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ZenDragon80
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:48 am    Post subject: Gentoo running Windows games in a virtual machine? Reply with quote

I did search a bit but didn't find much... To give you a little background. I have a reasonably beefy machine: 6 core Phenom II with 16gb of ram, and an 6970 (ati) with 2gb of memory, and OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. This machine is more than capable of running most modern games in Windows 7. This is not primarily a gaming rig, however both my son and I like to get down on some Skyrim or and FPS here or there so it does get occasionally used as such.

I have used Gentoo a bit in the past, mainly on my router/firewall machine. I dabbled a bit using it as a desktop, but always ended up going back to Windows to run games. I have tried dual booting but the I find that rather inconvenient, and would really just like to use Gentoo full time if possible and game in a virtual machine accepting some possible performance hit. That said, I have a few questions:

1) I have generally had bad experiences using ATI drivers on linux. The few times I have tried it has been problematic are the drivers reasonably mature at this point? To possibly be used for gaming at least?
2) I understand VMWare Workstation 8 supports 3D acceleration correct? Anybody know the extent of that support? Would it be possible for example to run Skyrim in a VM, given the specs above?
3) Last time I looked into this, the version of any VMWare product that supported 3D acceleration, only did so when using Firepro or Quaddro cards. Is that still the case?

So, is this possible? Or is this a pipe dream?
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bigbangnet
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

1.) To my knowledge the last time I used ATI drivers, it was supported 100%. Today...not sure but other people will probably give you a better answer. All I can say is do your dual boot again and try it again.

2.) You can use Wine instead. It supports it. Look here for more info.
http://appdb.winehq.org/objectManager.php?sClass=version&iId=24787

3.) To my knowledge, vmware is a very good virtualization product but sucks ass in 3d support.
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ZenDragon80
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ahh yes... forgot about WINE... pardon my ignorance, its been a while since last time I tried to use Wine and I wasn't too impressed. Looks like they've come a long way though.

By the way, most of my games were purchased through Steam. And on that note I found this:
https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Steam_under_Linux
Anybody actually done this and had good results? Acceptable game play at least?

I'm assuming I should be using the ATI proprietary drivers, now the X11 drivers?
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Chiitoo
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 12:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Teegrins!

Yeah, you're likely better off with Wine, it works quite well.
I have a 6-core Phenom II too, the 1090T, but for graphics nVidia GTX275 based card and I haven't ever tried Radeon etc. with Linux so I can't say anything about that really, except for what I have read, which have the tendency to indicate that generally nVidia is the better choice for gaming, still. I might be wrong, though!

To name a few, I can play things like Counter-Strike: Source or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.
Of course they will not run as good as on the windows side, but they do run more than well enough! Counter-Strike not really caring about the graphics settings (actually it usually feels like running better with highest settings) and runs well over 100 FPS most of the time (I think around 200-300 with windows).
Call of Duty is a bit more heavy on that regard, but I never really, really play it, so I haven't even looked into possible tweaks to improve the performance.

I even got Final Fantasy XIV running around 30 FPS and that failure of a release can have serious issues with running on even the most high-spec computers using windows. Will be interesting to see if they will get anything right with the release of 2.0... I have lost my faith on the company, though, with how they are treating Final Fantasy XI right now and all...

But I digress.

I actually tried Virtualisation for the first time myself quite recently and for the most part, I was quite pleased with VirtualBox. The 3D-performance is still to come though for that.

As for VMware, I tried the free, VMware Player, but it gave me quite a bunch of issues and I just let it be after a while.
Some things about it just pushed me off of it and it didn't feel good. For one, their website isn't fun. I had to register with two different eMails just to get to download the free 'player'.
Even before that, I thought I was after the Workstation, which isn't free... so it was not a pleasant experience starting from the beginning, unlike VirtualBox, which was the opposite.

Supposedly it does have rather good performance what comes to gaming though.
For some peculiar reason, it's as if benchmark results of said software are not allowed to be published so with a quick search, I only found one video at youtube, running 3Dmark... 05? I think it was 05.

Here are some more thoughts about that venture.


All in all, Wine has indeed come quite a way, and it keeps improving.
I have been trying to learn more and more to be able to assist in it myself, but I'm not sure if I ever can.

I haven't tried running Skyrim yet, but if I had to guess, it should run very well, if not, then it will in the future without a doubt if people are willing to fix what needs to be fixed (quick look-see only shows Gold for it at WineHQ so it should probably run indeed). Oblivion I have tried running in the past and as far as I know, it ran very well.

So yeah, I have used Steam, and yes it works.
Acceptable game-play depends of the game to be played.

As for the directions in your link, for the most part it probably should work. I would avoid installing Steam via winetricks for one, as it can cause some unwanted issues. It might work just right for you, though, but I would still recommend installing it regularly using Wine, though there are more things you may or may not have to manually tweak to get it into a working state.

When ever in doubt, check the WineHQ first for any info on the application in question, before going to other sites.
I have been running Steam quite a while, and while it can be buggy, it works (I loathe the thing even in a windows environment so that's said a lot from me).


Either way, just a few thoughts~
Welcome to Gentoo ! !! !
Have fun!
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 1:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moved from Installing Gentoo to Gamers & Players. Not really about installing Gentoo so it fits better here.

- John
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whig
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 9:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I too vote for wine. I'm playing one of the previous Bethseda titles via Steam - Fallout NV. It plays okay on this core 2 quad, nvidia 550. It isn't quite as fast as native windows. But it is worth it in stability, the game sometimes freezes locks the system having to reset button. Under wine it crashes just as often but it is only a crash to desktop.
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HolgerB
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just my two cents on this topic:

Virtulisation is currently not really working nicely with 3D acceleration. Parallels Workstation seems to provide nicely working 3D within a VM but is Mac-specific.

VMWare is somewhat working (I saw a video with working 3D in a VM and someone playing UT3) but also far from perfect. VirtualBox is a nice software but 3D is very shaky.

If you are not willing to dual-boot (which provides the best gaming experience) WINE is the best option to play Windows games under Linux. Unfortunately WINE is also far from optimal. A game might work perfectly with one version of WINE but a simple update of either WINE or the game can break it. If you can live with this, then WINE might be the solution for you.

But beware: Steam plus WINE can be sometimes an "explosive" mixture.

Just a Steam update and "BANG"...there goes your working game.

For pure WINE you could try it together with playonlinux and winetricks.
The commercial flavor of WINE is Crossover Games from Codeweavers.
According to Hyper_Eye the now freely available version of Cedega seems to run Skyrim quite well:
http://forums.gentoo.org/viewtopic-t-902014.html?sid=3a4379a88e94818cc4f5cb5d071cf805

In regard to NVidia vs. ATI I guess everyone has a different opinion. I guess you can have good and bad experiences with both cards. For solid WINE gaming the propritary drivers are required for both manufacturers. I found NVidia more stable than ATI. They also provide support for older cards for a longer time than ATI does.

I found my time to valuable for tinkering with WINE, game patches and so on. So I set up a Win7 PC solely for the purpose of gaming. My main rig runs Linux all day for the rest of the work.

HTH,
Holger
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nukem996
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using the latest wine from ~amd64 for Skyrim and its working great. Other steam games such as half-life counter-strike, and civ4 all work fine as well.
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kimmie
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 06, 2012 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've done the linux/windows game thing too. Half life 2 / Steam / Wine, VM-Ware, occasionally a game even worked better than under Windows. I have a thing for pinball games (yes, I'm old). Got quite a few going nicely.

But I've given up. If I want to play a game, I want to play a game, not have a ridiculous tweak fest. So a couple of years ago, I stopped stuffing about and just booted into windows...

Then I finally got sick of tweaking games running natively on Windows, because that's often JUST AS BAD as getting them to run on linux. Once I used to get some sort of satisfaction from coming up with the optimal shading / antialiasing / resolution / frame rate / specular tarantula / isonauseous extrapalooza combo. No longer. Besides which, I can't be bothered waiting for Windows update, or getting new graphics drivers. Just ditch the whole thing. It always sucked anyway. If I could jump up and down on it and squash it to little bits I would.

So last Christmas, I finally got a PS3. Hooray for me! I doubt very much that I'll ever look back. Sony even fights the sweet little not-so-snow-white-hats for me. Not doing a very good job, but it's one more thing I don't have to do. All I have to do is click on the box which says I agree to all their bullshit every now and again. Easy!

I'm looking forward to buying a game that's a crap PS3 port and going down to my local game shop, making a pain in the ass of myself (after all, I'm a regular), and exchanging it. Long live sneakernet!

I still play some games on my Gentoo box, though. Mainly mind games, with other people. And nethack.
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KLarsen
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 09, 2012 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm playing Skyrim under Wine in Gentoo, and it runs surprisingly well. I only use minimum graphics settings but at 1080p, using an older Phenom II X4 cpu and a cheap nvidia card. So it is certainly doable, though I don't know how ATI will work.
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HolgerB
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kimmie wrote:

Then I finally got sick of tweaking games running natively on Windows, because that's often JUST AS BAD as getting them to run on linux. Once I used to get some sort of satisfaction from coming up with the optimal shading / antialiasing / resolution / frame rate / specular tarantula / isonauseous extrapalooza combo. No longer. Besides which, I can't be bothered waiting for Windows update, or getting new graphics drivers. Just ditch the whole thing. It always sucked anyway. If I could jump up and down on it and squash it to little bits I would.

It seems I make things differently. I run a cleanly setup Window7 machine with the latest patches plus the most recent stable NVidia driver. My system features an old AMD Dualcore with 2x2.7GHz, 4GB RAM and a GeForce 9800GT. So far I have been able to play even games as Rage with decent graphic settings. I do not know where all this fuzz comes from. A cleanly set up Win7 system will not behave differently from any recent Linux system out there. You need to do your homework, stay away from installing questionable stuff, do regular updates now and then.

Of course you can waste your time, er, spent your time tweaking and tuning all the graphic settings available in either the game and the driver of your graphic adapter but to me it boils down to this:
I start the game with maxed graphic details (unless the game itself sets a "default" mode) at my target resolution (1280x1024) and if it runs too slow I start lowering the graphical details. If this still is not enough, I lower my graphic adapter setting (FSAA, Mipmapping, anisitropic filtering). It is really no rocket sience. If lowering details is not acceptable, you need a new graphic adapter.

Early adopters (= those who buy the latest and greatest games plus hardware) will of course suffer. That is why I always buy good games 6 month later from the software pyramid for 10-20 bucks plus used graphic adapters from e-bay.

So, enough Windows rant in a Linux forum...

But in general I agree: Using Linux mainly for non-gaming activities only plus owning a console for gaming has some benefits. That is why I ordered a XBox 360 a while ago :)

To speak more frankly on a Linux workstation:
I wonder what anyone does with a 6-8 core CPU, 16GB of RAM and a fast GPU with Linux unless gaming ?
Personally I set up a low-power system based on an AMD E-350 platform which handle pretty much everything. Even virtualisation with KVM works like a charm.
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arnvidr
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 15, 2012 7:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HolgerB wrote:
To speak more frankly on a Linux workstation:
I wonder what anyone does with a 6-8 core CPU, 16GB of RAM and a fast GPU with Linux unless gaming ?
Mine's getting rather old now, with 4 cores and 8GB RAM, which was max my motherboard could handle, but I bought it to use it for music recording. Lots of specialist things that potentially requires loads of power and memory.
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HolgerB
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 17, 2012 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

arnvidr wrote:
Mine's getting rather old now, with 4 cores and 8GB RAM, which was max my motherboard could handle, but I bought it to use it for music recording. Lots of specialist things that potentially requires loads of power and memory.

Yeah, sorry...I didn't want to sound disrespectful. Of course there are a lot of scenarios / special use cases where resources can never be enough. Be it CPU or RAM. I was trying to point out that many people out there simply buy big power horses (Quad- or Hexacore, 8+ GB RAM, fast GPU) simply because "they are standard".

So for the sole purpose of using a a PC as standard Linux box to me it makes much more sense to watch out for a low power system (e.g. AMD E350) rather than setting up a power PC which is much faster but eats up 300-400W. This does of course not apply for special use cases where an experienced user buys a certain configuration because of his special needs.

With all respect to the TO he didn't sound to me like someone with a PC for a specific use case but more like the more common "I got system configuration XXX, can I do YYY with it ?".

To a certain degree faster is always better. A hexa-core system with 3GHz, 32 GB RAM and a SSD will of course be much more responsive, capable of doing a lot of intense tasks but often enough either an old or newer power-efficient system will be perfectly right for what I call daily standard use (Surfing the web, mailing, chatting with your friends, sorting your digicam pics, listening to MP3, watching youtube videos and so on).

After setting up my old Shuttle barebone as HTPC (1GB RAM, GeForce 4 4400, Athlon XP2800+) I suddenly became aware how less power I need for my daily stuff. So I threw together a power saving silent system for daily use and limited my faster PC for the sole purpose of playing Windows games under Win7.
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