 PM

Tags: Misc, Game Dev, Virtual Reality

Today, The Khronos Group has formally announced the OpenXR 1.0 specification as an exciting step towards bringing together the various different ways of interacting with virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR).

If VR/AR is to become more commonplace, a proper standard should be a big boost to developers since they could target OpenXR and have it be supported across the industry. It's gathered some pretty huge support too including Valve, AMD, NVIDIA, Epic Games, Arm, Oculus, HTC, Microsoft and more.

For stuff on PC that's possibly relevant to Linux gaming: Epic Games said they're planning OpenXR 1.0 support in Unreal Engine, same with Valve and supporting it with SteamVR. Additionally, Collabora have been working on Monado, an open source XR runtime for Linux.

See the full news about it here.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Train Valley and Train Valley 2 released DRM-free on GOG with Linux support

Monday 29th of July 2019 03:16:04 PM

Tags: GOG, DRM-Free, Strategy, Puzzle, Indie Game, New Release

Here's a nice surprise to start your week with, both Train Valley and Train Valley 2 are now available DRM-free on GOG. Both games have supported Linux for some time and thankfully today's GOG release comes with the Linux build ready for both games. Despite being a series, both games actually play quite differently. I'm quite a fan of Train Valley 2 myself, it's quite challenging.

The basic idea of both games is very similar, with you building up a rail network and ensuring your trains don't smash into each other. While the basics and interactions are the same, the goals are completely different.

The first game was more about basic train management, you're simply making sure you get the trains of a certain colour to the correct station. As you progress, more coloured stations appear and you need to manage the signals to ensure they go to the right place. This is wrapped up in a simple yet pleasant style that's some what normal looking, not exactly realistic but nice enough.

The second game is more about production chains. You need to get a resource from one building, onto another and then onto another to create a product. There's more micro-managing involved, so it really is very different. Train Valley 2 also has a completely different style, with a simpler low-poly approach.

Find them here on GOG, with both having a discount too:

Note: The DRM-free version of the original seems to have some issues saving your progress, I have confirmed this and reported it to GOG. Train Valley 2 is fine however.

From what GOG said, you get a bigger discount when "completing the series" too.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Retro-inspired kart racer "Super Indie Karts" updated with a bunch of new tracks

Monday 29th of July 2019 01:45:25 PM

Tags: Retro, Racing, Indie Game, Early Access, Steam, Update

In need of a stylish retro-inspired kart racer? Super Indie Karts might be exactly what you're looking for. A recent update to the game added in a bunch of new tracks in the Knight Cup.

Super Indie Karts is a classic retro '90s style karting game featuring a large curation of Indiegame karts and Indiegame themed race tracks, in both the 16-bit flat Super style and the 64-bit low poly Ultra style. With Time Trials, Grand Prix, Splitscreen GP, Quick Race, and Battle Modes there's plenty of ways to tackle the tracks!

The developer said the Knight Cup has tracks that are "recreations of imaginary SNES/GBA style flat tracks which could have existed long ago" including tracks inspired by Duck Game, Teslagrad, and Knightmare Tower. On top of that they also gave RunbowRoad64 some more finishing touches, CPU controlled karts can now take alternative routes in the Knight Cup (older tracks to get this feature later), more friction added to the new suspension wheel physics, improvements to the camera while drifting and other camera adjustments, improvements to firing weapons while drifting and more.

Here's a look at two of the newer tracks on Manjaro Linux:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Absolutely no issues, everything works perfectly and it performs well. Huge amount of fun too, quite a challenge on the higher speeds.

The usual assortment of bug fixes also made it in this latest release. While it's Early Access and not finished, it's certainly a promising indie racing game with a lot of love and attention being given to it. As someone who has greatly enjoyed games like Mario Kart in the past, I love having something like this on Linux.

It's also nice to see another game that was funded on Kickstarter doing well. The interesting thing is, Linux was a stretch-goal that wasn't actually hit. As it was so close, the developer did it later on anyway—great! It was missing from our dedicated Crowdfunding Page, so it has now been added.

Find it on Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Sky Racket mixes together a shoot 'em up with a block-breaker and it's really fun

Monday 29th of July 2019 01:02:07 PM

Tags: Arcade, Action, Indie Game, Demo, Steam, Upcoming

Releasing sometime later this year, Double Dash Studios have merged together a block-breaker with a shoot 'em up to create something a little odd but it's very fun.

Armed with nothing more than a fancy "laser tennis racket", you're not able to directly attack most enemies. Instead, you will bounce back their bullets to destroy blocks in your way. There's a few smaller enemies you can smack around with your racket though, but most of it is about bouncing bullets around.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Amazing 2D pixel art with fluid animation.
  • Simple and unique counterattack mechanics.
  • Colorful and whimsical universe filled with adorable characters.
  • Awesome original soundtrack.
  • Epic boss fights.
  • Intense bullet hell challenges.
  • The first Shmup Breaker in a innovative blend of two classic game genres, Shoot’em up and Block breaker!
  • You are not alone in this adventure. Invite your friends for an Co-Op experience, and tackle the challenge of saving the universe together!

It has a Linux demo available to try out on Steam, so curious about it I gave it a go. It didn't take long for me to be absolutely sold on it. What a brilliant idea for a game! Controller support needs work, but I didn't expect perfection from an early demo. It worked with the Steam Controller but showed blank button prompts, only minor so I'm sure it can be fixed.

You can wishlist/follow it on Steam. Steam does not mention a release date just yet, but they said in reply to a user on the Steam forum that it should be "later this year".

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

First-person strategy game "Colony Survival" finally has a major update after a year of waiting

Monday 29th of July 2019 12:30:05 PM

Tags: Strategy, Steam, Indie Game, Early Access, Simulation, Unity

After a year of work, developer Pipliz have finally updated their first-person colony building game Colony Survival.

Colony Survival is a unique first-person voxel RTS developed by a two-man team. Build your own colony in a voxel world. Command guards, farmers, miners and other colonists. Defend your colony against the horde of monsters that attack every night!

It sounds like this latest version might actually be worth a go. Featuring an overhaul to lots of systems in the game like world generation, to include "proper biomes" with more varied landscape features. An entirely new save system, multiple colony support, LAN play support, co-op support, much improved performance, a major update to the version of Unity used, improved modding support, gliders to move around quickly, tons of new items and much more.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Performance does certainly seem to be good, giving it a run for a while today gave me an absolutely solid FPS well over 100 on the highest possible settings so they've done well there.

My main problem with the game, is how you need to read through pages of a guide to really understand anything about it and the interface isn't exactly intuitive. A basic onboarding tutorial would make it a lot smoother to get into.

You can find it on Steam in Early Access.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Flippin Kaktus is an absolutely mad looking action-platformer coming to Linux

Monday 29th of July 2019 12:00:03 PM

Tags: Action, Platformer, Indie Game, Steam, Demo, Upcoming

As a huge fan of games like Broforce, I'm always on the look out for another good action-platformer with over-the-top craziness and Flippin Kaktus looks pretty sharp.

Developed by German solo outfit MyBunnyGames, it recently appeared on Steam. I'll get right to the point, what caught my interest with Flippin Kaktus is how ridiculous it all looks and sounds. You're some kind of sentient Cactus, with a bone to pick with a drug cartel. Do you really need to know more than that? Take a look:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Not only is Kaktus a walking plant, it also seems to have a prickly split personality, which may help you during combat. You can switch between a nimble form or activate rage mode to brutally smash through enemies. Other features also sound quite interesting with "advanced enemy AI", friends to call in for help to gain use of their abilities, items to equip or drop on top of enemies and so on.

Inspired by the likes of Breaking Bad, Narcos and Scarface with design work influenced by Mexican history, cowboys, drug wars and 80's action movies it sounds like a bit of everything.

You can follow/wishlist it on Steam and also try the Linux demo from the official site. The demo was a little rough, but with a launch expected either late this year or early next year, they have plenty of time to polish the experience.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The in-development medieval RPG "Donensbourgh" had a huge upgrade recently

Monday 29th of July 2019 10:28:43 AM

Tags: RPG, Early Access, Alpha, Update, Indie Game, Simulation, Itch.io, Unreal Engine

Donensbourgh is one I highlighted only recently, a medieval RPG with no combat or violence that seemed promising. It just had a pretty massive upgrade to improve all of it.

Definitely like the idea they're going for here. A single-player story-based experience, with some surprisingly beautiful looking graphics in certain areas with a focus on the late 13th century. With an aim to be on the realistic side, there's no spells or dragons or anything like that.


Looking good on Manjaro Linux.

With the latest release made public a few days ago, the developer updated to a more recent Unreal Engine with all the various improvements that come with it. However, they've also done a huge amount of work behind the scenes. Moving a lot of code from Unreal Engine blueprints to C++ in multiple areas to improve performance, improved the loading time, improved the saving and loading system, added an autosave, general gameplay improvements and bug fixes. You can see more details on it all here.

Certainly felt a lot smoother than the last build, even on the highest settings there was only a few minor blips when it loaded in new parts.

Find it now on itch.io. It's free to try right now during the Alpha, however you can pay $17 (or more) to get access to more frequent updates and the full game when it's ready, so at some point I imagine the free Alpha will be stopped. There's 490 copies left of this discounted Early Access program.

Hat tip to beko in our Discord.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Studio Attic Salt are bringing a very stylish looking Visual Novel "Misadventures of Laura Silver" to Linux

Monday 29th of July 2019 10:10:30 AM

Tags: Visual Novel, Steam, Indie Game, Upcoming

Releasing next month, Turkish developer Studio Attic Salt are trying their hand at a Visual Novel with Misadventures of Laura Silver and it looks good.

What they say is the first Turkish visual novel, the Misadventures of Laura Silver is planned as three-chapter novel with this being the first part. It follows "detective and gun enthusiast extraordinaire" Laura Silver and her companion, former police officer Orewell Cooper. They're sent over to Czechoslovakia to investigate reports of a mysterious creature lurking in the murky waters of Pilsen.


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • 70.000+ words.
  • Eight hours of total gameplay.
  • Over 100 decisions.
  • Multiple endings.
  • Visual novel with minigame elements.

The developer was kind enough to provide me with a key already, so I should have some thoughts up after release if all goes smoothly.

You can follow and wishlist it on Steam, with a release due on August 14th.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Pushy and Pully in Blockland looks like a fun co-op arcade game coming to Linux

Monday 29th of July 2019 09:57:55 AM

Tags: Local co-op, Steam, Indie Game, Arcade, Upcoming

Pushy and Pully in Blockland from Resistance Studio is a solo and co-op arcade game with a retro visual style, confirmed to be coming to Linux.

After spotting it recently on Steam, I spoke with the developer to confirm Linux is supported. The basic gameplay is quite simple, with you pushing around blocks, combining blocks of the same colour and so on to defeat monsters. Looks like it could be a huge amount of fun, take a look:


Watch video on YouTube.com

Feature Highlight:

  • Play solo or with the help of a friend.
  • Classic gameplay with enhanced features. Easy to play but hard to master.
  • 50 hand crafted levels. 5 end bosses with new mechanics that will challenge you.
  • Match-3 mechanic: Join 3 or more blocks of the same colour and they'll give you a power up.
  • 3 power ups that will help you through the game defeating the monsters easier or giving you more points.
  • End the stage by defeating all the enemies before time runs out.
  • Defeat more than 1 monster at the same time or pop more than 2 blocks to get extra combo points.
  • Hi-Score table and end stage rating. Can you make more points than your friends?

The release looks like it will be sometime in Q1 next year, so it's a little while away. However, they're planning a beta test, if you're interested details are here.

You can follow it and wishlist on Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

The first-person exploration puzzle game "Supraland 2" managed to get funded

Saturday 27th of July 2019 07:36:55 PM

Tags: Action, Adventure, Indie Game, Puzzle, Upcoming, Crowdfunding, Exploration

That's another tick for a game funded and coming to Linux! Supra Games managed to reach their funding goal on Kickstarter earlier this month for Supraland 2.

With a few days left of the crowdfunding campaign, which ends on July 31st, they've managed to get €26,404 which is quite a bit over their base goal. Nowhere near enough for their first stretch-goal, sadly, which was to pull in combat and narrative designers to help improve it.

As a reminder, Supraland (the first one) recently released for Linux. Never played it? The game is a first-person exploration and puzzle game, where you're running around in a literal garden sandbox. It's sweet, has a lot of fun ideas and it has a fun visual style to it. It's available on both Steam and GOG.

They're also working on a DLC for the first game called "The Crash", which should be releasing this year. Going by what the developer said on Steam, they're currently looking for people to help.

Hopefully the developer will be a bit more mindful of how they represent themselves, given their previous comments caused a bit of a ruckus. We all mess up though and say things in the heat of the moment, let's hope Supraland 2 development goes smoothly. I'm excited, the first one is a great game.

It has been added to our dedicated Crowdfunding Page.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Escape-room puzzle game "Escape from Chernobyl" recently added Linux support

Saturday 27th of July 2019 03:48:45 PM

Tags: Indie Game, Puzzle, New Release, Steam

Likely riding on the popularity of the recent Chernobyl series, Escape from Chernobyl is a puzzle game with multiple endings where you take on the role of a scientist based in some secret lab.


Watch video on YouTube.com

From what I can gather (not one I've played), it's an escape room adventure. Full of apparently tough puzzles, that may require a pen and paper to help you solve them. A little warning too, apparently the English translation isn't the best. Amusingly, you can kind of tell from the Steam description mentioning you "visit the skin" of a Scientist, which sounds a little amusingly rude. According to what little the developer says about it, the plot is non-linear with three different endings.

It does have a "Positive" rating on Steam at least, although that's only from around 20 user reviews.

Originally released on July 5th, the developer added official Linux support on July 21st and you can find it available for purchase on Steam.

Hat tip to NuSuey.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

Knightin'+ is a small and streamlined dungeon crawler out with Linux support now

Saturday 27th of July 2019 03:20:08 PM

Tags: Indie Game, New Release, Pixel Graphics, Action, Dungeon Crawler, Steam

Developed by the Ukrainian solo outfit Muzt Die Studios, Knightin'+ is a real-time 2D dungeon crawler with a simple pixel-art style and streamlined gameplay. They're calling it a "Zelda-lite adventure".

Note: Key provided to our Steam Curator.

It released yesterday with Linux support and it works perfectly for me on Manjaro, Steam Controller hooked up and all. Oddly, clicking the thumb stick is what brings up the menu instead of pressing the Start button but apart from that all is well.


Watch video on YouTube.com

With the most basic of attempts at a story, it's supposed to be a little tongue-in-cheek, with the usual cliché of a hero simply going through conveniently placed dungeons in search of loot. This is firmly a game you will pick up to have a blast through in a couple of evenings, with a story to be quickly ignored.

The whole game is based on you running through small rooms, defeating any enemies in them and solving a few puzzles. Gameplay that a lot of you will be familiar with made popular by titles like The Legend of Zelda, later The Binding of Isaac and several others. As you progress you collect loot, gain new abilities and continue on towards the next dungeon.

Not much else to say about it really, as it's so streamlined and largely simplistic. If it's a type of game you usually enjoy, you might like this one too. It looks good, has some catchy tunes and works perfectly. It would have been nice to see it attempt to do something a little unique, but still a sweet game overall.

It has a demo on itch.io and Steam, with the full game only purchasable on Steam.

Article from GamingOnLinux.com

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LWN: Spectre, Linux and Debian Development

  • Grand Schemozzle: Spectre continues to haunt

    The Spectre v1 hardware vulnerability is often characterized as allowing array bounds checks to be bypassed via speculative execution. While that is true, it is not the full extent of the shenanigans allowed by this particular class of vulnerabilities. For a demonstration of that fact, one need look no further than the "SWAPGS vulnerability" known as CVE-2019-1125 to the wider world or as "Grand Schemozzle" to the select group of developers who addressed it in the Linux kernel. Segments are mostly an architectural relic from the earliest days of x86; to a great extent, they did not survive into the 64-bit era. That said, a few segments still exist for specific tasks; these include FS and GS. The most common use for GS in current Linux systems is for thread-local or CPU-local storage; in the kernel, the GS segment points into the per-CPU data area. User space is allowed to make its own use of GS; the arch_prctl() system call can be used to change its value. As one might expect, the kernel needs to take care to use its own GS pointer rather than something that user space came up with. The x86 architecture obligingly provides an instruction, SWAPGS, to make that relatively easy. On entry into the kernel, a SWAPGS instruction will exchange the current GS segment pointer with a known value (which is kept in a model-specific register); executing SWAPGS again before returning to user space will restore the user-space value. Some carefully placed SWAPGS instructions will thus prevent the kernel from ever running with anything other than its own GS pointer. Or so one would think.

  • Long-term get_user_pages() and truncate(): solved at last?

    Technologies like RDMA benefit from the ability to map file-backed pages into memory. This benefit extends to persistent-memory devices, where the backing store for the file can be mapped directly without the need to go through the kernel's page cache. There is a fundamental conflict, though, between mapping a file's backing store directly and letting the filesystem code modify that file's on-disk layout, especially when the mapping is held in place for a long time (as RDMA is wont to do). The problem seems intractable, but there may yet be a solution in the form of this patch set (marked "V1,000,002") from Ira Weiny. The problems raised by the intersection of mapping a file (via get_user_pages()), persistent memory, and layout changes by the filesystem were the topic of a contentious session at the 2019 Linux Storage, Filesystem, and Memory-Management Summit. The core question can be reduced to this: what should happen if one process calls truncate() while another has an active get_user_pages() mapping that pins some or all of that file's pages? If the filesystem actually truncates the file while leaving the pages mapped, data corruption will certainly ensue. The options discussed in the session were to either fail the truncate() call or to revoke the mapping, causing the process that mapped the pages to receive a SIGBUS signal if it tries to access them afterward. There were passionate proponents for both options, and no conclusion was reached. Weiny's new patch set resolves the question by causing an operation like truncate() to fail if long-term mappings exist on the file in question. But it also requires user space to jump through some hoops before such mappings can be created in the first place. This approach comes from the conclusion that, in the real world, there is no rational use case where somebody might want to truncate a file that has been pinned into place for use with RDMA, so there is no reason to make that operation work. There is ample reason, though, for preventing filesystem corruption and for informing an application that gets into such a situation that it has done something wrong.

  • Hardening the "file" utility for Debian

    In addition, he had already encountered problems with file running in environments with non-standard libraries that were loaded using the LD_PRELOAD environment variable. Those libraries can (and do) make system calls that the regular file binary does not make; the system calls were disallowed by the seccomp() filter. Building a Debian package often uses FakeRoot (or fakeroot) to run commands in a way that appears that they have root privileges for filesystem operations—without actually granting any extra privileges. That is done so that tarballs and the like can be created containing files with owners other than the user ID running the Debian packaging tools, for example. Fakeroot maintains a mapping of the "changes" made to owners, groups, and permissions for files so that it can report those to other tools that access them. It does so by interposing a library ahead of the GNU C library (glibc) to intercept file operations. In order to do its job, fakeroot spawns a daemon (faked) that is used to maintain the state of the changes that programs make inside of the fakeroot. The libfakeroot library that is loaded with LD_PRELOAD will then communicate to the daemon via either System V (sysv) interprocess communication (IPC) calls or by using TCP/IP. Biedl referred to a bug report in his message, where Helmut Grohne had reported a problem with running file inside a fakeroot.

Flameshot is a brilliant screenshot tool for Linux

The default screenshot tool in Ubuntu is alright for basic snips but if you want a really good one you need to install a third-party screenshot app. Shutter is probably my favorite, but I decided to give Flameshot a try. Packages are available for various distributions including Ubuntu, Arch, openSuse and Debian. You find installation instructions on the official project website. Read more

Android Leftovers

IBM/Red Hat and Intel Leftovers

  • Troubleshooting Red Hat OpenShift applications with throwaway containers

    Imagine this scenario: Your cool microservice works fine from your local machine but fails when deployed into your Red Hat OpenShift cluster. You cannot see anything wrong with the code or anything wrong in your services, configuration maps, secrets, and other resources. But, you know something is not right. How do you look at things from the same perspective as your containerized application? How do you compare the runtime environment from your local application with the one from your container? If you performed your due diligence, you wrote unit tests. There are no hard-coded configurations or hidden assumptions about the runtime environment. The cause should be related to the configuration your application receives inside OpenShift. Is it time to run your app under a step-by-step debugger or add tons of logging statements to your code? We’ll show how two features of the OpenShift command-line client can help: the oc run and oc debug commands.

  • What piece of advice had the greatest impact on your career?

    I love learning the what, why, and how of new open source projects, especially when they gain popularity in the DevOps space. Classification as a "DevOps technology" tends to mean scalable, collaborative systems that go across a broad range of challenges—from message bus to monitoring and back again. There is always something new to explore, install, spin up, and explore.

  • How DevOps is like auto racing

    When I talk about desired outcomes or answer a question about where to get started with any part of a DevOps initiative, I like to mention NASCAR or Formula 1 racing. Crew chiefs for these race teams have a goal: finish in the best place possible with the resources available while overcoming the adversity thrown at you. If the team feels capable, the goal gets moved up a series of levels to holding a trophy at the end of the race. To achieve their goals, race teams don’t think from start to finish; they flip the table to look at the race from the end goal to the beginning. They set a goal, a stretch goal, and then work backward from that goal to determine how to get there. Work is delegated to team members to push toward the objectives that will get the team to the desired outcome. [...] Race teams practice pit stops all week before the race. They do weight training and cardio programs to stay physically ready for the grueling conditions of race day. They are continually collaborating to address any issue that comes up. Software teams should also practice software releases often. If safety systems are in place and practice runs have been going well, they can release to production more frequently. Speed makes things safer in this mindset. It’s not about doing the “right” thing; it’s about addressing as many blockers to the desired outcome (goal) as possible and then collaborating and adjusting based on the real-time feedback that’s observed. Expecting anomalies and working to improve quality and minimize the impact of those anomalies is the expectation of everyone in a DevOps world.

  • Deep Learning Reference Stack v4.0 Now Available

    Artificial Intelligence (AI) continues to represent one of the biggest transformations underway, promising to impact everything from the devices we use to cloud technologies, and reshape infrastructure, even entire industries. Intel is committed to advancing the Deep Learning (DL) workloads that power AI by accelerating enterprise and ecosystem development. From our extensive work developing AI solutions, Intel understands how complex it is to create and deploy applications for deep learning workloads. That?s why we developed an integrated Deep Learning Reference Stack, optimized for Intel Xeon Scalable processor and released the companion Data Analytics Reference Stack. Today, we?re proud to announce the next Deep Learning Reference Stack release, incorporating customer feedback and delivering an enhanced user experience with support for expanded use cases.

  • Clear Linux Releases Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 For Better AI Performance

    Intel's Clear Linux team on Wednesday announced their Deep Learning Reference Stack 4.0 during the Linux Foundation's Open-Source Summit North America event taking place in San Diego. Clear Linux's Deep Learning Reference Stack continues to be engineered for showing off the most features and maximum performance for those interested in AI / deep learning and running on Intel Xeon Scalable CPUs. This optimized stack allows developers to more easily get going with a tuned deep learning stack that should already be offering near optimal performance.