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Ubuntu 8.04 Worth Trying?

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Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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June 8, 2008 3:11:21 PM

I've heard for years people touting Linux systems. Free OS software sounds great. I'm curious about Unbuntu 8.04 as someone recommended I try it. I mainly use my PC for gaming. Age of Conan, Crysis, COD4, Assassin's Creed, etc...

Right now I'm running Windows XP 64bit and do fine.

Anyhow, I'm downloading the 64bit ISO file for Ubuntu 8.04 right now. I'm curious as to people's experience and input as to whether it has any value for me. The Ubuntu site doesn't say anything about stability or support related stuff involving games. They just tout their free OpenOffice stuff.

Thanks! :) 

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June 8, 2008 8:38:07 PM

If you want to game for no money on Linux (and what I am about to tell you applies to any Linux, not just Ubuntu) there are a bunch of Free Software/Open source games that are distributed at no charge. If you are into FPS games they have Nexuiz, Warsow, and Alien Arena which are all very fast paced quake-like shooters. If you want RTSes, there is one game that i've heard of but haven't tried: Boson. It is supposed to focus on modern warfare, from what I have read. There are a slew of other Free Software/Open Source games available as well besides the few i mentioned.

If you want to run your windows games on Linux, you have two options: WINE ( it is NOT an emulator for windows, and is free of charge) or Cedega (costs money and is based on Wine). WINE will run quite a few of the more modern games as well as plenty of oldies like StarCraft. If you want to run Crysis, it is possible but there will most likely be a performance penalty incurred as a result. Suffice it to say that your mileage will vary from game to game with WINE. Whereas WINE is a general purpose program to help you run Windows programs on Linux (not just games, but programs like MSOffice), Cedega is focused on games and costs money. Cedega is based on WINE, but is extended by the company that makes it and may run games a little bit better, I believe part of the subscription you pay to use it includes support in getting games to run. I haven't tried it myself, so you may want to do some research on it and see whether it'd be worth the investment for you.

Finally, there are also native Linux versions of Windows games available, most notably almost any game that comes from id Studios. So basically any Doom game or any Quake game can work natively (they either have versions you can buy or Linux installers that use your windows disk). The same goes for just about every version of Unreal Tournament with the exception of UT3 which is still being produced for Linux. Lastly, it may be possible that Valve is porting their source engine to Linux which could mean that we will be getting ports of the Half-Life Series!

Linux is a great OS all around and is pretty stable and if you don't like Ubuntu, try a different distribution! They all have their own features to offer and are getting better all the time. Not every windows game will run perfectly yet, but support is also improving there. So, in the mean while, if you can't run a game that you really want to play, dual-booting is also an option for you so you can at least get your feet wet with Linux.

-Zorak

P.S. Sorry for the long post!
June 9, 2008 3:59:15 PM

Thanks for the reply. Long post was needed, so no apology needed there.

If I was to install Linux I was definitely going to dual-boot on separate harddrives. From what you've stated, and what I've read elsewhere, it sounds like Linux is probably not for me.
I freshly formatted a spare harddrive yesterday, so perhaps I'll install Ubuntu on it just for grins & giggles.

But since I literally use my PC almost solely for games I probably won't be using Linux for gaming purposes. All the games I play currently are modern, Age of Conan, Crysis, Assassin's Creed...

Thanks for your input though! This certainly helps me better realize what Linux is and is not for me. :) 
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June 9, 2008 5:31:55 PM

Yeah, unfortunately Linux isn't for everyone, but that is OK. I think it is best for people to see what all their options are to accomplish any task and do what works best for them. For some people windows is what they need, for others Linux, and for others still, a version of *BSD is what they need. I think it is good that you at least tried doing some research on your other alternatives, which is more than most people do, so kudos to you ! :D 

I encourage you to try Linux out anyways just to see if you might like it since that is a way to increase the number of choices you have, and I am all for increasing people's ability to choose (as is Linux). If you don't want to go through all the trouble of setting up dual-boot because you don't anticipate much usage, you can still download liveCDs for several distributions and try them out without installing so much as a byte of Linux onto your hard drives.

Good Luck.

-Zorak
June 16, 2008 6:20:27 PM

If only all threads were like this....
June 18, 2008 11:30:52 AM

But it does seem like we get a lot of threads similar to this one where they ask : Is $DISTRIBUTION_NAME any good? or Should I try Linux? Seems to me like we get about one or so of those per month. So, either that is a sign that people are actually curious about alternatives to windows/mac or we have a parade of forum members making new accounts every month or so to generate activity in the forum ;) 

-Zorak
June 18, 2008 12:29:41 PM

^ we should update the sticky... or start a new thread... one that tells all about WINE and stuff like that...
!