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kdgog: Many thanks for the suggestions, I'll have a look at your guide! The extra complexities regarding dependencies is a bit beyond what I'll want to do to play games in Linux - if it happens too much I'll probably just go back to playing them in Win7, and only use Steam for Linux (which is a shame since I dislike using clients, but doable).

Again, this is really useful, best wishes.
Dependencies may sound scary at first, one thing to keep in mind is that most games use more or less the same libraries and this is especially true when games are using the same engine (such as Unity). Eventually your system will become "game ready" and most games will run without any additional work.

Linux can be a bit of a challenge at the start when transitioning from Windows and I think many of us have been there, so don't give up ;)
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kdgog:
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Themken: You have dependencies in Windows too and often when you read about how someone cannot get a game to run on Windows, it is due to lacking something like a DirectX version or something.
Strange, I've never encountered that - GOG downloads, and Steam, seem to install whatever extra is needed with the game so they just run. I don't think I've ever had to manually install any extra stuff (or identify what was needed) with GOG or Steam on Windows. Whereas with the first three Linux games I tried, only one of them worked (and there were no errors or messages given for the other two). I guess that's what I mean by it seeming to be more work! But I understand that it may get simpler over time.
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adamhm: Well it's not really as complicated as it sounds - also, the additional dependencies required (for Ubuntu and Ubuntu-derived distros - it may differ when using other distros) are listed on the games' store pages. And as Themken pointed out, the same kind of issue occurs with Windows too, it's just the process around resolving it is slightly different.

I recommend considering Linux Mint - on Mint simply installing my common dependencies meta-package on a fresh install (after updating the system & installing/updating any graphics drivers as required) is enough for most games to work.
Ah, I see the difference between https://www.gog.com/game/kingdom_rush and https://www.gog.com/game/kingdom_rush_origins in the Linux specs section. One has a scary list of files (the one that didn't work). It's a shame it is only on the store page - I don't see that when I go to purchased games and download an executable. Some of my games don't even have store pages any more, e.g. when a GOG game stops being sold, or gets a change of distributor, meaning that info might disappear.

I'm still not sure why - if the files are needed - they're not just added to the download, as happens with Windows games?

Mint was one of the three Linux versions I considered trying, but I got put off by the three versions. I couldn't find lists of which were best on what specs, and what the real differences were. I wanted to install Linux on more than one machine so just went for Zorin in the end because it looked most similar to Windows 7 and I could just get one install file on a bootable USB, rather than needing different ones for different computers.
Post edited August 22, 2019 by kdgog
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kdgog: Ah, I see the difference between https://www.gog.com/game/kingdom_rush and https://www.gog.com/game/kingdom_rush_origins in the Linux specs section. One has a scary list of files (the one that didn't work). It's a shame it is only on the store page - I don't see that when I go to purchased games and download an executable. Some of my games don't even have store pages any more, e.g. when a GOG game stops being sold, or gets a change of distributor, meaning that info might disappear.
It's not too difficult to work out what's needed once you're more familiar with things. Plus as Ganni1987 said, most games use a limited selection of common libraries (looking at the list given on the store page for Kingdom Rush, those are all commonly used libraries) so it makes sense to simply install those soon after performing a fresh install - this is partly the intention behind my common dependencies meta-package; it makes it easy to install them all in one go.

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kdgog: I'm still not sure why - if the files are needed - they're not just added to the download, as happens with Windows games?
This is because it is best to use the versions of those libraries provided by the system; it would be possible to include them with the games, but this could cause compatibility issues as not everyone uses Ubuntu-based distros and it could cause compatibility issues with later versions, in addition to increasing the download size.

The Steam Runtime works around this to an extent by bundling a large number of libraries (it's a bit like having a very basic Ubuntu install with all of the common packages installed).

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kdgog: Mint was one of the three Linux versions I considered trying, but I got put off by the three versions. I couldn't find lists of which were best on what specs, and what the real differences were. I wanted to install Linux on more than one machine so just went for Zorin in the end because it looked most similar to Windows 7 and I could just get one install file on a bootable USB, rather than needing different ones for different computers.
The difference between them is just the desktop environment/GUI, which is largely a matter of personal preference so it doesn't really matter all that much. Regardless of which version you choose you're not committed to any desktop environment since you can install a different one afterwards (you can have multiple DEs installed at the same time & select which to use at login).

As for performance, even the heaviest of Linux desktop environments are less resource-intensive than Windows so that shouldn't be too big a concern :)
Post edited August 22, 2019 by adamhm
It should be possible to make an installer that pulls all the needed libraries but as you have to code it for a bunch of different distribution systems and keep updating it for what is a fairly small userbase, I would at least not do that for a niche program like a game. I guess you can just do it for a single system (Ubuntu seems to be the pick for most here).

Hopefully I have understood correctly how this works.
Post edited August 22, 2019 by Themken
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Themken: It should be possible to make an installer that pulls all the needed libraries but as you have to code it for a bunch of different distribution systems and keep updating it for what is a fairly small userbase,
I don't think it's a good idea due to distros having differnet packaging details and focus on installer not modifying the system really. Installing needed dependencies is not a hard task for the user, especially when they are explicitly listed on the game page.
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shmerl:
I know of the differences as I have used Mint and Manjaro. So one should NOT make installers that modify the system? I wish Civilization 2 would have followed that advice... so I guess I can see some reasons.
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Themken: So one should NOT make installers that modify the system?
I prefer this to be reserved to system packages that come from the repo. Stuff that modifies the system installed from external sources is always more problematic so not a good idea. That's why game installers shouldn't run under sudo and if system needs modification, should simply inform the user what's needed rather than implicitly change stuff.

Windows world is used to random installers modifying who knows what, and the result is a mess.
Post edited August 23, 2019 by shmerl
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shmerl:
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Themken: I know of the differences as I have used Mint and Manjaro. So one should NOT make installers that modify the system? I wish Civilization 2 would have followed that advice... so I guess I can see some reasons.
I gave up on Linux sadly because of the frequent problems. It a shame because I would love to get away from Windows.
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Pops78: I gave up on Linux sadly because of the frequent problems. It a shame because I would love to get away from Windows.
Mmmm… Cool, I guess…

Now, what problem with your Linux install do yo want to solve? After all, something motivated you to post in the "General Linux FAQ and Troubleshooting" thread. Right?
hmm.. I don't know, I have minimal issues with linux, most of my issues are with HW vendors not having high quality open source driver available, and sometimes I have few bugs here and there as I'm sailing on latest development versions of KDE5, but in the recent years it went even that far, that most of the SW I use is rock solid (so I don't even need any updates for it).

But considering the site where I am posting this... I don't play recent games, so I pretty much don't have any issues like proton/wine/etc.. if you are avid gamer, YMMV. But for serious work and as desktop computer, I have hard time to imagine what is problematic with linux, if you pay at least some attention to what HW you are buying. It was never as perfect as today...
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Pops78: I gave up on Linux sadly because of the frequent problems. It a shame because I would love to get away from Windows.
Linux got a lot better indeed in the recent years. What problems are you having?
Seek the means defined here to review the most broadly known system issues with Linux cloud servers.

Check your system setup. ...

Check the system setup document. ...

Check the servers DNS records. ...

Test the association the two different ways. ...

Discover where the association falls flat. ...

Firewall settings. ...

Host status data.