Have We Forgotten – Two of the Best Games on Linux?

I’ve been seeing a lot of people asking what are some of the best games to play on Linux recently, a number of games always seem to get mentioned including borderlands and Counterstrike etc. But have we forgotten about two games that have been around for nearly 8 years with native Linux installers? I’m thinking of Doom 3 and Quake 4!

Doom-3These are two seriously great games and can easily be played at 1080p and on ultra settings even with a mid range gaming rig. The Linux installers are still available from official sources but you do need the original game files and a key still. If you don’t have these you can still download the demo’s for both games and test run taking out some Strog on your system. You might even have the original CD’s lying about in which case you can use the key and copy over the game data files which are required.
If you didn’t manage to get your hand on them back in the day both Quake 4 and Doom 3 are still available to buy from online digital game stores which you could copy over the game files from and also get a key.

So to get some nostalgic gaming on the go, this is what you need to do to. First move your PC into the toilet while playing Doom 3…
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How To – Linking files & folders with spaces in name

Quick TipThis is a little problem I have come across and seen other people ask the same question a lot… How can you link and point to a folder or files with a space in the name on Linux?

You’ll be glad to know that there is a simple solution to this. You can use the backslash symbol to define a space. For example if you wanted to open a file located in folder called “My Games” from the terminal Instead of typing:

/home/john/My Games/textfile.text

You would correctly type:

/home/john/My\ Games/textfile.text

Its as simple as that! hopefully this has saved you some time instead of having to rename all your folders and files with spaces in the name.

The best Graphics Cards for Gaming on Linux right now!

With all these amazing new games and ports that continue to roll out for Linux such as Borderlands and now Bioshock: Infinite! I decided it was time to upgrade my Nvidia GTS 250 which has lasted amazingly well over the years. I can even play Left4Dead 2 on the highest settings with only the occasional stutter, but with most things it struggles with a constant 30fps. So I began to research into what is the best deal for gaming on Linux right now, I found some pretty amazing cards that are very well supported and are stupidly cheap that might help some people out there looking to do the same.

Asus GTX 760

 

For a very good mid rage GPU the Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 760 DirectCU II OC 2GB GDDR5 Graphics Card seemed to be the best value for money. At just over £150 at the time of writing it produces more than enough power to play any game that Linux can throw at it. As you can see from the benchmarking done by Tom’s Hardware the GTX 760 easily manages 60fps on Bioshock: Infinite on the ultra detail preset!

 

 

Asus GTX 970If you want to go for the high end an Asus Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 Strix Graphics Card (4GB, GDDR5, PCI Express 3.0) would be the next step up for value of performance and price. At just under £300 at the time of writing this card will play almost anything that is currently out and will also last you a very long time before your next upgrade. As you can see from the Tom’s Hardware benchmark below it can easily max Battlefield 4 on ultra detail with an average of 70fps!

 

 

There is also a very good benchmark that’s been done on the GTX 760 and the GTX 970 including a number of other cards over at Phoronix that show the power potential of both of these cards on Linux. Currently I wouldn’t recommend an AMD card for gaming due to the drivers not being very well supported on Linux currently. AMD have said they are working on this issue though so hopefully we will see an improvement in this soon.

How To – Play Theme Hospital Natively on Ubuntu Linux

theme-hospital-linuxThanks to a project named CorsixTH we can play the classic PC version of Theme Hospital Naively on Ubuntu or any Linux distro for that matter quite easily, and yes without using Wine! The People behind this amazing work have developed an open source implementation of the original game engine and have even created new game maps some of which can be found on the CorsixTH forums. Yes this has been around for a few years already but there’s still a lot of people out there who have never heard of this project before and I think its time they knew, so as usual we have created a very simple step by step guide on how you can get Theme Hospital running natively on Ubuntu 12.04 to 14.04.

To be able to run the game you do need access to the game files either from the original disc or digital download from a site such as www.gog.com, an alternative would be to download the demo which is also good for testing purposes and you can find here th.corsix.org/Demo.zip.

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How To – Install Netflix Natively on Ubuntu 14.04 Linux

netflix-on-linux
****This Post Is Outdated. Netflix now works natively through the Google Chrome browser****

Currently the only way to use Netflix on Ubuntu or any Linux distro is buy using Wine and Pipelight to replace Silverlight. Granted it does work but for most users this is a lot of hassle not everyone knows how to use and setup Wine correctly. Recently though Google Chrome has been updated to include support for Netflix within the browser, we can use this feature and change our browser user agent to get it working on Linux and save the hassle of installing Wine and Pipelight.

If you are using Ubuntu 14.04 and older or an Ubuntu based distro you may need to use an updated version of libnss3, libnss3-1d and libnss3-nssdb. If not you can skip this step, but don’t worry if you do we will show you how to install these below. **Warning** Installing Packages newer than your current system my break other packages or cause issues, keep this in mind before you continue…

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Android L Announced! Already ported to the Nexus 4

nexus-4-android-lJust over two weeks after being officially announced by Google at the I/O conference the android community has already managed to get a near enough fully working Android L port to the Nexus 4. Yes there are some bugs which is to be expected but its great to see that support for the nexus 4 is still going strong. Android L is the next instalment of Google’s Android operating system for smart phones and tablets, some people have also come to believe that ‘L’ stands for lollipop which would also keep it in the tradition of Androids well known naming theme.

Some of the new features which have been announced for Android L have been listed below.

  • A new user interface based on what Google calls “a material design” which give more advanced user feedback.
  • New popup notifications to allow you to stay in your current app (Although I think this feature has been around for a while in some custom ROM’s).
  • More authentication options with the use of Android smart watches which allows you to unlock your phone with other devices.
  • 64bit processor support and vastly improved PC like graphics with OpenGL ES 3.1 and the Android Extension Pack which Google say “will bring PC-level graphics to mobile devices”.
  • More battery life! with Google’s Project Volta which can detect when your device is low on power and reduce consumption accordingly as well as providing more power saving features.
  • Improved audio with lower latency and resampling rates with support for USB audio.
  • A new camera API provides more features for developers and the ability to save images in their RAW format with no post processing by the device.
  • Androids Dalvik is being replaced by ART, Google’s new Android Runtime which improves the speed of application startup time and optimisation but requires more install time and space for each app.
  • Support for the new Bluetooth 4.1 specification.

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Home Automation With Android Smartwatch

Armando Ferreira is back with another home automation video, this time he is using his Smartwatch to complete simple tasks in his home. Up until now I didn’t really see the point in a Smartwatch, they seemed like more of a gimmick than being a practical device I would use everyday but this video has completely changed my outlook. I’m now very excited to see what the future holds for Android Wear.

My favorite thing is how he gets a notification on his Smartwatch when certain windows and doors are opened, having the upper hand when an intruder breaks in can make all the difference. I will definitely be purchasing one soon, will you?

Grim Fandango Coming To Linux

A few weeks ago, at Sony’s E3 conference, we found out that the remastered version of Grim Fandango was coming ‘exclusively ‘ to PS4 and PS Vita. What Sony forgot to mention is that it’s only a console exclusive and it will be released on other platforms.

The guys over at Double Fine Productions have just announced on Twitter that it will also be available on PC, Mac and Linux.

Although I’m not a big fan, It’s great to see more games coming to Linux.

Ubuntu Based Distro “Deepin 2014″ Released

The first stable release of Deepin 2014 is now available to download. Deepin 2014 is based off Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and has it’s own custom desktop environment written in HTML 5, it also comes with its own set of custom apps developed by the Deepin Team, including it’s own software centre. The custom desktop environment that comes with Deepin 2014 is not an exclusive, it will be available for some other distros soon including Manjaro which is currently in alpha stage.

deepin linux 2014 desktop

 

If you decide to give this new distro a whirl don’t install the proprietary drivers if you use an Nvidia GPU. The proprietary drivers are not currently supported in Deepin 2014 and installing them will break the OS, unfortunately this means users will have to install the open source drivers which aren’t the best for gaming or using Steam.

Minimum Requirements

  • Intel Pentium IV 2GHz processor
  • 1GB memory (RAM), or 2GB memory (RAM) for best performance
  • 10 GB disk space/storage

Links

Download

Screenshots

Manjaro Alpha Preview Thread

How To – Finally fix visual tearing on Xubuntu & other Ubuntu based distros

no-more-tearingAfter years of trying to solve this issue myself and never being able to fully fix it using numerous methods, I have finally come across a fix that seems to remove visual tearing for good from video playback (yes in flash also!) and even makes browsing on Firefox a lot smoother.

Compton is a compositor originally forked from xcompmgr-dana, it is lightweight unlike others out there such as compiz and easy to install without much hassle. It is also still being actively developed which should hopefully mean any bugs will be fixed and maybe more features will be added in the future.

To install Compton first add the PPA provided by one of the developers:

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