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Friday, June 08, 2007Query on Linux Games
We're planning on getting a bunch of Linux games up soon (and perhaps changing the distribution files for some we already offer), and I thought I'd post here to get people's opinions.
When you get a new app, do you prefer to see:
1. A tar.gz file, so you can put it wherever you want and fool around with it yourself (but if you're a GUI user and not a Linux guru, you may have a hard time finding and starting it).
2. A .sh or .run file that auto-extracts nicely to a folder under usr/local, but may not work well with your GUI.
3. A .package file (see autopackage.org that does integrate well with most Linux distros and gives you a link in KDE or Gnome --but some people have criticized for design flaws and security vulnerabilities.
4. Give me the choice of a .deb or an .rpm file, and who cares about other distros.
5. Source only! I'll made my own binaries!
(Uh, the last isn't actually an option in all cases, as some of these games aren't open source.)
hi greg, I would have said .deb and .rpm for the majority and let the other distro hard core figure out how to install from these, but I hadn't come across autopackage, which looks pretty interesting. awesome blog btw
Industry standard (such as it is) seems to be kind of 'all of the above': one of .tar.gz or self-extracting .sh and also a .rpm or .deb. Autopackage looks okay, but IMHO most desktop linux users (your target market) are going to be running Ubuntu or SuSE or Redhat, so .deb+.rpm covers them; the outliers can install from a tarball.
I'd order the choices as follows (first preference to last)
I'd have to say .deb/rpm will cover most cases, but having another, distribution-agnostic binary format is also essential. Autopackages or self-extracting shell scripts are pretty much the same thing to most users, so don't worry about providing both on every case.
A .sh (or whatever) that installs
By 4:52 AM, at
Sounds very interesting :)
By 6:52 AM, at
It's got to be a distro-neutral sh. Would be nice to include the source, in addition to this, when available.
Obviously, you can't make everyone happy with just one format. Actually you can't make everyone happy at all, but you'll need multiple formats if you want to make most people happy. I would say most people fall into two groups:
Being a relative Linux newb, I realize that my opinion might not reflect the 'best' or most open way to do things, but:
Id software games use a sh/run that loads a graphical installer that allows you to choose an install directory... that's probably the most windows-like solution, which some recent switchers might be more comfortable with.
By 5:43 PM, at
By 11:17 PM, at
By 10:24 AM, at
my order of preference is
By 4:24 AM, at
When I get a game, I want to extract it from a tar archive (or similar) and run it directly. I don't want to have to run any kind of custom installer.
I'd suggest to stick to what other games vendors are doing - that is, re-use the Loki installer (or lgp installer or the new icculus stuff).
By 5:48 AM, at
I would be a little leery of using Autopackage right at the moment. While it works pretty good on x86 systems, anyone with a 64-bit configuration will have no end to the "fun" they will have trying to install your games with it. While it's a great idea, unfortunately it's still not quite there for everything. Now, if you can make it work for x86_64 in a manner that something like Installjammer, loki_installer, or the upcoming MojoInstaller does on things, then you'll have something. As for ordinary packaging, if you want to provide an RPM and a DEB that will work on the various distributions, you'd have something as well, but you'll be providing at least two if not four to five different binary sets for people for each game.
Egad, Greg. Don't release Linux games. It'll be a huge waste of time for almost no return.
I think it's a great idea but the current mentality of Linux types doesn't quite mesh with the gamer mentality (in so far as the concept of non open source code is terrifying to them).
.rpm/.deb is preferred, with .tar.gz as fallback (and for the control freaks).
By 3:00 AM, at
Distro-specific packaging (rpm/deb), with a .tar.gz as fallback would be my preference - for what it's worth.
Avoid rpm/deb - making your customer resolve dependency issues is not cool. You don't want to frustrate a potential customer.
By 8:35 PM, at
lem: We intend to include chipset in "requirements." And actually, at least some of the games we're looking at support PPC.
Here's a thought!
By 3:56 AM, at
With regular programs I rarely install anything that is not packaged for the distro. However, for games, I tend to prefer distro-neutral formats. So:
By 3:35 AM, at
I think the best way will always be to use the package manager of the distribution.
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