DeadWire Feb 26, 2013 @ 9:26am
Best desktop environments for gaming?
I'm very new to Linux and was just wanting to know which desktop has the best overall performance with games (I have been told the default Unity is among the worst)...any input on this would be great but I am mainly looking at KDE and Cinnamon.....maybe Xfce too.
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Tweakedenigma Feb 26, 2013 @ 9:39am 
I actually use Unity myself and don't have any issue. That being said my favourite light weight DE is LXDE.

foxfern Feb 26, 2013 @ 9:39am 
Also, if anyone is so kind to add any "gaming optimizations for Linux--." Win7 had a ton, and suspect that there are probably even more for Linux given that it is more "open." Still learning and have experimented with removing mouse accel and increasesing USB polling.
blackout24 Feb 26, 2013 @ 9:43am 
Unity with Compiz now seems to have an option to "unredirect fullscreen" so it should be as fast as KDE. I'm not using Unity but using this as my source. Could be that it's implemented in the 13.04 alpha only.

http://www.reddit.com/r/linux_gaming/comments/1971sn/i_get_a_1030_fps_increase_with_nvidia_by_doing/

Onlything you need to make a desktop fast for gaming is unredirect fullscreen and suspend desktop effects/composition on fullscreen. KDE can do both of it and has proven to be the fastest in my testing aswell. Most lightweight WindowsManagers like Openbox (used by LXDE) are not feature rich and don't support unredirect fullscreen so they are slower than modern DEs like KDE.

http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=article&item=ubuntu_1210beta_desktops&num=1
anandrkris Feb 26, 2013 @ 9:48am 
Am using KDE and find it is good to play TF2. KDE Plasma as a desktop is highly configurable but requires steep learning curve. But once you get hold of it, it is highly functional. When i play TF2, i start 'Steam Login' session (to be installed seperately) and i presume that it does not load desktop with complete features and starts Steam directly in big picture mode. I find that it helps the performance. Edit - Am actually typing this from Steam Login session.
kozec Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:01am 
If you are new to Linux, just stick to Unity. It's actually pretty usable for new users that are not yet too accustomed to all good things that other DEs offers (and it has it's own pros too.)
But main point here is that Ubuntu and Unity are becoming main interface to the point where most of "linux" tutorials automatically assumes that you are using them. That's not a problem for advanced Linux user, but if you are new to this, there is no reason to make yourself additional trouble.

You can always switch later, it's like 3-4 clicks, but it's better to do so only when you know how to revert back without reinstalling entire system ;)

(Just to prevent some unnecessary flame, I'm on ArchLinux with highly modified Gnome2)
blackout24 Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:10am 
I'd still say that it is easier to get accustomed to KDE than Unity for a new user.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLpJ63tfXJs
gutigen o) Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:39am 
Originally posted by t.jp Linux:
I'd still say that it is easier to get accustomed to KDE than Unity for a new user.

For someone coming from Windows yes, 100% agree.
For someone completly new to computers there is no easier DE then Unity imo.

--------------------------

As for gaming, I found Gnome Shell and Unity as best solutions so far, since both have Unredirect Fullscreen Windows turned on by default, tho Unity gives me strange aliasing during movement in Source Engine games (filed a bug report ofc).
DeadWire Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:39am 
Originally posted by t.jp Linux:
I'd still say that it is easier to get accustomed to KDE than Unity for a new user.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OLpJ63tfXJs
I'll say this much the basic layout of KDE feels much more...err like home...than Unity (or even Win8 for that matter) so if you all say performance is good there then I think its where I intend to settle
Shane Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:45am 
kde have lot of graphic effect, its the worst for a gaming experience..
I like how kde is .. but its the true sorry,

The most lighter is the best for gaming.

Openbox / xfce / gnome / Unity / kde

Lighter to heavy.
DeadWire Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:47am 
Yeah, but don't all the effects go off when games run in fullscreen?
Shane Feb 26, 2013 @ 10:48am 
i dont think, windows vista/7 ask more ressource because of that.(x2)
Teisei Feb 26, 2013 @ 11:02am 
Xubuntu, by a long shot.
ash Feb 26, 2013 @ 11:19am 
I'm currently using Ubuntu 12.10 w/ Unity on one system and Xubuntu 12.10 w/ XFCE on another. Before 12.10 was released, playing games on XFCE was much, much faster, as long as you remembered to turn off XFCE's compositing first.

When 12.10 came out, Unity's performance improved quite a bit, but was still noticeably slower. When compiz 0.9.8 was released with "unredirect fullscreen", I stopped noticing a difference. This is purely subjective, and I haven't done any performance measurements, but games seem to run about the same in either. Before to play games in Unity I would have to decrease the resolution and/or use lower-quality settings. Now I use the same res and settings I use in XFCE.
blackout24 Feb 26, 2013 @ 12:08pm 
Originally posted by Mosiah13442:
Yeah, but don't all the effects go off when games run in fullscreen?

Of course they do. It's even enabled by default in System Settings -> Desktop/Workspace Effects -> Advanced -> [x] Suspend Desktop Effects on Fullscreen Applications

It's not about a DE or WM being light it's about it being efficient. KWin the Window Manager for KDE is just that. Your games don't give a crap if your desktop uses 400 instead of 200 MB RAM after boot up.

Like @ash said and I have pointed out to Compiz has become better. You won't have any dramatic differences anymore. It mostly comes down to what is better for your workflow. The performance difference is at best measurable.
ThOR27 Feb 27, 2013 @ 3:19am 
Originally posted by KDP izipizi:
kde have lot of graphic effect, its the worst for a gaming experience..
I like how kde is .. but its the true sorry,

The most lighter is the best for gaming.

Openbox / xfce / gnome / Unity / kde

Lighter to heavy.

KDE is actually lighter for gaming, as stated on phoronix some time ago, if you have the option to not use effects on fullscreen windows or press alt+shift+f12, that disables all effects and open the game.
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Date Posted: Feb 26, 2013 @ 9:26am
Posts: 60