Well everyone it is that time again, its time to talk about Linux and what it means to gamers.
Q: I’ve been gaming on Linux for 10 years. What do you think about the recent interest in Linux gaming from major companies (e.g. Valve) and how it will affect existing gaming ecosystem on Linux (having been a big share of indie games and free games)?
A: Wow, you even have more years on me as a member of the Linux community. Valve’s interest in Linux gaming will do nothing except promote more developers to start developing for Linux as well as a lot of gamers to switch to Linux as their primary operating system. This shift will also push for the release of more user friendly distributions. The interest of large companies in Linux as a gaming platform only furthers the growth and support of it. Now some people on here have mentioned the possibility of Linux only releases. I can’t imagine there ever being any exclusive games on Linux just because of the nature of the platform. The idea of Linux is that it is free and open source, not that I expect it to have a truckload of free games, but I can’t imagine it will have any exclusives.
This one I’m going to split into 2 questions because its kind of a long one.
Q: It seems like Linux requires a different type of disk partition (ext4 instead of NTFS or FAT for Windows). But how does that work for Steam games?
A: Steam games will obviously have a file structure on Linux that is different from Windows. eg. Windows it is “C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\SteamApps” Whereis on Linux it is ~/home/.Steam/SteamApps” So you will install games the exact same with in Linux as you do in Windows as far as steam goes.
Q: Do I need to install them on the same disk with Linux or I can install them on a NTFS disk and Linux will read them from there?
A: The partition does not matter when it comes to installation (although you really should use ext4 as it is vastly superior to NTFS) as Linux will still read NTFS partitions. Now what does matter is your file system. As I have said in the previous question Windows uses a totally different file system than linux so the installation directories are not the same.
I have also seen a lot of questions floating around the web about people installing their Steam games on a separate hard drive and wondering if they can transfer them to Linux. In short no. There will be a lot of files that do carry over between OSes but the executable files among other things will be totally different. This goes double for games that use Direct X on Windows ie Civilization: BE. Fortunately save data does in fact carry over, especially if you are using cloud saves on Steam. I have encountered some bugs after carrying over save data manually, Dying Light being a prime example. The game is fine is the save data is created in Linux, but the game acts weird if it was created in Windows.
I think that about covers it for this time everyone. Make sure to keep those questions flowing I really like doing these Q&A sessions with everyone. I have updated the response form to contain more fields to fill out that way I can distinguish between questions, concerns, and comments.