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Gaming under Linux is STILL anything but easy

So i decided to try and install lutris and install a game, this is what happened before i gave up:

  • Installed Lutris on Ubuntu 19.04 using command line, no drama and no problem.
  • Went to the website, browsed to “EverQuest” and sceptically clicked “Install”, got a popup about xdg-open then … nothing. Tried again, nothing.
  • In the Lutris EverQuest page, clicked “Add to my library”, opened the Lutris client and syncronized. Look, it added a fancy EverQuest picture.
  • Marked it and clicked install, selected Project 1999 and clicked install … 2 seconds later; Installation finished, really!!?
  • Clicked launch game; “No file provided” … sigh
  • So now the Lutris app shows the game as installed, but it isn’t really installed, is it?

On the Lutris EverQuest page i can use the dropdown list to get a json-install script, but running it (with lutris -i ) yielded the exact same result as in the app when trying to start it; “No file provided”.

I’ve got EverQuest P99 working under wine, so i know EQ P99 works under Linux. My patience just isn’t big enough to troubleshoot “Easy to use” solutions that crash and burn when i try to install a semi obscure game.

What Lutris installs is essentially a wrapper. Normally there’s a game inside, of course, but the install scripts are written by users and may fail to work if the writer made a mistake (though these would likely be weeded out during approval) or if there’s something different about your system that causes a problem with scripted process. Online games have a tendency to change regularly (technically too), which means that install script isn’t guaranteed to work a year after it’s written.

Regardless of whether it’s the fault of a broken script or something else, install scripts are just one way of installing the game. If you got it working with Wine, you can just register it in Lutris (name, folder, wineprefix & wine path) and you have a working game in Lutris (I think I only use install scripts for GOG games, others I just link into Lutris after I set it up myself). The whole “troubleshooting” thing is entirely optional and only needed if you want to help others avoid the problems you faced (or even help yourself should you want to run the install process again at some point – e.g. on a different machine). Of course, you can also try waiting for someone else to do it instead (or try asking for a fix), but if the game is “semi obscure”, chances are you won’t find many helpers.

Bottom line, silver bullet doesn’t exist. I deal with it same way as I did 10 years ago: if one game doesn’t work I just try another. Though it happens much less often nowadays.

I totally agree with OP. I’ve been through hell to install WoW on Lutris and it still doesn’t work. I understand this is a community project but I can’t reccomend Linux to someone who games unless it invlovles Steam. Unless we find a way where the user just clicks install and everything works then gaming on Linux will be far behind Windows which sucks as Linux is so much better in every aspect (faster, prettier ,more secure). I hope in the future Lutris will be what it was meant to be and at least work for most major titles. If I ever can learn how to do installation scripts I’ll certainly try to contribute as much as I can. Is there a tutorial for that?

“Community project” is the key word here; it only works well to the point that you made sure it does (or rather, users in general, but for that to work it must be treated as “everyone does what they can”). And of course, as I said, it working 100% of the time simply won’t happen; every time you’re the first to attempt installing a certain game, or the first after an update breaks install script, you either have to create/fix the script yourself, or suck it up and wait for someone else to do it/install it by hand. This is simply how it works, period. (On the bright side, if a game is installed regularly, there’s a good chance for it to have a working install script at any given time, as you likely won’t be the first to try installing it after a breaking update.) The only way it even could work differently is if there was a team dedicated to constantly making sure everything works and fixing all broken scripts (good luck having that with an indefinitely expanding game library), or if every developer managed install scripts for their own games or something (which is completely unlikely to happen, ever).

I don’t think there is such an tutorial per se, but it happens to be a rather simple process so you can pick it up fairly easily. First of all, you can (and should) find a game with a similar installation process to the one you’re trying to make (native Steam games, Winesteam, native GOG, Wine GOG, etc) and probably start with copying its script and replacing differing values (like IDs and folder names). The script syntax is just YAML so you won’t have a problem understanding it so long as you get the general concept of hierarchies (basically it’s just having lists/sublists, except that you have to choose between items being named and ordered); as for the exact information you need to put in there, the right side of the editor page contains a long and fairly detailed documentation on what you can put in the script (there’s no examples but as I said you can use already existing scripts as a reference).
Additionally, instead of submitting the script for moderation, you can (and should) choose to “draft” it; then you can find it in the install scripts list (there will be a “show drafts” link at the bottom) and try it out to see if it works on your system.

Ok I’ll look into it a little more and contribute if I can. :smiley: