Live Linux Gaming 0.9.5 (live.linuX-gamers.net)

Lately I’ve been looking at different distributions but there’s another angle of desktop Linux that bears looking at from time to time too: gaming. Yes, there actually are Linux gamers out there and, despite some shortcomings, it is quite possible to play some games on your Linux system. Usually people would do it by installing games and running them via their preferred desktop distribution. But there’s another way:

live.linuX-games.net

What the heck is live.linuX-games.net?

In a nutshell it is a project based on Arch Linux that lets you simply pop a DVD or CD into your x86 computer and start running games. That’s it. No configuration. No installation of games. No desktop distribution problems to wrestle with. You simply insert the DVD, boot up your computer and start playing. No fuss, no muss.

Picture 12What Games Does It Come With?
There are about 34 games that come with the DVD and about 15 with the CD. Here’s a list from the live.linux-gamers.net site:

“Games that are bold are only contained on the “big” release.

  • armagetronad
  • astromenace
  • blobby
  • chromium-bsu
  • extremetuxracer
  • foobillard
  • frozen-bubble
  • hedgewars
  • lbreakout2
  • pingus
  • quadra
  • smc
  • teeworlds
  • worldofgoo-demo
  • xmoto
  • btanks
  • fretsonfire
  • glest
  • maniadrive
  • neverball
  • neverputt
  • nexuiz
  • openlierox
  • sauerbraten
  • scorched3d
  • supertuxkart
  • torcs
  • tremulous
  • urbanterror
  • warsow
  • warzone
  • wesnoth
  • widelands
  • worldofpadman”

System Requirements & Bootup
There are two versions of LLGN, a CD and a DVD. The CD has games that are geared for older computers and can be considered a “lite” version. The DVD has all the CD games in addition to some other games that might require more computing horsepower.

In order to run the live.linux-gamers.net CD or DVD your system must meet these requirements:

  • i686-capable architecture
  • 512 MB ram
  • videocard with 3d acceleration

 

When you first load up the live.linux-gamers.net CD or DVD you must choose your language and your preferred driver (ATI, NVidia or Open). After that the customized version of Arch Linux will load and you will see the live.linux-gamers.net desktop. Before booting into Arch Linux, I played the cheesy Space Invaders clone listed on the boot up menu.

Picture 10

The Desktop & Running Games
After the live.linux-gamers.net DVD loaded, I noticed a couple of things. First, the customized Arch Linux desktop environment and also that a browser window popped up and loaded up a page. So there was no problem with network connections even though I was using VMWare.

And I was able to browse the web right from the desktop interface. A very helpful thing for those who might want to read about live.linux-gamers.net after loading up the CD or DVD on their systems.

After looking around I decided to try a few games.

I was pleased to notice that the games loaded very quickly and that I had sound. There was no need for me to configure anything on my end.

One thing I didn’t like was that some of the game icons on the panel were pushed way off to the edges of my screen. I was not able to resize or otherwise fix it but I was still able to access the games.

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Comments

  1. tlmck says

    Just curious. Did you try to boot it up on your Mac? If you have a newer machine with Intel hardware, I would think it would work.

  2. says

    @ masinick:

    Brian I'd definitely recommend giving it a download. All it will cost you is a bit of bandwidth and a CD or DVD. Not sure which games your son might like but just letting him play around with them could be a good time for him.

    @ Kevin Wagner:

    Yes, KG. I don't recommend using a VM at all. I did it because I can never resist the urge to try it. But I've been down that road before, particularly with trying to run Warhammer Online on my macs, so I know that VM's suck for gaming. They have gotten better over the years but still really aren't viable for 3D games.

  3. says

    Good review.

    I suspect you'd have trouble running many games on a VM, regardless of the OS involved. Games often want access to the underlying hardware, and VMs don't usually provide that directly.

  4. says

    Hmm, sounds interesting! I am not a game player, but I have an eight year old son who loves to browse the Web and sometimes also play computer games. I built up a PCLinuxOS setup for him – and even named it "KarstenLinuxOS", which he enjoyed. (He's smart enough to know that it is really PCLinuxOS, but he thought it was cool that I made the boot loader have his name on it). I mentioned creating a "SimplyKatelyn" version for his sister with SimplyMEPIS, but he wondered if she'd realize that it was really MEPIS. I told him that there really was a KateOS a few years ago, but I think that faded.

    Anyway, back to the topic at hand. Arch Linux is a really fast binary distribution, possibly the fastest there is. The pacman package manager is definitely the fastest binary packager out there, and Arch based systems run really fast, and you can have the latest stuff on them. Should anything ever be missing, you can use AUR instead of pacman to build your own packages from source. So having a gaming system based on Arch ought to be reasonably snappy, and if this system isn't too loaded down, the live performance ought to be OK.

    Based on your comments on it, I am tempted to grab a copy, not for me, necessarily, but for my son. It may be worth at least a look, and who knows, I may at least TRY one or two games. Just a lot of other things to do, that's all.

    Decent review; enough to get me thinking about it…

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