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Start simple, just support Ubuntu, which should cover many variant distributions. It's how Steam is starting. Desura also seems to have nailed down Linux support fairly well.

As I mentioned in the Linux wishlist, for now I would be happy if GOG would at least support games that are coming from Kickstarter that have Linux versions. I really really don't want to claim my game from that other distributor.

Linux users tend to love DRM free. I believe those same users would be happy to support GOG.
GOG supporting Linux to some degree seems to be virtually inevitable at this point, but I still wouldn't hold my breath. Even if it is inevitable, it will still be quite a while before it happens, especially for those games that don't already have a Linux port (including the DOSBox games). GOG still needs to add Linux familiar staff, Linux equipment and develop the necessary testing procedures, not to mention there is still the question of whether or not GOG's existing distribution agreements cover Linux distribution, which is probably the biggest stumbling block still outstanding. At best, we could probably expect those indies that already support Linux to get GOG support first, but the rest... there's just too many variables at this time.
I hope CDPR will seriously consider releasing their Witcher 3 for Linux, that should give them an incentive to add Linux support to GOG. They should at least be able to figure out how to support their own game :)
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cogadh: At best, we could probably expect those indies that already support Linux to get GOG support first, but the rest... there's just too many variables at this time.
This is all I really want currently. I have purchased on Steam/Humble Store just so I can get the linux version, but I like supporting GOG and having my games here.
I own 169 games on here. I can get some of them working in WINE and DOSbox, but I still can't get most of them to work right. Would be really great if there was Linux support, even if just for Ubuntu, ala Steam.
Most games that I got here (Windows games) work with Wine, but not all. DOSBox games naturally work fine with Linux DOSBox, after adapting the config files. But I'm far from owing 169 games yet :)

Also, I think making Ubuntu the default is kind of arguable, since other distros aren't any worse, and some even might already surpass Ubuntu in popularity (like Linux Mint for example). Some more thought through and generic approach would work better for GOG, I personally didn't like Steam's Ubuntu only initial rollout.
Post edited April 04, 2013 by shmerl
The request to add Linux games to GOG is now more than one year old :) Let's see how long it will take still.
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shmerl: The request to add Linux games to GOG is now more than one year old :) Let's see how long it will take still.
It's not as simple as just converting everything or offering the source. Needs to be a self packed installer to avoid violating IP rights, and needs to work on 99% of installations. It's more complicated than it should be, that's the downside of the whole "freedom" thing of *nix. Freedom to build however you want requires sacrifice somewhere. Just get another PC. Keep your lower tech PC for a Linux variant and your higher tech machine for WIndows. Best of both worlds. You could get a Macintosh PC too, but only worth it for a select few professions. Think Photoshop is still only ever optimised on Macintosh.
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FraggingBard: Just get another PC. Keep your lower tech PC for a Linux variant and your higher tech machine for WIndows. Best of both worlds. You could get a Macintosh PC too, but only worth it for a select few professions. Think Photoshop is still only ever optimised on Macintosh.
I'm surely not installing Windows anywhere, For GOG games I use Wine when needed, and naturally DOSBox / ScummVM. Still, having native Linux games on GOG when they are available (at all) is preferable. There can be challenges, but GOG already deals with all this stuff about rights for each release, so this is not different in any way. GOG can develop uniform way to package their Linux releases, no need to reinvent the wheel - these kind of problems already were solved, and solutions are known. Of course if GOG can come up with even better methods it would be useful.
Post edited April 10, 2013 by shmerl
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shmerl: There can be challenges, but GOG already deals with all this stuff about rights for each release, so this is not different in any way. GOG can develop uniform way to package their Linux releases, no need to reinvent the wheel - these kind of problems already were solved, and solutions are known. Of course if GOG can come up with even better methods it would be useful.
Yeah GOG deals with them and games are taken down already. Chessmaster 9000 is no longer available for purchase. "The wheel" in *nix is to release the source and get the user to compile it, GOG can't do that. Although you're slightly different to other posters in that you don't want them to run, you want old Windows programs to run natively on *nix.

For that you need either a middleman program like DOSBox/ScummVM/WINE, or you need them to re-engineer the game and that's a lot of work, and possibly outside of their allowable rights. Being able to sell a game doesn't let you strip the source/assets out and rework them to run natively on other platforms. Although natively, that's ridiculous. The amount of work that would go into that... They've mentioned trying for it elsewhere, but it's still an extraordinary demand when you can just boot Windows and run them in their native system.

EDIT:

I should probably point out that I don't hate the idea of running games natively on Linux variants. I usually have at least one *nix OS installed either natively or in a VM and more programs available is never a bad thing. It's just that it's a lot of avoidable work. Especially when rights is such an issue, chances are companies will charge for each platform it's available on. Chessmaster 9000 was taken down, but games like Alpha Centurai only just got expansions. Some like Ghost Recon's still aren't available, and soundtracks aren't available on some games because other distribution sites host/have hosted those games with soundtracks. If games are open source then they should be on Linux, but for closed source it's difficult dealing with licensing folk. Most of them have an IQ in single digits and are related to accountant departments where the combined IQ is single digit. You're better off talking to the companies with the games you want.

I could be wrong, maybe GOG has everything they need to completely rebuild a game to run on Linux systems or the ability to build an emulator style system better than WINE. But you can just boot Windows. Photoshop/web dev on a Mac, games on Windows, security/soft dev/admin tools on *nix.
Post edited April 13, 2013 by FraggingBard
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FraggingBard: "The wheel" in *nix is to release the source and get the user to compile it, GOG can't do that. Although you're slightly different to other posters in that you don't want them to run, you want old Windows programs to run natively on *nix.
I think we can right away make a distinction between porting old titles to Linux, and selling new ones which come with the Linux build from developers already. These are completely different beasts, and I don't think that anyone proposed for GOG to start working on the first, before the second. If you pay attention to the proposal wording, it's quite precise:

If a game has a Linux version and it is made and supported by the developer please allow the option to download the Linux version if at all possible.
That's the first thing that many users request, and GOG can do it already now. Porting old titles would be great if possible, but that's way different, requires hiring in house developers, dealing with the source and etc. Surely GOG can go there if they wish (Humble Bundle hired a special developer just for porting efforts), but it's hard. And this shouldn't be a blocker for selling the games which don't require porting when they are already ported!
Post edited April 13, 2013 by shmerl
In the recent survey, GOG expressed interest in selling / offering beta versions of games (which are naturally less than releases). If they are ready to do that, why can't they start supporting Linux already? This won't be any worse than beta versions.
Post edited April 22, 2013 by shmerl
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shmerl: In the recent survey, GOG expressed interest in selling / offering beta versions of games...
Good point.
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FraggingBard: Yeah GOG deals with them and games are taken down already. Chessmaster 9000 is no longer available for purchase. "The wheel" in *nix is to release the source and get the user to compile it, GOG can't do that. Although you're slightly different to other posters in that you don't want them to run, you want old Windows programs to run natively on *nix.
Say what again? Are you under the impression that Linux and Unix users these days compile stuff on their machine if there are packages already built? If you are under that impression then you clearly are not using one of the above and frankly it shows that you are quite clueless. Just dicking around with some distro or another in a VM does not make you an experienced user, it makes you a newbie user. You lack experience, and it shows.

The only reason one would have to compile a program is to enable some options that they require (which usually are corner cases) or if they need driver support for some custom piece of hardware. Even then, the manufacturers may already cover it with prebuilt stuff for RHEL or Ubuntu or SLED/SLES.

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FraggingBard: For that you need either a middleman program like DOSBox/ScummVM/WINE, or you need them to re-engineer the game and that's a lot of work, and possibly outside of their allowable rights. Being able to sell a game doesn't let you strip the source/assets out and rework them to run natively on other platforms. Although natively, that's ridiculous. The amount of work that would go into that... They've mentioned trying for it elsewhere, but it's still an extraordinary demand when you can just boot Windows and run them in their native system.
Even putting Wine in the same boat as Dosbox or ScummVm shows that you do not know what you are talking about.
If you are too lazy to lookup what those pieces of software actually do, wth are you doing writing about them in the first place?

You go and talk about licensing issues. What the?! There are no issues. There's plenty of proprietary stuff that runs on Linux and Unix systems(what do you think Mac OS X is? It's Unix). Why in the world do you think Nvidia actually bothers with drivers for Linux? Because they have good hearts?! No. It's because they have clients that need their cards, and need their software to work and would not be caught dead using Windows. Not for "religious" reasons, but for practical ones.
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silviucc: You go and talk about licensing issues. What the?! There are no issues. There's plenty of proprietary stuff that runs on Linux and Unix systems(what do you think Mac OS X is? It's Unix).
Not that kind of licensing problems. GOG needs not only the right to sell a specific game, they need the right to sell it for a specific operating system (depending on how the agreement is written). If the license holder originally agreed to selling the game for Windows (say, back before GOG added OS X support), GOG would not only have to get it running on OS X (or GNU/Linux in the future), but also negotiate the rights to sell the game for those platforms, regardless of whether or not it is the same (Windows) version running through Wine (or DOS version through DOSBox).
Post edited April 23, 2013 by Maighstir