UE4 on Linux Must Be Improved

Flatpak package and IDE support (or built-in) it’s what’s missing to stay perfect on Linux.

Hi, I normally lurk but wanted to chime in and show support for Linux. I switched about two years ago to full time Ubuntu, and have been steadily moving people around me away from windows. Previously I ran XP and Win7 which were great at the time.

In the past, many Linux fans that liked to play games had to keep a clunky KVM, Wine or dual boot of windows handy and that horribly offsets the “Steam Statistics” people are so quick to cite.

It would be amazing and I sincerely hope Epic continues to contribute to Vulkan and Linux development which will enable and encourage other game developers to consider Linux as a platform for distribution.

We are all hoping realistically. Epic has seen this post, and at least took some time to think about Linux, and where the Engine is going in the future. Consolidating can make everyone’s life easier. Blender, LibreOffice, and Discord. Already have flatpak. I’m pretty sure it’s quickly becoming the exe of Linux. I could care less about steam statistics. More about setting up a productive workstation. With the trust of it not crashing. I had once crashed a version of Linux with hdd encryption turned on. Never could get my Data out of it. Now I have a home cloud, and religiously back up everything.

As of 4.16.3, it appears most AMD GPUs are unsupported by UE4. Using the open-source radeon drivers results in the computer locking up, rebooting, freezing etc.

We’re trying to update to 4.17. Does anyone has feedback on this ?

I’m just going to go ahead and bump this thread, because I think that the way Epic has handled Linux is incredibly poor. What does it REALLY take to make a version of the launcher for Linux? Are you really going to fire back with the old “muh distros” excuse? Come on, now. It’s easier than ever to install packages on Linux. Most people are using distros that were derived from Debian. You can start there if it’s really so hard.

What really upsets me about it all, is that Epic have the audacity to call having a linux version of the Editor, “Linux Support”. No, if you really supported Linux, you’d notice that you’re halfway there. At this point, I’d settle for some console-based Marketplace downloader as an alternative to the launcher. What would that that take to do with all of that Epic Games money, like, a week if you’re lazy? Authenticate, show a list of what you’ve purchased, give you a chance to download it to the appropriate folder. We’re not talking about building a nuke from scratch here.

And to anyone saying “oh just dual-boot Windows, and take the downloaded files from the Launcher’s/Engine’s folder”; You are the problem. You are why people don’t use Linux. That is not a complete experience. That is not “support”. I’m not giving up 64gb minimum of my precious hard drive space for an OS made by a company whose current mission statement is to steal as much of your personal information as possible and use it in conjunction with low level AI to profile you for the short term benefit of money, and the long-term side-effect of having that data to be used for nefarious purposes, by whoever is buying it.

I’m not saying anything that isn’t reasonable. The Editor is slower on Linux, but hey, that’s a problem that’s actually understandable! It’s not a big deal. Paltry, even. What is a big deal, is that you have paying customers that don’t even have access to the things they bought, and you’re calling that “support” Get out of town with that, and step up, if even a little.

You want to complain about small market share on Linux? Well that’s your fault. Epic could easily be the company to change that in a big way, but they simply aren’t. Right now, Valve is leaps-and-bounds ahead of this game, and one day it WILL pay off for them. Nothing wrong with playing the long game, it’s a good investment.

This is all coming from a place of good intentions. I have nothing but love for Epic, but it’s time to squat or get off the pot. Tough love begins.

@Lobotomy You’re still not comprehending the business side of things. “Non-farmville” style gaming is almost non-existent with linux. You’re asking a game engine company, that’s centered around next-gen 3d gaming, to devote time/resources toward functionality on a platform that brings in almost zero revenue for them. From a business standpoint, that’s not an efficient move. Just dual-boot and you’ll live.

It wouldn’t take any serious effort to make a terminal-based downloader for Linux. Some people want to change the fact that Linux only has Nexuiz and Zynga games. At this point, ball’s in Epic’s court.

I don’t think that’s the issue. There arent tons of Linux users. I don’t know the numbers, but i’m sure we have the smallest slice of the pie. If it was parallel to OS popularity. It would be >5% Next the Launcher would have to be built from source. Meaning an open source release for the launcher. Then if people have the code. I think the issue would be hacking into the MP. There are a lot of great games that have been coming to Linux. Ue4 is for development though. I dont play many games on Linux. I bought a few UE4 games that were Linux built, and they run very well—Depending on the Nvidia driver release being used. 360-365 gave me memory leaks/spikes in temp, So I set up 3 hard drives, and set one as dl location for mp files, and just share between OS.

For what it’s worth, here’s where we are ourselves with Linux.

  • We now build both Windows & Linux executables from Windows through a simple release script, test, and upload both binaries to Steam. The process works well, doesn’t require engine source, and is just really bad documented. Props to RCL who helped us a lot on UnrealSlackers !
  • Other than build issues, our game runtime doesn’t differentiate systems - we have one LINUX ifdef that tweaks a material to address slightly different handling of the Z-Buffer between DirectX and OpenGL. There just isn’t any porting issue.
  • Vulkan works really well and enabled us to support the nascent open-source AMD driver (radeonsi) on the latest AMD GPUs, which still fail to support the intricacies of high-end OpenGL features. We’ll move to Vulkan over all systems when performance gets to DX11 levels.
  • Looking at the Steam hardware survey, English-speaking countries have a 1-2% Linux market share. The overall picture is bleaker because of the Chinese market, but the Chinese market isn’t buying Steam games alltogether.
  • This small market is much easier to penetrate than the full PC market. We have a double-digit percentage of Linux sales ourselves, despite a supposedly smaller market.
  • Unreal editor on Linux is still a pain. No launcher, no prebuilt binaries. Come on.

Simply put, it’s been easier, cheaper and more financially rewarding for us to support Linux, compared to Mac OSX. We’d be investigating consoles if our game could run there, but the PC market is really made bigger by targeting Linux too.

Don’t hesitate to come to the UE4 Discord, there’s help there :wink:


This one thing isn’t entirely true…

  1. Countries with lower average income actually love Linux more than majority of English-speaking countries. It’s because of money, of course.
  2. Take a quick look at the Steamspy (you need to be logged in to access regional data). Chinese buy usually 3-7% of units. Not that much? Well, it usually places China in top 10 countries.

And thanks for great post :slight_smile:

Actually, Chinese users really are much less likely to use Linux. English users are at around 2%, and the infall of Chine users brought Linux to 0.3% of Steam users at PUBG’s height.

Read the full GOL article for more insights on this, it’s pretty great : https://www.gamingonlinux.com/articl…or-linux.10975

As to sales, be sure to not confuse “people buying PUBG”, “people playing DOTA” and “people likely to buy your game”. Many players only use Steam because of one and just only one game, and never even go on the shop ever. People you’re targeting are those who have 50+ games on Steam and those are a rarity (something like 5% of the platform).

OK, thanks for the link, a fresh insight for me! :slight_smile:

I’m sorry, but I’m not sure what you meant. (It sounds like indie apocalypse myth)
Is your fragment connected to my part about Chinese sales?
I simply noted that China is one of the biggest markets on Steam right now. I deliberately avoided checking huge or F2P titles on Steamspy - they sell better in China. But plenty of small indie games sell few percents of all units in China on Steam. 3% is actually the lowest value I found.

Oh, and I don’t want to derail Linux thread. Ignore me if you like :slight_smile:

What I’m saying is, if you’re spending money on Chinese localization to get 3% higher sales, you really want to add Linux support first because it will be cheaper, and you’ll get more than 3% better sales.

I’ve recently decided to test out a few OS’s, due to HW upgrades on other machines and W8 restrictions really… I like Windows 7 / 8, it’s fast / ergonomically functional and I’ve had little issues with it, on a project where we got handed W10 boxes I can’t say the same.

If Linux manages to overcome some of it’s shortcomings (device drivers / general ease of use) I think it could be a viable alternative in the next 5 years or so and as many companies etc. are hanging onto older machines with W7 / W8 there does seem to be some reluctance to upgrade. Which isn’t surprising, it’s quite funny because we had a three hour seminar on privacy and security then got handed these Asus W10 laptops maxing out it’s CPU from telemetry processes.

Personally I only care about getting the “job” done, but I’m not a fan of arbitrary restrictions and decisions at the cost of user bases.

The OP probably isn’t still about but even on a 14 core Xeon UE4 has always taken about 2 - 3 minutes to start up even on Windows 8 / 10, only took 15 minutes to compile the engine though. So far I don’t have an issue with Linux bar the initial install, you should just double click driver packages and that’s it… No dropping into terminals to blacklist Noveau in several locations and writing nano text documents / config files to get stuff working.

I like the Ubuntu store but it’s extremely limited in choice, synaptic package manager does a far better job… As much as I’d like to say “Linux is the answer” it’s still got a ways to go as a generic OS… For game dev, I’m still researching… Between Houdini / Blender and a VM for photoshop I’m covered, Mac’s better than Windows / Linux when it comes to pro audio so that one’s a given.

Most everything in the ubuntu store is open source code.
Linux had Audio Hell in the 2000’s I use Lmms, ardour, and Audacity, and I dont have any problems. I have all 3 operating systems. I rarely use Mac. Though it isnt extremely powerful. 2014 mbpro.
Mac has the affinity designer art program, and photoshop, I have them, but I dont use them at all.
I’ve gotten really productive with Krita, and Gimp. I’ve made so many brushes, stamps, and tools. It’s easy.
Game sounds is something I’ve been trying to get better with. It isnt the operating system to blame. It’s my skills.
I have logicpro, and garage band, but I still prefer Linux. I cant complain about the UE4 build. It works great. I only complain about issues with the gpu drivers.
Linux obviously has the capabilities to outshine for gaming, and graphics performance. It doesnt though depending on the gpu, and drivers.
For Audio, and Video take a look at Ubuntu studio. It comes preloaded with a lot of goodies even Linux afficianado’s didnt know existed.
We used to have artist-x, but it died. Then this kind of filled in the void Features: Audio – Ubuntu Studio

Forgot to ask. Would it be possible for you to describe what you found on wiki? :slight_smile:

Sure, basically the cross-platform build process as described on the Wiki here (and not in the official documentation) is what works as of 4.17+.

  • Install the engine from the launcher and add Linux support in the launcher settings
  • Download and extract the cross-compilation toolchain that matches your engine version
  • Run the script inside the toolchain archive to generate a text file with two environment variables, set both variables accordingly
  • Regenerate your project file to build from Visual, or just hit the packaging button in the editor tools :slight_smile:

Not exactly hard.

Make sure to add Vulkan as a supported RHI in Project settings / platform / Linux so that people with high-end AMD GPUs can play with the -vulkan switch. We found that the modern, open-source radeonsi driver still has issues with OpenGL in UE4. Vulkan works seamlessly, albeit not as well as DX11 on Windows yet. That’s basically the only big caveat.

build for linux empty ThirdPersonTemplate (windows 10, i5-6600K, 32 Gb, UE 4.20) takes : 2398.25 seconds
yeahhh)) very want this to be improved

update: from command line faster , just change Win64 to Linux, but after this source always rebuilded no matter if project only chosen

Does no-one develop for Linux because no-one games on Linux, or does no-one game non Linux because no one develops for Linux?

That’s just a corporate lie invented by ms.
I play video games on GNU/Linux and I develop video games and other software for GNU/Linux using GNU/Linux.
But they have all the billions of money to waste on smearing campaigns and they are doing this for decades because the moment enough people realize you can just stop using windows and be fine, they will loose everything.

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