Linux & Everquest 2

There are some interesting things going on with Linux recently. One of the big changes is that most major distributions are phasing out X server in favor of Wayland or in the case of Ubuntu mir. To see what all the fuss was about I started doing some reading on the Linux graphics stack. While looking into that I also found about Gallium3D which is an API/framework for graphics drivers. The importance of this to me is that I found out that there is a state tracker (basically a front end API that plugs into Gallium3D) for Direct3D 9. In addition there are patches for WINE (a Windows compatibility layer) that bypass WINE's Direct3D implementation can call this fancy new state tracker. The articles I saw were claiming double or better performance. The hitch is that the closed source drivers from Nvidia and AMD aren't Gallium3D compliant. The good news is that Open source graphics driver support seems to be much better than the last time I fiddled with it. Overall with an open source driver and Wayland the new Linux graphics stack is very interesting. I'm curious to see what the performance looks like. Wayland is still a new technology and X is still in wide use, however supposedly Fedora 21 will have Wayland.

What does all of this mean? well for me it means I might be able to play Everquest2 on Linux finally. I've tried in the past and it mostly worked but performance was even worse than on Windows. I have a AMD 6 core system that I plan to convert to a Fedora 21 box as soon as it is released (10/2014 I think). Once I've got that working I plan to apply those WINE patches and see how it works. There are of course other reasons for people to be excited about graphical stack improvements in Linux but honestly games are the only reason I use Windows at home. Well that and DotNet development but I suppose it's as good a time as any to give Mono Develop another shot.


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