VMWare Workstation 6.5 Beta - Does linux finally have fast games support?

Discussion in 'Other Operating Systems' started by tensop, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. tensop

    tensop Member

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    Hi guys, incase you have not noticed - VMWare workstation 6.5 beta has brought in DX9 support, and non-wrapped windows(so you can hide the windows desktop etc)

    "Accelerated 3-D graphics on Windows XP guests — Workstation 6.5 virtual machines now work with applications that use DirectX 9 accelerated graphics with shaders up through Shader Model 2.0 on Windows XP guests. Hosts can be running Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Linux."

    Has anyone fired it up yet? I wonder what the performance is like; and whether this will prove a viable alternative to wine?
     
  2. GumbyNoTalent

    GumbyNoTalent Member

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    so you run VMware on a XP host to get DirectX support in Linux... why not just use the XP host?
     
  3. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I can sort of see the benfit.

    Say you're someone who likes to play PC games, but wants/needs Linux as your primary desktop (plenty of people fit that category). Dual-booting is time consuming and annoying, and the idea of forever running Linux in a VM is similarly painful.

    Instead, run Linux on bare metal. Have your Windows XP VM sitting tucked away in a file or on an logical volume or something. When you want to game, fire up your VM in it's funky little background mode so that just the game window itself and not the whole OS appears. If you need to get back to your Linux fileset, Samba exports save you there.

    Of course, I baulk at the idea of being forced to pay a Windows license just to play games. But until WINE catches up, I guess it's a nice middle ground for people (a) who see gaming as the one thing holding them back from Linux adoption (these forums are full of them lately), and (b) who probably already have a paid Windows license already (although I'm unsure of how OEM licensing with VMs works, and I'm sure Microsoft have their little restrictive claws wrapped around that already).

    I'd love to see the free alternatives catch up to this. I've got big hopes for VirtualBox now that Sun is funding it.
     
  4. the-enigma

    the-enigma Member

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    It's neat that they've done this, but I still don't think it's what many people want.

    Firstly, you still have to own a copy of windows.
    Secondly, you still have to install windows somewhere.

    It's those two things (mainly the first one) which annoy me about games. But then again, given the uproar about OpenGL 3.0, I don't know what is going to happen on Linux.
     
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    (Apologies in advance for the topic change)

    I'm not understanding what this "uproar" is all about. Did I miss something? As I understand it, OpenGL 3.0 was going to be a total re-write, and instead got modified to be an extension of 2.0 with more legacy support. Is that pretty much the argument? Or is there more to it?

    As I understand it (and I'm not a games dev, so I'm basing this entirely on what I hear around the traps), DirectX is far friendlier in terms of example code and overall integration between input and output, hence the preference to use it for games. If that's the case, shouldn't the OpenGL consortium fight fire with fire and offer support around OpenGL to catch up with DirectX? Perhaps even some better integration with the SDL guys to offer an all-inclusive solution that also deasl with cross-platform I/O and device support, rather than just lower-level 3D?

    Or am I showing complete ignorance to the real issue?
     
  6. f3n1x

    f3n1x Member

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    There was no massive uproar, obviously you read slashdot or similar and read the article summary and not the article, if you do read slashdot, you would/should realise that article summarys take (to put it politely) artistic license on the article they're journalising.

    Also regarding having 3d in vmware, this is great news for people on linux that still want to play a pc game on the odd occasion (i play eve, it has a linux client that has cedega built in so its not really an issue for me).

    I have a feeling this will make linux popular in ways i'd really rather it wasn't, (slightly selfish maybe but i like my job security :Pirate: )
     
  7. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    At the current rate of business Linux adoption that I've seen first hand, don't rely on it's obscurity as job security. :)
     
  8. the-enigma

    the-enigma Member

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    Yup, that's pretty much me as a reader of slashdot. Articles aren't neccessary :p

    I actually did start reading through the forum thread that was linked regarding the release, and it did seem to have some merit though. From memory, apparently people were expecting, and were told, that 3.0 was going to be completely new (no longer state based but atomic), but it turns out that this wasn't done.
    I'm no 3D developer, I get the idea of state based and atomic, roughly, but I didn't delve into the deeps of OpenGL 3.0.

    But as has been mentioned, DirectX equivalents need to be promoted more. I believe SDL does similar things, and is also compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac. And possibly others.


    As to the VMware thing though, has anyone tried it? How well does it compare? Is it just as good as running XP natively and playing games, or is it noticably slower? And I wonder how the drivers/video card detection works?
    Does it just recognise some "VMWare Accelerated 3D video" or does it actually work out what card you have?
     
  9. Zedd02

    Zedd02 Member

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    I think it'd be automated. I've always been curious as to why they can't do a single system call to glxinfo to find the render string and pass it to the virtual machine. Even without 3D at least VMWare would know you're running an ATi x1600.
     
  10. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Support and market demand. Thus far 3D acceleration from a VM has been a relatively new market requirement (remember where VMWare came from - mainly a tool for embedded OS developers to test systems on and get access to crash dumps outside the testing OS). Virtualised (S)VGA has met all of their market needs to date, and likewise means their support is very easy.

    Start passing calls back and forth to the system below, and you're exponentially increasing the volume of things you need to test/support. Up until recently, that would have proved very little financial benefit to the company for a whole lot of work.

    The decisions are not made on technical merit. They're made entirely on the basis of dollar return.
     
  11. ewok85

    ewok85 Member

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    Then things start to get very, very ugly. You need to start supporting not one (virtual) adapter, but at least dozens of models from different makers.
     
  12. Pengoz

    Pengoz Member

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    If you want to game on linux use Cedega.
     
  13. Ilumina

    Ilumina Member

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    i think it shows that the virtualisation space is getting matured. It'd be nice for tester/developers to develop on different platforms without having a dedicated server for it.
     
  14. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    Cedega does not have 100% compatibility across all games. Plus it's always nice to have more than one option. Choice is a wonderful thing.
     
  15. Oblong Cheese

    Oblong Cheese Member

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    I'll care when VirtualBox OSE has this kind of functionality. :D

    (prepares himself to wait 15 years)
     
  16. OP
    OP
    tensop

    tensop Member

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    Has anyone actually tested it out yet? Wouldnt mind knowing what kind of a performance hit there is from running the game within a VM
     
  17. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper Member

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    Verrrrrrrry interesting. I would love to hear from anybody that has also tested this?

    I most certainly would take full advantage of this until Wine catches up :)
     
  18. Leca

    Leca Member

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    I should be able to post some sort of results/testing info after I get home from work :thumbup:

    Just got to install the new beta and Winxp/vista into a VM :Paranoid:

    Edit @ 5:18am : New beta installed, Win XP installed - Will Get a few benchmarks/tests done when I get home :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2008
  19. f3n1x

    f3n1x Member

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    i hope your a nightshift worker and didn't stay up till 5pm to test software. :o
     
  20. stmok

    stmok Member

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    Yes, I did notice...Many weeks ago.

    Compatibility-wise, it does fine.

    Performance-wise, its like trying out the 200m freestyle with a cinder block tied to your back. You need quite a hefty machine to have decent frame rates. Tried it with a cousin's copy of "Gears of War" on PC. Implementation isn't mature enough yet (obviously)...

    This technology is basically just porting what they've done in VMware Fusion onto the Windows and Linux platforms. I guess Fusion is what you call their "guinea pig" platform for future versions of VMware Workstation. (Whatever new thing you see in Fusion now, will eventually make its way to Workstation).

    If you're a "Free Software" person, this and Wine still doesn't address the need for some "serious" or "much needed" native Linux apps. (Well technically, this is worse from a monetary perspective, as you have to pay for a Windows license, but a better temporary stop-gap for compatibility reasons).

    I guess I'm saying I much prefer answering a Linux weakness directly with a proper solution, than coming up with such "quick fixes" or "cures" where I have to screw around (Wine) or need a Windows License (VMware/VirtualBox/etc).
     

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