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:
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.
What 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.
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.
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.
Most of the games I tried loaded and ran fine (but not fast in 3D as I note below in more detail) though the one called “Secret Maryo Chronicles” did not run at all. I assume it was some sort of Super Mario Brothers clone for Linux as it had a Mario-type mushroom for an icon.