A lot of people who like to use their Linux system for gaming. There seems to be no shortage of gaming systems which can supply access to games. UALinux is a Ukrainian company which promotes the use of GNU/Linux. UALinux has created a Ubuntu version to fill the gap for gaming. The Operating System (OS) is called Ubuntu GamePack and is based off of Ubuntu 16.04.
The list of games would be quite extensive but the company claims there is access to over 22,381 games.
The GamePack includes Lutris and Steam to allow you access to the specific gaming services the distributer provides.
For Windows-based games there is PlayOnLinux, WINE and CrossOver so the games will run on Linux.
For DOS games you can run the games in DosBox which is a DOS emulator for Linux.
Sparky APTus Gamer is also installed to allow access to numerous gaming console emulators. The emulators include:
- AdvanceMENU – front-end for AdvanceMAME, AdvanceMESS, MAME, MESS, xmame, Raine and other emulators
- Atari800 – emulator for Atari 8-bit systems, XE Game System and Atari 5200 SuperSystem
- DeSmuME – Nintendo DS emulator
- Desura – digital distribution platform for Windows, Linux and X systems – OnLine installer
- DOSBox – DOS emulator for BeOS, Linux, Mac X, OS2, and Windows
- DOSEMU – DOS Emulator for Linux
- ePSXe – enhanced PSX emulator
- FCEUX – Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Famicom and Famicom Disk System (FDS) emulator
- FS-UAE – Cross-platform Amiga emulator
- GNOME Video Arcade – Simple MAME frontend
- Hatari – Atari ST, STE, TT and Falcon emulator for Linux and other systems
- Higan – Emulator for Nintendos SNES, NES, Gameboy, Gameboy Color and Gameboy Advance
- Kega_Fusion – Sega SG/SC/SF, Master System, Game Gear, Genesis/Megadrive, SVP, Pico, SegaCD/MegaCD emulator
- MAME – Hardware emulator which faithfully reproduces the behavior of many arcade machines
- Mednafen – Atari Lynx, GameBoy, NES, SNES, PC-FX, Sega, Sony PlayStation and other systems
- MESS – Emulator for various consoles and computing systems
- Nestopia – Nintendo Entertainment System/Famicom emulator
- PCSX – Sony PlayStation emulator
- PlayOnLinux – Front-end for Wine
- PPSSPP – PPSSPP is an open source PSP emulator available for Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android
- Steam – launcher for the Steam software distribution service – OnLine installer
- Stella – Atari 2600 Emulator for SDL and the X Window System
- VisualBoyAdvance – Full featured Game Boy Advance emulator
- Virtual Jaguar – Cross-platform emulator for Atari’s infamous Jaguar console
- Wine – Windows implementation
- Winetricks – a POSIX shell script ‘package manager’ for WINE to install some Windows software easily
- Yabause – Sega Saturn emulator
- ZSNES – Emulator for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System
The GamePack also includes Oracle Java and Adobe Flash which is needed by quite a few games.
If this seems to be an OS you are interested in then read on to find out how to download it.
The main place to download the OS is from UALinux. The link from UALinux is https://ualinux.com/en/download/category/25-ubuntu-gamepack. Since the link is from a foreign country it is a slow download. Another option is to download the OS from a Torrent file. If you do not have a Torrent program you may want to download ‘Transmission’. Once you have a Torrent program go to https://zooqle.com/ubuntu-gamepack-16-04-i386-amd64-январь-2017-pc-vkn99.html. The Torrent will allow you to download both the 64-bit and 32-bit ISO files.
The file sizes vary depending on the architecture you need. The 64-bit OS ISO file is 2.27 GB, while the 32-bit OS ISO file is 2.13 GB.
Once downloaded you can use the ISO file to create a bootable DVD to install the GamePack or you can use a program like ‘USB Image Writer’ to place the ISO on a USB stick to install it.
The requirements are the same as Ubuntu 16.04:
- 2 GHz dual core processor or better
- 2 GB system memory
- 25 GB of free hard drive space
- Either a DVD drive or a USB port for the installer media
- Internet access is required for online gaming systems such as Steam
It goes without saying that for gaming you definitely want to have a system with more than these ‘minimum’ requirements. More memory would be a definite plus as well as a decent video card with a fair amount of Video RAM.
Once you have a system and the specific ISO file for the system, 32- or 64-bit OS, then you are ready to install the Operating System.
Once you have the ISO file on a media from which you can boot your system you are ready to continue.
Boot from the Ubuntu GamePack media and you should see a screen similar to Figure 1.
Once everything is loaded the installer can proceed with the installation. Figure 2 shows the next screen which allows you to specify your language and whether you want to install or try the GamePack. If you wish, you can click ‘Try Ubuntu’ to simply load it into memory and try it out without making changes to your drive.
Once you are ready to continue select ‘Install Ubuntu’.
The next screen, Figure 3, allows you to specify whether to download any updates for Ubuntu while installing it. You can also choose to install Third Party software for Graphics, WiFi, Flash, MP3 and other updates.
Once you have made your selections, press ‘Continue’.
Next, you must specify how the drive will be configured for use as shown in Figure 4. If you plan on using the whole drive, then it may be easier to leave the settings as they are and click ‘Install Now’.
As shown in Figure 5 you will be prompted to verify your selection for configuring the hard drive. If you approve the changes then click ‘Continue’.
Next you will be prompted to choose your Time Zone as shown in Figure 6. Click ‘Continue’ once you have set your Time Zone.
A window will appear, Figure 7, to allow you to set the default keyboard layout. Choose the correct layout and press ‘Continue’.
The last configuration screen is for you to set up a User account as shown in Figure 8. Type in your name, computer name, User name, password and select if you need to type the password to log onto the system. You can also set to encrypt the Home Folder for this User.
The installation should proceed now by setting up the drive as specified. Files will be copied from the boot media to the hard drive as shown in Figure 9. Once everything is copied to the drive and set up you will be prompted to remove the Boot Media to allow the system to restart.
After the restart, if you selected to require the User to log in, then you will be given a screen like Figure 10. Here you enter the password you specified for the User and log onto Ubuntu GamePack.
After you log onto Ubuntu GamePack you should probably try to perform any software upgrades which may be necessary. Open a Terminal and enter the following two commands:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
Any updates which are not installed should be installed to bring the GamePack system up-to-date.
Now, simply look through the menu and find the games you wish to play. Open the emulators or any of the game services like Steam.
Hope you enjoy the GamePack and have fun!
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