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GameMode Sees Patches To Allow For GPU Overclocking When Running Linux Games

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Marc Di Luzio continues working on interesting features for GameMode as the daemon to optimize Linux systems for gaming... The latest is integrating AMD and NVIDIA overclocking support within GameMode, which is now under review.

The AMDGPU kernel driver and NVIDIA binary Linux driver have long offered overclocking support on Linux via their respective interfaces. With this GameMode integration, it allows the automatic setting of the overclocking state when a game is run (and triggers GameMode) and then the ability to easily return to your default clocks / power state when you aren't gaming, in order to reduce heat output and lower power consumption.

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Games: Horizon Chase Turbo, Neon Chrome, One Step From Eden

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  • Horizon Chase Turbo, the excellent retro-inspired racer has a new car in the latest update

    Horizon Chase Turbo from Aquiris Game Studio ticks a lot of the right boxes and it continues to see some good support after release.

    The first 2019 update includes a new car "Cable Guy", up to five new selectable colours for each car along with various performance and stability improvements. They also added a Russian translation too.

    I don't want to overstate it, but this might honestly be my favourite retro-inspired racer.

  • Neon Chrome, the frantic shooter from 10tons arrives on GOG with Linux support

    If you're in need for some fast-paced ruthless action, GOG has you covered today with their release of 10tons' twin-stick shooter Neon Chrome. Note: Key provided by GOG.

    For those interested, their later shooter JYDGE was built upon Neon Chrome and it's even set within the same world and so they are quite similar. The mechanics all feel the same too but the main thing going for Neon Chrome is that it has procedural levels so the replay factor is quite different.

  • Deck-building action roguelike 'One Step From Eden' is fully funded and on the way to Linux

    One Step From Eden fuses together deck-building with plenty of customisation and some fun looking action, it's also managed to get fully funded on Kickstarter.

    The crowdfunding campaign ended only a few days ago, with the developer Thomas Moon Kang managing to pull in support from over two thousand backers to hit seventy thousand dollars in funding. Thanks to this, it's going to release with Linux support sometime around October this year.

Games: Imperator: Rome, Spinnortality, Geneshift, Born Punk, 1001st Hyper Tower

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Games: BulletRage, The Mean Greens - Plastic Warfare, Lutris, Purism/GDquest

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  • BulletRage might just be the most over the top twin-stick shooter I've ever played

    BulletRage, releasing later this year is a twin-stick shooter from Chimera One Games that promises non-stop action and I've had a play with a preview build. While the current preview build is limited, what's there is incredibly promising.

    Inspired by the likes of SmashTV, Contra, and Doom it's a very loud and in your face game. One where the action rarely seems to let up and it will require your absolute attention.

  • Toy soldier shooter 'The Mean Greens - Plastic Warfare' has another big update and a price drop

    The Mean Greens - Plastic Warfare, which returned to having official Linux support recently has another big update out and they've dropped the price too.

    Patch 1.25 named "Your Dollar's Still Kickin' Butt!" is now out and it comes with quite a few improvements. For Linux gamers specifically, they're hoping this patch will solve some lighting issues on the Toybox Assault map. If it does and Linux gamers confirm it to them, they will roll that same fix out to the other maps.

  • Lutris 0.5.0 Includes Revamped UI, GOG Support, Built-in Game Database Search And Installation

    Lutris, a tool to install and manage games on Linux, had a large new release recently. The new version includes a revamped user interface, GOG support, and more.

    With the 0.5.0 release, Lutris comes with a revamped, more modern user interface with header bars, a GtkPopover for the view options, and a new game information and actions sidebar on the right.

  • Purism announces a partnership with GDquest to develop adaptive game tutorials

    We are happy to announce our forthcoming partnership with GDquest – one that we hope will make the world a happier, more fun place.

    Libre/indie game designers might like to know that Nathan Lovato – game design expert, founder and game design instructor at GDquest – will be making a series of tutorials, explaining how to make adaptive games with high-quality libre game engine Godot; tutorials showing how games can both be created and released on the Librem 5 smartphone, and later submitted to the PureOS store.

    The first of the three video tutorials will focus on how to create a mobile game for GNU/Linux. It will also help conceive and design a 2D mobile game, and tackle design issues that are unique to mobile games – such as having a small screen, dealing with touch controls and any performance and usability issues. By loading Flossy Gnu in Godot, the tutorial demonstrates how these performance and usability issues are to be addressed. Specific tips for GNU/Linux in general, and for the Librem 5 in particular, are of course also to be noted and discussed.

Games: Microsoft Mono Trap, Sales, Dota 2, Wargroove, Loria, The Dark Mod

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Games: Emulation, DUSK, Slay the Spire, Million to One Hero, Road to your City, Rise to Ruins, Black Mesa, Rogue Fable III, Tech Support: Error Unknown

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  • Best Free Linux Home Computer Emulators

    Emulation refers to the duplication of functions of one system using a different system. Specifically, an emulator is software specifically written to emulate aspects of the original console or computer, primarily the CPU, I/O and memory system.

    This article focuses on software which emulates home computers, a class of personal computer which reached the market in the late 1970s, and became immensely popular in the following decade, selling many millions of units. Leading home computer companies included Commodore, Sinclair, Atari, Apple, Acorn, Tandy Radio Shack, and Amstrad.

    Many of the earlier machines (in particular the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64) often ended up being very game oriented. However, the later home computers had more sophisticated hardware which widened their use in other areas. For example, the Atari ST was used professionally in music studios, in desktop publishing, and had a wide selection of office software available. However to many users it was still regarded as a games machine.

  • DUSK, the popular retro-inspired FPS now has a Linux testing build up, out for everyone next week

    DUSK, a retro-inspired FPS from David Szymanski and New Blood Interactive looks awesome and you can test it out on Linux right now.

    Inspired by the likes of Doom, Quake, Blood, Heretic, Hexen, Half-Life, Redneck Rampage it's certainly got a lot to live up to. Seems it has done so, with an "Overwhelmingly Positive" rating on Steam.

  • Details on how Slay the Spire sold on Linux plus some thoughts

    In the past, I've spoken to many developers about how their games sold on Linux and this time we have information on Slay the Spire to share.

    First, we need to take into account that according to the Steam Hardware Survey that Linux only currently represents around 0.82% of the Steam market. Also, this is only on Steam and so it's not counting Humble Store where it's also sold.

  • Million to One Hero looks like a great platformer that will let you make your own stories

    Million to One Hero from developer Over the Top Games is a promising looking platformer, one that will enable you to build your own campaigns.

    So it sounds quite similar to DASH, with a built-in editor that will give you quite a lot of freedom to build levels, drop in some story and bring it all together. I think it's great to see more like this on PC, especially for those with a bit of a creative side and for the younger audience too.

  • Road to your City, the sporty-themed city-builder is now on Kickstarter with a demo

    After releasing a demo before it went live, Road to your City can now be supported on Kickstarter to get another interesting game on Linux.

  • The developer of 'Rise to Ruins' is doing so well, they're paying back supporters

    Here's a rather nice tale to warm you up on a Monday. The developer behind Rise to Ruins has closed their Patreon account as they're doing so well, they're even paying back supporters.

  • The latest update on Black Mesa shows some good progress on this Half-Life fan game

    I'm quite excited for the final release of Black Mesa, as someone who only completed the original Half-Life in the last few years (after it came to Linux) playing through a heavily improved version is going to be great.

    Anyway, the Black Mesa team recently put out another progress report which shows off various work going towards the final release.

  • The sweet looking roguelike 'Rogue Fable III' is heading to Linux

    The developer of Rogue Fable III, a roguelike aimed at short sessions has confirmed it's coming to Linux.

  • Will you join the hackers or help bring them down? Tech Support: Error Unknown is releasing this month

    Tech Support: Error Unknown will throw you into the role of a tech support specialist but all is not as it may seem. Releasing February 27th with Linux support, as confirmed by the developer recently.

    You will be thrown into the thick of a conspiracy apparently, which will see you make some choices and pick a side. Will you take down your employer and join a rogue hacktivist group, help take the hacktivists down or go your own way?

Wine-Nine-Standalone and Steam Play

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  • Wine-Nine-Standalone Offers Up New Release For Making Use Of Gallium D3D9 On Wine

    Last month I shared the work going into Gallium-Nine-Standalone that aims to make it easier to utilize the Gallium3D Direct3D 9 "Nine" state tracker on Wine. There is now a new release of that code, including easy-to-use binaries, for those pursuing faster D3D9 Windows gaming performance on Linux.

    With the Wine developers resisting support for the Gallium3D Nine state tracker due to the driver/support spectrum being limited, Gallium-Nine-Standalone was started to make it easier to deploy the Wine integration bits that can be installed on top of any Wine release, rather than needing a specially patched version of Wine. And, of course, your graphics driver needs to be Gallium3D based (primarily Radeon or Nouveau NV50/NVC0 at this point) for this support to work out.

  • A quick run over some details from the recent ProtonDB data

    Every now and then, the people behind ProtonDB release data dumps from user generated reports of games tested in Steam Play.

    What is ProtonDB? It's an unofficial statistics website, where you can note how good or bad various games run on Steam when played with Steam Play. It's a fun one to track, so with a new data dump I thought it might be interesting to try my hand at getting something out of the data for anyone curious.

    The latest data dump is available here, which shows a total of 29,823 reports so it's getting rather massive. It goes to show just how many people are testing a wide variety of games!

Games: Steam, CrossCode, Lutris, Depraved, FlowScape

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  • Valve Publishes Initial Steam Linux Figures For 2019

    Steam's Linux marketshare ended 2018 at around 0.82% for the month of December, which has been rising in recent months following Valve's roll-out of Steam Play for allowing Windows games to run on Linux with the Steam client using their Wine-based Proton and DXVK.

  • CrossCode is an Awesome 16-bit Sci-Fi RPG Game

    What starts off as an obvious sci-fi 16-bit 2D action RPG quickly turns into a JRPG inspired pseudo-MMO open-world puzzle platformer. Though at first glance this sounds like a jumbled mess, CrossCode manages to bundle all of its influences into a seamless gaming experience that feels nothing shy of excellent.

  • The massive 0.5 release of Lutris is out with a revamped UI, GOG support and tons more

    Regular readers will know by now how much I've enjoyed using Lutris to bring together my game library across Steam, GOG and more. It just recently put out the big update!

    There's something so satisfying about having all games on your system, under one roof regardless of where you purchased them. It's the anti-launcher of launchers and it's slick.

  • Depraved, a survival city-builder with a 'Wild West' theme now has Linux support

    Here's a recent arrival I seemed to miss somehow. Depraved from developer Evil Bite, a city-builder with survival features and a 'Wild West' theme is now on Linux.

  • FlowScape, an app to let you paint some gorgeous nature scenes now supports Linux

    This is a rather interesting one, it's not exactly a game but it piqued my curiosity for how relaxing it looks.

    It's called FlowScape, it allows you to paint landscapes with various animals, trees, rocks and all sorts with high resolution models and the end result is insane. It also gives you the ability to mess with the lighting, camera and loads more.

Games: Lutris, Valve, Pygame, Humble Monthly

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  • Lutris 0.5 Released With Much Improved GTK User Interface, GOG Support

    For those using the Lutris open-source gaming platform that aims to enhance the experience of managing games and better integration from Wine to Steam games, the huge 0.5 release is now available for upgrades.

  • New stable Steam client update is out opening the door a little wider for Steam Play on Linux

    Valve have pushed out their recent beta updates to the Steam client for everyone now, this does include the option to force Steam Play on shortcuts you've added for games outside of Steam.

    Additionally, this release also includes the addition of gnutls 3 to the Steam Runtime, fixing network connectivity issues in many Steam Play titles

  • Create the animation character on the maze

    Today we are going to create the animated enemy for our new pygame project. We are going to edit the enemy manager class and the game manager class then we are going to create an enemy sprite class and an enemy object class which will serve as the original sprite container just like the previous background object class does. Alright, let us get the thing going.

  • A new Humble Monthly is up with Cultist Simulator and more

    Humble Monthly, the curated selection of games put out each month from Humble Bundle is out again with early unlock games.

    This month we have Cultist Simulator which does support Linux and it's an extremely unique experience, one our contributor Scaine wrote about before.

    On top of that, the other two early unlock games are EARTH DEFENSE FORCE 4.1 The Shadow of New Despair and Warhammer: Vermintide II Collector's Edition although they're not supported on Linux they may work to some degree with Steam Play.

    When the month is up, they give you more games to total around 9 or 10 usually.

Games: Sunless Skies, Steel Rats, Unity, Artifact, Super Versus, Wand Wars

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  • Sunless Skies is officially out and it's truly an awesome experience

    It's no secret that I love everything about outer space, I call myself a space nerd quite often and Sunless Skies feels like it was made for me. Note: My copy was provided by GOG.

    Sure, it's not exactly futuristic warp-speed science, but instead taking place in a retro-future where you literally blast through space inside a steam-powered locomotive. As outrageous as that sounds, it's actually quite brilliant.

  • Steel Rats, a mental-looking 2.5D motorbike combat action game is coming to Linux

    Steel Rats looks like really quite unique and ridiculous experience and it's heading to Linux this month. Developed by Tate Multimedia, the same folks behind Urban Trial Freestyle.

    Back in December last year I noticed it popping up on SteamDB but the developer wasn't commenting at all on it. Just today. that changed as they posted on Steam directly that a Linux release has been scheduled for February 20th!

  • The first Unity 2019.1 beta is out with Vulkan improvements, Linux editor improvements and more

    The people over at Unity have put out the first beta for the first major release of the year and there's tons of new and improved bits for game devs and Linux gamers.

    Firstly, they're depreciating support for 32bit builds of games on Linux, so if you're one of the 0.17% you really will need to go 64bit eventually.

  • Sounds like a lot of changes are on the way for Valve's Artifact

    Thanks to the great work from Tyler McVicker of Valve News Network, we've learned that a lot of changes seem to be on the way for Valve's card game Artifact.

    Honestly, the changes sound absolutely massive, far bigger than I expected Valve to be doing and it sounds like (if most of it is true) that it could seriously change the game for the better and give it the resurgence it needs. As I wrote about recently, Artifact has been bleeding players like mad and it's still continuing with it reaching new lows.

  • Space shooter 'Disputed Space' arrives on Linux offering up intense 3D action

    ShilohGames, developer of the free multiplayer space shooter Allspace which released recently has now ported over their previous space shooter Disputed Space to Linux.

    Always nice to see a developer port their previous games, it's not enough just to have the "latest and greatest" of course.

  • Super Versus, a multiplayer action superhero game is coming to Linux

    Ever wanted to be a superhero? I'm sure it's a dream we've all had at some point in our lives. Super Versus, looks like it will let you do that.

    It seems to be a free to play game, with community server hosting support along with some kind of premium option for cosmetics. Sounds like the initial release may be a little on the basic side, as they say they're planning to include "matchmaking, competitive ranks, official servers, team based modes and player inventory for the full game". The free version will have casual play and community server support, with premium for matchmaking and ranked modes.

  • Wand Wars, a fast-paced magical sports game supports Linux and had a big update recently

    Here's a magical action game we somehow completely missed reporting on at all. Wand Wars, released back in 2016 and it's had Linux support since release. It's still getting fresh content years later too.

    Back in December, developer Moonradish gave it a fresh coat of paint with the Spellstorm update adding in a brand new single-player campaign, two new music tracks, two new game modes, three new battle arenas, new character skins and a brand new character. That's a pretty huge update to be doing for a game multiple years after release!

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More in Tux Machines

Games: Surviving Mars and OpenMW

Kernel and Security: BPF, Mesa, Embedded World, Kernel Address Sanitizer and More

  • Concurrency management in BPF
    In the beginning, programs run on the in-kernel BPF virtual machine had no persistent internal state and no data that was shared with any other part of the system. The arrival of eBPF and, in particular, its maps functionality, has changed that situation, though, since a map can be shared between two or more BPF programs as well as with processes running in user space. That sharing naturally leads to concurrency problems, so the BPF developers have found themselves needing to add primitives to manage concurrency (the "exchange and add" or XADD instruction, for example). The next step is the addition of a spinlock mechanism to protect data structures, which has also led to some wider discussions on what the BPF memory model should look like. A BPF map can be thought of as a sort of array or hash-table data structure. The actual data stored in a map can be of an arbitrary type, including structures. If a complex structure is read from a map while it is being modified, the result may be internally inconsistent, with surprising (and probably unwelcome) results. In an attempt to prevent such problems, Alexei Starovoitov introduced BPF spinlocks in mid-January; after a number of quick review cycles, version 7 of the patch set was applied on February 1. If all goes well, this feature will be included in the 5.1 kernel.
  • Intel Ready To Add Their Experimental "Iris" Gallium3D Driver To Mesa
    For just over the past year Intel open-source driver developers have been developing a new Gallium3D-based OpenGL driver for Linux systems as the eventual replacement to their long-standing "i965 classic" Mesa driver. The Intel developers are now confident enough in the state of this new driver dubbed Iris that they are looking to merge the driver into mainline Mesa proper.  The Iris Gallium3D driver has now matured enough that Kenneth Graunke, the Intel OTC developer who originally started Iris in late 2017, is looking to merge the driver into the mainline code-base of Mesa. The driver isn't yet complete but it's already in good enough shape that he's looking for it to be merged albeit marked experimental.
  • Hallo Nürnberg!
    Collabora is headed to Nuremberg, Germany next week to take part in the 2019 edition of Embedded World, "the leading international fair for embedded systems". Following a successful first attendance in 2018, we are very much looking forward to our second visit! If you are planning on attending, please come say hello in Hall 4, booth 4-280! This year, we will be showcasing a state-of-the-art infrastructure for end-to-end, embedded software production. From the birth of a software platform, to reproducible continuous builds, to automated testing on hardware, get a firsthand look at our platform building expertise and see how we use continuous integration to increase productivity and quality control in embedded Linux.
  • KASAN Spots Another Kernel Vulnerability From Early Linux 2.6 Through 4.20
    The Kernel Address Sanitizer (KASAN) that detects dynamic memory errors within the Linux kernel code has just picked up another win with uncovering a use-after-free vulnerability that's been around since the early Linux 2.6 kernels. KASAN (along with the other sanitizers) have already proven quite valuable in spotting various coding mistakes hopefully before they are exploited in the real-world. The Kernel Address Sanitizer picked up another feather in its hat with being responsible for the CVE-2019-8912 discovery.
  • io_uring, SCM_RIGHTS, and reference-count cycles
    The io_uring mechanism that was described here in January has been through a number of revisions since then; those changes have generally been fixing implementation issues rather than changing the user-space API. In particular, this patch set seems to have received more than the usual amount of security-related review, which can only be a good thing. Security concerns became a bit of an obstacle for io_uring, though, when virtual filesystem (VFS) maintainer Al Viro threatened to veto the merging of the whole thing. It turns out that there were some reference-counting issues that required his unique experience to straighten out. The VFS layer is a complicated beast; it must manage the complexities of the filesystem namespace in a way that provides the highest possible performance while maintaining security and correctness. Achieving that requires making use of almost all of the locking and concurrency-management mechanisms that the kernel offers, plus a couple more implemented internally. It is fair to say that the number of kernel developers who thoroughly understand how it works is extremely small; indeed, sometimes it seems like Viro is the only one with the full picture. In keeping with time-honored kernel tradition, little of this complexity is documented, so when Viro gets a moment to write down how some of it works, it's worth paying attention. In a long "brain dump", Viro described how file reference counts are managed, how reference-count cycles can come about, and what the kernel does to break them. For those with the time to beat their brains against it for a while, Viro's explanation (along with a few corrections) is well worth reading. For the rest of us, a lighter version follows.

Blacklisting insecure filesystems in openSUSE

The Linux kernel supports a wide variety of filesystem types, many of which have not seen significant use — or maintenance — in many years. Developers in the openSUSE project have concluded that many of these filesystem types are, at this point, more useful to attackers than to openSUSE users and are proposing to blacklist many of them by default. Such changes can be controversial, but it's probably still fair to say that few people expected the massive discussion that resulted, covering everything from the number of OS/2 users to how openSUSE fits into the distribution marketplace. On January 30, Martin Wilck started the discussion with a proposal to add a blacklist preventing the automatic loading of a set of kernel modules implementing (mostly) old filesystems. These include filesystems like JFS, Minix, cramfs, AFFS, and F2FS. For most of these, the logic is that the filesystems are essentially unused and the modules implementing them have seen little maintenance in recent decades. But those modules can still be automatically loaded if a user inserts a removable drive containing one of those filesystem types. There are a number of fuzz-testing efforts underway in the kernel community, but it seems relatively unlikely that any of them are targeting, say, FreeVxFS filesystem images. So it is not unreasonable to suspect that there just might be exploitable bugs in those modules. Preventing modules for ancient, unmaintained filesystems from automatically loading may thus protect some users against flash-drive attacks. If there were to be a fight over a proposal like this, one would ordinarily expect it to be concerned with the specific list of unwelcome modules. But there was relatively little of that. One possible exception is F2FS, the presence of which raised some eyebrows since it is under active development, having received 44 changes in the 5.0 development cycle, for example. Interestingly, it turns out that openSUSE stopped shipping F2FS in September. While the filesystem is being actively developed, it seems that, with rare exceptions, nobody is actively backporting fixes, and the filesystem also lacks a mechanism to prevent an old F2FS implementation from being confused by a filesystem created by a newer version. Rather than deal with these issues, openSUSE decided to just drop the filesystem altogether. As it happens, the blacklist proposal looks likely to allow F2FS to return to the distribution since it can be blacklisted by default. Read more

gitgeist: a git-based social network proof of concept

Are you tired of not owning the data or the platform you use for social postings? I know I am. It's hard to say when I "first" used a social network. I've been on email for about 30 years and one of the early ad-hoc forms of social networks were chain emails. Over the years I was asked to join all sorts of "social" things such as IRC, ICQ, Skype, MSN Messenger, etc. and eventually things like Orkut, MySpace, Facebook, etc. I'll readily admit that I'm not the type of person that happily jumps onto every new social bandwagon that appears on the Internet. I often prefer preserving the quietness of my own thoughts. That, though, hasn't stopped me from finding some meaningfulness participating in Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more recently Google+. Twitter was in fact the first social network that I truly embraced. And it would've remained my primary social network had they not killed their own community by culling the swell of independently-developed Twitter clients that existed. That and their increased control of their API effectively made me look for something else. Right around that time Google+ was being introduced and many in the open source community started participating in that, in some ways to find a fresh place where techies can aggregate away from the noise and sometimes over-the-top nature of Facebook. Eventually I took to that too and started using G+ as my primary social network. That is, until Google recently decided to pull the plug on G+. While Google+ might not have represented a success for Google, it had become a good place for sharing information among the technically-inclined. As such, I found it quite useful for learning and hearing about new things in my field. Soon-to-be-former users of G+ have gone in all sorts of directions. Some have adopted a "c'mon guys, get over it, Facebook is the spot" attitude, others have adopted things like Mastodon, others have fallen back to their existing IDs on Twitter, and yet others, like me, are still looking. Read more