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Linux Got Game!

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Gaming
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The myth of no games for Linux has been proven false over the last few years through several articles listing all available. Some told where to get them and others how to install them. That's fine for the casual gamer, but how about an operating system designed for the gaming enthusiast? Would you like to install an operating system that has some tools for everyday use, but also sports lots and lots of games at the ready? Yes, Linux got game - and no where is this more obvious than in Supergamer Supreme.

Supergamer Supreme is a complete operating system built upon Vector Linux, a Slackware derivative known for its performance and stability. This release ships as a 7.8 GB dual layer DVD chocked full of games and game demos. While all of these games can either be installed through your package management system or downloaded and installed, Supergamer does all this hard and time consuming work for you. In addition, you can be saved that sometimes troublesome task of bringing 3D capabilities to your graphics card. Just boot and play, or better yet, install and play. And with the other applications available, no need to reboot to another system to answer your emails, check what's new on the internet, or instant message your friends.

Game On!

The XFCE menu contains links to applications, utilities, and settings while all the game links are conveniently assembled at the bottom of the screen in a Wbar panel. 33 games in all. The placement tends to run from premium demos, to large commercial-quality freely-available native 3D games, to the smaller native Linux games sometimes included in other distributions.

While some may question the worth of demostration length games, for me the value is obvious. First, there are several levels included in these demos which offer hours of gaming enjoyment. Most demos tend to draw you in and, if you're like me, have to rush off to purchase the full versions. Secondly, they give the user a chance to see if these games will run properly on their hardware. Since Linux support (and PC support in general) has waned in the last couple of years, most of these games will function in all their glory on machines several years old. While Doom3, Quake4, and UT2004 have been around for several years now, some new ports are also available. Prey has been available and popular on Windows for years, but this game was freshly ported to Linux last fall.

  

Soldier of Fortune is another demo included and while it's many years old and the graphics are almost comical in comparison to today's standards, it is still one of my favorite games available to Linux users. The storyline is still as relevant and topical as the time of its release, game play is fairly realistic and responsive, and the globe trotting missions stave off boredom. I like to run through this game about once a year, but I sometimes have difficulty installing and playing it in some modern Linux systems. So, it's nice to have a system in which it functions properly.

There is no question in the value of the Open Source, freely-available large-scale 3D games for Linux such as Nexuiz, Open Arena, Tremulous, or Sauerbraten. These and more are also included in Supergamer Supreme. These are the games that truly showcase the possibilities of gaming in Linux while commercial games such as the Penumbra trilogy and World of Goo demonstrate the financial viability of such an enterprise. Besides the technological significance of these free 3D games, they are just plain fun and how convenient it is to have them at the ready at first boot of the operating system.

Finally there are the smaller Linux games that are quick, fun, and appropriate for all ages. These include titles such as PPracer, SuperTux, Neverball, MegaMario, Frets on Fire, and Glaxium. These offer a wide variety of gameplay exercising a long continiuum of skills. I may excel at PPracer and suck at Frets on Fire, but you will have to see how well you and yours do yourself - if you dare accept the challenge.

Some other games and demos included are:

  • True Combat

  • Penumbra Black Plague
  • Quake Wars
  • Urban Terror
  • Enemy Territory
  • America's Army
  • Plane Shift
  • Drop Team
  • Chromium B.S.U.
  • Mad Bomber
  • BZFlag
  • GL-117
  • X-Moto
  • Torcs

Other System Aspects

In the menu applications such as K3B and Graveman cd/dvd burning software, The GIMP image manupulation, and MPlayer and Xine media players are found. Also included are KOffice and OpenOffice 3.0, Gnumeric Spreedsheet, Azureus file transfer application, D4X download manager, and Firefox Web browser.

Being based on Vector Linux, which is based on Slackware, pkgtool is the software package management system. By the commandline or through the menu driven interface, one can install, update, or uninstall software packages. For those wishing an easier method, Slapt-get is also included and configured to install from Vector 5.8 repositories. Slapt-get is very similar to Debian's APT system, and like APT a nice graphical front-end is the easiest to use of them all. Gslapt, that front-end, is found in the System menu and also has Slackware repositories listed to enable (although most seemed to be unavailable during testing here).

The desktop interface is XFCE 4, and it gives users some customizing abilities. It's fast and modern and only lacks a few important features that one might require. I was about to complain about not being able to group tasks together on the panel when I found the configuration for it. I suspect that may be the case with other small issues. All in all, XFCE 4 is a respectable desktop environment, but I'm afraid I'm quite locked into KDE applications such as Konqueror and Kontact (Kmail and Akregator).

While I could adjust to living without Konqueror, although Firefox 2.0.11 is quite old, and possibly Akregator, I couldn't live without Kmail. So, I set out to see if those applications could be installed. Indeed KDE 3.5.7 is listed as available from Vector repostitories. I haven't been able to adapt to KDE 4 yet, but I was hoping for a bit newer version of KDE 3 such as 3.5.10 or 3.5.9. However, I was able to install kdelibs, kdebase, and kdepim to get a few of the KDE applications I like. So, I could adapt to using Supergamer for my everyday desktop if I wanted. In fact, I ended up installing the full KDE desktop and felt more at home. As a result, I've spent the last month in Supergamer doing my daily chores, tending to my Website, keeping up correspondence, writing my stories, and (of course) gaming.

Conclusions

Supergamer could be used for everyday work in order to have the extensive list of games readily available, but some concessions may have to be made. I'm not one who has to have the latest and greatest versions anymore, but I have slight reservations about Supergamer being based on such an old version of Vector. KDE 3.5.7? Firefox 2.0.11? I can't compile a newer version of KDE or install a 3.5.x version of Firefox due to the old versions of dependencies. I'm not very confident that a full distribution upgrade would complete successfully. And if it did, what might be broken? On the plus side, Supergamer does ship with a newer kernel and graphic drivers. Linux kernel 2.6.27.24, Xorg 6.9.0, and GCC 3.4.6 form the foundation of Supergamer Supreme. NVIDIA drivers 180.53 were used for my video card.

Other than accepting the older versions of key software components, I've had very few issues with Supergamer Supreme. Alien Arena tends to crash while loading more often than not and Kontact (not included by default) has crashed a few times. Despite Firefox being so old, it was stable even when watching fullscreen Flash movies. OpenOffice was surprisingly spry and the games played well even on my aging hardware.

While I have some mixed feelings for this release, overall the experience has been positive. Depending upon your preferences, Supergamer Supreme can be totally awesome. It can be run from the live DVD with almost as good performance as when installed. Perhaps you don't mind booting back and forth between systems, and as such the Firefox, MPlayer, and GIMP versions may not matter all that much. Even if you prefer to avoid lots of booting, are the older versions even an issue for you? Despite the drawbacks, Supergamer Supreme is still the best gaming distro available.

This third incarnation of the Supergamer francise was released on July 24 and is available for download using a torrent file found at the Supergamer Website. More conveniently, a professional quality disk of SG is also available through On-disk.com.




StumbleUpon

You can waste many hours

You can waste many hours exploring all the goodies in this dvd.

Supergamer

Yes, Supergamer has been "ammunition" against claims that Linux and gaming are anomalous. One can spend days or months on this dual-layer DVD.

Correction

I am sorry for the confusion but Firefox is 2.0.18 and not 2.0.11, you can have it auto update to 2.0.20 as that works without any issues. I am aware it is old and this was the last release on this base. I wanted to get Firefox 3 on it but there no feasable way to have it working and still be stable with the updates that needed to be applied. I already have another base done and all futrure releases will be done on a 64bit platform. We already released a trimmed SuperGamer64 Desktop and that was sent out early for test reports before this was even thought of. I wanted this version to go out with a bang and do something that no other live version had done. Thanks for the review srlinuxx Smile

re: correction

oh yeah, firefox is 2.0.0.18. I don't know why .11 stuck in my head or if my eyes are getting old and I saw .11. ??? Anywho, that's still a bit old to be secure.

but I am looking forward to the new release and the new code base.

Thanks for all the hard work.

Alien Arena

I am having trouble reproducing the crashing on my end...I tested on my new system with 9600 gso's in sli and a laptop with ati 3200 onboard as well..can you test with the livedvd and see if it does it there...if it works on the livedvd the quickest solution would be to delete the alienarena2008 folder from the supervl account and copy the one from the livedvd onto the harddrive you have it installed to....it is possible it was a copy issue on the harddrive install...well that is what I am hoping for as I cannot reproduce it.

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  • Wayland's Weston 8.0 Reaches Alpha With EGL Partial Updates, Headless OpenGL

    Weston 8.0 is another significant update for this Wayland reference compositor in it offers EGL_KHR_partial_update support to reduce GPU vRAM usage on supported drivers/GPUs thanks to handling partial screen updates, support for building the DRM back-end without Mesa's GBM, greater hardware planes usage, the Weston headless back-end now supports OpenGL, a direct display extension, HDCP support in the DRM back-end, and various other improvements / features.

  • weston 7.0.91
    This is the alpha release for weston 8.0. Here is a highlight of the
    main new features:
    
    - DRM hardware planes should be used more effectively
    - Headless backend now supports OpenGL
    - DRM backend can now be built without GBM
    - EGL_KHR_partial_update is now used when available, reducing memory
      bandwidth usage on some GPUs
    - Logging framework improvements
    - Documentation for weston can now be built
    
    A lot of fixes have been merged too. Thanks to all contributors!
    
    Full commit history below.
    
    Adam Jackson (5):
          simple-dmabuf-egl: Allow QueryDmaBufModifiers to report no modifiers
          gl-renderer: Fix possible memory leak when no dmabuf modifers are supported
          libweston: Fix integer underflow in weston_layer_mask_is_infinite
          image-loader: Fix undefined left shift in premultiply_data
          tests: Fix undefined left shift in internal-screenshot-test
    
    Ankit Nautiyal (6):
          backend-drm: Add support for content-protection
          libweston: Add functions to modify disable_planes counter for an output
          libweston: Add function to schedule idle task for updating surface protection
          libweston: Notify the client, when output recording is started/stopped
          man: Declare drm-backend support for HDCP
          backend-drm: Check for HDCP Content Type property before setting
    
    Daniel Stone (8):
          renderer-gl: Assert function presence matches extensions
          remoting: Use DRM FourCC formats instead of GBM formats
          Revert "backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values"
          config-parser: Export get_full_path and destroy
          backend-drm: Use aspect-ratio bit definitions from libdrm
          config-parser: Make get_bool be bool
          tests/config-parser: Remove useless duplicate test
          option-parser: Make bools boolean
    
    Drew DeVault (1):
          simple-dmabuf-egl: update to xdg-shell stable
    
    Eero Tamminen (1):
          Add include for missing symbols
    
    Emmanuel Gil Peyrot (1):
          shared: Use memfd_create() when available
    
    Harish Krupo (3):
          gl-renderer: Censor protected views when output is recorded
          clients/window: Add viewport destination support
          desktop-shell: Set 1x1 buffers for solid-color backgrounds
    
    Jeffy Chen (2):
          clients: Drop corresponding touch points when destroying windows
          clients: Add more sanity checks to catch destroyed window
    
    Leandro Ribeiro (11):
          build: bump libdrm requirement to newer version (2.4.83)
          backend-drm: remove unecessary ifdef checks
          backend-drm: remove unnecessary ifdefs
          move frame_signal emission to weston_output_repaint()
          screenshooter: stop using frame_signal void *data parameter to get weston_output
          tests: stop using frame_signal 'void *data' argument to get weston_output
          renderer: change frame_signal emission to pass previous_damage as data argument
          screenshooter: get previous_damage from data argument instead of weston_output
          screen-share: get previous_damage from data argument instead of weston_output
          Revert "move frame_signal emission to weston_output_repaint()"
          libweston: remove previous_damage from struct weston_output
    
    Link Mauve (1):
          xwayland: Remove unused variable
    
    Loïc Yhuel (1):
          libweston: fix possible crash after a view is removed the layer
    
    Marius Vlad (53):
          weston-log: s/scope/sub, leftover from the logging framework
          libweston: Fix rename of weston_compositor_destroy() reference
          weston-log: 'new_subscriber' is actually 'new_subscription'
          weston-log: Add 'destroy_subscription' callback for the subscription
          weston-log-internal: Allow to hang-off data over the subscription
          weston-log: Add a subscription iterator
          libweston: Clean-up timeline to make room for a new approach
          libweston: Introduce timeline subscription and timeline subscription object
          libweston: Create the 'timeline' scope
          libweston: Convert timeline points to use the timeline scope
          libweston: Notify timeline of object modification
          libweston: Remove timeline-object and clean-up
          doc/sphinx: Add some documentation about timeline points
          compositor: Allow protocol to be displayed when asked for, even if we're not supplying debug argument
          libweston: Init weston_output's 'destroy_signal' before timeline has a chance to emit a
          compositor: Pass the entire string in one-shot when writting logger data
          weston-log: Avoid prefix-matching the scope name when checking for a
          backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values
          backend-drm: Teach drm_property_info_populate() to retrieve range values
          backend-drm: Add zpos DRM-property
          backend-drm: Add a helper to display plane type as a 'string'
          backend-drm: Hard-code zpos values if HW doesn't exposes them
          libweston: Add a new helper weston_view_has_valid_buffer
          libweston: Add a new helper to check if the view spawns the entire
          backend-drm: Construct a zpos candidate list of planes
          backend-drm: Place pixel format checks for the overlay plane in its own
          backend-drm: Place pixel format checks for the cursor plane in its own
          backend-drm: Check pixel format before constructing the zpos candidate list
          backend-drm: Allow for views to reach overlays/underlays planes
          backend-drm: Pass the plane to prepare_overlay_view
          backend-drm: Pass the drm_fb to each prepare_overlay/scanout_view functions
          backend-drm: Move plane's availability in drm_output_try_view_on_plane()
          backend-drm: Print whenever a view will reach the renderer region
          backend-drm: Print whenever a view could not placed on the primary due to
          compositor: Fix some warning when passing debugoptimized to meson
          protocol: Add weston-direct-display extension
          libweston: Add weston-direct-display server side implementation
          libweston: Add the ability to determine if a dmabuf is scanout-capable
          backend-drm: Add dmabuf scan-out check for DRM-backend
          renderer-gl: Avoid retrieving the EGL image it direct_display flag was set
          renderer-gl: Display a solid shader color when direct-display is in use
          clients/simple-dmabuf-egl: Make use of direct-display
          clients/simple-dmabuf-drm: Make use of direct-display
          backend-drm: Assign the primary plane the lowest zpos value
          backend-drm: Skip testing plane state if plane is not enabled
          backend-drm: Turn zpos duplicate check into an hard assert
          backend-drm: Further checks to skip plane assignment to HW planes
          weston-log-flight-rec: Add a global variable to access the ring buffer
          weston-log-flight-rec: Don't allow more than one flight recorder to be
          weston-log-flight-rec: Fix useless comparison when displaying the
          doc/scripts/gdb: Added gdb script to dump contents of the flight recorder
          clients/fullscreen: Refuse to resize the surface size when fullscreen'ed
          gitlab-ci: Update ci-templates to latest SHA commit
    
    Miguel A. Vico (2):
          desktop-shell: Avoid NULL output dereference when getting surface label
          compositor: Do not trigger invalid destructors when hotunplugging
    
    Nicholas Niro (2):
          backend-drm: Fix for gbm modifiers when they are not available.
          backend-drm: Added support for legacy fd_import
    
    Olivier Fourdan (1):
          xwm: Use Xwayland allow commits for repaint
    
    Pekka Paalanen (73):
          backend-headless: fix comment on use_pixman
          backend-headless: refactor into headless_output_enable_pixman
          backend-headless: refactor into headless_output_disable_pixman
          backend-headless: make renderer type an enum
          clients: fix len-string formatting
          gl_renderer: remove unused NO_EGL_PLATFORM
          gl-renderer: fix typo native_window to native_display
          gl-renderer: remove platform_attribs
          gl-renderer: remove gl_renderer_display
          gl-renderer: remove gl_renderer_output_surface
          gl-renderer: remove print_egl_error_state
          backend-drm: use format db for fallback too
          gl-renderer: move into egl-glue.c
          gl_renderer: introduce gl_renderer_get_egl_config()
          gl-renderer: use gl_renderer_get_egl_config() for display_create
          gl-renderer: do not even pick a config with configless_context
          pixel-formats: add RGBA bits and type fields
          gl-renderer: use pixel_format_info internally for EGL
          gl-renderer: fuzzy EGLConfig matching for non-GBM
          backend-wayland: use DRM formats for EGLConfig
          backend-x11: use DRM formats for EGLConfig
          gl-renderer: remove EGLConfig attributes from API
          gl-renderer: configs for pbuffers too
          gl-renderer: pbuffer config for non-surfaceless
          gl-renderer: prefer the base EGLConfig
          gl-renderer: improve get_egl_config errors
          gl-renderer: print detailed EGLConfig list
          gl-renderer: use EGLConfig printer for window outputs
          build: shells do not need matrix.c
          build: use dependency for matrix.c
          xwm: dnd does not need cairo-util.h
          Unify the include style of shared/ headers
          build: simplify include_directories
          xwm: no need for compositor/weston.h
          gl-renderer: display_create needs surface type
          gl-renderer: document display_create
          gl-renderer: document output_window_create
          gl-renderer: add EGL surfaceless platform support
          noop-renderer: zero-initialize struct
          headless, gl-renderer: support pbuffer outputs
          compositor: add use-gl option to headless
          gitlab-ci: fix pages
          build: separate deps for int and ext libweston users
          build: link libm explicitly
          build: link libdl explicitly to DRM backend
          backend-x11: need libdrm headers in build
          build: reduce sub-dependencies of libweston
          compositor: turn weston main() into a lib
          cms-colord: work around unresolved symbols
          backend-rdp: work around unresolved symbols
          Link Weston plugins to libexec-weston.so
          tests: surface-screenshot needs libshared
          build: do not allow unresolved symbols
          libweston: drop a misleading dmabuf comment
          tests: remove static data from viewporter
          tests: remove static data from ivi-layout-test-plugin
          tests: remove static data from ivi-shell-app-test
          tests: remove static data from ivi-layout-test-client
          tests: remove static data from presentation
          tests: fix test-shell init error path
          ivi-shell: fix init error path
          colord: remove destroy listener on clean-up
          Use weston_compositor_add_destroy_listener_once() in plugins
          libweston: allow double-loading modules
          compositor: allow double-loading modules
          tests: write image to current directory by default
          tests/subsurface-shot: hardcode reference image names
          tests: replace fprintf() with testlog()
          tests/xwayland: do not call exit(SUCCESS)
          tests: rename struct weston_test to weston_test_entry
          tests/ivi: rename test_section
          tests: drop FAIL_TEST
          libweston: do not include weston.h
    
    Sebastian Wick (7):
          shared: add read-only anonymous file abstraction
          CI: build wayland from source
          input: bump wl_seat version to 6
          clients/window: bump wl_seat version to 6
          input: bump wl_seat version to 7
          clients/window: bump wl_seat version to 7
          input: use ro_anonymous_file to minimize duplication of keymap files
    
    Simon Ser (4):
          build: reopen master for regular development
          clients: drop simple-dmabuf-drm
          clients: remove leftover from simple-dmabuf-drm
          build: bump to version 7.0.91 for the alpha release
    
    Stefan Agner (10):
          backend-rdp: don't use shadow buffer for the RDP backend
          backend-headless: fix build issue without gl-renderer
          clients: avoid build error without gl-renderer
          gitlab-ci: add build configuration without gl-renderer
          backend-drm: use DRM_ constants everywhere
          remoting: make sure GL renderer is enabled
          backend-drm: separate out DRM virtual support
          backend-drm: make GBM optional
          weston-launch: show when a signal is sent to a child
          weston-launch: use exec to ensure signal delivery
    
    Veeresh Kadasani (1):
          simple-dmabuf-egl: make application generic
    
    Vivek Kasireddy (2):
          gl-renderer: Replace EGL_*_WL macros with locally defined enums
          gl-renderer: Add support for XYUV format (v2)
    
    sichem (1):
          libweston: Bring back 'weston_output_move'
    
    git tag: 7.0.91
    
    
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Linux 5.5+ Development

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    When it comes to the storage/file-system changes with the in-development Linux 5.5 kernel one of the most prominent end-user-facing changes is more robust RAID1 for Btrfs with the ability to have three or four copies of the data rather than just two copies, should data safety be of utmost importance and concerned over the possibility of two disks in an array failing. The Btrfs "RAID1C3" mode was merged last week for this three/four-copy RAID1 while now the GRUB boot-loader has adapted support for these new profiles in order to be able to boot to said arrays.

  • Linux 5.5 Adds NFS Client Support For Cross-Device Offloaded Copies (Server To Server)

    With NFSv4.2 is the server-side copy (SSC) functionality with the Linux 5.5 kernel's NFS client-side support for that support in allowing "inter" copy offloads between different NFS servers. This support allows for server-to-server efficient file copies with NFSv4.2 SSC rather than first having to copy to the client system. The NFS client changes also introduce new RDMA tracepoints for debugging congestion control and various other fixes.

  • Linux 5.5 KVM Adds POWER Support For Secure Guests/VMs

    IBM's work from over a year ago in working towards secure virtual machines on POWER hardware is finally coming to fruition with Linux 5.5 due out early next year. After those original Secure Virtual Machine POWER9 patches were posted last year, the ultravisor / secure bits landed in Linux 5.4 in preparing the foundation. As explained in that earlier article, "The Ultravisor / SVM support is part of IBM's approach for protected computing that is akin to the approaches of Intel SGX and AMD Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV). IBM's Ultravisor code runs with higher privileges than the virtualization hypervisor and in turn the virtual machines rely upon IBM Protected Execution for verifying the behavior of the hypervisor/ultravisor."

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