Learning Fedora Linux Through Gaming

Original Post

With big guys like Linus Tech Tips becoming more and more interested in Linux (and more specifically it’s gaming possibility) many of my gamer friends have also become interested (especially the ones who know I have used and enjoyed Linux previously). I was thinking now would be a perfect time to bring more attention to Fedora, and its gaming abilities to new users. My initial thought was a series of blog posts (or even a mini book) with a title to the likes of “Learning (Fedora) Linux Through Gaming” where you will be walked through several high level Linux concepts (Installing drivers and rpmfusion, choosing a desktop, using the terminal, understanding flatpak vs rpm etc.) and also be brought to the end goal of having a smooth gaming experience (setting steam, lutris, mangohud, trying out some FOSS games etc). I want contributions to be easy, and will probably set it up using something like ASCIIDoc + GitHub.io , or even just plain markdown. Would anybody here be interested, or know anybody who would be interested?

I will do my best to differentiate between the Fedora Project and Fedora set of Operating Systems but, as we all know, this can prove to be difficult

Over the past day, I have had conversations both within and out of the Linux and Fedora communities, and I believe this is an excellent Idea. This first post was a bit of a brainstorm, so I’m going to approach this with a higher level approach, to help you (and to an extent myself) better understand this concept, polish hit, and hopefully act on it.

The Issues:

1. Fedora is Great for Gaming, but nobody really knows.

Linux gaming is an ever-growing concept, and more and more people are hopping on board to escape the proprietary platforms they may have been using before. The problem is, nobody really knows where to start. When googling “how to game on linux” you get articles like this: Gaming On Linux: All You Need To Know - It's FOSS. A mess of fractured information, no real recommendations, and so many hyperlinks going to other articles. Ok, what about this one: How to Play PC Games on Linux | PCMag. It seems to actually explain certain things, and even provides a few tutorials. Let’s go ahead and install Steam:

What the heck is a snap and a .DEB?
Should use this tutorial with a command line, or the software center?
Why are all these tutorials outdated?
This says I should install Arch Linux as a noob for gaming… Will that fix Fortnite?
Do I run Steam in Wine or Wine in Steam?
Why is there a steam on the website and a Steam in the software center?
Steam only supports Ubuntu! I’m using Linux Mint?!?!

and for those few users who do dive into Fedora, it can be even worse, and even completely turn them away from the Project:

Why is my Nvidia card so slow!!! Let’s google it! Aaaand 100s of tutorials all saying different things…
I can’t turn off vsync on Fedora Workstation. Is it broken?
How do I dual boot with this anaconda thingy? I need windows to play fortnite!
WHAT THE HECK IS A FLATPAK AND A .RPM??? WHY IS THIS SNAP THING SO SLOW!
Why should I even care about Fedora, it’s just Ubuntu but worse!

While maybe a bit exaggerated, these are all but a few of the real complaints I hear in the Linux gaming world, and I really see only those most dedicated follow through, which I really believe is sad.

Fedora is wonderful for gaming! Having all the latest stuff but still being stable is invaluable for the ever-changing climate of Linux Gaming. It is just very difficult to explain how and why this is to new users, and if they do figure that out, the beast of projects that both Fedora and Linux Gaming are can be so overwhelming it drives them away from Linux altogether.

Ok, things should be a little less “ranty” from here on out

2. Fedora is Pretty Good for Beginners, but Nobody Really Knows.

Fedora is marketed and documented as a system for developers and at least mildly experienced Linux users, and I don’t see that direction changing, or see a need for that direction changing any time soon. The problem is, it is capable of so much more. The system really isn’t that difficult after you step over the first few hurdles. Rpm-fusion, Flathub, Drivers. But this is just too many steps when to a new users eye you get the same in Ubuntu, pretty much out of the box. What new users need is a high-level understanding of what makes Fedora and Linux:

  • What is a terminal, and how can it be utilized?
  • What is a package manager, and why is it any better than downloading from the author’s site?
  • What is the difference between Desktop Environments? Distributions? Wayland and Xorg?
  • Should I use and RPM or a Flatpak, and what do they do differently?
  • Why is Fedora different?

What’s cool is, these questions and more can be explained in a fun, interactive way, giving the user choice and general insight into their system, and helping to better understand the Fedora Operating System, and Project, as a whole:

And that is gaming!
(More on this later, of course.)

3. Documentation is too boring, confusing, and generalized. Blog posts are too opinionated, short, and not open to editing. I just want to learn Linux, play games, and have fun!

And that is where I’m hoping we’ll come in…

Goals:

  • Provide a high-level understanding of a Fedora Linux system.
  • Provide a low-level understanding of playing and optimizing games.
  • Be in an easy-to-understand format, providing (and making clear) choices for the reader when needed, and using your own pre-existing opinions or knowledge to make choices for them.
  • Provide an “ordered” set of documentation, that will more resemble a course or a book, with the “end goal” of playing games rather than a reference.
  • Stay up to date in the Fedora and Gaming world.
  • Be easily editable and accessible by everyone (maybe even across languages.)
  • Spread the word about Linux Gaming
  • Spread the word about FOSS Gaming
  • Spread the word about the Fedora Project
  • Pull in a whole new set of users and contributors from the Gaming world
  • Profit?

Non-Goals:

  • Be distro-agnostic. This usually causes more confusion, and any agnosticism will be inherent to the nature of Linux, not the guide.
  • Provide a complete sysadmin level understanding of Linux.
  • Replace the Fedora documentation or bloggers in any way, shape, or form.

There are probably more of both, but my brain can only simulate so many scenarios as at once.

The Plan as it Exists Now in My Head:

  • As I stated earlier, I want this to feel like a guide or a course.
  • A static website, ASCIIDoc build, or even just a plain GitHub + Markdown page.
  • There will be obvious topics, and obvious direction, with the obvious end goal of playing games on Linux, and better understanding your Linux system.
  • Topics will provide the basics, but also contain anecdotes regarding alternate uses, specific scenarios, tips, or external resources.
  • We will do our best to gauge what kind of decisions a user can and can’t make, and give them those decisions explicitly, or make them for them (possibly leaving a note saying why we did).
  • User made decisions will be obvious and provided with guidance, providing the Pros and Cons of each. Think choosing the Steam RPM or Flatpak, or choosing Wayland or Xorg.
  • Decisions made for the user should be conservative, and be presented as a recommendation, rather than what is or isn’t right.
  • Reading will be as “fun” as possible, with straightforward wording, and Images, GIFs, Videos etc.
  • The guide will be openly and easily editable, but read more like a blog than documentation.

Abstract/TL;DR:

I want to provide an accessible and open (community editable) guide on learning to Game on Fedora Linux. Since gaming covers so many high-level Linux concepts, it will also be a perfect opportunity to teach users about how their system works, and some of the advantages that Fedora and Linux provide. This will provide a fun way to learn Linux, different from any Fedora documentation I am currently aware of.

Closing Thoughts:

My goal was to be less brain stormy, but I think I did the opposite. Hopefully, things will make more sense when they come into fruition. For now, I would like questions, opinions, thoughts, concerns, recommendations; Anything to help you better understand, or hopefully get involved, with my (somewhat massive) idea. I have experience with open-source and writing, but admit it begins to lack when it comes to starting my own thing from pretty much scratch. I am very excited about this idea, but I have no desire to go at it alone and, in the spirit of open-source., think that will lessen the quality of the end product.

- nickavem

5 Likes

Sounds great to me. I guess my only suggestion would be to make frequent references to the work that is being done from here and maybe the magazine (e.g. something like what is done with the copr series: COPR Archives - Fedora Magazine).

2 Likes

Update 0: I’ve created a GitHub repo under the MIT license. For simplicity’s sake, I’d like to avoid CC licenses if possible. I will also keep it in a purely Markdown format for now. While I am not unfamiliar with web development, I would like to focus on the content first. Hopefully, I’ll get a hand or two for when/if we port it to static infrastructure (like Jekyll) but, if needed, I’ll also tackle that myself when I get a bit of extra time. Over these next few days I’ll set up some contributing guidelines, and maybe even a few draft pages, sending updates here for anyone interested. This probably seems a little chaotic, but I am learning as well.

Nice idea. Having one entry point with relevant and up to date information is a great goal to have.

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Update -1: I’m going to postpone this effort for now. I want to focus my little free time on helping @copperi and the others get a decent games SIG up and running. I still think this is a good idea, we just need to focus on traction first.