Linux is a platform growing in popularity, in the last few years its even become a credible gaming platform. So much so that Steam has made their own OS build on Linux as they believe it is the future, so do we. . .
Who is “The Linux Gamer” then?
Well hopefully you with a little help from this site, but if your wondering who I am well. . . My name is Justin and I’ve worked in the tech industry for about 18 years, I cut my teeth building hardware for the military. From chemical detectors to cables for aircraft I’ve done it.
I’ve always been a gamer and for the last 10 years thats been on PC’s that I’ve built myself, but while I’ve been a hardware enthusiast for years even running a website on it for a time. I’ve never really thought too much about software, until about a year ago when it dawned on me that however powerful my hardware was it would always be somewhat constrained by the Windows operating system.
The big concern was of course gaming, would Linux have enough for me and would I need to dual boot. I started that way running Linux most of the time and switching to windows to game, but this became tiresome and instead of doing the obvious thing and switching back to Windows I took the bull by the horns and completely switched to Linux. I haven’t looked back and I’m not the only one, more and more people are using Linux as Microsoft start to close down Windows and force their Windows Store on consumers. Valve saw this coming with the introduction of SteamOS, Linux is the future of gaming. .
What is Linux?
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open-source software development and distribution. The defining component of Linux is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released on September 17, 1991 by Linus Torvalds. The Free Software Foundation uses the name GNU/Linux to describe the operating system, which has led to some controversy.
Linux was originally developed for personal computers based on the Intel x86 architecture, but has since been ported to more platforms than any other operating system. Because of the dominance of Android on smartphones, Linux has the largest installed base of all general-purpose operating systems. Linux is also the leading operating system on servers and other big iron systems such as mainframe computers, and is used on 99.6% of the TOP500 supercomputers. It is used by around 2.3% of desktop computers. The Chromebook, which runs the Linux kernel-based Chrome OS, dominates the US K–12 education market and represents nearly 20% of the sub-$300 notebook sales in the US. Linux also runs on embedded systems – devices whose operating system is typically built into the firmware and is highly tailored to the system. This includes TiVo and similar DVR devices, network routers, facility automation controls, televisions, video game consoles and smartwatches. Many smartphones and tablet computers run Android and other Linux derivatives.
The development of Linux is one of the most prominent examples of free and open-source software collaboration. The underlying source code may be used, modified and distributed commercially or non-commercially by anyone under the terms of its respective licenses, such as the GNU General Public License.
Typically, Linux is packaged in a form known as a Linux distribution (or distro for short) for both desktop and server use. Some of the most popular mainstream Linux distributions are Arch Linux, CentOS, Debian, Fedora, Gentoo Linux, Linux Mint, Mageia, openSUSE and Ubuntu, together with commercial distributions such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Distributions include the Linux kernel, supporting utilities and libraries, many of which are provided by the GNU Project, and usually a large amount of application software to fulfil the distribution’s intended use.
En.wikipedia.org. (2017). Linux. [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux [Accessed 24 Jun. 2017].
Linux distributions you might consider. . . .
Why would I want to use Linux?
There are lots of reasons to consider Linux, performance, simplicity and open-source being just a few. For many right now with Microsoft slowly locking up Windows and turning it into an advertising platform, it’s the best alternative.
Is Linux free?
Linux is completely open and therefore free, but some distributions may charge commercial company’s for on going support. The home user has non of these concerns.
Can I run Linux and Windows?
Yes, in most cases this is easy. Distributions such as Ubuntu will even offer you this option when installing, but even those that don’t can be installed to a second hard-drive. In some cases you don’t even need to install Linux to test it out with many distributions working from a disk or USB drive.
Can I use Linux as a daily driver?
Absolutely, Linux is capable of running all the programs most users require day to day. Web browsers, word processing, image editing programs and much more are all available on Linux and in almost all cases are free.
How many games are there on Linux?
Too many to count, Linux isn’t lacking in games. But where as most Indie titles come to Linux its taking some of the triple A developers a little longer, Valve, Square-Enix, Codemasters, Feral Interactive, Deep Silver and many more now supporting Linux things are getting better for us all the time.
How good is the performance on Linux?
As good if not better than Windows, If a game or any other software is optimised correctly you’ll generally notice it performs better on Linux. Unfortunately sometimes developers don’t always take the time, that said installing Linux on older hardware will often make a slow PC fast again.
Do I need set hardware to use Linux?
NO! Linux can run on pretty much anything, but if your running cutting edge hardware you may have to work a little harder getting everything up and running correctly. Normally its just a case of installing a few drivers manually.