Another Crack in Windows: GOG Lines Up Linux Support

Paul Rudd.

Linux is like the “unattractive” person in a movie who eventually becomes desirable just by hanging about for a bit. People were all over Windows, cooing over its icons and ease of use and the way it could form a cherry stem into a mobius strip, while poor Linux was in the corner, smelling of penguin puke and requiring root access. But Windows starts BSODing on a night out, and we then realised that Linux is actually Paul Rudd. Which exactly explains why GOG is about to support Linux.

It’s early days, but the plan to support Ubuntu and Mint (and probably others), starting in the coming Autumn. GOG expects to launch with at least 100 games, though we won’t know what they are for a while.

Acceptance at last! It is slowwwwwwwly spreading out. I wonder if GOG will support SteamOS? Here’s now it’ll work.

We’re initially going to be launching our Linux support on with the full treatment for Ubuntu and Mint. That means that right now, we’re hammering away at testing games on a variety of configurations, training up our teams on Linux-speak, and generally getting geared up for a big kick-off in the fall with at least 100 Linux games ready for you to play. This is, of course, going to include games that we sell which already have Linux clients, but we’ll also be bringing Linux gamers a variety of classics that are, for the first time, officially supported and maintained by a storefront like ours.

I tried to run with Linux only a few months back, using Ubuntu to give myself an easy ride, but I still bounced off of it when trying to update my laptop’s graphics card drivers. I look forward to the day when installing drivers doesn’t need some fiddling. I’d welcome it, to be honest, as I’m ready to leave Windows.

Meanwhile, here’s proof that Paul Rudd was sexy all this time.


  1. Orija says:

    He seems rather short.

    • Darth Gangrel says:

      According to imbd’s page he is 1,78 m or 5′ 10″ which isn’t that short I think. I also that they were comparing Paul Rudd’s appearance with that cross-eyed which isn’t fair. They made it up to me with that last line of the article, though :P.

  2. frightlever says:

    Okay. If your work has a hardware upgrade and they give you an Acer Revo 3610 nettop and you decide to put XBMCbuntu on it, then for the love of God used the fixed DPI (120×120) install option or you will lose your Friday night to drunken tears and acrimony while you try to make the fonts look right. Also, that Synology NAS you have, the one that’ll happily Sickbeard and Couch Potato like clockwork – that NAS is now your enemy.

    I got everything working. I just can’t bear to turn it back on. Not yet. It’s all still too fresh.

    • Mirqy says:

      I understand everything you say in the first sentence, but after that I’m afraid you lose me.

      • Craig Pearson says:

        It was Linux Linux Linux Internet TV Linux

      • Stardreamer says:

        Most Linux enthusiasts sound like this to me, including the strong evidence of emotional trauma.

        Linux: STILL not ready for the desktop user.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Well, there are also the early enthusiasts, in the honeymoon period where it’s still all new and shiny and WOW this is so different from Windows look I can get in here with a spanner!

          They tend to be a bit annoying (and run Gentoo). Especially to those of us who are fed up of having to hold a spanner and would really just like to get on with using the damn thing now and oh god that last release changed how networking works and now my customized XFCE toolbar can’t actually control wireless any more because Thou Shalt Use NetworkManager and it will only express itself as a GNOME-comaptible system tray icon (but if you have the week to spend on it, patches welcome!).

          • elderman says:

            You’re a much more educated user than I am LionsPhil. I’m much more like a regular desktop user. I know how to use internet search and how to do basic tasks on the command line, but not much more than that. My experience with Linux has been that it just works for most things I need to do. No less so than MacOS, which was the system I grew up with. I’ve used Linux (hopping between a few distros) exclusively for five years now and have generally found it responsive and easy to use.

            Wine is still hit and miss and I sometimes have to troubleshoot a game. However, I easily find instructions or IRC help online.

            In my experience, Linux has long been ready for the desktop user. But I’m not an evangelist, and don’t much care if desktop Linux stays the domain of hobbyists.

        • LogicalDash says:

          “Enthusiasts” you say? You may be experiencing some selection bias if the original poster is an “enthusiast” to you. Not that the tru enthusiasts are particularly more comprehensible but they talk about the crazy things they want to try, not the mundane things that didn’t work.

          Lots of mundane things fail to work regardless of operating system…

          • frightlever says:

            Everything worked. I was very clear on that. Everything worked. Eventually.

        • Tei says:

          My experience installing things in linux is
          apt-get install something

          When I am on my Mac OS/x
          brew install something

          When I am on my iPhone
          itunes => install

          When I am on my iPad
          itunes => install

          When I am on my Windows:
          Search where is downloaded
          double click
          accept “Yes, I have download from the internet”
          Search again
          Search where is downloaded
          double click
          accept “Yes, I have download from the internet”
          Restart windows for no fucking reason
          Login again

          • LionsPhil says:

            Your comparison there is effectively curated lists (including distribution repositories) vs. open platforms, one of the giveaways being that you’re talking about brew on OSX, not finding a random dmg via Google searching (which then goes into exactly all the same risks).

            (And rebooting after install? That’s about as old as BSOD jokes. Even VirtualBox, which adds/updates kernel drivers, doesn’t demand it.)

          • mattevansc3 says:

            And that sounds like absolutely no version of Windows I’ve ever used and the only one I haven’t used since 3.1 is ME.

            Its also quite cute that you add steps to the Windows install that don’t exist and remove steps from the iPhone and iPad steps that do exist.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Also worth noting that Apple didn’t include a working package manager with OSX because who knows.

          • Cinek says:

            I think you got confused. The long list should have “Linux” in a header.

          • deadlock says:

            Gap Gen: broadly speaking, you don’t need one on OS X. Most applications are actually a specially-named folder that contains everything that’s required to make the app run (exe, frameworks, shared libraries etc.). Installing an application is a simple case of dragging this folder to your Applications directory; uninstalling consists of deleting it from your Applications folder.

            Of course, that’s not always true though; some software has to install shit all over your hard drive for $reasons and these are the times when you wish there was a decent uninstaller.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Yeah, but don’t forget package management isn’t just dependency and uninstallation management; it’s also centralized place for updates. The Mac (and Windows) worlds require all (third-party) software to do its own thing with updates, which means waking up a system you haven’t used for a couple of weeks will probably bombard you with a different kind of update dialogue for each application you launch, whereas a package-managed system will get just one with a list in it.

            (It also leads to utter insanity like Chrome on Windows installing under your user profile so that it has permission to write to itself, because modern Windows—like Linux—will normally have application install directories only writable by priviledged installers. Firefox optionally gets around this by installing a Mozilla update service, which is not exactly sane either, but they’re trying not to cause UAC prompts every time it updates—and before you hate on UAC, if they tried this on Linux they’d need to use sudo or such.)

          • Gap Gen says:

            The issues I had with OSX in the past were with library installs for C++, which aren’t independent software packages you can just wrap in a .app folder. I think it was partly related to upgrading to Snow Leopard breaking gcc, too. Still, I’ve never had an issue with library installs in Linux, since someone has already put something on apt-get that works with the distro you have and worked out the bugs.

          • AndiK says:

            Have any of you tried Chocolatey? It’s a rather comprehensive packet manager for Windows. I only discovered it a few weeks ago, but from a quick look at the list of packages it seems to contain almost everything I usually install. It has some quirks (such as default install path for packages being C:Chocolatey), but works quite well. The silent installs give quite the same user experience as apt & co.

          • TechnicalBen says:

            Saying “use itunes” on one platform then “search Google” on the other is unfair. I can do the same on Android (and do) by “searching Google” and using apps external to the Play store.
            I can do the same on the desktop, or I can use Steam, Adobe or MS as my sole source of “Apps”, I mean “PROGRAMS”.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    GOG expects to launch with at least 100 games, though we won’t know what they are for a while.

    Less impressive that it may sound, when they must easily have over a hundred games that run via DOSBox or ScummVM, both of which are cross-platform to Linux. I wonder how many others will use WINE?

    • Geebs says:

      Pertinent to this: holy crap, Wineskin is fricking amazing these days. I’ve just got all of the Thieves up to Deadly Shadows, and Homeworld (sorta, no opengl) working fine in it just by clicking a few buttons. Presumably it’s equally effective in Linux.

  4. Lemming says:

    Paul Rudd is my man crush. SHUTWE’REALLALLOWEDONE!

    • apocalypso says:

      My girlfriend tricks me into watching romantic comedies by choosing ones which Paul Rudd is in because she knows I think he’s dreamy.

      If I ever find myself in a Gay for Johnny Depp tribute act I’ll be lobbying hard to to call it Gay for Paul Rudd.

  5. Jonfon says:

    I tried to run with Linux only a few months back, using Ubuntu to give myself an easy ride, but I still bounced off of it when trying to update my laptop’s graphics card drivers. I look forward to the day when installing drivers doesn’t need some fiddling. I’d welcome it, to be honest, as I’m ready to leave Windows.

    Try Linux Mint so, it’s Ubuntu with a more Windows-like desktop (well a choice of them, try Cinnamon) and a collection of extra bits including better graphics drivers (for NVidia anyway). I’ve been using it on laptops and desktops for years.

    Give a USB install a go

    • Stardreamer says:

      I, too, bounced off Linux after spending three years giving several Distros a fair shake of the stick each. None of them offered me the same ease of use as Windows, complicating every aspect with multiple decisions, OSS philosophy, and a general reliance on hacking config files, not usually for day-to-day operations, to be fair, but almost certainly When Things Went Wrong, as they often did. GFX drivers were a particular bugbear. But I think what finally broke Linux for me was software installation. I like my applications to be as evergreen as possible, and having to wait months for a full Distro update for the new version of, say, Firefox or GIMP (which by then would mean another version of the app had been released) meant searching for versions compiled by other people – that may or may not work with your chosen distro/kernel/GUI – and installing them through arcane, ill-documented means.

      Linux is great fun if you’ve got the patience to learn an entire ecosystem, bond with communities who do like to condescend to newbies, and are prepared to accept that not everything comes with a guarantee of working when you want it – sometimes even basic things – to but I can well understand why it’s never reached mainstream acceptance. Well, until Android anyway.

      • LionsPhil says:

        And Android isn’t Linux in the sense people are using Linux here. It’s the kernel, yes, which is what the name refers to, but pretty much the whole userland is something else entirely.

        To be honest, I think the real solution to software installation/updates is probably 0install, but I say that from the comfortable position of having not actually used it to discover its warts. The theory, though, seems to be the Right Thing—decentralized package management. It mixes the best parts of the Windows-world grab-an-EXE-from-anywhere and the Linux-world managed-dependencies-and-upgrades.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Interesting! I’m very happy with apt-get for most things, although I program a lot so installing libraries in a single line is a pretty great thing for me. You could be right that the centralised nature of it might be a problem, though.

          And yes, I think to use Linux you still need to be quite techy and willing to learn the command line. I find it pretty easy once it’s all set up, but then I use it every day, so I don’t find the occasional hiccup too problematic, although I’m not beyond completely messing up the sound drivers trying to get flash to play audio from time to time.

        • Cinek says:

          Android got as much in common with Linux and whole ideology of that system as Linux got with MacOs. Two completely different things developed in vastly different ways, overseen by vastly different type of people with vastly different structure, support, code base. There’s only tiny bit of a core that’s shared between all of these (well, little bit more between Android and Linux, but still it’s just a tiny portion of OS).

      • Jonfon says:

        Mint is nice in that regard as the Software Manager is pretty pleasant to use and the Updates Manager will figure out what needs to be updated.

        But go for a Long Term Support Release if you want to keep using it and updating software. The non-LTS versions can come way too fast (Fedora is especially good at this)

      • joa says:

        The philosophy of the Linux community is at odds with actually producing a cohesive and stable operating system. If you want absolute freedom and flexibility then you pay the price – there’s tens of different groups each with their own idea of what the desktop part of the operating system should look and behave like – Gnome, Ubuntu’s custom desktop, KDE and so forth.
        Furthermore, these parts of the system are built on top of other software which suffers from exactly the same fragmentation like whatever X or display technology is being used. The only part that doesn’t suffer from such problems is the lowest part, the kernel.

        And if you ask me that’s not a problem that can be solved. Developers given total freedom will always want to do their own specific thing and if it’s not already out there they will make it. That’s why it’s necessary to have a commercial, closed-down operating system where design choices are dictated from above – you get a coherent and well put together system.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yes, this. Sadly.

        • elderman says:

          I for one have no problem with a world that benefits from the products of top-down, closed-source systems design. I will be terribly disappointed with a world that doesn’t have Open Source systems and those that result from a decentralised design process as well.

        • LogicalDash says:

          For games, it’s not really very important for the OS to be cohesive. It’s important for the sorts of apps where you need more than one open at a time and you want them to work well together, both mechanically and aesthetically. Not too long ago, support for non-Latin writing systems in Linux was really messed up–you could READ any script you wanted, but your ability to write in it depended on how well the application you wanted to use played with your Input Method Engine, a utility program of which there are many in Linux, but only one in Windows, and everyone must support that one. For games that sort of thing is less relevant. Games routinely come with their own input systems, their own icons and menus, their own file formats.

    • Sharza says:

      I have recently gotten into using Linux Lite for my netbook because Win 7 starter used up too much resources. While its install was super easy and it came with a software package that does everything I need from a netbook OS (multimedia, browsing the web and working with an office program), even something as “simple” as changing power saving options can be a real hassle. As someone who doesn’t know anything about programming this has lead to me searching the web and having no idea what the eff to do. So I guess, Linux can be super user friendly as long as the distro does everything you need from it without problems?

  6. Gap Gen says:


    • Keyrock says:

      Bravo sir, bravo. I only wish you could have fit grep and sed into there somewhere.

      • SominiTheCommenter says:

        cat heart | grep -i “heartstrings” | sed ‘s@zsHzeeartstrings@h@g’ | xargs tug {} ‘;’

  7. Cinek says:

    People were all over Windows,

    Incorrect use of past tense.

    • Gap Gen says:

      It’s true that Windows is still vastly widely used even if every other OS release is treated like Microsoft dumped bubonic plague onto the streets. I had problems with the paperwork for my job because the forms were sent in Word format, which I couldn’t open without mangling horribly because I only have LibreOffice.

      • Cinek says:

        I had problems with the paperwork for my job because the forms were sent in Word format, which I couldn’t open without mangling horribly because I only have LibreOffice.” – And… how is that you not having a proper software for office work / or LibreOffice not having proper importer is a Microsoft fault? Complain to your source of income / LibreOffice devs.

        • Gap Gen says:

          Sorry, I meant in the process of doing the paperwork for starting the job on my own computer. I don’t particularly want to spend money on Word myself because I have almost never needed to use it, and any incompatibility with other document formats is possibly a deliberate obfuscation from Microsoft in order to lock people into Word (I think I remember that the Word format is almost just a memory dump from the Word application; once I found text from a completely unrelated document in a Word file when I looked at it in a text editor, which was a fun security breach). In any case, the problem was the institutional assumption that Word is a ubiquitous application (which, granted, is true in many instances). I could indeed open the document, modify it and return it, but the result was poorly formatted. It was fine in the end, but yeah, the Word format could be better constructed.

          EDIT: Apparently the format from 2003 onwards is a little better, so I suspect LibreOffice stands a better chance of supporting it. That said, the previous binary format wasn’t completely documented by Microsoft, so other applications struggled to support it, and Word isn’t even 100% backwards-compatible with itself.

  8. elderman says:

    This is great news for a Linux gamer. I’ve been a Humble Bundle/Store guy for several years, only going to GOG for older games to run under Wine and to Steam for Valve games. I like the way GOG does business, though. I love their no-DRM policy, I like how well they communicate with their customers. I’ll be delighted to be a better customer of theirs if they start selling games for my platform.

  9. Keyrock says:

    I’m assuming the “classic” games they mentioned are almost exclusively games that run in DOSBox or SCUMMVM.

    Anyway, good news. I haven’t been giving GOG much business as of late as whenever I purchase a game that has a native Linux client I would get it from Steam instead because I could play it on my Linux partition. The laptop I use now has dual boot (Windows 7 and Linux), but when I build a new desktop rig later this year I have no intention of purchasing Windows, that will just be Linux so having the choice of buying from GOG, as well as Steam and Humble Store and Desura, is welcome.

  10. uh20 says:

    graphics card > additional drivers utility (might be called restricted drivers) > done

    as a general rule of thumb, there is no need for the terminal atall for basic tasks, and drivers have got to be the easiest

    • LionsPhil says:

      I would go as far as to say that if Internet fix instructions tell you to open a terminal and you are not already shoulder-deep in Linux with a solid understanding of what you’re changing and how it will be affected by future updates, stop reading them. There is a terrifying amount of bad kludge advice out there. It also goes out of date at an alarming rate, because the Linux ecosystem is constantly rewriting and replacing everything in one huge thrash of churn and wasted effort. Yesterday you might have edited xorg.conf, but today it should be autodetecting everything, and tomorrow it will actually be Wayland.

      • elderman says:

        Don’t be terrified LionsPhil and don’t spread fear, uncertainty and doubt about Linux.

        Understand what you’re doing, trust your source, and make sure you have up-to-date info is always good advice on computers and in the off-line world. Command line instructions in themselves shouldn’t scare anyone, though. It’s often the easiest way to give help to just offer a command to execute. The alternative is trying to guide someone through an interface you can’t both see.

        • Gap Gen says:

          I think there’s a balance. Occasionally you have a few-line apt-get thing that’s basically just finding an install location and then downloading the software you need, but yeah, editing config files in your root directory starts getting to be dark magic quite quickly. I nearly bricked my audio drivers twice by following random advice on Linux forums. But still, the point is that Linux releases aren’t always 100% stable and it takes some tech nouse to figure out which advice to follow.

          • elderman says:

            Not to undercut my own point or anything, but I once saw a new user on the Linux Mint IRC channel who had completely screwed up his desktop environment by trying to update Evince. He’d downloaded the latest source, installed the dependencies, overwriting his own libraries, and in the process rendered his GUI unusable. X was still running, though, so he was able to open XChat. We tried to help him fix the problem for an hour, but with thirty minutes dedicated tinkering he’d managed to completely corrupt his system.

            Turned out he didn’t have any data to lose, so we told him to reinstall the OS. All this, just to get a PDF reader… I never did figure out why he thought he needed the cutting-edge version.

            I don’t know if there’s a moral here, maybe the moral is ‘usually the graphical interface is all you need’, but it was terribly funny at the time.

          • Gap Gen says:

            Ouch. Yeah, I’ve been there to some extent, although never tried to install X from source, which sounds like a recipe for bricking.

        • LionsPhil says:

          It’s not FUD; it’s don’t meddle with under-the-hood if you don’t understand exactly what you’re doing and what implications will come of it. This is every bit as true of every operating system, but on Linux there’s quite a large culture of “oh, you can fix that by…” being fairly normal compounded with instructions which are bad or have become outdated. All kinds of horrible, contorted constructs where someone didn’t know of the Right Way the distro provides to do something, which “work” but leave a system more fragile than necessary.

          • jaypettitt says:

            Yup – gfx card drivers are click the button that says ‘install additional divers’ affair. And that’s it. It’s a one time job. Ubuntu will even stick a special notification on the task bar at the top of the screen if you’ve got hardware that has driver options. Click it and you’re done.

            You don’t need (or want) to go fetching files off the internet and try to install them by hand unless you’re a distro developer or something.

            I think a lot of folk get themselves in a pickle because they don’t realise how easy Linux makes stuff 99% of the time and they think that they have to go and do technical stuff.

    • Keyrock says:

      I’m actually one of the mad weirdos that still does a lot of stuff through CLI, but then I grew up with DOS and am quite comfortable doing stuff in a terminal. As for people who grew up with pointing and clicking, absolutely, going the graphical way will be much easier for them. For basic everyday needs a person would never have to open up a terminal and type anything with just about any modern distro.

  11. li says:

    Assuming a company would sell PCs with
    – three virtual machines: one Windows, one Linux (say Linux Mint), one SteamOS
    – two GPUs with one passthrough to Windows, the other for the paravirtualized OSes
    – everything is installed already, so you can plug, get the games and play

    Gaming should be smooth in any of the VM in my understanding; I would say the price of the PC (not considering the monitor and the Windows license), should be about 500 USD, using two mid-range GPUs.

    Do you think it would sell well?

    • LionsPhil says:

      I would suggest you test this theory in VirtualBox or such first, because while gaming in a VM with 3D passthrough is possible, the performance hit is considerable IME.

      (Also I wouldn’t be surprised if Windows OEM requirements are “thou shalt have no other OSes”.)

      • li says:

        You can’t do that (GPU passthrough, i.e. the virtual OS talks directly to the GPU) with VirtualBox as far as I know. The performance of graphics in VirtualBox is clearly a no-go.
        I’m trying with Xen at the moment, but I still have a long way to go :D According to Xen and some users, you can get close to native graphics performance in the Windows VM.

        If Windows forbid to sell this kind of system, I would assume it’s possible to sell it with a naked preconfigured VM and let the user install Windows in there. Not as nice for sure :/

        • elderman says:

          And not necessarily straight-forward. I tried to install windows on an extra hard drive a couple of days ago at the pleading of a friend who wanted to play an older Windows game that doesn’t run under Wine (Dark Age of Camelot, as good as he says?). No go, and a totally uninformative error message. Installing Windows on an arbitrarily chosen machine doesn’t seem to a walk in the park for the uninformed user.

          • li says:

            I duly take note of your remarks, sirs!
            However, what about the starting question, assuming it’s there, do you think it would sell well?

          • elderman says:

            I’m not sure I understand who the target market would be. Linux would be functionally redundant with the other two systems, I’d think, and SteamOS would be mostly redundant with a Windows installation with Steam installed. Also, installing two GPUs seems a waste if one of them will be inactive at all times. But this is far from my area of expertise.

            What makes this sound cool to you?

          • LionsPhil says:

            IIRC, Windows will flat out refuse to install on removable drives, and I’ve heard (so, pinch of salt) that this is because the goddamn Genuine Advantage/Product Activation can’t get a suitable unique identifier for such drives to try to tie it to a single “machine”.

            Such is the tragedy of Windows. Annoying Microsoft decisions cripple a solid core.

          • li says:

            I think I’ve been dreaming of such a system since my first try at Linux, 10 something years ago. I let it aside for a long while, and have been recently thinking that VM technology could finally make that dream true.
            The idea of a multi-boot system is just not clicking for me, so I was vaguely thinking I could have several computers, but never actually did anything.

            I won’t pretend that I know for sure it’s possible. But if it is, I do think it’s cool. Why? Because I’d like to do whatever I want with my PC, not only what Microsoft lets me do. So Linux is very exciting, but I can’t leave Windows so easily. Games are of course the major point, and the reason why I thought it was relevant to post my question under this very article. Adobe or MS Office also come to mind (I know GIMP and OpenOffice, but it’s not so easy to move away.)

            Basically the idea is to migrate from Windows to Linux, but at one’s own pace. Get the best of both worlds, and change the work environment in a fraction of second. I guess these few sentences would also describe the target audience.

            For SteamOS, I’m not sure if it makes sense to have the VM there. If it’s equivalent to Steam under Windows, it probably wouldn’t.
            For the double GPU, yes, that would be better to avoid, but my understanding at that point is that you have to, because it’s the only way to have the Windows VM behave nicely.
            Somehow, it all comes to replace one Linux box + one Windows box into one box with one Linux GPU + one Windows GPU.

          • elderman says:

            In this case I had swapped out my main hard drive to install Windows on one that I didn’t need. My laptop didn’t come with install disks, of course — I never intended to reinstall Windows after over-writing it — so this was some sort of generic Windows 8, probably pirated, most likely infested, but provided by my friend. I’m sure there’s some obvious reason the install didn’t work, for people who know Windows. For me, it was a black box.

          • SominiTheCommenter says:

            Windows also takes over the disk it’s installed on, so you’ll have to install Windows first as Linux second, so that only GRUB remains.

          • li says:

            From what I gather, this is not the case with Xen HVM (and possibly KVM), the Windows being installed only sees its virtual environment, and cannot mess with the physical stuff, so no need to install Windows first, then Linux and GRUB.

    • jalf says:

      What would be the benefit? What would anyone gain by buying this?

      • li says:

        The benefit in my idea is that you can have a multi-OS system without hassle. I wouldn’t go as far as a turnkey product, even though that would be ideal. But that seems to be too far fetched for now, the target audience needs to be tech-savvy enough.
        One would get a PC with any OS wished, Windows for gaming and any application that is working there better, any Linux distrib, SteamOS for trying out. Why not OS X, or iOS (if it exists for x86), or Android… The point of it I don’t know exactly, for me it’s the fun of trying out, there might be other uses.

        I’m trying to build such a system now, and it’s a nightmare of complexity. Well, I do enjoy tinkering a lot, so it’s all fun, but if your only option to get a Windows-Linux machine is to spend 100 hours learning all the arcane, there’s some chances you won’t bother to try.

        So I would say the gain is a pre-made machine for using (or just testing) all these platforms, being able to use any application in its native environment easily.

        • jalf says:

          Ok, I can follow the “multiple VMs out of the box” thing, but the “multiple GPUs” thing seems like a needless complication IMO.

          • li says:

            That’s because you want to get native graphics performances when playing games under the virtual Windows. And it seems that’s the only way as of now.
            I just spent a few days trying to find which hardware (CPU, motherboard and GPU) are compatible with that stuff, and info is really difficult to find!
            So that’s another benefit of my ‘offer’: you don’t have to try and guess the hardware, it’s all been tested for you.

  12. staberas says:

    Linux : Prepare to compile edition

  13. froz says:

    “But Windows starts BSODing on a night out, and we then realised that Linux is actually Paul Rudd
    Really? What windows recently (since Vista) did was stopping BSODing and becoming a very stable system. Sure, noone likes win 8 tiles, but other then that I think it’s the best windows there ever was (and it’s also the cheapest, at least in my country).

    • amateurviking says:

      To my horror I had a few (reproducible) BSODs on Win 8.1 just last month (seems to have been down to shoky intel graphics drivers). So they are still a thing for sure.

      • jalf says:

        Sure. And my Macbook did the equivalent of a BSOD just a week ago.

        My Linux box at work has also dumped core a few times. No OS is *perfectly* reliable. But I really don’t see Windows crashing measurably more often than other OS’es.

        • froz says:

          Yes, BSOD can still happen. My point is that windows improved a lot, now it’s very rare compared to what we had in win xp (before all those service packs) or win 95…

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yeah…the theory is that for Macs, Apple control both hardware and software, so at least you shouldn’t have driver woes.

          Then my MBP (circa 10.4) went through a few weeks of repeated kernel panics. Turned out Apple had let through an upstream wireless driver with issues and it took them a bit to fix that again.

          No such thing as a perfect world.

    • melnificent says:

      Windows 7 Starter reinstall on a netbook. After the installation it would BSOD on the drivers, but it seemed to vary when during the install process.

      The netbook was a stock one with no upgrades to it (not even 2gb ram). It turns out that the wireless card didn’t like windows 7 unless the driver had been installed before the card was plugged in. This thing had never been unseated. But it took a couple of hours to track down and sort.

  14. narc says:

    It’s just good marketing, really. Steam and Humble have it, Ubuntu is embedding games into its distro … they know they have a chance with the non-steam indie crowd and for those of us who just can’t resist having a good deal. If Linux games are available elsewhere, that’s fine with me.

  15. defunct says:

    I’ve been trying Linux for years now (since the late 90s). I still don’t know much about it because I don’t really use it. I install, try a few things and go back to windows because none of the games I like are supported. Some are, but it requires messing around with config files and I don’t do that.

    For what I’ve used Linux for, it’s been easy, and recently become MUCH easier, because it’s just like windows. Browsing, email, VOIP, editing documents. It’s now starting to get gaming support which will help tremendously, and there’s one company to thank for this turn over. Microsoft. So thank you for finally making Linux viable! Without Windows 8 this never would have happened! Yay! I’ll even have a headstart because I’ll be able to transfer my Steam library.

    • Gap Gen says:

      Yeah, I agree that learning an OS when there’s no compelling reason to use it is quite hard (same goes with foreign languages, etc). I do a lot of programming and connect to remote machines a lot, and Linux is great for that, so I use it almost exclusively when I’m not playing games. The main annoying thing is that not all software makers produce Linux versions, so you have to be careful with some specialist stuff. it’s getting a lot better, though, like you say, and the time when Skype crashed every 20 minutes seems to be past, thankfully.

    • Shadow says:

      Compatibility has always been Linux’s Achilles’ heel, and probably the primary reason I feel no inclination to migrate from Windows 7. I’m a hardcore gamer with an extensive library, and professionally use a number of graphics software. All that vaunted resource usage efficiency is simply useless if you just can’t run the programs you want to begin with.

      And the truth is, if you know two things about computers and how to properly maintain an OS, Win7’s stability is rock solid. BSODs are related to hardware flaws or driver fumbles 98% of the time, neither of which are Windows’ fault. I haven’t had any in years.

  16. waltC says:

    I think many people would be satisfied if Microsoft simply started calling Windows “Linux”…;) Would that do it? If not, then I can’t say I’m interested because of the tens of thousands of dollars I have invested in hardware and software that either isn’t supported or just won’t run in any Linux distro. There may actually be people alive on planet Earth whose only use for software is the OS they use, I don’t know. But for me, what makes an OS useful is the hardware and software it supports, and Windows simply supports more of both by far than any other commercially available OS, free or otherwise.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      A friend summed up my thoughts on Linux really well: Linux is only free if your time has no value.

      It’ll never have the support or convenience of Windows because the Linux base is extremely fragmented and full of different groups who all want their own standards.

      SteamOS might bring some standards in but it’ll still have most of the hardware support issues unless you want to pay a significant premium for a Steambox, and then have fun upgrading it.

      • Gap Gen says:

        I would agree that Linux is designed for hackers by hackers; it has its foibles, but it’s incredibly powerful for doing certain tasks if that’s what you need/want. For games you want to double click on something and it runs. Then again, this sort of implies that games might almost be better just running on Android, which is I guess where SteamOS is headed, and where consoles have been for a while (in fact consoles are getting further away from this, with more bells and whistles to do streaming, social networking and whatnot).

    • BigBlackAmericanMan says:

      What kind of obscure hardware are you using? I don’t use Linux that much, but almost all of the Hardware I use works out of the box. My PS3 controller, out of all things, worked out of the box. I actually have to use an emulator to get that thing working on windows games that support x-input only.

      • Press X to Gary Busey says:

        “Tens of thousands of dollars.” I’d say a combination of Alienware and Razer fluff.

  17. bill says:

    I don’t understand why we all hate windows now. It seems to have done a pretty good job of enabling us to do what we enjoy over the years.

    That said, I have nothing against Linux. I dual booted with Ubuntu for about 6 months a year or two back and it seemed nice.
    I had no driver issues at all and was surprised how well it worked ‘out of the box’. I also found the built in software store/updater to be very useful and light years ahead of windows. (though these days we’re used to it with android, etc..)
    It also works nicely with a lot of command line things for web design, which often tend to be 2nd class citizens on windows.
    And it worked fine for all basic stuff like browsers.

    But I was used to windows, and had no real reason to learn a new OS. Small differences always led to annoyance. And lots of software gaps (games, video editing, photoshop, etc…) meant that I kept having to revert to windows. And in the end I just never booted to it anymore, and when I upgraded my PC it just didn’t get reinstalled.

    • Mokinokaro says:

      It’s just Valve/Linux fanboyism for the most part. RPS and its community are made up of huge Valve fanboys so if Gaben says anti-Windows stuff and praises SteamOS, they follow.

      Combine that with the backlash against WIndows 8 over Metro and it’s easy to see where it’s coming from.

      • vodka and cookies says:

        Hit the nail on the head.

        It’s cool to see GoG on linux but PC gamers are not the tech wizards they think they are and will stay with windows 7 until Microsoft eventually does another u-turn with a desktop first windows pro edition.

        Ubuntu is a nice OS but it only caters to two groups, basic beginners or command line expert linux users. Windows caters to GUI powers users very well, something linux/ubuntu does not. You will constantly run into situations where you will be expected to use the command line, Windows banished that to IT pros and advanced troubleshooting aeons ago.

        Another huge problem is that is there is no equivalent means of installing applications like on windows aside from Ubuntu’s own app store. Apps windows users take for granted like VLC or Handbrake for instance are a nightmare to install/update on Ubuntu as they are made for generic linux OS instead of a UI Ubuntu installer.

        Ubuntu needs to flesh out it’s GUI suppressing the command line and develop a installer package comparable to windows or osx if it stands any chance of wooing PC gamers over from Windows.

        Hopefully Ubuntu 14 is a step in the right direction but I don’t have high hopes.

        Google Chrome OS if it evolves past a cloud OS is the real danger to Windows.

  18. somnolentsurfer says:

    Guessing this means they’re making good progress porting The Witcher then.