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Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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kary
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:50 am
   Subject: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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Seriously, it takes no effort at all to also build Linux executable, if you don't use Linux you can just setup 32 bit Ubuntu VM install gcc g++ SDL and SDL-mixer and have it all running inside 30 minutes... I was browsing released mods on moddb hoping to play some mods and found none build for Linux. Wine isn't a good solution for me as I have trouble with it not recognizing some keys (specifically the number keys - i can't change weapons in wine...) - and even if I fix that (It probably has smth to do with the locale I use) wine just isn't a good solution when you can have it run natively. Also it seems to me that being able to build for multiple platforms was one of the points of Wolf4SDL in the first place.
Tons of regular users use Linux as their main OS nowadays, its not 2005 anymore. Linux users also tend to be more tech savvy and imo because of that they may also be more interested in old school games/gaming (well thats my case anyway...). Even SoD extreme download on moddb didn't contain Linux executable - which is quite ironic since the coding was done by LinuxWolf.

Anyway, I implore mod developers to build (at least) Linux and Windows executable every time they do a full release of a new Wolf4SDL mod (and when you have a bit of time please also consider building your old mods for Linux if you still have the sources).
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:36 pm
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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Although I'm running a version of Ubuntu right now, it's broken beyond simple fixes; I can't install anything because the Updates and Software features are broken. The version I'm running is getting support pulled for it, and I absolutely hate the UI of the newer versions. I'll install Linux Mint when I finish with my other projects, but until then, compiling anything is pretty much a no-go. Sad
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:14 pm
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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I think it's because the vast majority of people here still use Windows, so there aren't that many people who'd actually use a Linux port (you're the first person who's actually asked IIRC). I do know quite a few people who modify the code and only know enough about build environments to be able to set them up from a Wolf4SDL-specific tutorial, and as far as I know the only tutorials we have for that are Windows-based, so that probably won't help.
kary
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:17 pm
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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Tricob wrote:
Although I'm running a version of Ubuntu right now, it's broken beyond simple fixes; I can't install anything because the Updates and Software features are broken. The version I'm running is getting support pulled for it, and I absolutely hate the UI of the newer versions. I'll install Linux Mint when I finish with my other projects, but until then, compiling anything is pretty much a no-go. Sad


Unity (the default ubuntu gui) sux balls, i agree. There is however no shortage of UIs you can chose from, I always prefered light weight simple old school environments like xfce or lxde and you have *buntu versions that have them by default (Xubuntu, Lubuntu...).
In any case having a Linux PC is not needed to build Wolf4SDL for linux, you can just setup a VM to do that in no time. I actually build Wolf4SDL in a 32 bit Lubuntu VM even though I use Arch linux as my main OS - but it is 64 bit and rather than bothering with installing all the 32-bit libs required for building the thing I just found it easier to set up a 32 bit VM (and i also didn't need to bloat my installation with unnecessary 32 bit libs). I was actually pleasantly surprised how simple and straightforward building the thing on the VM was, I had it all done within 30 mins and that includes installing virtualbox and downloading and installing lubuntu on the VM .

Literally all I did after setting up the VM was to install these packages with apt-get: gcc, g++, libSDL2-dev and libSDL2-mixer-dev and then i just opened terminal in the directory of the sources and wrote "make" ... you just need to switch SDL2 for 1.2 (if your mod isn't using SDL2) and add the .cpp files your project uses to the Makefile.
kary
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 3:53 pm
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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AlumiuN wrote:
I think it's because the vast majority of people here still use Windows, so there aren't that many people who'd actually use a Linux port (you're the first person who's actually asked IIRC). I do know quite a few people who modify the code and only know enough about build environments to be able to set them up from a Wolf4SDL-specific tutorial, and as far as I know the only tutorials we have for that are Windows-based, so that probably won't help.


Well there may not be many ppl who would use Linux version around here, but there may be plenty of such ppl outside of here Smile . And besides just building for standart x86 Linux if you also add an arm build you may gain quite a substatial audience in the hw enthusiast community who use arm single board computers to build retro gaming machines (retropies and such...).
Hm... Next weekend I may write a step by step tutorial on how to set up an Ubuntu VM on Windows specifically to build a Wolf4SDL mod for Linux, hopefully the additional 30 minutes of time before releasing a mod won't be too off-putting for mod makers and since it will use a VM the tutorial should be timeless and perfectly replicable Smile ... Could be my way of giving back to this community, since there is no way I'm writing elaborate code tutorials (I don't even know C, i just know ctrl+c, ctrl+v and I like to think I can google pretty well Very Happy ).
AlumiuN
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:28 pm
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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You're probably right; I think I still have a Linux VM somewhere, so it might be worth doing.
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:04 pm
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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Many people having already troubles trying to compile (+setting compiler) on Windows so setting up a VM + Ubuntu and doing same or more steps on linux is even bigger task for them.
Btw. are lot people on linux using already compiled binaries?

Raspberry Pi 1 and 2 models at least are kinda weak and drop lot of frames if your mod has heavy features.

Somehow i can't imagine there are that many fps mod players on linux and Raspberry.

@kary You could add 2 separate downloads on your BDDA moddb page. 1 for windows and 1 for linux so we can have some stats how it would be for a TC ><

Anyways, a guide how 2 compile on linux is always good to have. It can only make things better.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:40 pm
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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I'd really rather compile it *in* a Linux environment so I can run it. I wouldn't be too happy compiling something if I can never test it myself.
kary
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:06 am
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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Atina wrote:
Many people having already troubles trying to compile (+setting compiler) on Windows so setting up a VM + Ubuntu and doing same or more steps on linux is even bigger task for them.

Not when there is a step by step guide when all they need to do is to replicate it 100% . People generally aren't stupid, just lazy to learn new stuff on their own.
Atina wrote:
Btw. are lot people on linux using already compiled binaries?

Every linux user is using already compiled binaries, thats what you do when you install software through a package manager your distro uses (apt for Ubuntu, pacman for Arch linux...), which is a standard way of installing things. Precompiled binaries are preferable 99% of the time, not many ppl would bother building a binary only for playing one game/mod unless they really really wanted to play it (and even if they did, they would need the source to be released in the first place). As I said, its not 2005 (or even 2010) anymore, using linux isn't just for enthusiast anymore and there are distros that make using a pc easier for computer illiterate ppl than windows (my grandma is running linux, although im pretty sure she doesn't know that...). 20% of steam games are for linux as well as windows, whenever i play some old games online (AoE 2, worms Armageddon, Diablo 2) i come across ppl playing on linux in wine like I am, its just that there is no way for ppl to know that so every windows user just assumes that everyone else uses windows like they do.
Atina wrote:
Raspberry Pi 1 and 2 models at least are kinda weak and drop lot of frames if your mod has heavy features.
Somehow i can't imagine there are that many fps mod players on linux and Raspberry.

Yes, mods using 128x128 textures/sprites and shading won't run well on low-end/old arm hardware with software renderer, they will run fine on more capable devices tho. And yes this would be a very niche group, running wolf4SDL mods there would be more of a cool little peculiarity than anything else, but still - if the mod author has one of these devices there is no point to not make a binary for arm as well - since the code base is cross platform it really isn't much effort at all.
Atina wrote:
@kary You could add 2 separate downloads on your BDDA moddb page. 1 for windows and 1 for linux so we can have some stats how it would be for a TC ><

Too late for that, would also be inconvenient imo. Tho my mod for Half-Life (Blbej Den) has separate downloads for windows installer and a ziped version that containes Linux libraries. Right now the windows installer has 400 downloads and the ziped version has 150. There may be a bit of an overlap with ppl who prefer to unpack the mod themselves over a selfextracting installer, but than again I did release the ziped version 2 weeks later... I'd say its about 4:1 for windows...
kary
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:16 am
   Subject: Re: Why there are no SDL mods build for Linux?
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Tricob wrote:
I'd really rather compile it *in* a Linux environment so I can run it. I wouldn't be too happy compiling something if I can never test it myself.


When you use a Linux VM you are compiling it *in* a Linux environment and ofc you can run it *in* that environment and test everything. Wolf4SDL isn't really using any hardware acceleration, as far I know its just a software renderer. Everything regarding wolf4SDL should work 100% the same in a VM.
Chris
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:43 pm
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When I compiled ECWolf in Slacko Puppy Linux (based on Slackware 14.1) it didn't even work in the Slacko Puppy based on Slackware 14.0 or 14.2 because of different dependencies (versions of libjpeg or libpng maybe) so I doubt it would work out-of-the-box on any other Linux like Ubuntu or Mint. Maybe if you compiled it as "static" it would include all the missing dependencies in the binary, not sure as haven't tried that yet, but my impression was that it's not like "compiling in Windows" where stuff compiled in Windows XP works out of the box in Windows 10, etc. and that every Linux is better if the source code is compiled on that distro specifically, especially for something as complex as Wolf4SDL/ECWolf. Here is my Slacko 14.1 binary though if any linux user wants to try it (and probably fail if your distro is not mine Laughing ).

For Wolf4SDL I found compiling a windows32 executable in Wine (using Dev C++ or Code::Blocks in Wine) easier in Linux than compiling a Linux binary, maybe that was mostly because it was what I was more familiar with though, and there are tutorials for it by dcbasic (dhw) and wlhack (haven forum). Like Atina said a tutorial to easily compile a universal Wolf4SDL binary in Linux seems like it would be useful, if it is possible to some extent. Even Dosbox seems to have many Linux binaries though.
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PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:17 pm
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Chris wrote:
When I compiled ECWolf in Slacko Puppy Linux (based on Slackware 14.1) it didn't even work in the Slacko Puppy based on Slackware 14.0 or 14.2 because of different dependencies (versions of libjpeg or libpng maybe) so I doubt it would work out-of-the-box on any other Linux like Ubuntu or Mint. Maybe if you compiled it as "static" it would include all the missing dependencies in the binary, not sure as haven't tried that yet, but my impression was that it's not like "compiling in Windows" where stuff compiled in Windows XP works out of the box in Windows 10, etc. and that every Linux is better if the source code is compiled on that distro specifically, especially for something as complex as Wolf4SDL/ECWolf. Here is my Slacko 14.1 binary though if any linux user wants to try it (and probably fail if your distro is not mine Laughing ).

For Wolf4SDL I found compiling a windows32 executable in Wine (using Dev C++ or Code::Blocks in Wine) easier in Linux than compiling a Linux binary, maybe that was just because it was what I was more familiar with though and there are tutorials for it by dcbasic (dhw) and wlhack (haven forum). Like Atina said a tutorial to easily compile a universal Wolf4SDL binary in Linux seems like it would be useful, if it is possible to some extent. Even Dosbox seems to have many Linux binaries though.


Thanks, it works flawlessly in my 64 bit Arch Linux instalation, all I had to do was installing 32 bit gtk2 libs which were missing on my system - was a simple 30 second fix for me (I just installed lib32-gtk2 package with pacman...), when your run the game in terminal its kind enough to tell you what libs it failed to load, after that the user can resolve that. Of course every Linux installation is different, even on the same version of the same distro you might be missing different dependencies - different distribution isn't an issue, missing libs on which the game depends on is. You can leave it to the users to resolve the dependencies for themselves (maybe just write some common ones you know about in the readme), having a binary for which you need to resolve some dependencies is still way better than having none at all. Other option is to create a repository for the most used distros out there which would resolve the dependencies for them, tho that would take a bit of work and leaving it on the users is fine imo, definitely better than nothing...
The link for the DOSBox downloads you posted wasn't for downloading binaries but rather for downloading packages for different distros, if you took the time you could just unpack any of the packages manually, and use the binary that was in a package for one distro on another (provided you also had/installed all the dependencies needed).

As far as my experience goes I build Wolf4SDL on a 32-bit Ubuntu VM and after installing SDL and SDL mixer libs I had no trouble running it on my 64 bit Ubuntu PC (Udoo x86) and on my main PC with Arch Linux. Compared to what I experienced with other things i build previously (*cough* HLSDK 2.3) building and running Wolf4SDL was really a breeze - I was pleasantly how easy and straightforward it was to build and run.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 4:58 pm
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Although this repeats some of the things said: It's important to remember that most of the mod authors in the Wolf3D community don't even remotely understand C/C++. Some of them do, but I know several that are barely able to copy and paste the tutorials on this site to get what they want. It doesn't matter how easy it is to compile for Linux, it's a different platform with slightly different behavior. If you have bad code that barely works on Windows then chances are you'll have a binary that crashes on Linux.

That's not even getting into 32-bit/64-bit portability since it's very common for 64-bit Linux users to have no 32-bit libraries installed. Honestly at this point it barely makes sense to provide 32-bit Linux binaries (although I have no plans to stop at this time), so given that odds are the Windows binary would be 32-bit and the Linux 64-bit that's yet another source of potential problems.

These aren't hard problems to solve, but my point is that your typical mod author doesn't have the skill set (and perhaps more importantly, the motivation) to solve them.
Chris wrote:
(versions of libjpeg or libpng maybe)

Of those ECWolf only uses libjpeg which is a library notorious for needlessly breaking ABI. You can compile ECWolf against libjpeg-turbo to alleviate the issue and get better performance, but it wouldn't surprise me if Slackware still uses IJG libjpeg. Better yet statically link by setting INTERNAL_JPEG to ON in CMake if you plan on distributing binaries to other users.

The other deps zlib and bzip2 are ABI stable, so these don't cause problems. Finally there's SDL which is ABI stable except for the major version change.

The last ABI issue to keep in mind is that ABIs are only backwards compatible. So if you compile with say GCC 8 and it's libstdc++ then the resulting binary is unlikely to run on a distro that is based around an older compiler. There are ways to solve this but that's out of the scope of this reply. The simplest thing to do in this case is to compile with a chroot of an older version of the distro. (Great use for Docker!)

To that end the precompiled binaries I provide for Ubuntu are compiled on 12.04 LTS but work fine on 18.04 LTS. It's been awhile since I've done it to prove a point but last I checked with manual extraction (deb packages are just ar files with tarballs inside) you can get the binaries running on Debian, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Sabayon, Arch, and TrueOS (yes that one isn't even Linux) with little effort.

On that note since I've gone down the rabbit hole of Linux binary compatibility, I'd like to say that Ubuntu seems to be the best at keeping backwards compatibility (yes even better than Debian since Debian is the reason I have to statically link libjpeg). They seem to keep old versions of libraries around these days until the version of the distro they came in goes EOL where as most other distros lean on "we can rebuild the world" and focus more on the security aspect. Short of a frankly inexcusable screw up with libcurl in 18.04, building universal binaries for Ubuntu is a breeze. (And before the Arch people kill me, they probably can have better compatibility due to the community nature of the AUR but I've also heard Arch users complain to me about my binaries using old ABIs, particularly OpenSSL, so I'm not sure.)
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