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Direct3D 10/11 Is Now Natively Implemented On Linux!

Sites all over the internet are talking about the recent news that Direct3D 10/11 has been implemented on Linux. As a result I’m sure more and more computer game players will be switching over to Ubuntu now that modern games released for Windows will soon be playable on Ubuntu. While there is also a growing number of open source games becoming available over the years, people generally want to play games that their friends are playing (especially in the case of online/multiplayer games), so as good as the alternative open source games may be,  most people still want to play games that were made for Windows, so it’s good to see improved Linux support for Direct3D and windows games in general. I look forward to the day that I can play Just Cause 2 on Linux, as that game requires DirectX 10. Actually my only windows computer is running Windows XP, and the only reason I haven’t bought Just Cause 2 yet is because that game uses DirectX 10, which of course doesn’t support Windows XP. It would be amusing if I could actually play Just Cause 2 on Ubuntu before I could play it on Windows XP. Maybe that would mark the beginning of the year of the linux desktop, heh.

Music players for Ubuntu

There are tons of different free and open source music players that work on Ubuntu, so I decided to compile a list of the ones I like:

1. Amarok – arguably the best music player, and is cross-platform so it also works on Windows and MacOS X. It it also integrates well with Last.FM, Podcast Directory, and other sites and usually you can get the lyrics to the song you’re listening to at the click of a button, which is great if you like to sing along to the songs like me :D.

2. VLC Media Player – this can play practially any media file and has a really small memory footprint at the cost of not having as many features as Amarok or other music players.

3. Audacious – this is a fork of the Beep Media Player, which was a fork of XMMS. Overall it still looks similar to Winamp and has a nice clean interface and a good music visualization engine. If you like VLC but want to play music with good visualizations, definitely check out Audacious:

Ubuntu

Back in 2004 I remember spending hours trying to edit a stupid X11 config file from the command line just to get KDE to run, and also had similar frustrations when it came to getting sound, wireless, and video cards to work. Linux has come a long way since then and the most popular distribution of Linux, Ubuntu, is the pinnacle of that. Having installed and configured both Ubuntu and Windows many times over the years, I can safely say that Ubuntu is now easier to install and run than Windows. After not using Ubuntu for about a year, I recently installed Ubuntu 10.10 Beta on my T61 laptop and it has been the easiest thing ever. It recognized my sound, wireless, video card, etc. all without me needing to edit any config files or play around on the command line. I am impressed. Also its now easier than ever to install new software. Unless you wish to install some really obscure program no one has ever heard off, you no longer need to compile from source code. You don’t even need to use apt-get from the command line any more. The Synaptic Package Manager is a graphical utility that you can literally search and check-box what you wish to install, and it will handle all the dependencies for you. And if you don’t know what programs you want to install, there is even an “Ubuntu Software Center” where you can browse applications by use. For example, say you want to install a torrent client so you can download and watch Spider-Man. If you don’t know the name of any torrent programs that run on Ubuntu, you can open the Ubuntu Software Center, click on Internet, click on File-Sharing, and quickly see there is a program called KTorrent, a popular BitTorrent program. The only thing Ubuntu can’t do yet is stream Netflix videos, though that appears to be more of a problem with Netflix rather than with Ubuntu or Linux in general.