Turning 17.1 into a powerful and lightweight gaming OS

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Turning 17.1 into a powerful and lightweight gaming OS

Post by coffeymug » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:18 pm


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.

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 you can use the Universal USB Installer;
https://www.pendrivelinux.com/universal ... -as-1-2-3/

The Universal USB Installer is extremely straightforward and works on Windows.

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 the Xorg AMD drivers by selecting the xserver-xorg-video-amdgpu package in the Synaptic Package Manager.

Installing Wine

Install Wine 2.15 with the following commands in the terminal with each line being executed after the previous portion has completed;

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wget -nc https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/Release.key
sudo apt-key add Release.key
sudo apt-add-repository https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/
sudo apt-add-repository 'deb https://dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/ trusty main'
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install --install-recommends winehq-staging
If you are using Linux Mint 18 or later then refer to;

To check the version of wine (it should say 2.15 staging);
On 32-Bit Systems:

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wine --version
On 64-Bit Systems:

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wine64 --version
Latency Edit

Go to File System > etc > sysctl.conf.
Edit 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
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 and enable level 4 updates by clicking on Edit > Preferences > Levels and checking that level 4 updates are both visible and selected. Click refresh on the Update Manager and then select linux-firmware and the kernel update. Click apply to install.

Desktop and Panel Settings

Right click on your background desktop wallpaper and choose Desktop Settings. 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.

Changing Process Priorities

Click on Menu in the lower left hand corner and search for "system monitor". The system monitor should show a list of processes running on your computer. You can terminate applications that are using up CPU power and RAM. Additionally you can increase the priority of a process by right-clicking on it and selecting Change Priority > High or Very High. While playing Left 4 Dead 2 I noticed that running the game normally it seemed to be fine but raising the priority to Very High made it choppy.

You can turn Cinnamon or Caja or any other background process that needs to run but isn't as much of a priority to the Low or Very Low setting.

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.

Here is a 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 Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:44 pm, edited 20 times in total.

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

Post by 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....

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Re: Turning 17.1 into a powerful and lightweight gaming OS

Post by 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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