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Mr. Doomguy

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  1. A lot of interesting stuff has happened in February starting with the most important one. NVIDIA contributes to Nouveau once more Despite the status update report being published which mentions not only some new features which Nouveau received, it also appears that less and less people work on it but then, out of nowhere NVIDIA has stepped in and provided the following contributions to this project NVIDIA Format Modifiers - Provide better performance in compressed layers. Will be available in the upcoming Linux kernel 5.7 Signed firmwares for GeForce 16 series (1600 and 1650 series) While this is surprising nice approach it still lacks a specific firmware to deal with poor performance from GTX 900 series to newer and we have yet to receive an open source Vulkan driver which Nouveau still lacks. Mesa 20.0 has been released + 20.1 work has begun As stated in the title, Mesa 20.0 has been released which provides the following new features: Owners of Intel's Broadwell line of CPUs or newer will use the new Gallium3D driver codenamed Iris by default, providing better performance and take advantage of Gallium3D features such as the GalliumHUD or even Gallium3D Nine for use with Wine for a native DIrect3D 9 support (Requires Wine Nine Config) compared to the old i965 driver which is still used for older Intel iGPUs. Additionally Mesa 20.0 now supports Intel's Jasper Lake line of CPUs as well. Owners of AMD graphics card based on GCN 1.0/1.1 architecture can take advantage of Valve's shader compiler made specifically for AMD called ACO, reducing the shader compiling time (which in turn minimizes stuttering) and provide more FPS as a bonus. Speaking of ACO, it supports even more shaders and some improvements leaving only Tesselation shaders and OpenGL support for last. AMD's Gallium3D driver, RadeonSI, now supports OpenGL 4.6 due to the NIR being enabled and used by default and now uses the "live shader cache" to reduce the stuttering when compiling shaders in OpenGL games. The recently added Next-Gen Geometry added by AMD for Navi GPUs has been re-enabled. Previously was disabled due to the issues popping up that were difficult to fix. As of this release, the work on 20.1 version has begun and it's expected to receive a stable release in May 2020. So far these are the new features that has been presented: Shader Disk Cache support for Nouveau, to improve loading times in games when using NVIDIA GPUs with the open source driver NIR support + OpenGL 4.6 support for R600 Gallium3D driver used by AMD HD 2000 series to HD 6000 series. Disabling (and perhaps removal) of SISched support, as Valve's ACO already beaten it. Used as a shader compiler for OpenGL and Vulkan games. Performance improvements by Valve for GCN 1.0/1.1 based graphics cards. AMD's GPU Profiler and SQ Thread Trace support for RadV (Open source Vulkan driver for AMDGPU) made possible by Valve. Normally these features were used by AMD in their own drivers, especially in their own open source Vulkan driver codenamed AMDVLK. Smaller size for RadeonSI, but even more performance improvements in combination with two compiling options which are LTO and PGO, as mentioned here. Speculation: OpenGL 3.0 support in Zink, an OpenGL To Vulkan driver. Some oopsies have happenned It seems that Windows games that ran through Proton started to count as Windows sale instead of the Linux one for some time until a game developer noticed this, luckily this has been reported to Valve and turns out that despite the system of it works, the filtering did not. But now time to mention some major issue that is going on. As of the release of Linux kernel 5.5, it turns out that it missed some of the critical patches for Intel Graphics Driver which led to system freezes and other serious issues. Hopefully the point releases included them. Other news: - Besides the release of Godot Engine 4.0 happening in mid 2020, the developers announced that it will include Wayland support along with EGL support, which for latter's case will greatly help for Raspberry Pi devices. - Wine has reached 5.3 release - Proton reached 5.0 release - DXVK received 1.5.5 release which only includes bugfixes. New major release will happen once all the regressions have been fixed.
  2. First things first, apologies for the delay of making this monthly news since i've had some life stuff to do. With that behind, let's get started to talk about what happened in January 2020 regarding the Linux gaming. Mesa 20.0 has reached the freeze state and more goodies added Right off the bat, Mesa, an open source GPU driver library has reached the freezing state and started releasing RC versions, at this point no new features will be added besides bug fixes, luckily at the last week before entering that state it received more features: * OpenGL 4.6 and NIR support enabled for AMD GPUs that use RadeonSI, one of AMD's Gallium3D driver primarily supported by GCN and newer architecture. * Intel's new Gallium3D driver for Broadwell „Gen8” gpus and newer has been enabled by default, which allows you to take advantage of Gallium3D features such as the HUD and perhaps even Gallium Nine which is primarily used for Windows games that use Direct3D 9, allowing for a native performance without translating it to OpenGL (Requires Wine Nine Config installed) * Vulkan 1.2 support for both ANV and RadV drivers, former for Intel and latter for AMD. * NGG geometry support being re-enabled for RX 5700 series (and perhaps for any Navi GPUs), was previously disabled for the sake of taking care of bugs that were difficult to fix. * Valve's ACO for AMD has received a support for GCN 1.0 GPUs, according to Phoronix article it provides slightly better framerate, besides just lowering the shader compiling time dramatically. All that is left is for ACO to support tesselation shaders and OpenGL, after that it'll be most likely a bye-bye to LLVM. Mesa 20.0 will receive a stable release in late February or perhaps even in early March, depending on how many bugs it needs to be fixed before the release. NVIDIA ends 340 driver support, 390 will be next in line The time has reached for 340 legacy driver support to end, which according to NVIDIA it's last supported XOrg is 1.20 and the 5.4 Linux kernel, albeit it can be patched to use newer kernels instead. Fermi GPUs that use 390 legacy driver will have their support end in 2022 Wine 5.0 has been released + a surprise Wine 5.0 has left the freezing state for the sake of bug fixes and received a stable release. Despite mentioning a few major features such as: * Multi monitor support * Vulkan 1.1 support * XAudio 2 reimplementation *Builtin modules in PE format There is more where that comes from, one such thing being support for S3TC texture compression, fleshed out support for Windows Media Foundation, MSI installer support, for more see the changelog list Besides that, we've gotten a new surprise from Codeweavers which they are coming back to work on Vulkan implementation of WineD3D, which last year didn't go anywhere. Looks like DXVK will have a competition here. Valve works on a new compositor called Gamescope, aimed to replace Steam Compositor It seems that Valve has began on reworking their compositor for desktop environment that was primarily used for SteamOS called, Steam Compositor. This time they decide to aim higher by making it not only to use Wayland only, but combine that with Vulkan instead. Here is a more detailed information from it's readme file: This is rather an interesting project overall, sadly NVIDIA users will not be able to use it mostly due to the company not having much interest in improving Wayland and XWayland support. Last time i remember using GTX 970 on Wayland, it couldn't do Vulkan as it was missing an extension for it in their proprietary driver. So for now AMD and probably even Intel users will be able to use it. The git repo of this project can be found here. VKBasalt 0.3 has been released, supports shaders from ReShade now For all of you folks who like to play around with shaders from ReShade, but miss using it on Linux have a chance to use it now. VKBasalt dev along with the creator of ReShade worked together to provide support for it in this 0.3 release. VKBasalt 1st started off as a new way of adding sharpening filter similar to AMD's Image Sharpening feature in Windows but works only for native Linux games that use Vulkan or Windows games through projects like DXVK on Wine/Proton. More about this can be found in it's project page Besides all these major news here is what was going on around on Linux gaming overall: * DXVK last release in that month was 1.5.3 * Proton 4.11-12 was released * Steam survey from December 2019 used to show 0.63% of active Linux users, however there was an issue similar to the last year which over-counted Windows 7 users from China. The real value was 0.83%. Right now the market share as of January 2020 is now 0.90% and keeps raising. * Linux kernel 5.5 has received a stable release (overview here), work on 5.6 has begun and currently reached the release candidate. Previous Monthly Linux Gaming News ================================ November 2019 December 2019
  3. Ho! Ho! Ho! We have approached the end of 2019 and this month has left some interesting things going on around the Linux Gaming community. Mesa 19.3 release and new features in the upcoming 20.0 version As predicted, Mesa 19.3 has been released in early December which marks the 1st stable release to include Valve's shader compiler for AMD called ACO, however it is not enabled by default and users are required to run with RADV_PERFTEST=aco to take advantage of it, of course on Steam ya need to put RADV_PERFTEST=aco %command% into Launch options. As a reminder, this is meant for AMD only running on GCN architecture or newer which halves the compiling time making the game less suspectible to stuttering and increase the frame rate as a bonus. Besides that it provides a support for Navi 14 based GPUs (Such as RX 5500 XT), Intel Tiger Lake support, Zink driver (OpenGL To Vulkan driver, currently supports OpenGL 2.1) which is currently in experimental state and new Vulkan extensions for both Radeon RadV and Intel ANV. New features have been announced to appear in the upcoming Mesa 20.0 which will be released in February: - Intel GPUs under Mesa will use Iris by default, a Gallium3D driver made by Intel themselves. Allowing you to take advantage of Gallium3D features such as the HUD and perhaps even Gallium3D Nine to run Direct3D 9 games under Wine without any translation to OpenGL, causing a boost to the frame rate. - OpenGL 4.6 support for RadeonSI (Open source OpenGL driver for AMD) and replacing TGS route with NIR, which results in some slight frame rate boost. - OpenGL Tesselation Support in Gallium3D's Software Rasterizer - AMD R600 GPUs will receive NIR support Linux 5.5 performance regression and AMDGPU's experimental GCN 1.0 support may be dropped Currently we are receiving Release Candidates for the upcoming stable 5.5 Linux kernel and it seems that some performance regression has been found, according to the Phoronix article this is cause by the usage of AppArmor feature presented in the kernel and a second unknown issue. If you are using Debian or Ubuntu (including even flavours such as Xubuntu, Kubuntu etc.) then it must be disabled by adding apparmor=0 into the kernel parameter. Luckily other distros such as Fedora and perhaps even ArchLinux have their kernels compiled to not use it by default. Now here's the bad news for any owner of AMD's graphics card that uses GCN 1.0 architecture, AMD might drop the experimental support for it under AMDGPU kernel driver due to the UVD video driver not being included and some occasional bugs due to lack of testing and any output from AMD themselves. Enabling the usage of AMDGPU kernel driver for GCN 1.0 required a manual change in the kernel parameter with radeon.si_support=0 radeon.cik_support=0 amdgpu.si_support=1 amdgpu.cik_support=1 (Not required for GCN 3 and newer, as it's enabled by default) but it provided not only a frame rate boost but also a Vulkan support for GPUs which uses this architecture, the worst part is that they are unlikely to release a firmware which provides UVD video driver, but may also drop SI support from AMDGPU entirely. Valve may not like that as in their Future Work list for ACO, GFX6 lists Radeon HD 7000 series along with Radeon 200 series (Specifically 240 and 250) to have it's support added. Proton 4.11-11 release, D9VK merged with DXVK, Wine 5.0 reached into freeze mode Speaking of Valve, they have recently released a 10th and 11th revision of Proton 4.11 which not only includes some fixes but also: - Halo: Master Chief Collection is supported from the single player side, multiplayer mode uses Easy AntiCheat which Wine and Proton has yet to provide support for it (Unless EAC hasn't been updated). - Adds a Interger Scaling Mode which can be toggled by running the game with WINE_FULLSCREEN_INTEGER_SCALING=1 - Updated FAudio to 19.12 and DXVK to 1.5 Now the DXVK 1.5 is special one here, as D9VK which is a fork of DXVK that translated Direct3D 9 games to Vulkan has been merged with it, so by default DXVK currently supports D3D9, D3D10 and D3D11. From the Wine side, the Wine 5.0 development has reached into the freezing state, so for now we are getting release candidates (RC3 being the last release in this year!) which only includes bug fixes in order to be prepared for the stable release of it which may happen in February or March. This is rather important as Wine is used by Valve to create Proton, so once 5.0 gets a full stable release, then perhaps we will get Proton 5.0? Life Is Strange 2 Linux release, some NVIDIA updates, leading Vulkan dev at Feral Interactive leaves Folks at Feral Interactive has been busy this month and released the Linux port of Life Is Strange 2 which uses Vulkan by default, now for the bad news, their leading Vulkan dev Alex Smith has left the studio after 3 years and currently works at Sony with the PlayStation, luckily he mentioned that Feral still has some capable Vulkan devs ready to take over. Wonder if PlayStation 5 will use Vulkan? Now time for some NVIDIA news, they have released a new update for their legacy 340 driver series in order to make them work on recent distros for the upcoming 2020 and currently GNOME (one of the big desktop environments) will provide a much easier GPU switch in the 3.36 release, whereas KDE Plasma is soon to follow. The 2010s was a decade which showed some activity in terms of Linux gaming, starting from Valve providing Steam support for it in 2012 with other stores such as GOG, followed by a release of SteamOS and Steam Machine and later on this caused some companies who made only Mac ports to join in such as Feral Interactive, Aspyr Media, Virtual Programming etc. some of them made a huge progress and some of em didn't, but despite the failure of Steam Machines Valve still continues to this day to spend their time and money to make Linux more viable for gaming and even decided to use most of the open source middlewares such as SDL2, OpenAL, libavcodec, Vulkan and OpenGL in their newer games which most likely even reduced to cost of developing the game for specific platforms such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS. Other contributions which Valve made for Linux are as follows: - Contributes their codes to SDL2, Vulkan, Mesa, Linux kernel - Working together with Codeweavers on Proton and upstream the codes to Wine - Open sourcing some of their projects such as OpenVR, GameNetworkingSockets, Proton, Fossilize - Giving contracts to specific developers such as DXVK, Feral GameMode etc. to continue their work Now let us remember that Linux Gaming wasn't born with Valve, but with Loki Software in late 90s and early 2000 which were responsible for using SDL and OpenAL which are still being used to this day, even in source ports of your favourite games. The biggest question here is, what will await in 2020? Previous Monthly Linux Gaming News November 2019
  4. - Considering that one way or another we may lose support in the future it most likely will. Besides that another reason for making this is perhaps due to the unofficial Flatpak version of Steam which runs it in sandbox mode with it's own libraries. A good idea, but it may be behind in terms of new library releases. -No one knows what made Cannonical to do that, perhaps Apple's decision may have influenced them to do that. Luckily the huge backlash made them rethink their decision and decided to only include 32 bit libraries that are needed (and while at it, Pop!_OS gained more traction) - Agreed. It'd be also nice to have their store pages added into PCGW articles as well, specially when the games they have ported will give you a Steam key once you buy their ports from their store.
  5. Hello and welcome into a Monthly Tux Gaming News which I mention what was going on in this month around the Linux gaming community which you won't find in any mainstream gaming news. Mesa 19.3 stable release delayed, further improvements en-route. Mesa, an open source GPU driver library maintained by the community has it's 19.3 stable version delayed to early December as there are more bugs to fill in. This will be the 1st release which will contain Valve's own shader compiler that is meant to replace LLVM, which is commonly used for this stuff specially when they are complex, with ACO which is specifically made for AMD graphics cards only . The major difference between these two is that ACO takes much less time to compile the shaders and as a bonus provides a frame rate boost, however it currently only works under Vulkan and you must be using Radeon RX 300 series or newer from dedicated GPU whereas in case of APUs it's Bristol Ridge, Raven Ridge or newer. You can learn more information about this feature from their blog post, they have plans to provide support for HD 7000 series and OpenGL along with other shading stages according to this roadmap. But that is not just it, Valve is revising their Secure Compile feature for Mesa's AMD Vulkan driver called RadV which will result in lower resource usage and avoid slower shader compile times reducing the stuttering even more and best of all, this gets backported into 19.3, so by combining that with ACO things will get even more interesting. However, ACO will not be enabled by default as it requires you to run the game with RADV_PERFTEST=aco on Steam you need to use this in launch parameter right at the beginning RADV_PERFTEST=aco %command% Next major release of Mesa will happen in February 2020 which will hit 20.0 and the work has already started. New AAA game Linux port from Feral Interactive + a major update for one of their older Linux ports Feral Interactive was busy this year with porting Shadow Of The Tomb Raider into Linux and Mac. The Linux version uses Vulkan by default and it's based on the DIrect3D 12 version of the game instead of D3D 11, what is the result you ask and how does it compare to Windows? First of all, there's no ray tracing support which can be a bummer, but when it comes to performance compared to Windows version, according to this following benchmark video the difference between them is that the native Linux version is......about 2% slower. That is seriously impressive, however there has been some words that on AMD GPUs in conjunction with ACO the game actually runs faster than NVIDIA but so far no benchmark has been found to confirm this. But this is not the only main thing that has been going on around from Feral, they've also updated their Linux port of Shadow of Modor by providing Vulkan support which currently is in beta and can be opted-in any time by choosing linux_vulkan_beta from Betas tab. As their older port uses OpenGL and was released in 2015 it had a worse performance compared to Windows as they were still new to porting games into Linux, after all, the company was primarily doing Mac ports since 1998 and started with Linux porting in 2014 with X-Com: Enemy Unknown. So, has this helped improving the performance? Considering how since 2016 where they've started playing around with Vulkan by choosing Mad Max i dare to say.... It's jawdropping! The most interesting thing here is that this is not the only thing that got added, Feral also added an option to choose the Vulkan driver of your choice and change the FOV through their launcher. Since Tomb Raider 2013 on Mac got a Metal support, perhaps that game will also receive the Vulkan treatment......or Deux Ex Mankind Divided? Actually, DX:MD seriously needs one. Valve still being busy and awesome with Linux support as usual Besides Mesa stuff, Valve has also been busy with their own stuff. They have activated VKD3D in their Proton 4.11-8 release which is Wine's own Direct3D 12 to Vulkan wrapper allowing you to play games which utilize D3D12, however be aware that this wrapper is still being worked on and speaking of Proton, the recent version that got hit at the end of this month is 4.11-9 which are just mostly bug fixes. One thing thou that received a major change from Valve for Steam is the option to use Steam Linux Runtime as a Compatibility Tool. What does it do? Well basically it forces the game to use the libraries which were included with Steam, including 32 bit ones. This is a very useful option as there is a chance that a native Linux game will not work be it missing a library or 32 bit games not working (Gee, wonder what made them to do it in a 1st place), game developers can also take the advantage of it as well when providing a help for the user that uses a distro not supported by Steam which is Ubuntu LTS or anything based on it or even use it for testing purposes. What else is there? Hmmmm....Oh, streaming option has been enabled on Steam for Linux, wonder what took em so long to do it. What's next in the future? Well after the release of Linux kernel 5.4, the next major version is still in the works and may end up in a freezing state soon, as mentioned previously Mesa 20.0 work has begun and finally perhaps things will get interesting once Ubuntu 20.04 hits in April 2020 which will be a Long Term Support one. "What about Nouveau, the open source NVIDIA driver by the community?" you ask. Still in a poor shape from 900 series and no Vulkan driver of it's own. Hope NVIDIA actually does something about this.
  6. Highly doubt it will succeed, but, it will make the game devs aware of the crossplatform APIs such as Vulkan and SDL2 and potentially learn the difference compared to DirectX.
  7. Here's how ya get it, least the unfinished version. Download this and after that remove the stuff after the .zip . Unpack steamui folder to your Steam folder and launch Steam with -newlib
  8. https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=Wine-Vkd3d-And-More But that is not all, the community also aims to make a good use of the Vulkan API for other DirectX versions. DXVK is currently in development which translates Direct3D 11 calls into Vulkan and can be used for Wine. VK9 is similar to the mentioned DXVK, but for Direct3D 9 calls. Why is this important? Currently Wine uses OpenGL to translate the calls from DirectX and compared to Vulkan, the latter is a lower-level API which offers parallel tasking which can result in a major performance difference. For Linux users this is a good news, but sadly, MacOS users are out of luck since Apple refuses to implement Vulkan into their system as they want to push their own graphics API called Metal. A third party Vulkan implementation does exists, but it uses Metal API to translate the calls. At the same time it may cause Linux to be more future proof while (most likely) providing backwards compatibility with older games on Windows.
  9. It seems that Desura is now back and ya can buy games as well. http://www.desura.com/
  10. Version 1.18.2

    231 downloads

    This is a pack containing a compiled OpenAL Soft libraries and softwares for Linux use. It was compiled by me (KayX291) in order to help newcomers with using OpenAL Soft without trying to compile it by themselves. It can be used for specific software which uses OpenAL or use it in your system as a replacement. The main difference between OpenAL and OpenAL Soft is the fact that the latter is not only open source, but also a support for mono, stereo, 4-channel, 5.1, 6.1, 7.1 and HRTF output. But with the configurator, you can customize and even enhance the sound output with filters, effects etc. It contains: - OpenAL Soft libraries - OpenAL Soft GUI Configurator - HRTF files - alsoftrc sample file and more. They are available in both 32 bit and 64 bit versions. Dependencies required: Qt5 and pressumably SDL2 (For GUI configurator to work) Compiled on: ArchLinux - 64 bit Manjaro 17.0.6 (via VirtualBox) - 32 bit Credits Loki Software for OpenAL KCat for OpenAL Soft Me for compiling em
  11. Version 1.1.9

    160 downloads

    This is a source port for two Blake Stone games called BStone, compiled by me since in the GitHub page the creator did not include the precompiled one cept for Windows one. It is based on the 1.1.9 source code, than the development version so it is generally stable. All you need to do is just put the binary file into the main game folder and you're ready to go. It supports Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold and Blake Stone: Planet Strike BStone was made by Boris I. Bendovsky Compiled by KayX291 Dependencies required to run: SDL v.2.0.1 (Also known as SDL2) or newer Main page (with instructions) and the source code can be found in this link: https://github.com/bibendovsky/bstone
  12. The reason for this change is due to the fact that there are more than 1 3D audio middlewares such as Aureal 3D or OpenAL HRTF and just listing it in a section that is about Creative's EAX just doesn't make any sense. Like in this article for example https://pcgamingwiki.com/wiki/Unreal_Tournament#Audio_settings
  13. Version 1.0

    210 downloads

    This is a pack of goodies that were used for my UT Native Linux 451 Patched. It basically contains all the content from the Goodies such as: * Chris Donhal's OpenGLDrv * Loki Compatibility Libs * Server Creation Wiki page in text form * NPLoader files It also includes the "ut-fps" script and the Troubleshooting text file in case if you encounter any issues. This was made due to the fact that there is an issue regarding difficulties to connecting server which use 451 version from UTPG's. However, the mentioned version is backwards compatible with 436, which Flibitijibibo's back was made on.
  14. Version 1.1

    707 downloads

    This is a bundle created for the sake of playing Unreal Tournament on Linux system. It is based on Flibitijibibo's UT Linux Steam Install pack, but implemented the unofficial 451 Patch. Be sure to read the README-KayX291.txt first! The only thing you are required are the game assets which can be found by buying the game from Steam, GOG.com, Retail etc. NOTE: If you encounter any issue regarding connecting to servers that rely on UTPG's patch (Such as Multiplay ones), you have no choice but to use the Flibitijibibo's UT Linux Steam Install pack. Non-Steam users can just copy and paste the content of his pack into main game folder, but if you wish to use some of the content I've made for this patch, I have uploaded the Extras for that.
  15. I've been thinking about adding a list of packages that are required for the game to work on Linux in a dropdown table which is divided into popular distributions besides Ubuntu. So if someone who runs under Manjaro for example, could take a look on what package they should install in case if the speficic *.so file is missing. Can be very useful for those who own either an older Linux port or decide to run the game with native library instead of those that are included (Such as those from Steam. Since by default it still uses the ones from Ubuntu 12.04) For example: 1st row: openal:i386, sdl2:i386 - Ubuntu, Debian 2nd row: lib32-openal, lib32-sdl2 - ArchLinux/Antergos/Manjaro 3rd row: openal:i686, sdl2:i686 - Fedora As there's the ldd command which lists the SO library files, it may confuse the newcomers as they won't know which package has it. Some libraries are even in the other one you won't expect. However, most package managers have an option to locate which package has the specific file required to run. EDIT: Would placing the dropdown table fit under the System Requirements for Linux? I can't help but feel that it's a good place to put it.
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