I’m a big fan of Linux and use it on a daily basis, mostly for software development though. One thing I don’t do on Linux? Gaming. While the lightweight OS would in theory be the perfect platform for gaming as it is so light on your computer’s resources, it’s the lack of compatible software and games that make it a non-start on the gaming front. Even though Android is Linux-based and in theory, the largest gaming OS in the world based on the number of users.
Valve has been trying to change this space for many years, by building support for games to run on Linux through its Proton compatibility tool. However, playing these games on Linux is still not the same given the lack of support from the underlying gaming engines or the graphics cards themselves to run optimally on the OS.
Nvidia has announced (as reported in The Verge) that it’s working with Valve to bring FPS boosts using its DLSS technology featured on its RTX cards. DLSS, or Deep Learning Super Sampling, is a technology that provides more performance by running the game at a lower-than-native resolution and then upscaling the mage back to its native resolution, allowing it to run in that resolution far quicker. It’s a clever and nifty trick that makes games feel far sharper than they otherwise would and gives many games a distinct performance edge.
And now with it coming to Valve’s Proton tool, it will enable Linux gamers to get the same sort of performance boost and hopefully not only get more gamers onto Linux itself but encourage more developers to support the platform too. And it’s that latter point that will make the most convincing because even if Nvidia and Valve put this technology in place it would still require developers to support in their games – especially to optimise it for the tool to ensure it gets the most value out of the performance enhancements.
I’m doubtful this initiative will move more people over to gaming on Linux, but at least it should provide those hardcore Linux fans wo do choose it as the gaming platform of choice, get a far better experience.
Last Updated: June 8, 2021