Interested in Linux? Take a look at one of these five great distros, nominated by readers, or suggest your favorite:
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- A gamer friend of mine recently switched from Windows to (Ubuntu) Linux because she found it was actually a better OS for playing the games she wanted to play.
It started when she mentioned that she couldn't install KotOR 2 on her laptop after upgrading from Windows XP to Windows 7, and I pointed out that it had a platinum rating on the Wine AppDB. The conversation quickly turned into her citing specific games (including several newer ones) as reasons why she couldn't switch to Linux, and me looking up those games on the Wine AppDB and discovering that all of the ones she mentioned had at least gold ratings, if not platinum.
So she decided to dual-boot Linux to try it out, and found that not only was she able to play those games, they actually ran better on her laptop under Linux than they had under Windows XP (primarily because Linux uses fewer system resources than Windows, freeing up more for the applications). When I last spoke with her, she was playing Skyrim on Linux, and was quite happy with it.Apr 23, 2012
- Yep. It's in my standard toolkit for fixing computers. (Suspect a computer is infected with viruses or other malware? Boot Linux from the flash drive and run a virus scan from there. Not only is there no way that any malware can interfere with the virus scanner, but you don't have to worry about infecting the flash drive.) It's also handy for using public computers securely, without concern for things like if anyone has installed any sort of keylogger.Apr 23, 2012
- What Linux build works best? Any special way that you install this?Apr 23, 2012
- Well, for the most part Linux is Linux, and different distributions are primarily distinguished by the size and helpfulness of the user community, the choice of default apps and desktop environment, and the quantity of apps in the software repositories and how well those repositories are maintained. (I personally prefer Ubuntu for everything except the desktop environment, and install the Gnome 3 shell instead of the default Unity desktop.)
The thing that seems to have the greatest effect how well a Windows game runs on Linux using Wine seems to be the specific game and specific version of the game, but there do seem to be some minor differences between different distributions. I'd suggest using the Wine AppDB to look up the games in which you're most interested in playing to check if there's a particular distro that seems to have higher ratings for those games. (Since Ubuntu and its derivatives are by far the most popular distributions currently, most of the reviews will be for those, but you'll typically see a few for distributions like Gentoo and OpenSUSE.)
Also, make sure you have the latest version of Wine installed (using the Wine HQ repository), and follow any instructions and tips provided on the Wine AppDB page for the game. (This usually consists of simple things like enabling one or two things in Winetricks before you install the game, or running the game with certain options set.)Apr 23, 2012
- Great article. Here are the top picks from one of our writers at Techopedia: http://www.techopedia.com/2/28493/software/operating-systems/linux-distros-which-ones-bestApr 23, 2012
- Debian, Archlinux (osX is for sheep)Jul 31, 2013