Turning 17.1 into a powerful and lightweight gaming OS

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coffeymug
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Turning 17.1 into a powerful and lightweight gaming OS

Postby coffeymug » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:18 pm

Installation

I have a preference for Cinnamon even though MATE and Xfce are very fast desktop environments. Make sure you have completed the integrity and authenticity check when you verify the .iso file.

https://www.linuxmint.com/release.php?id=23
https://linuxmint.com/verify.php
If you need more help verifying: viewtopic.php?f=42&t=226092

Linux Mint has it's own built-in USB formatter and image writer. Otherwise these two USB image writers will work;
https://etcher.io/
https://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal ... -as-1-2-3/

I really like Etcher and the Universal USB Installer as they are extremely straightforward and they work on Windows if you're coming from that operating system.


Updates and Drivers

The very first thing that I do is to update the Update Manager and install all level 1 and 2 updates after the new Update Manager has been installed. Then I use the Driver Manager to install the latest Nvidia graphics driver. Restart your machine after that is completed.

If you are using an AMD graphics card you can install Linux Mint 18.1 and enable level 4 updates in the Update Manager. Then proceed to install the Xorg AMD drivers by selecting the xserver-xorg-video-amdgpu package and clicking apply.


Installing Wine

Install Wine 2.3 with the following commands in the terminal;

Code: Select all

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:wine/wine-builds
sudo apt update
sudo apt install winehq-staging

If anyone is concerned that this is some third-party PPA know that it comes straight from the PPA in the WineHQ respository: https://www.winehq.org/download

To check the version of wine (it should say 2.3 staging);
On 32-Bit Systems:

Code: Select all

wine --version

On 64-Bit Systems:

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wine64 --version

You can also install the latest version of Wine 2.11 by following the Ubuntu instructions: https://wiki.winehq.org/Ubuntu


Latency Edit

Go to File System > etc > sysctl.conf
Edit /etc/sysctl.conf as root and add the following:

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net.ipv4.tcp_timestamps = 0
net.ipv4.tcp_sack = 1
net.ipv4.tcp_no_metrics_save = 1
net.ipv4.tcp_window_scaling = 1
net.core.netdev_max_backlog = 2500

If you aren't sure of what this is doing to your operating system and internet connection then please read the source these edits: http://www.tuxradar.com/content/make-li ... nd-lighter

The above tweak is effectively the Linux equivalent of Leatrix's Latency Fix: http://www.wowinterface.com/downloads/i ... cyFix.html


CompizConfig Graphics Changes

Install the CompizConfig Settings Manager if you don't have it already. Open up the Synaptic Package Manager and search for "compiz". Check the packages compiz and compizconfig-settings-manager. Click apply to install both. Open the CompizConfig Settings Manager. Click on OpenGL > uncheck Sync to VBlank.


Nvidia Graphics Options

Click on Menu in the lower left hand corner. Search for "NVIDIA X Server Settings". Click on OpenGL Settings > uncheck Sync to VBlank.


Optional: Update Kernel

Updating your kernel can be hazardous to the stability of your system. Open the Update Manager > View > Linux Kernels > 4.10 select the newest kernel available and then click Install. The linux-firmware package that is part of the level 5 updates should also be installed.


Desktop and Panel Settings

Right click on your background desktop wallpaper and choose Desktop Setting. Select No desktop icons from the dropdown menu next to desktop layout.

Right click on your panel bar. Click on Panel settings. To the right of auto-hide panel there is a dropdown menu. Select Auto hide panel.

Click on Menu in the lower left hand corner of your screen. Search for "startup applications". Go through and turn off any of the applications that are unimportant.

These steps will differ on other desktop environments. If you are using Cinnamon then altering the desktop, panel and startup applications options should proceed exactly as I described above.

When you are in a game if you alt+tab out to the desktop you can click the show desktop icon in the left hand corner. You can also use ctrl+alt+right arrow key to move to the secondary workspace if alt+tab does not work. This will often help keep other applications from leeching extra cycles from your graphics card. The optimal solution is to close all extraneous processes.


Individual Game Settings

Remember that small changes in graphics settings can make all the difference between smooth performance and stuttering. Here is an example of what I mean: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/ ... =398407116

Altering the defaultengine.ini file made a significant improvement from Chivalry being slow and choppy.

Here is another guide on how to make World of Warcraft perform optimally on Linux Mint: http://www.webupd8.org/2014/09/how-to-i ... ft-in.html

If you like to play Starcraft II then you can edit the variables file that comes with the game. Also if you go to the Arcade and run the Unit Preloader this will also enhance performance.

SC2 never fully loads the game initially, but rather streams and loads required files on demand. Unit Preloader is a special map which forces SC2 to load all units, animations and effects, causing high RAM usage, but prevents loading the data (and massive framerate drops) during multiplayer matches. Open Arcade and search for Unit Preloader. There are 3 versions - start the one which corresponds to the game edition you'll want to play in multiplayer and wait for the Victory screen. All data will be preloaded until you exit the game to desktop.

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/St ... _Preloader
http://www.teamliquid.net/forum/starcra ... txt-thread
Last edited by coffeymug on Fri Jul 14, 2017 11:45 pm, edited 13 times in total.

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racer-x
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Re: Turning LM 17.1 into a lean and powerful gaming OS

Postby racer-x » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:12 am

Thanks for the tip on Compiz.

I don't do gaming, but the "Go into the CompizConfig settings. Composite > uncheck Sync to VBlank" helped eliminate screen taring during screen capturing in my LM 18.1 Cinnamon. Will test further, but so far, so good....

coffeymug
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Re: Turning 17.1 into a powerful and lightweight gaming OS

Postby coffeymug » Sun Jul 02, 2017 4:31 am

I am glad to hear that part helped with you screen tearing. I was trying out 18.1 for quite some time but kept running into stability issues. That was many months ago and now it seems as if certain updates have solved the problem.

I noticed that 18.1 provides AMD graphics drivers in the Update Manager in addition to Intel CPU drivers in it's Driver Manager. I chose to use 17.1 because in between MATE and Cinnamon it seemed to yield the most reliability and processing speed.


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