So on the 15th of this month, I installed Linux Mint 16 on this new laptop, using the 64 bit version. It’s now dual-booting with Windows 8. All in all, the process went well.
The question remains, though: How many things that I used to need Windows for can be done through Linux nowadays?
1. I have gotten Netflix running in Firefox. Quality seems relatively good. See here for the current instructions on how-to.
2. Steam for Linux seems to work okay, I can run Portal and Crusader Kings 2 with no obvious glitches.
Trying to run Steam for Windows via wine doesn’t work out well at the moment. There’s a bug whereby it needs a DNS lookup library to access the internet, and even after I installed lib32nss-mdns, it still wouldn’t connect for updates. This was using Crossover 13.01, the most recent version. I haven’t tried earlier versions yet.
4. PlayOnLinux probably works fine, but I tried to install DC Universe and it just would not run.
At this point, I’m wondering whether the troubles I have had in the past using a 64-bit OS while running the Windows’ version of Steam are still around. I’d like to install a 32 bit version of Linux and will test a couple of options this weekend. Linux Mint 32-bit was a no-go, I could not get the boot manager for Windows 8 to see any EFI file for it, and I’m reluctant to use Legacy Boot unless I have no other option.
So in one of those curious coincidences, right after I published this post, I checked for updates. It just so happens that one of the updates was for the “libnss3” libraries that were causing me trouble with Steam for Windows on 64 bit Linux.
After applying all updates, Steam runs fine using Crossover 13.01, and I played Faerie Solitaire, a fairly simple game. I will investigate other more complex graphical games today and tomorrow and post a few results below:
Morrowind – runs, with a minor issue (lower resolution)
Civilization 3 Complete – runs, with the same issue
Skyrim – runs quite well, exits Steam cleanly
Kingdoms of Amalur – not tested
Romance of Rome – runs
Final Fantasy 7 – will not run
Titan Quest – runs, but doesn’t exit Steam cleanly