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We're finally able to show our Linux community some love.
That sounds great, and we're super excited, but what does it all mean exactly?

Here are some of the questions you may have before getting started:

Which Linux distributions do you support?
We test and support our games on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and Mint 17 LTS.

Are you planning to add official support for more Linux distributions?
We promise to always offer support for the most recent LTS release of Ubuntu and Mint.
There are no plans to officially support other Linux distributions at this time, sorry.

Will GOG games work on other distributions anyway?
You're more than welcome to give it a try, but we cannot guarantee that everything will work without a hitch.
That means we won't be able to offer refunds, or support, for technical issues on a Linux distribution other than Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or Mint 17 LTS.

What is Wine? Why do you label games that use it?
Wine is a compatibility layer that implements a Windows environment on Linux machines.

Wine carries some inherent performance and stability disadvantages. We place great importance on testing and building Wine games to make sure they are up to our standards of quality and performance, and we will support and stand by these releases. At the same time we recognise that this may not be an ideal solution for everyone, and that some of our users approach Wine with a healthy bit of scepticism.

We feel that it's your right, as our customer, to be informed about any traces of the Wine wrapper on Linux.

That's the gist of it, but there are still questions left unanswered.
You can find more answers and technical help in our General Linux Troubleshooting FAQ!
Post edited July 24, 2014 by SStefania
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emulates a Windows environment
Oh you did not just go there!
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I don't know what you are talking about.
Here, have a look at this attached cute Red Panda instead :)
Attachments:
Wine is not an emulator.
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SStefania: Will GOG games work on other distributions anyway?
You're more than welcome to give it a try, but we cannot guarantee that everything will work without a hitch.
That means we won't be able to offer refunds, or support, for technical issues on a Linux distribution other than Ubuntu 14.04 LTS or Mint 17 LTS.
That is bullshit, that is so much bullshit that I will not touch GoG until this policy changes, no refunds for people who aren't using your chosen distributions? Give me a fucking break!

I don't mind that you can only support the select few distributions that you choose (You really should add SteamOS to this list once it is officially released btw, that's where most Linux gamers are going to be and you know it, even if Steam is sort of a rival to you, SteamOS does not need to be)

But to cut refunds to anyone who isn't using it? That is just disgraceful, that is just fucking nasty, and shows a lack of understanding for the Linux community where everyone just uses the distribution they want to use, most others just say "We don't officially support anything else" meaning they cannot provide troubleshooting, but you guys? You took it an entirely different level, programs that dictate what distributions you are allowed to use are nothing but fucking toxic, and like I said, I am not touching this shit until something is done about that policy.

(This is a bit of a shame since I really like you guys, both what you're doing on Linux (releasing Wine wrapped games and supporting them) and what you've been doing elsewhere (reviving old, even dead games, and of course, The Witcher series even if your Linux port of that wasn't exactly a good example, I trust much was learned from that. At least you tried.)

Sorry for the language btw, but I was just pissed as all hell when I saw that, considering that while I like Mint, I do not actually use it, I prefer the freedom of Arch. Apart from just this one thing I mentioned there, that no refunds for people who don't use [Insert Developer's Distribution Choice Here], I am thrilled to have GoG for linux allowing some competition to steam. GOG Galaxy is cool too, I will probably even use it over steam; if this hideous policy gets changed that is.

This policy is also a bit strange, considering that you already list the dependencies for games as requirements (meaning they should in theory work on all distros as long as these dependencies are installed first, and of course the proper graphics drivers) The thing about the linux community is that if your program doesn't officially offer troubleshooting for a distribution, the distributions in-house community (e.g. their forums and wiki) usually do it instead (actually they usually do it regardless).

PS: Even if I feel bummed over this one thing, thanks for bringing GOG to Linux! Keep it up! I believe that this could be the start of something awesome for Linux Gaming!
Post edited July 24, 2014 by Rabcor
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Rabcor: That is bullshit, that is so much bullshit that I will not touch GoG until this policy changes, no refunds for people who aren't using your chosen distributions? Give me a fucking break!
Not actually true.

GOG has 2 different refund policies. 1st one is the 14-days from purchase, never downloaded refund. This works for any purchase whatsoever, as long as you haven't downloaded the games.
2nd one is 30-day "The game will work, or your money back" guarantee. For this one, GOG only guarantees the game will work if your computer meets the minimum requirements GOG specifies. You may be able to run a game that states 4GB RAM minimum on a 2GB RAM machine, but GOG cannot support/refund you if it doesn't work. Same thing applies for non-supported OS, be the Win2K, Mac OSX 10.5 or FreeBSD.

First refund policy applies, second one doesn't. Same as it's been from when it was announced.
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Rabcor: snip
Oh come on, many of my games on HumbleBundle do not work on my Linux system (mostly due to me having an ATI and no Nvidia card) and I'm not mad. Since SteamOS is based on Debian (just like Ubuntu/Mint) it wouldn't be a problem to support it if they'd have used another builder and support Debian.

If they wouldn't cut support in this direction, there sure would be a lot Windows users claiming a game doesn't work on their fictional Linux distro and get their money back.

We should be thankful for any love for Linux and encourage to go this road further over time.
Last year this time I argued with GoG-Staff about supporting Linux and they refused it for silly reasons but I think I just found one of those in reality: People bitching around about not supporting their distro properly out of dozens of other distros - like you. No offense intended.
Post edited July 24, 2014 by Klumpen0815
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I can see where you're coming from, they can scam refunds out of them because it doesn't work on X distro, but why would they not be able to lie about the game not working on the officially supported distros to begin with? I could claim to be using Mint when I'm really using Gentoo anyways (making me eligible for a refund and full support, this policy basically forces me to do that), it's not hard to mask your distro as another distro.

If I use a VPN you can't even track what OS I'm using at all, so I could be on windows but claim I'm using Linux and it doesn't work to get a refund. It's easy to lie about your OS, super easy.

I would rather not need to lie about my actual situation to receive a refund, I dislike lying. This policy only makes me need to do that, it doesn't actually prevent me from getting a refund on say Slitaz.

If you have proper versions of all dependencies installed as well as sane drivers, your game WILL work on Linux (99% chance if not higher) unless you have some sort of funky patched kernel or the dependency list was incomplete. (This is why Steam comes with runtimes so that you always have these pre-installed in a steam controlled environment before you launch your game, this way the likeliest way for your game to fail is dependencies steam missed (commonly fonts) or if steam itself actually fails (usually just not gonna happen as it's a native application))

The only way to actually limit refund scamming is to require the user to provide proof of the game not working in an environment it should work. I could just install Cinnamon or MATE and claim to be using Linux Mint when I take a screenshot on some other distro, easy as pie. I could even set up that wallpaper it comes with. But I understand now why this policy would be here, it's just that... It won't really stop anyone, and is less convenient for people who actually do not like Mint or Ubuntu.

It just means more people who do not use Mint or Ubuntu will feel bummed out when they can't figure out how to get a game working and they can't get a refund, but it wont stop anyone from refund scamming.
Post edited July 24, 2014 by Rabcor
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Rabcor: I would rather not need to lie about my actual situation to receive a refund, I dislike lying. This policy only makes me need to do that, it doesn't actually prevent me from getting a refund on say Slitaz.
So why is this a Linux situation? Why doesn't this apply to Windows versions (XP/Vista/7/8, with at least one being unsupported) or Mac? Why doesn't this apply to CPU speed, or RAM size, of GPU?

Would you be eligible for a refund if you bought a Windows only game and it didn't run on your Mac/Linux OS? You wouldn't be eligible for the "Works out of the box", though you would be for the "14-days from purchase, no download" one.
I want to say THANKS for the Debian installers for some GOG games I own. I really appreciate your decision to start adding Linux support for your products!
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Rabcor: I would rather not need to lie about my actual situation to receive a refund, I dislike lying. This policy only makes me need to do that, it doesn't actually prevent me from getting a refund on say Slitaz.
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JMich: So why is this a Linux situation? Why doesn't this apply to Windows versions (XP/Vista/7/8, with at least one being unsupported) or Mac? Why doesn't this apply to CPU speed, or RAM size, of GPU?

Would you be eligible for a refund if you bought a Windows only game and it didn't run on your Mac/Linux OS? You wouldn't be eligible for the "Works out of the box", though you would be for the "14-days from purchase, no download" one.
If you buy a Windows only game and it doesn't work on Linux, you are already not eligible for this refund anyways even if they offered refunds for all the Linux distros, what difference does it make if they only support 2 distros for your scenario?

You are also not eligible for this 14 day refund if you downloaded the game mistakenly thinking it would work on your operating system, so that refund is in fact meaningless for anything except for accidental purchases (which is really nice btw, being able to get refunds for mistaken purchases)
Post edited July 24, 2014 by Rabcor
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Rabcor: If you buy a Windows only game and it doesn't work on Linux, you are already not eligible for this refund anyways even if they offered refunds for all the Linux distros, what difference does it make if they only support 2 distros for your scenario?
You download a game for an OS that you don't have, thus the game is not guaranteed to work. You take the risk of it working, thus waiving any guarantees.
More or less similar to buying a new computer, then changing its hardware. You don't go demanding the guarantee after you meddle with it, do you?

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Rabcor: You are also not eligible for this 14 day refund if you downloaded the game mistakenly thinking it would work on your operating system, so that refund is in fact meaningless for anything except for accidental purchases (which is really nice btw, being able to get refunds for mistaken purchases)
Yes. But refunds are not being denied due to your OS. Refunds may be denied for trying to run a game on a system that's not supported, and the game failing. But it's not the OS that's the reason, it's the incorrect system requirements.
If you want to go there, then this is technically not Linux support, it's Mint/Ubuntu support.

Linux is still Linux even if it has a different default setup. It's like saying a windows machine with Net Framework installed and windows machine without it are different operating systems; they're not, Net Framework you just add Net Framework as a dependency and you're done. Same thing applies to Linux, just because you use Gentoo doesn't mean you're using a different operating system than Ubuntu, just a different distribution, thats why they're called distributions. The same does not apply to BSD however since every different variant of BSD are dramatically different from one another in almost every way imaginable.
Post edited July 24, 2014 by Rabcor
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Rabcor: If you want to go there, then this is technically not Linux support, it's Mint/Ubuntu support.
Yes. They did claim that they are only supporting Mint and Ubuntu at this point, and they are also providing tar.gz files for anyone who wishes to try and get them running for themselves. But Linux support is easier to say compared to "Currently Mint and Ubuntu support, that will hopefully have more distributions added at some later point", though CuMAUSTWHoHaMoD may do as an acronym, at least until another distribution is added to the supported list.

I haven't followed Linux distros at all, so what you say about different distros is most likely true, and I'm not going to challenge it. But the fact remains, if a game says it needs Vista and .NET 3.5 and I try to run it on XP with .NET 3.5, I am taking a risk hoping the game will work, but I have no guarantee that it will work. GOG's refund policy is for games that don't work on systems they guarantee they will work, and the OS is part of a system.

If you fee confident enough that your distribution is functioning identical to the supported ones, then do risk the cost of the game to test it. If you are not confident enough, don't risk it. Same as it has always been with the system requirements.
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The differences between distros are usually a few things, the Kernel itself (as in kernel version, it is usually best to use the latest available for whichever distro you have) which should normally have very little (no) effect on whether a game will run or not since most games don't directly interface with the kernel anyways. Some distros (Arch and Gentoo for two) do some minor patching to the kernel for their own specific needs, this also does not affect whether a game will run or not (those are as far as I can tell mostly security patches)

The real difference that makes it hard to support everything is that some distributions ship with a really really old kernel (usually these are called LTS, Debian for example by defaults provides it's LTS version which is kernel 3.2 even though it does have an up to date version, in comparison Ubuntu's LTS is based on kernel 3.5 which is much more up to date although still getting old) and the problem that arises with that is that these distributions may provide outdated versions of the dependencies a game needs (old repositories, debian's version of teamspeak for example is 3.1 whereas the current version on arch (latest stable version) is 3.15). Steam solved this problem by 1: Providing "steam runtimes" so that you always have the dependencies as a part of steam 2: Installing itself in the user's home directory so that it can auto-update without relying on a distribution's package manager to stay up to date, it of course updates it's runtimes as well which will prevent outdated dependencies.

GOG currently does not provide any solution for this problem (but they might want to make an optional setting (on by default of course) to use some "GOG Runtimes" which could have the dependencies for games (such as Wine) installed in it (this could also effectively decrease the folder sizes for Wine wrapped games gog relases by not re-installing another version of Wine every time you install another Wine wrapped game, of course however some games will require a patched version of Wine so sometimes doing so is inevitable)

The reason why programs don't operate across BSDs and Linux is mainly POSIX Compliance, all Linux kernels for all distributions (all the ones that have a sane maintainer anyways) have the same POSIX Compliance which will ensure 100% cross compatibility accross all Linux kernels. The reason stuff doesn't work like that on BSD is that most of the BSD kernels (Darwin/OS X included) have their own specific POSIX Compliance set up which is incompatible with Linux and Each other. None of these are 100% Posix compliant though except for the original BSD and Solaris (which is a bit sad I think) until OS X Mavericks (Amazing, right? The first time I feel like applauding Apple for doing something right for the first time in it's lifetime as a company from my point of view.)

This basically means that since Leopard, OS X is 100% POSIX compliant (this makes it ahead of Linux in true UNIX backwards compatibility, in theory if two operating systems are 100% POSIX compliant, it should be a walk in the park to make software cross compatible between both as long as no dependencies are missing on either OS, dependencies can be things like X version of OpenGL for example)

But to be honest I don't know very much about POSIX; I just know it's a big factor when it comes to cross OS compatibility. So basically that is the main difference, the main reason why it's not super easy to port from Mac to Linux is because they do not have the same POSIX compliance, whereas Linux and Linux always have the same POSIX compliance (or we would be calling it Android)

Kernel Version (almost always a non-issue for games, although it can lead to performance issues for the drivers), Dependency Version (this is the real killer), POSIX Compliance (same accross all linux distributions as far as I'm aware) and then finally what comes pre-installed on your system (for example Ubuntu comes bloated with a lot of fonts, Arch comes only with the fonts required to run a terminal)

On Arch, the only problem I ever recall running into that had not occurred on Ubuntu before (as google searching told me) was missing fonts for Kerbal Space Program.

The other unnamed difference here might also be desktop environment, some games don't play well with some compositors, usually in fact it's best to run them with compositing off (some environments like Enlightenment come with a neat feature to disable compositing for fullscreen windows)

But in either case, like I was saying, the difference between Ubuntu and OpenSuse to take a random example, is not so big that you would call open suse another operating system, it is not as big as windows xp vs windows vista, it is worst case scenario going to be as bad as OS X Snow Leopard vs OS X Mavericks (but usually it won't even be that bad)

If you list a specific kernel version (for example, 3.15+) and a specific dependency version (for example 2.1+) then you have effectively listed the main plausible reasons why a game would not run on an unofficially supported distro.

And still back to my original point, Linux is Linux even if it does not come out of the box with the same environment, I could install mint and customize it to use another desktop environment than the one it comes with for example, it works two ways, so if the game won't run say because of the compositor, it would apply to anyone who uses that compositor on Mint as well, not just me on my Tinycore (which I argue should not be used for gaming however for obvious reasons)

The reason you can normally only offer support for a set of distributions is normally because everybody is using a different user interface (desktop environment) which is why GUI troubleshooting is exclusive to desktop environments (and often thought to be exclusive to distributions, although I can very well install Unity on my Fedora box which will make it look and pretty much behave like Ubuntu)

This is why when we google answers to linux problems, solutions are usually provided in the form of terminal commands so that they will work no matter what distro you are running. The other minor difference can often be where specific configuration files are located (some put this file in /usr/share, others put it in /etc/) this is mostly only a problem however for configuring your xorg-server or bootup scripts (not startup, thats something else and is determined by desktop environment more often than not)

Usually if a distro has an up to date kernel it will have up to date dependencies too, so just supporting kernel 3.2 or later for example might be enough guidance for users (since some are still using their 2.6 kernels on Ubuntu 11.04 or 9.04, this is why they say specific versions of Ubuntu/Mint rather than just naming them.
Post edited July 24, 2014 by Rabcor