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A look at Lutris – Open Gaming Platform for GNU/Linux

There’s plenty of gaming platforms out there nowadays, from Steam to Origin, it seems like you need to have almost as many gaming platforms as you do games installed.

GNU/Linux users are a bit more limited in their choice of games available, although thankfully more and more are being released all the time.

Lutris for Linux


Lutris is quite the handy application I’ve discovered, that helps with organization and installation of games on GNU/Linux, even if they come from multiple sources. One of the project's goals is to support any game that runs on Linux regardless of whether it runs natively, through Wine, or other means.

The main appeal of Lutris is that it provides an interface to manage all games installed on the machine regardless of source. While it is necessary to integrate the games in the application first, doing so is not super complicated. You may add local games right away by selecting them from the local system or visit the Lutris website to add games this way.

Lutris simplifies nearly everything. Users can visit the list of support games on the Lutris website, choose to download and install the game (Note: If its a game that must be bought, you must own it first.)

The website lists supported games and where you can acquire or download them. You can use filters on the site to display only free games, games of a genre, or use the built-in search to find games of interest quickly using it.

The service does have some requirements, like for example, if you are attempting to install a Steam game, you must have Steam installed, or some installation scripts from within Lutris will also install it, but I’d recommend having it installed already.

Lutris is officially supported on Debian Testing, Ubuntu LTS, Fedora, Gentoo, Arch Linux, Mageia and OpenSUSE.

In terms of Features, the Lutris website lists them as:

  • Manage your Linux games, Windows games, emulated console games and browser games
  • Launch your Steam games
  • Community-written installers to ease up your games' installation
  • More than 20 emulators installed automatically or in a single click, providing support for most gaming systems from the late 70's to the present day
    Download and play libre and freeware games

Lutris also has the ability to import your steam library, and plans to also include allowing users to import their GOG library as well.

The List of supported gaming platforms for Lutris is:

  • Native Linux
  • Windows
  • Steam (Linux and Windows)
  • MS-DOS
  • Arcade machines
  • Amiga computers
  • Atari 8 and 16bit computers and consoles
  • Browsers (Flash or HTML5 games)
  • Commmodore 8 bit computers
  • SCUMM based games and other point and click adventure games
  • Magnavox Odyssey², Videopac+
  • Mattel Intellivision
  • NEC PC-Engine Turbographx 16, Supergraphx, PC-FX
  • Nintendo NES, SNES, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, DS
  • Game Cube and Wii
  • Sega Master Sytem, Game Gear, Genesis, Dreamcast
  • SNK Neo Geo, Neo Geo Pocket
  • Sony PlayStation
  • Sony PlayStation 2
  • Sony PSP
  • Z-Machine games like Zork

Final Thoughts

The main advantage that Lutris offers is that it a management interface for all Linux games. It offers little advantage if you play games from a single source only, e.g. Steam, but if you play games from multiple sources, e.g. standalone games, Steam games, or emulated games, you may like the options that it provides.

I haven’t used Lutris too much yet, but so far I’m enjoying it, and its simplicity. I will say that I haven’t found a game I’m interested in installing, that hasn’t been listed, and that hasn’t worked... But I am sure that time may come. For now, I’ll say its nice, its easy to use, and I like the concept... But, whether Lutris will become a staple for Linux gamers, time will tell. Give it a try!


This article was first seen on ComTek's "TekBits" Technology News


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