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Games Entertainment

Bootable Game CDROMs Using Linux 168

Bill Kendrick writes "Want to play a cool Linux game but don't want to bother installing that pesky OS? Yamamori Takenori has translated his "Linux CD-ROM Game System" to English. It's a step-by-step demonstration of how to burn a game, and just the necessary parts of Linux, onto a PC-bootable CDROM. (Original Japanese version available too, of course.)"
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Bootable Game CDROMs Using Linux

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  • by fish ( 6585 )
    now we wait for cool games?
  • This is wickedly cool. I've always wondered if this was doable. Now if there were only more games...
  • I mean really, are there any cool Linux games that aren't available for Windows (which I assume is the installed operating system they're referring to, if instead you're doing this on your Novell 5 server, I salute you!).

    The only games I can think of that aren't available for Windows are some of the BSD ones, and you can play those in a telnet session to that old 486 that you turned into a Linux box (though my 486 is a FreeBSD box, uptime of 260 days last time I checked, and that was because we had a power failure.).
  • by daved321 ( 229528 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @04:57AM (#696981)
    Now if only I could do this for my windoze games... Just think about it, I could keep Unreal Tournament and Half Life and free up a whole 'nother harddrive being monopolized (excuse the pun) by some other OS....
  • But I don't quite get the point. See, I don't keep up with all the Linux stuff, but are there really any games out there that have been released for Linux that aren't on the PC already?

    Is a game produced in this manner more 'stable' than the same game straight for the PC?
    And would this count as a Linux 'emulator'?
  • This would be really cool for playing games on a Linux port of the various game consoles. Does anyone know much about Linux ports to the various popular game consoles?
  • I have to agree. Now if we could make it so Windows games could be run this way on a Linux box, that would be awesome. It would end my need for a Windows partition.
  • by Izaak ( 31329 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:01AM (#696985) Homepage Journal
    This came across the SDL mailing list recently. There is actually a lot of cool things happening in Linux game development, but much of it is not yet visible to the average user yet. I may give this bootable CD thing a look and see if it will be useful for making gridslammer demos.


  • I think that this will in general bring more power to game developers... why not just create an entire OS? True an OS is a touchy thing... I mean the point of DirectX and OpenGL was to bring capabilities independany of hardware, but that's a layer above the hardware drivers.

    The benefit of course, as this points out, is that you only load what you need, and the rest is pure gaming power. Perhaps MS could even follow suit with some sort of boot-cd interface to use your configuration, but only put into memory what needs to be there (er... well I guess I doubt MS would ever get that mindset, but hey...)

    What a great concept tho.


  • wouldnt this do more to harm the linux movement et al. ? We are supposed to be waving the flag saying 'hey, install linux, we got cool games etc etc.' Now what incentive do people have to become regular linux users if all they have to do is just boot off a cdrom? If we are to be true linux supporters, then I dont think we should support this idea....

    "sex on tv is bad, you might fall off..."
  • That's made me think.

    Used to do this with win 3.1 boot dos from a floppy to leave enough memeory for the lastest games.

    Could this be done? Only possible flaw I could seewould be with the size of most Windows games now days, what about using this type of thing to play DVD's?

    Coul you use one CD OS one CD app? (assuming 2 cd drives?)

    I've proberly missed something becasue its after lunch and I'm sleepy.

  • I mean really, are there any cool Linux games that aren't available for Windows

    But I don't want to buy a copy of Window just to play games. Linux is free (as in beer).
  • OK, presuming it all works as detailed (and I don't see any reason why it can't thus far) why didn't anyone think of this before? What a brilliant hack. It might not be very fast without unusually heavy use of memory (after all there is a reason a lot of games copy stuff to the hard drive) but still, it's a really cool idea. Even is a nice way to let people (like your kids) play games or use other applications while maintaining a secure system in the process. Nice...
  • One of the things that keeps me from playing games is the way they like to put files EVERYWHERE (and not just little ones, either). But do they really need to use the harddrive for this? Why can't I play ALL games from the CD with no install?
    An abstained vote is a vote for Bush and Gore.
  • by generic-man ( 33649 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:05AM (#696992) Homepage Journal
    Want to run that Linux game without installing the pesky OS? Here's an idea: Buy the Windows version! The Windows version will be out at least a year before the Linux port. The Windows version will be more supported by the manufacturer. The Windows version will not require you to recompile an X server to get better 3D graphics performance -- it will use proven, fast graphics drivers.

    Why compromise? If you're going to pay money for those games of yours, at least have the good graces to play them on the fastest, most well-supported gaming platform there is for PC gaming.
  • You have it backwards. This CD is designed to let you play Linux games if you don't have Linux (i.e. you have Windows).
  • This would be a great way to open the development market for console game. All we would need is a kernel port and drivers for the custom hardware. Then any ubergeek could write console games without needing an (ultra)expensive development system. Dreamcast & Playstation2 are the obvious choices but is Microsoft unwittingly building a potential Linux "thin client" with the X-Box?
  • But I don't want to buy a copy of Window just to play games. Linux is free (as in beer).

    If you are already running Linux, what do you need a bootable Linux CD/game for?

    This is for people who are already running another OS and want to try a Linux game.
  • by klagg ( 107206 )
    Well, I can't see why anyone would want to use Linux just to play games, since the graphics are slower than Windows. BeOS otoh would be v cool (whenever the new opengl comes out of beta).

  • I think we should support good ideas, and I think this qualifies.

    We are supposed to be waving the flag saying 'hey, install linux, we got cool games etc etc.'

    Flag waving isn't going to accomplish much. This may persuade some game developers to break away from their dependence on everything MS.

  • Unreal Tournament runs on Linux now. www.lokigames.com [lokigames.com]
  • Wow this is great! Now I can play all the GNOME and KDE games that came with red hat! Wait why the heck would i make a bootable CD when I have Linux installed? And of course Linux doesn't have any cool games. I think this guy is thinking a bit backwards here. There aren't any people who have Windows and want to run Linux games. It's the other way around. However, would this same system work for getting other applications besides games to work?
  • Including the OS on the game-disk is convienient, but:

    you don't have as much room left on the cd as you would have had without the OS

    you can't save games (of course you can do that on the harddisk of the host, but not with the game)

    everytime you boot, you need to set your preferences by hand...

    aren't consoles supposed to be like this?

  • by Peter Millerchip ( 166655 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:11AM (#697001)

    I think it could protentially be quite useful, because this way game manufacturers wouldn't have to produce a "Linux version" or a "Windows version", they would just produce a generic PC version.

    They could make a game that you put in the CD drive and boot from - the average user would neither know nor care that there is a Linux kernel booting off the CD drive to run his game. Joe Sixpack who plays such games treats them like putting a CD into a PlayStation and turning it on - he simply puts the game CD in his new whizzy games PC and boots it.

    However, this situation would probably require the inclusion of lots of graphics and sound card drivers on the CD, and a completely automatic hardware detection routine that could boot the correct drivers up. But once such things are written, gamers could be using their PC like they use their consoles - just boot off the CD. OS? What OS? :)

  • by gtx ( 204552 )
    this is a Really Good Idea.

    Why? Even if you hate linux, a stripped down operating system streamlined for games doesn't require as much resource overhead, and therefore will run smoother.

    Now, my opinion is that Microsoft should look more into creating a stripped down OS for the desktop, rather than repackaging the PC with the X-Box. Then, if you wanted anything else (joy stick port, TV out, etc) MS could release addons for it, rather than making you pay the full price for a castrated PC. IT'd be cheaper, and run well too. (I do recognize the fact that you could run into problems being that PC's aren't as standardized and self contained, but I think we could get around that)

  • We can already buy game consoles. Why turn our pc into one? I like the fact that i can minimize my games and go chat or do something else without having to restart the game or my computer. I don't want to have to turn it off to play a game. This might help for those with slower machines that can't handle all the background services and the game, but really i don't need to worry about that. I need my uptime especially since I run servers (ftp or web) alot of the time. I paid alot of money for my computer and I'm not turning it into a glorified game console. I can get one of those for 200 bucks.
  • by quantum bit ( 225091 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:13AM (#697004) Journal
    Why is it that everyone seems to think that this is a good idea? Remember how long it took you to get your favorite sound card/video card/joystick/other piece of hardware working under Linux? Now imagine having to go through that for every game that you want to play. And to top it off, you can't save your changes to the configuration without burning a new CD.

    Don't get me wrong, Linux is a great OS, but the type of hardware used in games happens to be the hardware that is most lacking in Linux support (it IS getting better, but slowly). It's okay to have to wrestle with manually patching drivers for some weird brand sound card into the kernel because the patch is for a different version or doesn't work quite right, but I only want to have to go through that once please...

    There's no way that a single OS image can anticipate every possible hardware configuration without having to tweak anything. Even Windoze often can't do plug-and-pray good enough for that to work. This is why they invented consoles.

    `dont forget that Linux became only possible because 20 years of OS research was carefully studied, analyzed, discussed and thrown away.' -- mingo on linux-kernel
  • I see this as another way for Linux to penetrate the arcade market. Think about it... how many developers are currently writing game systems using Windows or Windows NT (probably more than you think. Ever seen some of these machines boot? It's a real hoot and kinda scary to see an upright game with a Windows logo on it). With this, developers could make a bootable CDROM, and utilise a machine with no hard drive. No hard drive = 1 less failure point (although it can be argued that a CDROM might fail sooner than a hard drive. No argument here.)

    Honestly, though, the real draw of this story is that someone has taken the time to do it. Maybe it'll start a trend of people booting CDROMs to play their favorite games (just like the old days, eh?).

  • You have it backwards. This CD is designed to let you play Linux games if you don't have Linux (i.e. you have Windows).

    I don't have windows, but I still see some benifits to this. It would be nice to boot off a cd-rom which only loaded as of the OS as I need to run the game, and leave the rest of the resources to the gaming. )
  • I am not sure but isn't reading from CD-ROM or DVD slower than reading from a HDD? I thought putting stuff on disk was a performance thing.

    Someone with a clue educate us please. =)

  • It's for the developers, dummy.

    Something like this allows the developers to control the entire envronment that the game runs in. They can tune scheduling, configure it as a realtime OS etc etc.

    The downside is that they have to include drivers for *everything*. The upside is that they can make sure they are installed correctly and *work*.

  • I'm amazed at how many people are slamming this like it's a crappy idea. Shame on you!

    The benefit here is that a) it's something that hasn't been done on home cmoputers in years (bootable games), and b)was enabled because of linux.

    The reason to do this is *not* to 'avoid installing linux'. Think of it as... you are a game developer.. you want a completely open API for games.. you write your game for linux.. but oh, you want that big marketshare. Now the game has been reduced to a 'bootable' game. Nevermind that it uses linux, that fact may even be hidden from the end user.

    Oh, and of course, linux afficiandos can install it regularly and play it as well.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now I can play all those great games for Linux only on my Windows box without having to setup a dual-boot! Wait, I forgot, the only reason I run Windows is for the games anyway...
  • Wouldn't be possible if the game uses any COM components. The components have to be registered on your system. I wonder if it'd be possible to temporarily create the necessary reg entries to point to the appropriate object factories on the CD-ROM. Hmmmmm...

    My first guess is it wouldn't be possible for most games though. MS probably doesn't want it to be either. After all, if you're going to boot Windows from a CD and run a game on it, you're going to need to agree to the EULA which pops up AFTER you boot from the CD, and pay a nice licensing fee...

  • by toast- ( 72345 ) on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:17AM (#697012)
    This was done frequently with PC games.

    5 1/4 inch floppy based games were self bootable. Being so young at the time i don't know the technical details. I would bet they didn't use DOS (perhaps some propritary o/s?), since when games moved to DOS microsoft would have had a fuss about redistributing pieces of the o/s on a selfbootable game.

    Anyone know the tech details of these self boot game of yore?

  • But the obvious is in front of our eyes:

    the challenge is putting the graphics and sound drivers on the CD such that most, if not everyone, can play it!

    Consoles are self bootable because the hardware stays the same: compatability is never an issue..

  • See, we need this, but the CD needs to boot Windows, not linux.
  • oh I pity thee. You think that a console game system is just as good as a PC. *sigh* If you run servers, they should be on a completely seperate machine that your personal computer. I have two "modern" PC's myself. One is the one I'm using now. I use it to do whatever I want, and with only a PIII 450 and a TNT 2 (soon to be upgraded though) I can play games better than practically any console system, even PS2 (don't as how). My other computer doesn't even have a monitor, keyboard or mouse of its own. It just sits there serving a counterstrike game and FTP. To do something to it I connect to it via telnet or xwin-32 or whatever. PC gaming is where its at. Look at the console systems you speak of! They are becoming more and more like PC's every day. The PS2 has USB ports! You shouldn't turn your PC into a game machine since it was so expensive etc. etc. You should buy another compture and turn that into one. How many people are playing counterstrike with they playstations?
  • This doesn't sound like it would be very useful. First, you would have to make this for your own personal use so the drivers matched your system. It isn't like they could see these things off the shelf or anything. Secondly, you would have to re-write the cd every time a new driver came out. Thirdly, who plays just a game and then leaves the computer. I'm always surfing or checking my email. With this, I would have to boot up once to play the game, then again after that was all done. Seems like a huge pain to me....
  • Why can't I play ALL games from the CD with no install?

    Because then you'd have a console?

    This is a good idea, but I don't think practical in all PC-related situations. Think new hardware: what happens when the Voodoo X's come out? Will this CD support them? What if NVidia releases new enhanced drivers for TNT2. How do you get these new drivers on your game CD's?

    Unique hardware are what make's PC's such great gaming equipment. Unfortunately, that also means you have to have your own OS with your own drivers, and have to install the games to your harddrive.
  • Why reboot just to play a game ? I don't like the idea of turning my high-end PC into an expensive console. If I had nothing better to do with my PC than play games, I wouldn't have bought a PC, I'd have stuck with PSX/DC/N64 instead.
  • But I don't quite get the point. See, I don't keep up with all the Linux stuff, but are there really any games out there that have been released for Linux that aren't on the PC already?

    OK, computer basics, lesson #1: PC is a hardware platform, Linux is an operating system. Replace 'PC' with 'Win9x', and you'll be right.

    IHNRTA, but I assume he (the authour) meant Linux/x86 (Linux on a PC), so yes, any game for Linux would be available for the PC as well :)
  • Those wondering that this would be useful for
    doze games, are out of luck since DOS/doze need
    to write to their boot device.

    As for Linux boot CDs in general, a RAM disk
    must be used for anything a harddisk would
    be used for normally (for e.g. swap). So a requirement to use this effectively would be loadsa RAM.

    Also initially reading data from the CD is
    going to be slow, so loading big games will
    be very slow.

    Not ideal...
  • If you could get Microsoft to allow you to distribute Windows like that on the cheap, much less keep Windows within a reasonable memory footprint so the CD-ROM drive didn't need to be thrashed so hardly, it could be done, but I don't think either will happen because 1. M$ is greedy, and 2. MS is making the X-box, which precludes any other Windows based console options.
  • This would be much more useful if there were a windows counter-part!
  • Why can't I play ALL games from the CD with no install?

    Consider I/O of a CD-ROM drive vs. I/O of a hard drive.

  • c't [heise.de] once had a article about bootable Windows-CD, as far as I can remenber they used a Ramdisk to store the Registry. This would definitley be possible.
    For those who read the (german) Magazine it can be found in c't 11/99 Page 206
  • I did read the article. Did you?
    I don't believe that the authors intention was for people who aren't already running linux. Here is an excerpt of the instructions for setting it up:
    $ tar zxvf joystick-1.2.15.tar.gz

    $ cd joystick-1.2.15
    $ make jstest # No need to compile
    kernel modules $ su
    # install -c jstest /usr/local/bin

    I don't know how you are going to do that from windows.
  • Why is this a Bad Thing, I hear you ask. Let me explain: By offering games on a CD-rom, with a built in (bit of) operating system, you are dooming yourself to near certain incompatability with any bit of hardware that will be released after your game. You are forcing yourself to supply drivers for everything that has ever been built. You are also making your software impossible to patch and (perhaps worst of all) forcing users to run games straight from the CD. What on earth would a commercial party do with all of the support requests they'd end up receiving from people who can't get their game to run on their winchip / vanta / galaxysound combo with their Panther XL stick and their 3D glasses?
    Don't even get me started on the fact that people who would play these games wouldn't even _know_ they're using linux.

    On the other hand, if a dedicated system were to be made for such games, with standardised hardware, It would be much easier to publish and support them. Perhaps a system with a built in TV-out that, by being built to specific standards, could be sold for a much lower price than a custom box.

    Oh. . .umm. . .yeah.
  • by BenHmm ( 90784 ) <ben@benham m e r s ley.com> on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @05:28AM (#697027) Homepage
    I think you're missing the point. It's not to promote Linux as a game playing platform: it's using linux as a very small footprint on the top of which a game can play *and*nothing*else*
    If you boot a machine off a cd-rom solely to play a game, all you need of the OS is the bits dedicated to making the game work. Happily with Linux you can knock all the extraneous parts out, leaving plenty of system resources for the game itself. Loading windows brings all sorts of irrelevent (in terms of playing the game) crap onto the system.
    This is just neat system optimisation, and currently Linux is a nice, cheap, OS, simple way to do it. Nothing more

    It makes sense for games guys to do it this way as suddenly there's no such thing as a Windows game or a Linux game or a, ahem, FreeBSD game, but rather just x86 games.
  • One step closer to migrating PCs into the Console Gaming market. Something more like the X-Box. Wouldn't surprise me. By the time the X-box comes out, we'll probably have cool Linux games, thus creating competition for it (as if the already existing console gaming systems weren't competition enough).

    Also, right now, porting to Linux isn't worth it because the profit they turn for doing it barely covers the cost of producing it. This may tip the scales in that aspect aswell.
  • When there are Linux only games that Windows users want to play. I can't imagine why, if you are a Linux user already you would want to reboot with a CD like this. Like I said the only use this caould have, that I see is for windows users. And if it is for windows users who's going to setup the system to be burnt for them? Or do they install and setup linux then mkisofs it and do the burn, and remove Linux and contiue using Windows.
  • But then you'd have a bottleneck at the cd-rom. It will take much longer to read data from the cd-rom than it would the HDD. I think any benefits gained from free resources and a more efficient OS would be dwarfed by the slow read speads.

  • Support for new hardware will definitely be lacking (as the hardware doesn't exists so the dirvers don't.)

    In a couple years the games will be useless, unless these are just simple non-3d keyboard games...
  • This was a cool trick to speed up games and only allocate the minimum amount of resources necessary for the game to run. Vendors often didn't actually package MS-DOS with the game, but rather they gave you instructions on how to create your own bootable disks ala "format /s".

    Actually, it worked on any removable media that could boot an MS-DOS system, not just 5-1/4" floppies.

    Too bad there isn't a similar trick for DirectX games, so we could run modern Windoze games using the absolute minimum system resources.

  • But then you're dealing with X, which is neither stripped down nor low on resource utilization. A bootable version of BeOS would be the very best, but like Windows, it isn't free (as in speech) for redistribution.
  • ~567M is way too big for just the base system! Ideally, a system like this would be setup like this:

    Base System:
    A small (loopback?) filesystem which autoconfigs hardware (or at least allows hardware settings to be saved to a floppy), mounts the thing to run-fs and exec's it

    Thing to run:
    A loopback filesystem on the CD which contains all the necessary files for this application (I.E. base configs, drivers, libraries, etc).

    Build Tool:
    A program that when given a directory, determines the library dependencies and packs it up into a loopback mountable fs.

    Launch Tool:
    This is basically the mount-exec part of the base system, but would run on any linux box. You could install the application's loopback filesystem to your hard disk and then run "./launch-me app.fs" to run the game/app/etc from your hard disk

    This way the base OS (configuration, etc) is separate from the application, and provides a consistant platform.

  • Not only this - as I think this is hard but possible - but furthermore that hardware that is made 5 years from now can still run it. APIs (as OpenGL and OpenAL) are a fine thing, 'cause they enable you to programm independent of the Hardware.
    Obviosly something has to be Hardware-dependand, and this is the driver, which you can't update on an CD ... therefore you got troubles when you want to play that bootable CD-Game on a computer much newer than the game itself.
  • I know for a fact that there was a project to create a bootable CD using OpenBSD for the Dreamcast. Why can't these two ideas merge? Create a bootable CD, customized for the hardware on a Dreamcast or any other standard console that will allow it. Then, no matter what game you throw on it, if it works in one machine, it'll work in all of them.

    Someone who was really enterprising would create a tiny "console-sized" Linux box that uses decent hardware. Then, game manufacturers could create bootable Linux versions of their games...Viola!

    I'd buy it.


  • Clue : If game developers would take the time to compress and organize the data more efficiently, load times would be much less of an issue. How many times have we seen 400mb games comprised of thousands of tiny files ? On the other hand we also see 400mb games with only a few large archives (like ID Software with their PAK/WAD files). I think if you're smart enough to code a game, you're surely smart enough to link in zLib and libJpeg to squeeze those data files down to a more reasonable size, not because of disk space, but because of access times/transfer rates. I'm sure if this practice were generalized, we could run most games right off a 32x cdrom with reasonable load times, reasonable meaning less than 10-15 seconds per level. Unreal Tournament for example uses both compression and a well conceived caching scheme, and consequently it takes less than 3-4 seconds to load up a new level on my box.

    The bottom line is : slow loading games are a result of bad design. These days it takes merely a few seconds to load up 32 mb's of graphics data from a typical 32/40x cdrom. Games are still software like any other application, and like in any good application, even the most trivial functions should be examined and optimized, not just the graphics, sound and input. Quick (to code), unoptimal hacks are for Perl one-liners, not for full-fledged games and apps.
  • Most of the games I like to play are windows games. I could do away completely with windows if it wasn't for the games (geez, I sound like an addict). I would much prefer this the other way around; give me a cd with windows games that I can play on linux. That way I don't have to have a seperate machine/partition just for windows.
    The only problem I see here is that cdrom drives are much slower than hard drives (which is why those games load all the stuff onto your hard drive in the first place). This means that data flow becomes the bottle-neck. Still, it would be cool to have a windows game/os on cdrom with the only thing saved to the hard drive is saved games and config files.
  • Maybe its just me, but this seems a little too close to console gaming. I mean if I wanted to reboot my computer to play a game, what would really be the point of having computer games over console games. I kind of like the fact that if I need to I can stop my game and do other things. Keep my ICQ going check email. This only seems useful if you were really going to pick apart the OS and get some specialized processing power. But this is out of scope with most game designers as it would take too many resources to make it viable. Just my opinion
  • I'm going to love it!

    I've been using my boyfriend's computer all of the time lately to play games on linux and he keeps saying, "just think, you can play those all the time if you let me install linux on your computer." But, not having the capacity on my computer to run both (i don't think) i'm a little skeptical just yet... but if it ends up that i can play the games on windows... :)

    He believes he will be the ultimate computer geek among his friends if he gets his girlfriend to start running linux, but for pity's sake, I'm already reading /. isn't that good enough!?

    Now... to convince him to burn the CD's for me...

  • why not create it so it searches a default folder for an update file (game patches, hardware update/add on), that way you can download the latest add-on/update and keep the game compatible with your latest hardware.

    this is a great idea because it would free up system resources so games could take advantage of them, very cool.


  • A long time ago (198x?) such stuff existed. Well, it was actually bootable diskettes which had no (identifiable?) OS. Those diskettes were unreadable from DOS.
    The games I had on such disks included Winter Games, Summer Games, J-Bird, and a few others but I don't recall the names. Of course it was in spacy CGA graphics with awesome buzzer-audio-systsem(tm) making funny noises.

    I must be getting old :-)
    For games game-on-CD-and-don't-bother abstraction would be great, but as someone already pointed out it will be hard to provide compatibility for all hardware.
    Even worse, you may have upgraded to the fancy newest 3D card and the game you bought 3 months ago won't work anymore just because of that. It would really suck, don't you think?

  • This could be useful for a console which runs Linux. Store an individual copy of the OS on each game CD; of course it is already set up for exactly the hardware you have. Having a central copy of the operating system stored in the console itself would be too much work to maintain.

    In any case, if you buy a game with Linux already on the CD, nobody says you _have_ to use that copy of Linux. If you're part of the unlucky 20% whose hardware is not detected correctly, you can just run it from your own installation.
  • I see a lot of people whining about "but what if I have a graphics card newer than the CD-ROM?" Actually, the same applies to network card drivers as well.

    So where does it say that you don't have any hard drive at all? The point isn't not to use the hard drive, but simply not to have to install a not-of-your-choice OS on it to play a game. There is a problem with the hard drive having a file system supported by the OS on the CD-ROM, but Linux has support for a lot more filesystems than Windoze does.

    What is needed is some standard way to put drivers on a hard drive where the CD-ROM's OS can load them in a "plug and play" sort of way. Besides, you need a hard drive to store configuration info and game saves anyhow.

    And not all games will necessarily even care about drivers. If the game can run in 640x480x16 VGA with no networking, or even a mostly standard 256 color SVGA mode, it won't care about drivers.

  • UT dies run on linux, you can convert you windows CD
  • OK, computer basics, lesson #1: PC is a hardware platform, Linux is an operating system. Replace 'PC' with 'Win9x', and you'll be right.

    Yeah, that's what I get for posting to /.-politics before the tech stuff. Must reboot brain. Thankfully, I didn't load any crappy MS products so it will be pretty quick... :)
  • And who's to say that there's not a market for a self hosting version of rogue?
  • Exactly. You can almost always get a version of the game for windows.

    (Possible flamebait warning! Anti-Linux views!:)
    What I don't see is WHY you would want to boot to Linux to run a game? I thought when Quake 2 was benchmarked across Linux, Windows, and BeOS, in order of performance, it was:
    1. BeOS
    2. Windows
    3. Linux

    That, and I've never seen ANY version of Linux autodetect ANY of my devices, and that includes a standard serial mouse (Microsoft/Logitech protocol).

    ...so why not swing a deal with Be, and make BeOS-booting games that detect your hardware? (assuming you can get enough drivers for it; Be detects great, but doesn't have the drivers.)

    (Also, on a default install of Linux (RedHat 6.3) and BeOS, on my system, Linux took 3 minutes to boot, and BeOS took 20 seconds.)
  • Preferences? In a game?

    Yes, key configuration, skins, music/sound vlume, resolution, name etc. etc.

  • What else can I say... Takenori-san; Doomo arigatoo gozaimasu.
  • It has run on Linux from the beginning. A lot of improvements have been made but that is the case with anything that isn't dead. I had it running on my Linux box for a long time now. It took a little while longer to get my main box running because of a MX300 sound card. I had the sound card on pre-order and bought RH5.2 while I was waiting. I might have bought a different sound card if I knew how much trouble Aureal was going to have.

  • It would be amusing if you could patch Bleem (or whatever) to the front of PSX disks, so you could just stick it in your pc if you didnt have a playstation!
  • Want to run that Linux game without installing the pesky OS? Here's an idea: Buy the Windows version! The Windows version will be out at least a year before the Linux port. The Windows version will be more supported by the manufacturer. The Windows version will not require you to recompile an X server to get better 3D graphics performance -- it will use proven, fast graphics drivers.

    Buy the Windows version? Thats something I used to do. Now I view it as a last resort because I know that 12 months down the line, that Windows game stands a good chance of being dead in the water due to 'updates' to libraries made by more recent games installing themselves over the top of ones critical to that 1 year old game and breaking it. DLL Hell claims another casualty.

    Now I look at games coming out and I make considerable enquiries to find out whether a Linux version is released, due for release, underway but not ready yet, under negotiation or even merely planned. Any of these is sufficient for me to put my wallet back in my pocket and WAIT. When I buy games, I want more than 12 months of use out of it. I still play games from a long way back in my collection and that matters to me. Just having the newest shiniest games is just icing on the cake - sweet but unfulfilling without the rest.

    Why compromise? If you're going to pay money for those games of yours, at least have the good graces to play them on the fastest, most well-supported gaming platform there is for PC gaming.

    And this well-supported gaming platform (Windows) benefits me how? I get the equivalent of a time-bombed game and I get to pay money for it? At least on Linux I can look at the libraries needed by a game and know that I can hope to untangle the resources it needs to keep functioning. And as time goes by, the arrival of Linux as a gaming platform is becoming less of a pipedream and more of a reality. My TNT2 card flies along quite nicely with XFree86 4.0.1 and the NVIDIA drivers - Descent 3, Quake 3 and others give me high performance fragging opportunities and I can grab Sim City 3000 or SMAC for some more cerebral entertainment. If we take the attitude that Windows is the be-all-and-end-all of gaming, we can never hope that a strong alternative will exist some day. For me, I like choice.


    Toby Haynes

  • One of the reasons I believe that there has been a reluctance to port or originate top shelf commercial games on linux is that due to the incompatibilities between wintel and linux API's. The developer hedges his/her bets and goes for the bigger market share. Then *perhaps* the scruffy guy just outa Uni can bake a half arsed linux version between projects.(This ignores the whole Loki thing of course)

    By introducing a bootable Linux-cd, (And hey.. maybe even including an integrated VMware to run it under wintel) the developer can choose linux and its cheaper freeer dev tools.

    The added beauty of all of this, is that the developer (hopefully) puts some real work into the Open-gl(etc) linux engines and hopefully liberates them into free-software world.

    Furthermore, to make it all work, the linux distr would probably want to read the windows registry to hunt down clues on the correct drivers, net configs (for net gaming) and all the rest.

    Liberate *that* and you've just introduced the solution for more general linux barrier crossing. Dumb asses don't *need* to know monitor refresh rates and Net card chipsets anymore. Wintel figured it out for them and Linux 'borrowed' the results. Great for 'real' work too!

  • When you make the CD it builds it for your system. They are not going to sell them as Linux bootable, despite the fact that'd it be a good idea, you have to build em yourself.

    Even then support for basic hardware (generic monitors, keyboards, mice, sound cards) might not take up much space.
  • Good point. We should just go ahead and load a proprietary OS on Dreamcast/Playstation. They do have an OS so I don't really see your point. This way you can at least customize the OS do what you want.

  • Why are you so concerned with saying "can't"? If you don't think it is possible, then shove off. If I want to have a series of games burned to a cd with a known good config, then I can do it. What you seem to be overlooking is that some of thoes patches/hacks to make Q3:Arena work on a system may also make it unstable. In that case, having a system of bootable cds is almost a requirement.
  • This is a good idea, but I don't think practical in all PC-related situations. Think new hardware: what happens when the Voodoo X's come out? Will this CD support them? What if NVidia releases new enhanced drivers for TNT2. How do you get these new drivers on your game CD's?

    Drivers on the Internet?

    Someone could have a database of all the drivers and the OS would merely grab the drivers at run-time. Of corse the problem here is that you need an internet connection, and you need drivers to get that internet connection. If you do something like a Linux NFS install boot CD then you would have networking going which is a good thing anyway for network games.
  • This is the only reason I used a Windows box instead of a Linux box at work; Half Life was far too important to my productivity. Most of my apps I ran under emulated X, and even had bash and fav Unix tools installed on my Windows box (thankyou cygwin).

  • That's not true. CD-roms are plenty fast enough - the CPU can't keep up with most of them except for sustained transfer (i.e. no graphics processing). That's why CD-ROMs are such a ripoff - they just increase the speed unnecessarily when you really only need a 12*.
  • eh, have the os detect the native fs and bully as much free space as possible out of it for use as cache/ mini fs. Quit the game, the cache goes away.
    or get a true 52x cdrom, with an metric buttload of its own cache.
  • my problem would be when I change video cards (granted doesn't happen often, but just a nitpick)

  • Is linux available on a CD that will run without installing unto the hard drive (except perhaps for a swap file in c:\tmp) using a ramdisk and floppy for (slow) permanent storage ?
    This would mean I can run linux on any PC I come across without having to install it on the hard drive.
  • I didn't read the article and barely read the little useless description, either, BUT...

    Forcing people to reboot is *never* *ever* going to fly.

    True, you'd gain a lot of performance, but there's no way a user would go for it: no one wants to spend 2 minutes loading a game, and then when they're finished playing the game, 5 minutes getting back into their everyday OS.

    Plus, it'd add a lot of work to the dev's plate..

    It's just not worth it. (Although like someone mentioned, this is great for linux gaming demoes, because most people look at a demo once and then throw it away)

  • You would do this because your PC is substantially faster and more capable than a game console (no matter what Sony says). You're simplifing it's operation for inexperienced users.

    What I want to know is can this be done with an MS XBox?"

  • This is more likely to convice some console gamers to check out PC hardware and possibly they would jump in so it could be helpful. How many converts are you going to get if it is difficult to play games on Linux anyway. The reason they are on Win?? is because it is easier. They are at least trying harder than console gamers (no offense to console gameers intended).

  • by kaphka ( 50736 ) <1nv7b001@sneakemail.com> on Wednesday October 18, 2000 @06:17AM (#697067)
    I think it could protentially be quite useful, because this way game manufacturers wouldn't have to produce a "Linux version" or a "Windows version", they would just produce a generic PC version.
    Let me get this straight. Gaming companies are going to force 100% of their customers to reboot their machines every time they want to run a game, effectively turning a protected multi-tasking system into a souped up PC-XT, just so they can support the 0.01% of their customers that do not own a copy of Windows?
  • Seriously folks - I really don't want to have to reboot my PC everytime I play a game. We already have something like that, and it is called a "console". Check it out. It works much better than a PC-uber-boot-disk, because nobody could possibly get a boot disk to work for every single piece of hardware out there.

    Furthermore, if I was a game developer, would I want to issue a new CD of my game everytime there is a new sound card on the market? (The answer is "no") Crazy kids these days. :P
  • UT works pretty well under linux. See http://lokigames.com for a free (beer) binary and look at the FAQs on openUT [sourceforge.net]
  • And think about it, how many things to you multi-task while playing TFC, SPACECRAFT, or Q3?...

    No, but I would hate to force myself to go take a piss or twiddle my thumbs everytime I'm done with a game and I have to wait for the computer to *boot up* again.

  • The benefit here is that a) it's something that hasn't been done on home cmoputers in years (bootable games)

    The benefit is that it hasn't been done in years? Puhleeaze. Maybe the next objective in the internary is to make bootable DOS games that runs in extended mode.

    and b)was enabled because of linux.

    Linux is not the be all end all of everything. Just because the kernel and most of what makes a Linux distro is open sourced and free doesn't mean you should get pumped up over such a stupid idea.

    Think of it as... you are a game developer.. you want a completely open API for games.. you write your game for linux..

    No, if I'm a game developer, I want the most extensive feature set of APIs that matches the most current and cutting edge video cards, in order to maximize the graphics detail and performance of my game. Kindly point to me to the free and open-sourced 3d API available on linux that's not available on windows, and actually performs magnitudes better to justify the need to FORCE the user to reboot the machine just to play the game?

    Shame on you to let your zealotry cloud your mind enough to sell such a ridiculous idea.

  • And I dont' go around preaaching linux.
    And I'm in no way saying 'this is the future of game development!'.

    Okay. Let's look at this again.

    When I said that a benefit is that this hasn't been done in years, it means, if someone *wants* to do this, now they have a nice, open way to do so. Is that not a benefit?

    When I said it was enabled because of linux.. well, WASN'T IT? Sheesh. Note that I did not say 'It was enabled because of linux, therefore it is the coolest thing on earth, praise Linus'.. I simply stated a fact.

    Note that I never said 'linux is better than windows for games' or anything like that.

    For fuck sakes, all I said was it was *neat* that someone did this, so why is everyone so fucking bitchy about it?

    Sell an idea? The only 'idea' I'm selling is that people are being overcritical of something that was simply 'neat'. Nobody said it was a revolution, but obviously you feel offended by that.
  • wow, CP/M actually l ived on to become Dr. Dos? I didn't know that..

    I have an origional copy of cp/m 86 from IBM (c) 1982 .. must be worth something =)

  • Here's what you do to handle drivers.

    You only need to install one thing, the interent connection. Then after the net connection is up, a small program is run and just grabs whatever drivers for whatever hardware you have.

    But that sucks you say? I'm on a modem and that would take forever. You could save the modules to a harddisk(doesn't matter what file system it is), then the game can just load the drivers from there. I vision a standard site for all games that use the system to look for new drivers, and a third-party to maintain them. Then anyone that uses this wouldn't have to worry about driver support at all. It's already done.

    The best part about that is, it you can have an auto-update utility. An apt-get like program that could just see what new drivers are avalible. Just have a message before you start a game that new drivers are avaliabe.

    Something that could really take off if done correctly.
  • Fallacy in your logic. You ASSUME as a premise that people want to go back to the 5 1/2 inch floppy "bootable games" era is a "good thing", so you conclude that having an open way it's a benefit.

    Can you name any much much richer benefits bootable games will provide, considering all the disadvantages and inconvenience it will bring?

    If not, your statement simply wasn't right.

    Look buddy. I mean that the fact that someone took the time to DO something, and present it as another OPTION that previously didn't exist, even if it's not all that useful, is still GOOD. I'm not implying that we should go back to bootable gaming.

    You stated that I'm being a zealot because I think it's neat that, because the guy had linux available, he brought an idea to realization, namely, bootable gaming discs *regardless* of how 'good' or 'bad' the idea is. Linux enabled him to do this. I'm not implying any sort of
    a) direct benefit to the gaming community b) godlike status of linux or c) saying it couldn't have been done without.

    Yeah. I DID say I'm amazed at how people are slamming it. Rather than constructively look at what good merits there may be, everyone just says' what a fucking stupid idea'. Pessimists.

    How's it neat? *I* think it's neat. Barely any practical use for it? Who said there has to be? And who is trying to answer 'benefits' questions? I'm simply commenting that everyone slamming on this because they can't see any use for it is rediculous.....

  • NO kidding.

    I meant, it didn't exist *in the modern PC world*. I don't meant that this guy/people *invented* the idea.. I don't even mean to say it's a wonderful idea.. just kind of 'neat' that someone is thinking of it again.

  • well, no. It'd just be up to the developer to ensure the CD had enough of the latest drivers on board to let it cope with enough setups, and a boot process that checks the hardware for type first.

    It's a bit of a shag, admittedly, but is easy enough.

Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing. -- Wernher von Braun