Recommendations for writing/playing CS games on Linux?

I’m thinking of switching from Windows to Linux - specifically, Ubuntu. I have Ubuntu installed on an older computer, and I’m playing around with it to see how it feels, and whether I can find apps on the OS to replace everything I regularly use on Windows.

I have a few questions around the subject, if anybody can help: -

  • Has anybody written any CS games on Linux? Is the process any different to writing on Windows?

  • Notepad++ isn’t available on Ubuntu. Can anybody recommend a good Linux text editor?

  • In terms of playing games on Ubuntu, I see that Steam is available. Is the full range of CoG/Hosted Games available on Ubuntu-based Steam? Any notable differences across the two platforms?

  • Any other thoughts / ideas / tips / warnings?

Any and all feedback much appreciated. Thanks.

If you get the games from the chrome web store or the website they will just work. If you have any on steam you may need to use wine/playonlinux to run them on Ubuntu or get in touch with CoG and see if they can work something out for you.

Edit: now I’ve paid more attention to the full post some more details:

The process should be the same on Linux as on windows - you’ll just need to use a different text editor. If you’re not against spending some money I can recommend Sublime Text 3, if you prefer free you can use Gedit, Geany, Vim, Emacs, Kate, etc on Linux. Vim and Emacs are powerful, have steep learning curves and are one of the many ongoing holy wars in the Linux/Unix world.

There are a lot of indy games that run on Linux. Also most/all of Valve’s stuff was ported across, but for the most part you want to keep windows around for gaming for now. The CoG stuff on steam is Windows/Mac only for now.

My hard drive died in 2011, and my Windows OEM install went with it. I bought a new hard drive and installed Ubuntu on it because Ubuntu is free. I’ve been running that ever since. So far I have noticed only minor differences, in terms of CS games.

Notepad ++ runs fine, but you have to install Wine first. Click on the Software Center (it should be on the dock) and search for Wine. Click on Wine and click install. That should be all you need to do to be able to run the exe file for Notepad++.

The other major difference is that I can use Scrivener for free. Scrivener is a word processor designed specifically for long or complicated projects. MS Word is like a simulated sheet of paper. Scrivener is like a simulated notebook. You shouldn’t write code in it, but it is a great way to keep track of characters, scenes, notes, and other game-related stuff.

I’m not on Steam very often because my PC is too old to play many games, and I haven’t tried to play CS games on Steam. I’ve had no problems running CS games in Firefox, though I prefer iOS.

If you want to play graphical games on Linux, hardware compatibility may be an issue. If you have a cheap integrated video card like I do, Ubuntu might not support some features that would otherwise be supported by the Windows OEM. Even if it does support them, you might have to hunt for drivers.

Overall, I like Windows 7 and Ubuntu 14 pretty equally. I haven’t tried later versions of Windows, though.

Great info so far. Thanks for that.

A question about using Wine in Ubuntu (and keeping in mind that I’m really a newbie with Linux, so this may be a silly question): I’m reading that one of the plus points of using Linux is that it’s pretty impervious to viruses - but if you’re using Wine, those viruses have a way into your system. Is that true? Do you have any experience of that?

In fact, if I really want to run Windows apps, is it better to use Wine, or to set up a Virtualbox running Windows?

Re. the text editor… it seems there are a bunch of alternatives to Notepad++. Probably easier to use one of those. For my general notekeeping, I tend to use spreadsheets. Again, I’ll already have that.

Re. graphical games… I’m not a big gamer - or rather, I force myself to keep away from games in much the same way an addict might force himself away from his vice of choice. If I can run text-based games, maybe occasionally dipping into old-skool RPGs, I think I’ll be fine.

In all likelihood, I’m thinking that I’ll probably set up Ubuntu on my ‘main’ computer, and keep running Windows on my older, more out-of-date backup laptop. It seems I may have problems setting up iTunes on Ubuntu (at least, without Wine or a Virtualbox). I’ll keep my older compy around for things like that.

Linux can’t get Windows viruses. Wine is a binary translation layer not an emulator or virtual machine. For non-gaming purposes you’re better to use a VM or dual boot.

Wine can run a lot of the graphical windows games. You’re limited to DirectX 9 at the moment and its not all sunshine and rainbows but you’ll get a decent chunk of them going - sometimes better than on windows, especially old classics like Baldurs Gate and what not.

At the end of the day though you need to figure out what your goal is. Windows even 10 is not an invalid choice of tool most of the time. Conversely neither is Linux or BSD. That which makes your life least stressful and lets you do what you want to do smoothly is the best option.

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