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Thread: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

  1. #1
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    what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    I'm looking at switching from windows 10 to ubuntu on my desktop.

    i mainly use my desktop for
    gaming ( window or doxbox)
    video and picture editing
    web scraping and loading to stock info to database for analysis.
    game developing

    I use the following and would like to know what I need to do to run them on ubuntu.
    I think that some will have a Ubuntu version that I'll need to install.
    but i see posting about emulators but not sure which one is best or if they are really needed.

    several Steam game (DCS, Xcom, etc...)
    several EA games ( Battlefield,...)
    several windows ( non steam of non EA controlled )
    DosBOX
    WOrld of Tanks
    Battle Net games

    CHCTmgr -- a CH-Products controller software for joysticks and other controller

    -- other software: short list --
    vb script
    unity
    epson scanner software
    powerbuilder (Sybase)
    blender
    handbrake
    obs studio
    visual studio
    mySql
    Powershell

    i can probable figure out which software has a ubuntu version but i really need to know what i need to run the above software.

    Thanks Tim.

  2. #2
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    Linux is not Windows. Expecting to keep working the same way you did on Windows will just lead to frustration. With Unix-like system, you'll want to start thinking a different way and some hardware might not work at all.

    WINE is how most people run Windows software on x64 Intel CPUs under Linux. Many programs work fine, a few are good to excellent. But IME, about 80% don't work at all. I spent months trying to get Quicken working about 10 yrs ago. Never got everything working in it - the tax planning parts never worked under WINE. Then a new Ubuntu release came out and broke WINE. I spent a week trying to get it working and failed. Decided that having a Windows VM for the 5 things that were easier under Windows was just smarter. It wasn't worth my time to fight software to get it working.

    I had an Epson page scanner. It never worked under Linux. NEVER. Forget about most hardware connected software from working. You'll need to use Linux tools going forward.

    I wouldn't expect vb-script to ever work under Linux. There is good news. Ruby, Python, Perl, bash are all extremely capable scripting languages and work crazy-great. The bad news - none of those are vb-script.
    blender, handbrake, obs, mariaDB (nobody uses mysql anymore) are all available on Linux. You'll probably want to research blender and obs addons to ensure some you might depend on exist for Linux. For example the green-screen addons for OBS are non-trivial to get working and require deeper understanding of Linux and kernel modules than most normal people can handle.

    Powershell - on Linux? Some things are just, just, just, WRONG!

    There are many things called "unity" on Linux. You'll need to be more specific. If it is the Unity DE from Ubuntu 12.04 - 16.04, then know that project is not official anymore and only maintained by volunteers. That means people will get bored and leave every year, especially as other DEs meet their needs better.

    When you say video editing, that can mean 1000 different things. I edit videos almost daily, but have never used blender. Different sorts of editing uses different tools. I mostly use mplayer as my editor these days with EDL file creation --> script --> resulting, edited, video, but sometime drop back to an MS-Windows program when finer editing is needed. The Windows program cannot handle all the different video file encodings I use. It is much too picky.

    Nobody here can answer all the questions, since nobody here uses their computer(s) exactly the same way you do. I don't game on Linux at all. I do stock market stuff, but that's all using scripts I've written over decades and a webapp that dynamically creates stock views for my research.
    I'd say you have a 50/50 chance of getting most of those items working under Linux. The learning curve will be steep. There's no chance everything will work, so you'll have to decide if enough does to switch or not.

  3. #3
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by tross9 View Post
    several Steam game (DCS, Xcom, etc...)
    There's a Linux version of "Steam" and in its latest releases it offers the possibility to play Windows games too. But it needs to be enabled.
    https://itsfoss.com/steam-play/

    Also: This does NOT work for every game.


    Quote Originally Posted by tross9 View Post
    several EA games ( Battlefield,...)
    EA's "Origin" is a mixed bag as far as Linux goes. Even if you get it working, chances are the next "Origin" update will break it again. I personally found it extremely annoying to get it working under Linux. Your mileage will definitely vary.
    https://www.addictivetips.com/ubuntu...igin-on-linux/

    Me personally I found it all so annoying ... setting the PC to dual-boot was easier and less problematic. So I boot into Linux if I need to do serious work ... and I still have a Windows 10 partition I can boot into if I want to play games. And all the games just work out of the box and don't require any manual fiddling.


    Quote Originally Posted by tross9 View Post
    vb script
    visual studio
    Powershell
    Those are programming languages and development environments native to Windows. They serve no purpose under Linux in my opinion. If you insist on using those you'd be better off using a VM or dual-boot.

    • VB Script => you should learn Python instead, or any other language that's popular on Linux.
    • Visual Studio => If you want to program in Java on Linux then use "Eclipse", "IntelliJ" .. and there are many more alternatives.
    • PowerShell => Linux has its own shells and scripting languages, e.g. "Bash", "Zsh", and several others. No need for PowerShell here.

  4. #4
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    Good advice above.
    Dual boot or use virtual install.
    Expect steep learning curve, but worth it if willing to try.

    My story.
    I used Windows XP at work & home before retiring, years ago.
    At work used MS Access and VBA a lot to automate tasks & use data in a small division, originally mostly stand alone. Corporate hated me as I had created a lot of essential apps for multiple departments and they did not want users using MS Access once they took over our computer systems. Converted most to use SQL-server so server backups backed up data better. And downloaded other data from Corporate servers.

    But then at home used XP with Firefox, Thunderbird, OpenOffice and Quicken. I intentionlly installed the first 3 apps as I knew there were Linux versions. I dual booted for probably 5 years just for Quicken. But found updating Windows took most of Saturday AM just for Quicken updates. Found Linux app, not nearly as good, but ok. And then like theFu created my own programs using python & sqlite. Not as easy or integrated as Access, but more powerful.

    I have one Windows 10 system just for TV. I hate tying to find how to make a minor fix or change. On line many examples but all screen based and it seems my version, does not match whatever version the example is. And clicking thru all the gui screens to get to setting, it seems the last screen is still the same as my old XP. But with Linux, settings are command line based since many gui. And terminal commands are a lot easier to use. I still do not remember many, but keep a zim file set with my own reference info.
    UEFI boot install & repair info - Regularly Updated :
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  5. #5
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    https://appdb.winehq.org/objectManag...Ascending=true
    You can use this to check WINE compatibility. As stated earlier some applications don't work, some won't even install and some may even perform better than under Windows. Its a real mixed bag

  6. #6
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    Thank you all for your replies,

    It appears that I'm stuck with windows on my desktop. but if I want to see for myself what will or wont run , I at least have suggestions and an old laptop to play with.
    (well , at least my servers are running ubuntu.)

    Again thanks for you replies/ suggestions

  7. #7
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by tross9 View Post
    It appears that I'm stuck with windows on my desktop.
    You can still experiment with Linux e.g. by installing Ubuntu into WSL. If your Windows version allows it, that is. That way you'd be able to keep Windows 10 as a desktop but a functional Linux environment that's running at near-native speeds would only be one mouse-click away.

  8. #8
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    I'm a strong believer in using virtual machines. There is very little risk to the other OSes, unlike dual booting. The storage is all "virtual" for any guest machines, so a 40G single file on Windows running a virtual Ubuntu brings very little risk to Windows, but almost all the power needed to try out Linux stuff ... except video editing and high-end games.

    Most people start with virtualbox on a Windows host, create a Linux VM and learn for 6-12 months that way. You can try out video editing and try out most games and they will work, but the virtualGPU (VMs don't have direct access to hardware) just isn't the same performance level as even a $100 GPU would provide. Still, you'll know if something works or not. Information is power.

    Eventually, some people fall in love with the normal power that Unix-like systems provide and will want the security, speed, and flexibility offered. Then you'll probably want to swap your hostOS around. Linux as the Host, still running virtualbox, but Windows as a guest VM. By this point, you'll know which programs work well under Linux and will probably have different priorities than high-end gaming. If not, more powerful hypervisors (VM hosting software) and some specific hardware can allow hardware passthru to a guest VM. A number of Linux users run a Windows VM and pass their better GPU into the Windows VM for native performance. This is non-trivial and requires specific CPUs and GPUs and motherboards with kernel options setup a specific way. It used to be extremely difficult, but today it is only non-trivial. The required hardware isn't too exotic - just a motherboard that supports VT-x and IOMMU, and 2 GPUs - one for the hostOS and the other for exclusive use of 1 guest VM, usually Windows. BTW, the software to make all this possible is 100% F/LOSS. No charge. Open Source. People doing this (which I've never bothered), run the best games, at high frame rates, inside a virtual machine.

    I ran Win7 Media center inside a virtual machine for a long time. When Microsoft stopped providing free schedule data, I move over to some custom scripts to handle TV recording. I've been using Linux-based streaming boxes for a long time. Have 2 r-pis now, running a specialized version of Kodi (the fork of XBMC).

    My Linux-fu is fairly good. Each week, I pull TV schedule data down (screen scraping automated; takes about 10 min), convert that data into a text DB, then run a filter to get the programs the house members would like to record, and schedule those recordings to happen over the next 6 days. Everything but scraping the schedule data takes less than 1 second. Until Monday, there are 12 TV shows to be recorded. Recording them doesn't mean someone will watch. For the screen scraping to work, a little manual setup is needed which takes about 20 seconds inside a browser, manually. Initially, I tried to automate everything, but it was too hard. Screen scraping requires clickable buttons to be in specific places. I got it down to 1 button needing to be in a specific location and wrote a tiny setup macro to show where the button needed to be located. Just resize and scroll the browser to make that happen, then it is golden for scraping 7 days of data. Turns out, the macro just does 1 day of data, 7 times. At some point, I might want 10 or 14 days of data. BTW, Wayland breaks this workflow. It will only work with X11. Wayland breaks a number of my workflows which became 2nd nature for me in the early 1990s.

    I've tried to help people with their WSL setups and always found it frustrating. Things were just off, wrong, and the locations of files and shell commands didn't work correctly. At the time, there wasn't any Linux GUI possible, so all the select/paste workflows didn't work either. More frustration for me and the other person, because tab-completion didn't work right either. Tip: Windows has always supported using a / instead of a \ for directory separation. Always. If you use WSL or powershell or cmd.exe, try using the / instead and you'll see that it works ... everywhere ... even when Windows is fighting against it.

  9. #9
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    Could install Ubuntu to USB (not just transfer the ISO and use persistence. A real install) then boot that when you want to use Ubuntu. For your needs it sounds like Windows is the better solution.

  10. #10
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    Re: what do I need to do to run windows software and steam/EA games on ubuntu desktop

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    I've tried to help people with their WSL setups and always found it frustrating.
    It got a lot better. I now prefer WSL over CygWin or a Linux VM (e.g. VirtualBox, VMware, Hyper-V ...) if I have to work with Windows (e.g. company setting + mandated by employer). So if I can't get a pure Linux OS on my metal for whatever reasons ... then WSL it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    Things were just off, wrong, and the locations of files and shell commands didn't work correctly.
    Can't reproduce that. The Ubuntu 20.04 inside my WSL behaves exactly like I'd expect an Ubuntu 20.04 installation to behave, for the most part. The only thing missing here is access to ACPI tables and hardware sensors that I noticed so far. E.g. I have bits inside my ~/.bashrc that would read the system's current load, temperature, battery status etc. and print that out to me when I login. The temperature and battery status parts don't work on WSL but that's about it as far as I can tell.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    At the time, there wasn't any Linux GUI possible
    The latest release will soon offer this possibility. For whatever good (or evil) that will do.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    so all the select/paste workflows didn't work either.
    You can enable "Shift+Ctrl+C" and "Shift+Ctrl+V" and copy & paste stuff (e.g. whatever text you marked using your mouse...) that way.



    Quote Originally Posted by TheFu View Post
    If you use WSL or powershell or cmd.exe, try using the / instead and you'll see that it works ...
    WSL does not support "\" for directory separation. Or maybe I should say "not anymore". You try that now and you get an error thrown at you, as I'd expect from a Linux system.


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