Steam for Linux

Steam for Linux

MeCrazy Jul 4, 2013 @ 11:47am
Best DE and linux distro combo for games?
Iv tried several, Im not the best at linux but im ok at it, so I can manage the easy ones, like Ubuntu, opensuse. I seem to do ok on Fedora and Debian in general, at least on my desktop with nvidia card (laptop hybrid graphics leaving Ubuntu or SUSE doesn't go well). Anyway what would likely be the best distro/DE combo for steam/games. Ubuntu is easy but i suspect its not the best performance, Iv been googling but the topic isn't addressed all that much, another issue ubuntu seems to have is wierd wireless drops. KDE seems solid on full screen, Unity im not so sure, what about gnome (now that theres gnome classic so its usable)
Last edited by MeCrazy; Jul 4, 2013 @ 11:48am
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Showing 1-15 of 25 comments
damn_pastor Jul 4, 2013 @ 12:44pm 
Best performance you will get with openbox. But it doesnt have fancy eye candy and such.
gutigen Jul 4, 2013 @ 12:54pm 
Ubuntu, simple as that. Best support from vendors, devs, community and certain future (it's only growing up and it's backed up by commercial entity Canonical). You will not get better framerates on other systems, the only difference can be made by changing DE to something lightweigth like openbox which you can install from Ubuntu Software Center (tho difference depends on your gpu/cpu and it's VERY small anyway, not worth the hassle).
Last edited by gutigen; Jul 4, 2013 @ 12:54pm
blackout24 Jul 4, 2013 @ 12:57pm 
Doesn't matter. All modern desktops like KDE/Gnome/Unity unredirect fullscreen windows and disable compositing when things go fullscreen. All use the same kernel and the same driver -> same performance. When I benchmark Windows 7 against Linux with KDE there is absolutely no difference with my NVIDIA driver. It's not hitting a bottleneck anywhere.
Last edited by blackout24; Jul 4, 2013 @ 12:58pm
pepe33l Jul 4, 2013 @ 2:57pm 
You can install other DEs alongside the main one, and change from one to the other in you desktop manager... I'm using LXDE right now, and it's OK... in ubuntu, you only need to install this package (AFAIK): lxde-common, or lxsession, I'm not sure
Originally posted by AbartigerNorbert:
Doesn't matter. All modern desktops like KDE/Gnome/Unity unredirect fullscreen windows and disable compositing when things go fullscreen. All use the same kernel and the same driver -> same performance. When I benchmark Windows 7 against Linux with KDE there is absolutely no difference with my NVIDIA driver. It's not hitting a bottleneck anywhere.

Even with compositing off, things like Openbox will get better performance because the background processes are way less resource hungry, RAM and CPU still get used for things found in Ubuntu, KDE and Gnome 3.
blackout24 Jul 4, 2013 @ 3:16pm 
No they won't. Type "top" into your terminal tell me how many processes are actually running and consuming CPU cycles. As long as you don't run out of RAM no program gives a ♥♥♥♥ if there is 2 GB of RAM still free or only 500 MB. What you are refering to is just some stupid internet meme that's getting passed around like some STD.
Last edited by blackout24; Jul 4, 2013 @ 3:18pm
Yes. Zeitgeist and Nepomuk can make the system somewhat less responsive at times. Not very much so but it can be somewhat noticable.
And - not to forget - there can be issues with one DE/WM on your own pc that wont happen with others (for example I had some odd issues with Xorg going crazy with CPU usage on KDE 4.8 on ubuntu 12.04 that nobody else had apparently).
Basically, just try a few and choose the one that feels the fastest or has everything you need, be it Fedora with Gnome, Arch with Openbox, Xubuntu, Suse with KDE or even Ubuntu + Unity.
Installing distros or WMs is not all that hard and definitely worth a try.
Last edited by aliceif; Jul 4, 2013 @ 3:21pm
allenmaher Jul 4, 2013 @ 4:20pm 
You can try the Steam login for Ubuntu (I don't know about other distros) it skips the DE and just uses Big Picture mode.
Fibbles Jul 4, 2013 @ 4:57pm 
@AbartigerNorbert

Even if you unredirect fullscreen windows, DE's like KDE, Unity and Gnome use more VRAM than lightweight DE's. I'll grant you, it's not much of an issue if your graphics card has 2GB of RAM but if you've got less than 512 it makes a noticeable difference.

Last edited by Fibbles; Jul 4, 2013 @ 5:09pm
Unyieldingly Jul 4, 2013 @ 5:44pm 
Linux Mint MATE has been really good for me so far
Best performance with steam can be achieved using steam-big-picture-mode: http://github.com.thor27/steam-login

When you look at pure performance between different flavors of linux, Gentoo performs best if you ask me.

However, i prefere a debian based distribution like Spary Linux; http://www.sparkylinux.org
B9nt Jul 4, 2013 @ 6:26pm 
The DE I personally prefer is xfce, solely because it doesn't have much emphasis on eye-candy and neither is it system-intensive nor ugly herefore. I use Xubuntu because it's Ubuntu + xfce. So far, no serious problems have occurred in using Xubuntu and it can be as stable or as unstable as you want it to be. Since it uses Ubuntu as the base, you shouldn't encounter any problems on Steam, not that Steam is incompatible with other distros of course.

Fedora/openSUSE are other great distros, notably because they have KDE integrated in them, which I also enjoy. You should try out as many distros on a VirtualBox as possible before making a decision; there are so many flavours of Linux to choose from! ^^
PixeL Jul 4, 2013 @ 10:29pm 
I noticed that no one in here mention anything about Funtoo or Arch.
damn_pastor Jul 5, 2013 @ 2:55am 

because someone who asks a question like this wont be happy with something stripped down like arch.
gutigen Jul 5, 2013 @ 3:23am 
Originally posted by AbartigerNorbert:
Doesn't matter. All modern desktops like KDE/Gnome/Unity unredirect fullscreen windows and disable compositing when things go fullscreen.

Well it may not affect framerate per se, but I've noticed pretty much no micro stutter in tf2 under openbox, while unity (I blame compiz... gief Unity Next already! ) makes exactly same framerate look a little choppy (it's almost impossible to notice, but I'm oversensitive about that kind of thing).
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Date Posted: Jul 4, 2013 @ 11:47am
Posts: 25