The latest patches for the AMDGPU DRM driver's DC code -- what was previously known as DAL -- have been published and they reduce the size of the code-base some more.
NVIDIA has released a major new version of their Linux Graphics Debugger for helping game developers and others wishing to optimize OpenGL 4.x workloads on a variety of Linux distributions.
It's been a while since publishing any fresh Intel Core i7 5775C benchmarks, the socketed Broadwell CPU with Iris Pro 6200 graphics, since normally it's busy in the daily benchmarking churn of the server room for Phoronix Test Suite / OpenBenchmarking.org / LinuxBenchmarking.com efforts. But with having been doing some maintenance on that system this week and loading a clean install of Ubuntu 16.10, I did some fresh benchmarks of the Iris Pro 6200 graphics using Mesa 13.1-dev and Linux 4.9, including a look at the OpenGL vs. Vulkan performance for the Iris Pro graphics.
Intel's Mesa driver has wired in support for two more OpenGL extensions not part of an official OpenGL specification release. These two new extensions are supported for Skylake and newer.
Mesa developers are discussing the idea of removing the Intel "ILO" Gallium3D driver from Mesa since it hasn't been maintained in a while and provides only limited functionality.
ILO is the Intel Gallium3D driver that was developed at LunarG Inc and was promising a few years ago with Ivy Bridge and Haswell era hardware. LunarG was using ILO for experimenting with Gallium3D and different driver approaches. But ILO hasn't been maintained in quite a while now while LunarG has since changed too.
AMD have announced that they are working on a big driver update. The Linux driver will support FreeSync and have wider support for their different GPUs.
The rumor is back that Intel and AMD have reached a deal for future Intel CPUs to be paired with integrated AMD Radeon graphics.
Zorin OS 12 Ubuntu-based Linux distribution now available -- a Windows 10 alternative
Windows 10 is a really great desktop operating system, but it is not for everyone. For those that care deeply about security and privacy, an open source Linux-based operating system is a wise alternative. The problem? Learning a new user interface can be hard for some. If you have always used a Windows OS in the past, moving to a desktop environment like GNOME or Unity can be confusing and scary.
Luckily, for those that have difficulty with change, there are some Linux-based operating systems that are designed for Windows-switchers. One fairly popular such offering, Zorin OS, has now reached version 12. It is designed to be familiar to former users of Microsoft's OS. While the company does charge for an "Ultimate" version, the "Core" edition of Zorin OS 12 is entirely free.
Getting started with Raspberry Pi
So you have a Raspberry Pi, or you’re thinking of getting one, and you want to know how to get started and how to become a master user of one.
The Raspberry Pi is a single board computer, meaning that in many ways it's a regular PC, except that everything that makes up the computer is on a single board rather than a traditional PC, which has a motherboard and requires a number of additional daughterboards to make a whole unit.
Games for GNU/Linux
More and more AAA games are coming to our beloved Linux platform, and nothing makes us happier than to see Daedalic Entertainment's Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun title launching today on Steam for Linux, Mac, and Windows.
If you're not familiar with Daedalic Entertainment's work, they are the creators of the superb and fun Deponia series, but Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun is something different, a tactical stealth-strategy game in the style of the Commandos stealth-oriented real-time tactics video game series.
Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun [GOG, Steam, Official Site] is the rather good top-down stealth game from Mimimi Productions. It's now out way a day-1 Linux release and it has a demo.
I played the demo and I was massively impressed, so impressed that I would very much like to cover the game properly. So I will be reaching out to the developer for a key.
The Keeper side-scrolling survival action game full of boss battles, a combo system for combat and a day and night cycle will come to Linux.
It has come to my attention recently that some people have been taking a really hard stance against developers who want to gauge interest for a Linux port. I want to talk about it for a bit.
Be the Linux community I know and love, be helpful to developers, get in on beta testing when you can (I’ve seen plenty of developers give out free keys for this too!) and appreciate the good games we get. We are a smaller market in most people’s eyes, so let’s not turn away anything that could help us grow even a little.
The fact is, I’ve seen multiple games only come to Linux because Linux fans showed actual interest in it. One such example is Nightside, which I discovered on Steam. After a quick chat with the developer, I was able to convince them to do a Linux build and after a short test they then decided to do support a Linux build. There’s many such examples like this, but due to the amount of games I cover that’s one I could quickly pull up (without having to sift through hundreds of articles).
BOOR [Official Site] is a new puzzle platformer from developer Dazlog Studio and publisher BadLand Games that will have Linux support.
We have many puzzle platformers now, so I do hope BOOR has something to set itself apart from the rest of them. I haven't seen anything in the trailer or the feature list that really jumps out at me. I am hoping when they reveal more gameplay it will look more enticing.
EVERSPACE [Steam, Official Site] is the fantastic looking UE4 space shooter that's being ported to Linux, but the developers have encountered a problem with lighting bugs.
I follow the topic on Steam, but a user also emailed this in to ask me to highlight it. I would have anyway since I'm interested in it.
Total War: WARHAMMER - Realm of The Wood Elves [Steam] is the next DLC that introduces an exciting race into this strategy game.
Feral have confirmed it will be on Linux soon with the quick tweet they sent out.
After ZeniMax sent the lawyers knocking, the developer of what was called DoomRL (Doom Roguelike) has changed it's name to 'DRL' [Github, Official Site] and it's now open source.
ZeniMax are well within their rights to "protect" the Doom brand, but I still think their lawyers are idiotic for doing this. It's not like small-time roguelike was actually competing with the real Doom.