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Thread: AO Linux HOWTO

  1. #1

    Exclamation AO Linux HOWTO

    Hello everyone, I hope people have been enjoying AO in Linux. I'm happy to announce that Cedega 4.1 is now available. This is the first binary release to contain the patches I submitted a few months ago. I recommend subscribing and using this release to play AO in Linux, especially for those of you who have had issues getting CVS to compile and run on your systems. There are differences between subscribing and building from CVS .

    Why you should get Cedega 4.1:
    • Easier to install
    • Water and yalm textures look correct
    • Better tech support with Cedega than I can provide

    Why you should not get Cedega 4.1:
    • If you have an ATI card, you wont get much improvement in AO
    • You want to continue using my script that automatically updates off of my website to provide you the latest patches, if I release any.
    • You are really broke. (How do you pay for AO? )

    One thing I want to clear up--because a lot of people get hung up on the word subscription. A subscription gets you access to the Cedega bins and tech support for 3 months. At that point you can either renew or cancel, but if you cancel you can still run whatever version of Cedega you have, just not download a new one.

    Yes the water is now fully textured, but it requires the FFOVS enhancements that are only in 4.1 (and only for certain nvidia cards). If this is not a big deal for you and you are already up and running with the CVS build, then you can stay as you are.

    There will be some changes with the HOWTO since I expect the 4.1 release to make most of the information on it less important. I will keep it online for those who still want to build from CVS, but I will be taking advantage of the Unofficial Transgaming Wiki setup by Omega from irc. He just added an AO page and I will be moving my troubleshooting section to the wiki. Hopefully I can also add some answers to additional questions as they come up.

    Anarchy Online on the Unofficial Transgaming Wiki
    Anarchy Online Linux HOWTO
    Though posting here may get you a little help with some issues, it is usually much easier to help you if you swing by #cedega on
    Last edited by Famine; Jun 11th, 2007 at 16:30:27.

  2. #2
    Has anyone told you lately, just how much you rule?

    ...that's why I live on the OUTSIDE.

  3. #3
    Marry me.
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    Cindi "Razishlyat" Bolieu - Advisor Eternalist

  4. #4

    gotta try this when at home

    Dhur the Ninja Pirate NT!

  5. #5
    If this works you rock! Now I just hope I can find a way to modify cedega to get it running on freebsd 5.2.x
    Last edited by omikjan; Aug 13th, 2004 at 11:42:15.

  6. #6
    any other people tested yet ?

  7. #7
    Yes, please feel free to post your experiences with my patches.
    Check out my HOWTO run AO in Linux:

  8. #8
    This almost makes me wanna install Linux and try since windows sucks...


    Btw, this should be a sticky, get to it Cz :P
    Last edited by Maleene; Aug 13th, 2004 at 22:15:35.

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  9. #9
    oh dear. this is... very... very... nice. THANKS
    Qran. Shadow
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  10. #10

    just wanted to say that this does work

    I built cedega out of cvs today, applied the relevant patches and it does work!!! Works well too Ofcourse my work machine has an nvidia card, i have an ati in my home machine, though the ATI drivers are such a pain in linux that I might just go buy a new Nvidia card for it. AO is the only reason I run windows on my machines at all anymore. Thanks so much for making this work!

    * EDIT *

    BTW: I saw you mentioned in your other post that you had done no patches. I was able to patch up to latest just fine. I had an old install of AO laying on my linux box form trying to get it to work in and older version of winex... so patches work too, at least when FC only changes content and stuff and not the graphics / sound engine itself.
    Last edited by Fooqui; Aug 14th, 2004 at 01:55:03.

  11. #11
    Great to hear that the first try to be posted today was a success, making it that much more of a happy birthday for me!
    Check out my HOWTO run AO in Linux:

  12. #12
    Worked without problems here aswell.
    I have a 9600pro and I did experience graphical glitches outside both with VBO and without, though.

    I'm trying to find out if I can find more about the performance issue. It's indeed slow as hell outside, and even if the linux ATI drivers are supposed to be crappy, I doubt that's the whole story.

    There might be some issues with cedega's direct3d7 emulation, especially since I don't think that getting it right is one of their priority, given that only old games use it.

    And happy birthday btw :)

  13. #13
    Ok i want to try this so i reformatted and installed suse linux and windows xp on. Only problem is windows xp wont boot. I select the windows xp option in grub and it doesnt really do anything. For a list of files that i have go here:

    If you are able to help that would be great =).
    Gridphreakin Sexiest fixer there ever was
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    AS is for those who dont know how to pvp.

  14. #14
    I'm not a specialist of grub and multi-boot configurations, but for what it's worht, in my grub.conf, I have "rootnoverify (hd0,0)
    " instead of "root (hd0,0)" for the windows entry.

    I also had a look at the grub doc, and apparently, windows has trouble booting from anything except the first partition of the hd, although it may be possible to make it work. Maybe this is your case ?

  15. #15
    Thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you

    Now we just need to wake ATI up to give us some decent Linux drivers.
    Lord "Khalem" Trevallien -=- Fixer Kingpin, proud officer and Loremaster of Ancarim Iron Legion
    Sir "Eoemar" Trevallien -=- Supreme Creator - The Shadowlands Library -=- - The Alien Invation library - BeBot - An Anarchy Online Chat Automaton - Anarchy Online 3rd party developers resource

    "Frustration is not a good emotion when it comes to playing games."
    -- Former AO Game Director Marius Enge

  16. #16
    you are the man !

    free wraggles for you !

  17. #17
    Some update about the performance with ATI cards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bounsar
    Unfortunately here comes the BAD news. I am currently an ATI user. I bought my 9800 Pro 128 before I decided to use Linux on my desktop. Most sites and forums out there don't stress exactly how bad ATI drivers are in Linux, so I got screwed. I found my old Nvidia GF3, blew the dust off and compared results running AO in Linux. Hang on to your keyboard because the results might knock you off your chair.

    Here are my system specs:
    P4 2.6C overclocked to 3.12Ghz
    1Gig dual channel Corsair TwinX 400 ram
    Debian unstable, kernel 2.6.3
    AO at 1280x1024 fullscreen, max textures, no antialiasing or extra options in driver

    Everything but the video card remains the same between tests. Just swap cards, enable the driver and go.

    ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128:
    Room in subway before main hall (violent vagabond and flth fleas) with doors closed: 64fps
    Basic general store: 32fps
    Newland: 16fps
    Borealis: 4fps
    Nascense by incarnator: 3 fps

    Hercules GeForce 3 64MB original model:
    Subway: 90fps
    Store: 64fps
    Newland: 33
    Borealis: 9
    Nascense: 11fps

    The subway results are representative of some of the most simple areas in the game. The store results are representative of usual performance in indoor playfields. Newland and Borealis show the range of outdoor performance in RK. The Nascense value was representative of most of the run from the bridge all the way to the incarnator.

    This is a pathetic show on ATIs part to be beaten by a card from 2 generations earlier. The performance shown by AO in Linux seems to be the rule not the exception for ATI. And when performance is sufficient, then numerous bugs can cause your game to be unplayable, like in UT2004 where many players have good framerate, but the whole display corrupts anywhere from 1 second to 20 minutes after joining a game, usually a few seconds.

    I tried to find out why it is so slow, and did a few changes that improved performance a lot, although it's still much slower than under windows.

    Last time I checked borealis, I was getting around 9 fps, and my config is weak compared to the above:
    athlon 1.4ghz, no ddr, 4x agp, radeon 9600pro (yeah, I do know that using a 9600pro on such an outdated motherboard is stupid :p)

    ATI drivers may not be as good as nvidia's, but as I suspected, wine is also much at fault here.
    First, in the CVS version, VBO support is completly and totally disabled, regardless of the ARB_VBO setting.
    However, the NV_VertexArray (VAR) code is here.

    What does it means ? Well, on nvidia cards, cvs winex uses a proprietary nvidia opengl extension to upload vertex buffers directly in video ram, whereas with an ATI cards, it uses plain old vertex buffers sitting in system memory, so the driver has to retransfer them to the GPU through AGP whenever it needs to render primitives.

    There's a similar extension for ATI cards, but they don't use it.

    Anyway, it shouldn't matter, because these proprietary extensions are deprecated, in favor of ARB_VertexBufferObject (VBO), which is newer, standard, and supported both by nvidia and ati.

    Here are the gory technical details for those interested:

    I had to retrieve two files in their previous version from the transgaming cvs to get the missing VBO code (which was apparently removed three month ago because it was causing "problems")
    I then had to change the vertex buffers initialisation code, because some optimisation that was done there didn't work with VBO.

    Funny thing is that grep'ing the official cedega binaries showed that VBO support was indeed compiled in (and probably working). It's not news that the public cvs repositery is lagging behind the official version, but I can't help thinking they do this deliberately to leave the cvs version crippled in terms of performance. Whatever.

    BTW, for some reason, since I got VBO working, I have no visual artifacts at all, whereas before I had some bugged polygons here and there in outside areas (regardless of the ARB_VBO setting, which wasn't doing anything anyway)

    Another thing I've done, although this is by no means ATI specific:
    I profiled some more using oprofile, and found that the vertex buffer conversion function was always called, even for vertex buffers that were static and already uploaded in VBOs, wasting a fair amount of time. It turned out that it was looping through the vertices to check individually if they were already converted.
    I added a counter to be able to determine if a vertex buffer has been entirely converted and uploaded, as to avoid the unnecessary per vertex test, and got some noticeable speed improvements (although I believe it wouldn't be quite so noticeable with a more up to date motherboard/cpu than mine)

    Last time I ran oprofile, the wine libraries were still taking a lot more time than randy31.dll, AO's 3d engine. It means there's still a lot of emulation overhead between randy and the opengl driver.
    I'm now trying to make another profiler work with wine, as oprofile is rather limited, to get more accurate performance measurements, and hopefully find out where most of that time is wasted.

  18. #18

    Updated patch

    Updated patch to fix crash related to "err:ddraw:D3D_GL_draw glGetError returns 00000502 for DrawPrimitive"
    Check out my HOWTO run AO in Linux:

  19. #19

    ATI performance

    Morb, would you share your research with us?
    I mean if you have any patches which are usable, I would like to try those too.

    Grub issue:

    One method, to make windows boot from other partition than hd0,0, is to make IDE remap using GRUBs map command. This maps IDE channels in bios data area so it is possible to change hd0 -> hd1 and hd1 -> hd0.

    my setup:

    hd0 linux root
    hd1 windows 2000

    <clip from /boot/grub/menu.lst>
    # Windows 2000
    title Windows 2000
    map (hd0) (hd1)
    map (hd1) (hd0)

    Now Win2k sees its own drive as c: and as primary master

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jbocc
    Morb, would you share your research with us?
    I mean if you have any patches which are usable, I would like to try those too.
    I just need to clean up a bit and make the patch, which I didn't have the time to do yesterday. But I'll try to do it asap.

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