While we routinely carry out Ultra HD (4K) Linux graphics/gaming benchmarks at Phoronix, it's generally been conducted with the proprietary NVIDIA and AMD graphics drivers since the open-source drivers traditionally have had a challenge on performance even at 1080p. However, thanks to the maturing open-source Radeon driver stack, it's possible with higher-end AMD graphics processors with the latest open-source Linux driver code to begin running at the 4K UHD resolution of 3840 x 2160.
You might be surprised to learn that outside of work, bringing up three children and a dog and writing about Linux that I try to find time for other hobbies such as being a navigator at classic car rallies and playing old computer games.
This article looks at the options available for potential retrogamers using a fairly standard Linux Mint or Ubuntu setup.
There are already specialist Linux distributions available for playing computer games such as Puppy Arcade. If you just want to play games casually then running a whole distribution to do so might seem a bit overkill.
While there's already a handful of Linux distributions trying to cater towards the increasing number of gamers with no real competitive edge over any of the other long-standing, general-purpose Linux distributions (sans SteamOS), there's yet another new one to report on this weekend.
The latest Linux distribution to come about that's aspiring for adoption by Linux gamers is "Play Linux", a distribution based on Ubuntu LTS that's "specially designed for gamers" and more. Gil Nóbrega, the project's co-founder and main builder, wrote into Phoronix saying, "It is not only a gaming distro but it is an All-In-One distro for Gamers, because gamers are not only gamers, right? They have to work or study too."
The August numbers for Valve's Steam Hardware/Software Survey indicate a possible drop in Steam Linux usage as the overall percentage of Linux gamers using this digital distribution platform hovers just around 1.0%.
The August 2014 numbers for Steam's Hardware Survey tally up the Linux usage to 1.06% compared to 1.11% the month prior and 1.2% before that. Since the Steam on Linux debut the percentage of reported Linux gamers via this survey generally bounces between 1.0% and 1.5%.