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Gaming

Linux Gaming For Older/Lower-End Graphics Cards In 2018

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Graphics/Benchmarks
Gaming

A request came in this week to look at how low-end and older graphics cards are performing with current generation Linux games on OpenGL and Vulkan. With ten older/lower-end NVIDIA GeForce and AMD Radeon graphics cards, here is a look at their performance with a variety of native Linux games atop Ubuntu using the latest Radeon and NVIDIA drivers.

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Also: Wine 3.0 open-source compatibility layer now available

Games: DRAG, Geneshift, Balloonatics and More

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Gaming

Games: Slay the Spire, OVIVO, Unity

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Gaming
  • Slay the Spire fuses together a roguelike with a card game, it's rather fun

    What do you get when you throw cards at a roguelike? Slay the Spire [Steam, Official Site] answers that question and then some! Do note, that it's currently in Early Access so it's still getting new content updates and bug fixes. Here's some initial thoughts after spending some time with it.

  • OVIVO is a platformer with some rather unusual mechanics, it's also now on Linux

    I've played many platformers in my time and OVIVO [Steam, Official Site] stands quite tall as something rather unique in a sea of games.

  • Unity Game Engine Working On Graphics Rendering Improvements For 2018

    The Unity game engine has a New Year's resolution of improving its graphics renderer abilities in 2018.

  • [Unity] 2018 and Graphics

    The Unity 2018 release cycle will have a heavy focus on graphics! There are a number of features that will be released during 2018 that will drastically enhance Unity’s rendering capabilities. Hopefully you will find a new feature for every type of user, such as the visual tools for artists or more powerful rendering control for low-level engineers. We are very excited to share with you what we are working on, and we can’t wait to see what you’ll make with it!

Games: Super Blood Hockey, Starship Titanic and More

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Gaming

Games: RUINER, Remnants of Naezith, Rise to Ruins, Super Cane Magic ZERO, Dead Island

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Gaming

Games: InnerSpace, BATTLETECH, Civilization VI, SteamOS, Unreal Engine

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Gaming
  • InnerSpace from PolyKnight Games & Aspyr Media launches with day-1 Linux support, some thoughts

    InnerSpace [Steam], an exploration flying game set in the Inverse, a world of inside-out planets without horizons is now available for Linux.

    Disclosure: Key provided by Aspyr Media.

    In InnerSpace, you are an autonomous drone named Cartographer, which was created by the Archaeologist from information left over by the Ancients. The Archaeologist requires your help to reach areas of the Inverse where they cannot go and so your journey begins.

    I will start off by recommending a gamepad for InnerSpace. While it does work with Keyboard, it doesn’t feel good at all, you will have a much better experience with a gamepad in your hands.

  • BATTLETECH will only be coming to Linux post-launch, along with other features

    The turn-based mech strategy game developed by Harebrained Schemes won’t be on Linux at launch later this year. Other features have also been cut or altered and will be making into the game post-release.

  • Civilization VI: Rise and Fall shows off overview of new features

    The upcoming expansion for Civilization VI [Official Site] will be introducing quite a few interesting changes to the game. You can see how exactly you’ll be spending just one more turn in this overview video.

  • SteamOS Beta Switches To Linux 4.14.13 For KPTI To Mitigate Meltdown

    Valve has pushed out a new SteamOS Beta build for the Debian Jessie-based "Brewmaster" series.

    SteamOS Beta 2.145 is out with its main focus on transitioning to the Linux 4.14 (v4.14.13) stable kernel.

  • Unreal Engine 4.19 Preview Rolls Out With Renderer Enhancements

    Epic Games has rolled out their public preview build of the upcoming Unreal Engine 4.19 game engine update.

    Unreal Engine 4.19 features renderer improvements, new animation and physics capabilities, VR improvements, initial support for the HTC Vive Pro, Steam Audio Beta 10 integration, Live Link plug-in improvements, and a plethora of other work.

  • Unreal Engine 4.19 Preview 1 Now Available

    Unreal Engine 4.19 will be available soon and it'll include many new exciting features and fixes. The first Preview build is now available on the Epic Games launcher for you to download. You can explore a number of new animation and physics updates, including improvements to the Live Link plugin and Sequencer performance, and signficant changes to VR resolution settings. There are also a number of quality-of-life improvements.

Games: SteamOS, RimWorld, Yooka-Laylee, FTL: Faster Than Light, Pictopix, Red Strings Club

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Gaming

Games: CRYENGINE, Epic Car Factory, Godot, Depth of Extinction, Yuzu, GPD

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Gaming

GPD Win 2 – A Pocket-Sized Linux Games Machine?

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Linux
Hardware
Gaming

Dream of owning a pocket-sized Linux games console? Well, your dream just inched a little nearer.

Early reviews of the 6-inch GPD Win 2 pocket computer claim that Linux runs “perfectly” — opening up the possibility to use the device as a portable Steam machine, with your full Linux games library literally in your hand.

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Games: CAPS0ff, Godot, Quake 4, Event[0], Cold Space, Tale of Toast

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Gaming
  • Introducing the CAPS0ff Project

    It's no secret that I love classic video games. Fortunately, thanks to emulation, many of the classic arcade games still can be enjoyed and forever will be available via digital copies of the ROM chips. Sadly, some older systems have protection, making them impossible to dump into ROMs properly. If the chips can't be dumped, how will you ever get a digital copy of the ROM data? Well, the folks over at the CAPS0ff blog actually are disassembling the original chips and painstakingly transcribing the contents one bit at a time. They're literally looking at the chips and determining the 1s and 0s burned onto them.

  • Godot 3.0 Release Candidate 1 Debuts Ahead Of This Imminent Game Engine Release

    The crew responsible for the open-source Godot cross-platform game engine have announced the 3.0 Release Candidate ahead of the imminent stable release of this major update.

  • Dev snapshot: Godot 3.0 RC 1

    So Godot 3.0 won't be a 2017 release as we had hoped during the last semester, but we are pretty confident that you will get it in January 2018 to properly kickstart this new year!

    We fixed hundreds of bugs and declared the release freeze, which means that many non critical bugs and enhancements have been moved to the 3.1 milestone, allowing us to tend faster towards the final 3.0 release by focusing on the big issues.

  • Playing Quake 4 on Linux in 2018

    A few months back I wrote an article outlining the various options Linux users now have for playing Doom 3, as well as stating which of the three contenders I felt to be the best option in 2017. Having already gone to the trouble of getting the original Doom 3 binary working on my modern Arch Linux system, it made me wonder just how much effort it would take to get the closed source Quake 4 port up and running again as well.

  • Looks like the sci-fi narrative exploration game Event[0] may still be coming to Linux

    I know a fair few people were upset by the silence surrounding the previously promised Linux version of Event[0]. It looks like it might still be happening.

    As of a few hours ago, it seems the developer added a Linux content depot, so it seems like they might actually be working on it now. Either that, or it took some time to get it into a state where they could get something up on Steam. I will keep a close on eye on it and let you know of any changes in regards to an actual release.

  • Cold Space, a fast-paced one-shot kill FPS has Linux support

    A rather interesting looking fast-paced FPS released with Linux support recently called Cold Space [Steam, Official Site], I took a look to see if it's any good.

    The Linux build released only a few days ago, not long after the Windows version. The initial announcement said it was only for NVIDIA, but it seems it may work on AMD GPUs now too as it's listed in the system requirements.

  • Tale of Toast, another open world MMO that's going to release with Linux support

    Tale of Toast [Official Site, Steam] is another MMO that will release with Linux support, it will be free to play without any pay to win apparently.

    It will have no classes, open world PvP combat with a zone system that sounds like it might be similar to Albion Online and they're focusing on "quality before quantity" when it comes to the quests that will be available.

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More in Tux Machines

Security: OpenSSL, IoT, and LWN Coverage of 'Intelpocalypse'

  • Another Face to Face: Email Changes and Crypto Policy
    The OpenSSL OMC met last month for a two-day face-to-face meeting in London, and like previous F2F meetings, most of the team was present and we addressed a great many issues. This blog posts talks about some of them, and most of the others will get their own blog posts, or notices, later. Red Hat graciously hosted us for the two days, and both Red Hat and Cryptsoft covered the costs of their employees who attended. One of the overall threads of the meeting was about increasing the transparency of the project. By default, everything should be done in public. We decided to try some major changes to email and such.
  • Some Basic Rules for Securing Your IoT Stuff

    Throughout 2016 and 2017, attacks from massive botnets made up entirely of hacked [sic] IoT devices had many experts warning of a dire outlook for Internet security. But the future of IoT doesn’t have to be so bleak. Here’s a primer on minimizing the chances that your IoT things become a security liability for you or for the Internet at large.

  • A look at the handling of Meltdown and Spectre
    The Meltdown/Spectre debacle has, deservedly, reached the mainstream press and, likely, most of the public that has even a remote interest in computers and security. It only took a day or so from the accelerated disclosure date of January 3—it was originally scheduled for January 9—before the bugs were making big headlines. But Spectre has been known for at least six months and Meltdown for nearly as long—at least to some in the industry. Others that were affected were completely blindsided by the announcements and have joined the scramble to mitigate these hardware bugs before they bite users. Whatever else can be said about Meltdown and Spectre, the handling (or, in truth, mishandling) of this whole incident has been a horrific failure. For those just tuning in, Meltdown and Spectre are two types of hardware bugs that affect most modern CPUs. They allow attackers to cause the CPU to do speculative execution of code, while timing memory accesses to deduce what has or has not been cached, to disclose the contents of memory. These disclosures can span various security boundaries such as between user space and the kernel or between guest operating systems running in virtual machines. For more information, see the LWN article on the flaws and the blog post by Raspberry Pi founder Eben Upton that well describes modern CPU architectures and speculative execution to explain why the Raspberry Pi is not affected.
  • Addressing Meltdown and Spectre in the kernel
    When the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities were disclosed on January 3, attention quickly turned to mitigations. There was already a clear defense against Meltdown in the form of kernel page-table isolation (KPTI), but the defenses against the two Spectre variants had not been developed in public and still do not exist in the mainline kernel. Initial versions of proposed defenses have now been disclosed. The resulting picture shows what has been done to fend off Spectre-based attacks in the near future, but the situation remains chaotic, to put it lightly. First, a couple of notes with regard to Meltdown. KPTI has been merged for the 4.15 release, followed by a steady trickle of fixes that is undoubtedly not yet finished. The X86_BUG_CPU_INSECURE processor bit is being renamed to X86_BUG_CPU_MELTDOWN now that the details are public; there will be bug flags for the other two variants added in the near future. 4.9.75 and 4.4.110 have been released with their own KPTI variants. The older kernels do not have mainline KPTI, though; instead, they have a backport of the older KAISER patches that more closely matches what distributors shipped. Those backports have not fully stabilized yet either. KPTI patches for ARM are circulating, but have not yet been merged.
  • Is it time for open processors?
    The disclosure of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities has brought a new level of attention to the security bugs that can lurk at the hardware level. Massive amounts of work have gone into improving the (still poor) security of our software, but all of that is in vain if the hardware gives away the game. The CPUs that we run in our systems are highly proprietary and have been shown to contain unpleasant surprises (the Intel management engine, for example). It is thus natural to wonder whether it is time to make a move to open-source hardware, much like we have done with our software. Such a move may well be possible, and it would certainly offer some benefits, but it would be no panacea. Given the complexity of modern CPUs and the fierceness of the market in which they are sold, it might be surprising to think that they could be developed in an open manner. But there are serious initiatives working in this area; the idea of an open CPU design is not pure fantasy. A quick look around turns up several efforts; the following list is necessarily incomplete.
  • Notes from the Intelpocalypse
    Rumors of an undisclosed CPU security issue have been circulating since before LWN first covered the kernel page-table isolation patch set in November 2017. Now, finally, the information is out — and the problem is even worse than had been expected. Read on for a summary of these issues and what has to be done to respond to them in the kernel. All three disclosed vulnerabilities take advantage of the CPU's speculative execution mechanism. In a simple view, a CPU is a deterministic machine executing a set of instructions in sequence in a predictable manner. Real-world CPUs are more complex, and that complexity has opened the door to some unpleasant attacks. A CPU is typically working on the execution of multiple instructions at once, for performance reasons. Executing instructions in parallel allows the processor to keep more of its subunits busy at once, which speeds things up. But parallel execution is also driven by the slowness of access to main memory. A cache miss requiring a fetch from RAM can stall the execution of an instruction for hundreds of processor cycles, with a clear impact on performance. To minimize the amount of time it spends waiting for data, the CPU will, to the extent it can, execute instructions after the stalled one, essentially reordering the code in the program. That reordering is often invisible, but it occasionally leads to the sort of fun that caused Documentation/memory-barriers.txt to be written.

US Sanctions Against Chinese Android Phones, LWN Report on Eelo

  • A new bill would ban the US government from using Huawei and ZTE phones
    US lawmakers have long worried about the security risks posed the alleged ties between Chinese companies Huawei and ZTE and the country’s government. To that end, Texas Representative Mike Conaway introduced a bill last week called Defending U.S. Government Communications Act, which aims to ban US government agencies from using phones and equipment from the companies. Conaway’s bill would prohibit the US government from purchasing and using “telecommunications equipment and/or services,” from Huawei and ZTE. In a statement on his site, he says that technology coming from the country poses a threat to national security, and that use of this equipment “would be inviting Chinese surveillance into all aspects of our lives,” and cites US Intelligence and counterintelligence officials who say that Huawei has shared information with state leaders, and that the its business in the US is growing, representing a further security risk.
  • U.S. lawmakers urge AT&T to cut commercial ties with Huawei - sources
    U.S. lawmakers are urging AT&T Inc, the No. 2 wireless carrier, to cut commercial ties to Chinese phone maker Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and oppose plans by telecom operator China Mobile Ltd to enter the U.S. market because of national security concerns, two congressional aides said. The warning comes after the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump took a harder line on policies initiated by his predecessor Barack Obama on issues ranging from Beijing’s role in restraining North Korea to Chinese efforts to acquire U.S. strategic industries. Earlier this month, AT&T was forced to scrap a plan to offer its customers Huawei [HWT.UL] handsets after some members of Congress lobbied against the idea with federal regulators, sources told Reuters.
  • Eelo seeks to make a privacy-focused phone
    A focus on privacy is a key feature being touted by a number of different projects these days—from KDE to Tails to Nextcloud. One of the biggest privacy leaks for most people is their phone, so it is no surprise that there are projects looking to address that as well. A new entrant in that category is eelo, which is a non-profit project aimed at producing not only a phone, but also a suite of web services. All of that could potentially replace the Google or Apple mothership, which tend to collect as much personal data as possible.

today's howtos

Mozilla: Resource Hogs, Privacy Month, Firefox Census, These Weeks in Firefox

  • Firefox Quantum Eats RAM Like Chrome
    For a long time, Mozilla’s Firefox has been my web browser of choice. I have always preferred it to using Google’s Chrome, because of its simplicity and reasonable system resource (especially RAM) usage. On many Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Linux Mint and many others, Firefox even comes installed by default. Recently, Mozilla released a new, powerful and faster version of Firefox called Quantum. And according to the developers, it’s new with a “powerful engine that’s built for rapid-fire performance, better, faster page loading that uses less computer memory.”
  • Mozilla Communities Speaker Series #PrivacyMonth
    As a part of the Privacy Month initiative, Mozilla volunteers are hosting a couple of speaker series webinars on Privacy, Security and related topics. The webinars will see renowned speakers talking to us about their work around privacy, how to take control of your digital self, some privacy-security tips and much more.
  • “Ewoks or Porgs?” and Other Important Questions
    You ever go to a party where you decide to ask people REAL questions about themselves, rather than just boring chit chat? Us, too! That’s why we’ve included questions that really hone in on the important stuff in our 2nd Annual Firefox Census.
  • These Weeks in Firefox: Issue 30