I recently did a review of Ultimate Edition 2.8, a very large derivative of Ubuntu. Ultimate Edition 2.8 comes in more than one flavor though and this week I decided to take a look at Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers. Linux is not famous for gaming; gaming has actually been the Achilles heel of Linux. Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers strives to make gaming a bit more visible and accessible in Linux.
Before I get into the quick look, please note that since the emphasis is on gaming the UE developers have removed some of the software more commonly found in the regular version of Ultimate Edition. For example, OpenOffice.org is not included by default when you boot into your UE 2.8 Gamers desktop. It is, of course, still available for download so you can easily add it to your desktop if you want.
As with the regular edition of Ultimate Edition 2.8, I was not able to find a definitive list of what’s new. Here’s what I was able to find for the regular edition and for the gamers version.
What is Ultimate Edition 2.8? Ultimate Edition was built off Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat. All updates fully updated / upgraded. The software you have came to love with previous editions of Ultimate Edition have been also pre-installed along with 12 new ones. I must apologise at time of build Cinelerra & wine doors were currently broken and did not make the cut.
I also want to apologise for the delay and at the same time thank my admin for the delay of Ultimate Edition 2.8?s release. Many issues have been squashed in 2.8 because of the delay. I do want to give a shout out to JohnnyG. Many were cosmetic, he has a real eye for detail and breaking things down to a programmers level. Thanks again JohnnyG. Cowboy’s handiwork at the theme has won the poll and will be deemed “Cowboy Blue”. This is not the end of the thanks that need to be dropped simply the tip of the iceberg. I would be chatter boxing all day to give the kudos where they lie. No, I do not do everything. Don’t like the blue theme? There are 107 themes to choose from, it does not have to be dark.
I have included a now enhanced, color and font selectable Conky script I wrote that will generate as per computer. The results of running the Conky script can be seen at the right. This script will be in your home folder when installed (your choice to run it or not). The script is commented if you wish to learn.
Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers is unlike any other gamers edition built in the past. Beyond the updates / upgrades many tools have been ripped out of Ultimate Edition 2.8 (the base of the release), prior to build to maximize room for additional games. In Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers you will not find Openoffice, we are here to play games right? This does not mean you will not have a media player, just the very basics & a vast quantity of high quality games. Hand picked by bnjamin_breeg & I. The newest PlayOnLinux (at time of build) is also included to allow installation of ® Windows based games and applications as seen above.
As I noted in the other review, I could not find a definitive list of system requirements. Here are the ones for generic Ubuntu:
700 MHz x86 processor
256 MB RAM
3 GB disk space
Graphics card capable of 1024 x 768 resolution
Network or Internet connection
I strongly recommend that you have at least 1 GB of RAM and 10GB of hard disk space (as well as a good video card) for this distro.
The install is very easy and quick. UE 2.8 Gamers uses a customized version of the Ubuntu installer. It’s slick and you can watch a customized Ultimate Edition slideshow while your install completes.
On the next page, I’ll cover the software & games included and I’ll share my final thoughts about this distro.
As I noted earlier, this version of Ultimate Edition is geared toward gaming. So the selection of non-gaming applications has been pared down appropriately. Don’t worry though, there’s still enough here for you to perform most basic desktop computing functions. Here’s a sample of what you’ll find:
Here’s what you’ll find in the gaming application menu:
17 Arcade Games
Gtkboard Board Games
True Combat: Elite
There are also more games listed in Utamatix:
Alien Arena 2009
Blob and Conquer
Chromium Space Game
RTCW Enemy Territory
The Babylon Project
True Combat Elite
World of Padman
Don’t forget about PlayOnLinux either. If you aren’t familiar with it, here’s a bit of background from the POL site:
PlayOnLinux is a piece of sofware which allows you to easily install and use numerous games and apps designed to run with Microsoft® Windows®. Few games are compatible with GNU/Linux at the moment and it certainly is a factor preventing the migration to this system. PlayOnLinux brings a cost-free, accessible and efficient solution to this problem.
What are PlayOnLinux’s features?
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the interesting points to know:
* You don’t have to own a Windows® license to use PlayOnLinux.
* PlayOnLinux is based on Wine, and so profits from all its features yet it keeps the user from having to deal with its complexity.
* PlayOnLinux is free software.
* PlayOnLinux uses Bash and Python.
Nevertheless, PlayOnLinux has some bugs, as every piece of software:
* Occasional performance decrease (image may be less fluid and graphics less detailed).
* Not all games are supported. Nevertheless, you can use our manual installation module.
Here’s a sample of what you’ll be able to play via PlayOnLinux:
18 Wheels of Steel Haulin
Age of Empires 2: The Age of Kings
Age of Empires 2: The Conquerors Expansion
Age of Empires 3
Age of Empires 3: The Asian Dynasties
Age of Empires 3: The War Chiefs
Age of Wonders
Alien Breed: Impact
Alien Breed 2: Assault
Alien Breed 3: Descent
Assassin’s Creed 2
Best One Poker
Black & White 2
Breaht of Fire 4
Cacodemons Barbecue Party in Hell
Call of Chtulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth
Call of Duty: Black Ops
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Call of Duty 2
Call of Duty 4
That’s just a sample of what’s in PlayOnLinux. I’m too lazy to type the rest of the games that are playable. Between PlayOnLinux and the other games included with Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamer, you’ll be very busy playing for a long, long time.
Using Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamer
Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers runs about the same as the regular edition in terms of the performance of the distro itself. Remember that this distro has a lot of eye candy and other goodies, so it might seem sluggish if you’re running older hardware.
I’m not going to get into specific game performance since there are way too many games and they each have their own individual requirements, etc. Suffice to say that if you are going to be running UE 2.8 Gamers then it makes sense to make sure your system is as game-ready as possible in terms of your system’s hardware, etc.
Beyond that, you’ll have to try each game and see how well it works for you.
Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamers is a nice way of slicing UE up into a gaming-friendly version. The developers have done a pretty good job putting the emphasis on gaming while not really short-changing the user too much on non-gaming applications. I found it quite possible to use UE 2.8 Gamers as a regular distro when not playing games.
If you’re a Linux gamer, it’s definitely worth taking a look at Ultimate Edition 2.8 Gamer.
What’s your take on this distro? Tell me in the comments. For full distro reviews, visit Desktop Linux Reviews.