The State of Gaming on Linux

Gaming on LinuxI’ve never been much of a gamer honestly, so how games were doing in Linux really never mattered much to me. When World of Warcraft came out, my entire department bought it and started a guild, so of course I did too. Fade to black… time passes.

I wrote this article last year about how I’d kept a Windows partition around strictly for gaming purposes and how with a little help from Wine, I’d moved past it. More than a year later, I’ve more than passed the need for Windows to play games.

Steam

Gaming on LinuxMan, Steam for Linux. Just today I installed Left 4 Dead 2. I haven’t had the time for an in depth look at every single bit of the game, but from what I’ve seen It’s perfect (despite the fact it’s still in Beta). Portal just hit Linux too. In looking at my Steam library, there’s only three games that aren’t available for Linux yet. Portal 2, which is rumored to be on it’s way as well, Half Life 2, and Half Life 2 Lost Coast*. I’m expecting both of those to come to Linux too since most of the Half Life family of games already has. Steam has opened up a whole ton of games for Linux that hadn’t previously existed.

*UPDATE: Since the original writing of this bit, Half Life 2 and Half Life 2 Lost Coast have become available on Steam. At this point, the only game in my Steam library that isn’t available for Linux is Portal 2, and I’m expecting to see it show up as available soon as well.

Humble Indie Bundle

Gaming on Linux

The Humble Indie Bundle is another great resource for Linux games. In the past it’s bundled games for low prices that you can get for an extremely low price that you can download or add to your Steam library. I’ve picked up a number of really cool games this way, and the proceeds to to charity. You can’t really beat the opportunity to get some cool games and help people out at the same time. Every time Linux users have risen to the challenge and donated more to the cause than any other platform (proportionally speaking of course). I always keep a close eye on their site just so that I’m ready for the next opportunity to get games from them.

Play On Linux

Gaming on LinuxWhen all else fails, there’s always Wine. The best option I’ve found is Play On Linux. It’s got a whole lot of pre-configured options available, so if you’re wanting to play a popular game, chances are there’s a pre-made configuration available for it in Play On Linux. This is what I use to play World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament. I did use it for Star Trek Online for a while, but that game never really stuck with me. I’ve honestly never tried to run a game in Play On Linux that didn’t work. If you’re a Linux user and you have an old favorite laying around because it’s Windows only, give it a shot.

Games Everywhere

So, I guess the old argument about Linux not having games is fading fast into history. There are literally Linux games coming out every day. But there is one problem with Gaming on Linux that I’ve only recently run into. I’m quickly running out of hard drive space. I’m going to have to do something about that soon.

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