24 October, 2014

Civilization V @Linux

I'm really not a big fan of strategy-builder games (at least not since C&C), but Sid Meier's Civilization-series are more interesting than other similar games, at least in my opinion.

The game did have some peculiar bugs (ex: not running on selected screen in multi-monitor setups), but nothing major. The screenshots below were taken on an Intel Core 2 Duo Linux-laptop.

17 October, 2014

AMD FGLRX + Steam for Linux

During these past 2 years of testing Steam-for-Linux betas and various Linux-based/-ported games I have been using a mid-range nvidia graphics-accelerator. Which has been fine. But I wanted a little more kick from the GPU.
DOOM 3: BFG Edition (non-steam version) - running natively on Linux.
After visiting a gamer-friend with years of bleeding-edge hardware experience, especially related to full HD 3D-rendering, I decided to go over to AMD-based stream-processor gfx-cards. My friend really recommended AMD due to their aqcuirement of the graphics-company ATi in 2006. Having both CPU-production and GPU-production under the same company really put them ahead of other CPU-vendors in terms of graphics-performance, both in integrated and discrete graphics-solutions.

I have to note that laptops sporting AMD GPU's (integrated graphics-cards) don't work so well with the proprietary Catalyst-driver, I have tried to make it work on several occasions, but the driver (Catalyst) always seems to crap out. Unless you REALLY know what you are doing (manually tuning the Catalyst-driver), I would not recommend using Catalyst on laptops or notebooks.

ONLY use the Catalyst-driver if you are using a gaming-rig (desktop PC) with a discrete (separate component) graphics-card installed.
Space Hulk - running natively on Linux.
AMDs Catalyst graphics-driver had quite a few improvements the last few years as well, so I was eager to test it out on Linux and see for myself.
Left 4 Dead 2 - running natively on Linux.
The proprietary driver worked rather well (for the most part), but it still suffers from a set of annoying bugs (window-manager artifacts, exiting fullscreen HD video won't reset to default resolution, etc.), but not as annoying as they used to be in the start... believe me (video-tearing, 3D-tearing, kernel panics, etc.).
Trine 2 - running natively on Linux.
For 3D-accelerated games, it works really good. Impressively good. The lower high-end card I decided to opt for raised my rigs eyecandy-potential at least tenfold(!). After realizing this, I would really recommend AMD's graphics to any serious gaming-enthusiast looking for OP graphics that does not compromise the gaming-experience.
Darwinia - running natively on Linux.
To put it rather simply: it just works, better than I expected, but not without the odd bug or two...
DOTA 2 - running natively on Linux.
My final verdict: I would recommend AMD graphics-cards to hardcore gaming-enthusiasts who doesn't get shocked by an odd bug or two (at least, not serious bugs anyway), however, I would NOT recommend it to average-joe.
FEZ - running natively on Linux.

To enable video-accelerator (VA-)chips on discrete AMD-based (Radeon/HD) graphics-cards (on Linux), run the following command in a terminal on Ubuntu Desktop or Linux Mint:
sudo apt-get install xvba-va-driver libva-glx1 libva-egl1 vainfo
These libraries and drivers prevents video-artifacts/-tearing, stabilizes video-movement, de-processes video-interlacing and similar video-issues.

I will be testing and experimenting with the open-source 3D/video driver for AMD-based cards at a later date, namely the Gallium3D-driver. And I'll be posting about it too, so stay tuned...

16 October, 2014

2 years Linux-gaming

SteamOS and Steam for Linux have really progressed the last two years. And with this year showing AAA-titles also wanting "teh' working Linux", things are really looking good for VALVe ;) :)

Personally, the bugs I've encountered playing beta- and alpha-games on Linux since December 2012 really weren't all that bad.

I really only had one major issue; the Steam-for-Linux client itself had some CPU-bugs.

In VALVe's defense, that was due to the fact I was launching it on a low-powered Asus Eee 900 netbook that sported an Intel Celeron 900MHz uni-processor (single-core). One lousy, 32-bit, barely-functioning little crappy "mini-computer".

This low-end CPU did not sport certain CPU-flags that Steam-for-Linux expected it to have, so they had to make workarounds for low-powered devices with integrated graphics (in part because of yours truly).

Apart from that VALVe-specific debugging, I've also sent a few bug reports to various game-studios about specific library-support issues, audio-bugs, and similar low-priority bugs. Nothing big.

07 October, 2014

PC-gaming is dead... (RLY?)

OK.., how and where did the proclamation of "PC-gaming is dead" come round?

People, please... what kind of platform do you think games are created on?

Seriously... that's just, a completely new level of ignorance.

Consoles? Eeeeeh, they will co-exist, and probably evolve, but they will NEVER crush, or even replace PC-gaming.


I would rather believe this article when it comes to the current gaming-climate: http://www.techradar.com/news/gaming/consoles/console-gaming-is-dead-everything-good-is-happening-on-pc-right-now-1260162

06 October, 2014

µ-cloud, so far...

Sporting as a: VM-lab / Workstation / A/V-rig / Gaming-rig / VM-production :P

3 years - 24/7 operation (2011-2014), and still running like a well-greased steam-engine :P everything runs some form of Linux ;) open standards - open systems :D all the way.

I've never had OP processing-capabilities before, especially at my own complete personal disposal (20+ years of computing-experience), until now :P 3,5 years later (that's including half a year of planning before starting the build).

Never going out of CPU-time, practically never overflowing (swapping) the system memory. And rarely even getting into CPU-loops (unless I'm doing some risky low-level programming for lulz).

I am proud to say that my domain is fully OSS-operated ;) :D

Network-wise, I have separated internal traffic into separate VLANs, mainly for layer-2 separation of different protocols and various traffic-types, like: Internet-traffic, incoming web-server traffic, VPS' Internet-traffic, management sub-net and iSCSI sub-net.

iSCSI even runs on separate NICs (on both storage-box and server), through it's own switch-block and separated sub-net, to prevent interference with other packets running on high-traffic sub-nets (like Internet-access).

Outgoing traffic (and incoming of course :P) is pumped through a VPN / Firewall network-box that has a firewall-throughput equal the total speed of the FTTH Internet-uplink connection ;D

h3x4c0m-build: http://blog.pizslacker.org/2011/12/h3x4c0m.html