I asked this question:


And got a lot of quick feedback, which is great. Unfortunately, all of it 'discusses' the question. It's not all critical - there is at least one commenter and several voters who seem to think it's a valid question. But the majority of commenters (and narrowly, voters, as of a minute ago) seem to take issue.

Questions have been asked that are quite similar in most respect - questions that have answers, that have upvotes, etc. Multiple questions have been asked about the performance (and optimization thereof) of this very game - for Windows. Questions have been asked about very specific issues with Linux ports (even Betas).

I guess I just have .. timing.

My questions detractors mostly seem to say that it is too specific/narrow, or that is can't be answered 'cause Linux is just like that'.

I get that by SE design, questions should be able to help others. In my view, I presented enough details about my situation to provide the basics for an answer - but the answer could/should still be applicable to anyone in a similar situation. That may not be a lot of people, which I think is why some people have a problem with my question.

Linux gaming is still a pretty small share of the market, especially if we mean the kinds of games people here on Arqade usually play (I don't see many Zork questions). So, if 'helps too few people' is a problem, and my question would have been ok if it were for the Windows (or OSX, maybe) version, why do we have a Linux tag? It seems like most Linux questions will apply to a small subset of current Arqade users.


To clarify, per the current hold:

If 'Too Specific'/'Too Localized' is a valid close reason, and many users here seem to think that Linux technical questions (almost?) all fit that description, then when is it appropriate to ask a Linux-tagged question?

Only when there are gameplay differences between ports?


For those answering/commenting about Linux being some volatile mess with infinite unique configurations, please remember to justify that. I'm tempted to ask what any of 'the haters' know about Linux, or how many of you have used it for any length of time. The more practical way to say that is: You don't need to use Linux, but you do need to explain this 'fragmentation', and why it is a dead-end. (That's what detractors call it for Android - which doesn't seem to suffer a lack of games.) Yes, Linux can come in weird shapes, but many companies deal with this (including closed commercial applications). The solutions don't always work 100%, but I'm not trying to run on a toaster/dead badger/router.

  • I'm voting to close because there's nothing being asked here. It can be re-opened once you actually ask something.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:05
  • 2
    It's not about there being "few Linux users" - it's about there being no other system like yours, due to the nature of the thing.
    – user98085
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:10
  • That was fast. Pretty tired here, and trying to keep coherent (and keep the momentum, with everyones attention, before the original question gets downed to oblivion over the weekend)
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:10
  • What nature of the thing? The only C2D system with integrated graphics? Seriously?
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:11
  • 1
    You could've just posted your meta question when it's actually finished. Rather than letting it idle here empty for fifteen minutes.
    – user98085
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:11
  • As I said a) I wanted to link it without clogging up the comments even more and b) Yeah, though, I know - sorry
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:12
  • And to meta-meta - I do want to know the answer to the title of this, but I also see how it reads as a "what's wrong with my ..." - Which I've seen come up on other Metas, but does feel .. un-SE (and whiny). So, again, sorry. (But I don't see what's so fundamentally unique about this case, or how it won't be useful to the next gu in my shoes)
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:16
  • 1
    To continue a comment (that just passed 5 minutes ..), if I compiled the damn thing, I'd be more inclined to see your point about 'no other system' - but I DLed it through Steam, just like everyone else ..
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:18
  • 1
    The point isn't that the game is unique. The point is that your exact hardware configuration (drivers, OS, and all) is unique. Windows at least abstracts it out so that it's all roughly the same and can be sorta quantified. I don't know enough about Linux, but apparently each system is crazy unique.
    – Frank
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:39
  • 3
    'Apparently' because you don't know enough. That's not really the case, and Valve is trying to deal with it / make it less so. // I'll find the link where they (Valve devs) talk about developing with Linux and FOSS GPU drivers (meaning Intel) being a good thing., if noone beats me to it
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:50
  • "know enough" about the state of Linux and its usage to have an informed opinion on the topic. (re-reading that sounds pretty caustic, hopefully this smoothes it a little? didn't mean to offend)
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 16:57
  • This is not really a question of Linux as much as it is about the minimum requirement of TF2. Not sure why the closing, seems like useful information for any TF2 player with low-end system.
    – Batophobia
    Commented Jul 12, 2013 at 17:54
  • @badp I appreciate that you're trying to help (and are a mod here), but the title change was an editorialization. Sure, I'd be interested in the answer to it, but if you want to ask "Why can't we troubleshoot Linux games?" (with the implicit assumption that we can't), that's a different question. // And re comment cleanup - I assume you have the ability to do that selectively; if so you should have. I mean, OK, most of the flood of comments in my inbox (which I never saw) were surely deletable, but there was at least one valid, useful comment (request for details) and my response.
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 12:22

1 Answer 1


I feel that your question is ultimately too broad. You've helpfully already split it down in multiple sub-questions, some of which may stand on their own.

Answers I'd find useful, whether or not they're what I want to hear:

  • Anything useful specifc to my case (duh)

While I don't honestly agree with FEichinger on the volatility of Linux hardware (the nVidia drivers are shit, but uniformly so across the board, e.g.), this bit is probably too localized to your specific problem to be helpful in general — if there even is any advice we can give specific to your case.

  • real/realistic min specs for TF2

It's not much use to give specs for a free to play game. Just... try it!

  • explanation of settings (like the "dxlevel" setting - does it do anything in the Linux client, seeing as Linux doesn't have DX?)

This is a great question! Well, the "dxlevel" one. Not the "please explain all the settings" one. If you don't know what a setting does, asking about it is fine, Linux or Windows or BE/OS or whatever else.

  • specifc requirements (eg, "TF2, even with low settings, requires OGL ARB_blahblah extension, or its DX equivalent - which most integrated cards don't support in hardware")

This might be too technical for us to easily answer, I'm afraid, but it'd still be on-topic, objective and overall okay for the site.

Please don't be blinded by the whole "OMG LINUX GAMING LOL" corner, for I feel it's just distraction. Your question as it is would've been closed if you'd asked about Windows too.

I've taken the liberty to change the close reason accordingly.

  • I don't consider these sub-questions, I was trying to clarify (for the commenting horde) what an answer might look like. In that light, an answer that looked like either of the latter two would be a great answer (and on-topic and potentially helpful to others - note the question I linked - and whose relevance I have now made explicit). The first, as I say, 'duh'; of course if it's truly specifc that's not SE-great, but I'd accept it. // I'm sorry, but your response to the 'Second Bullet' is not reasonable. The fact that it's f2p should not make a difference (not a valid close reason, is it?)
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 12:45
  • Besides, the specs are hard to find and potentially very dependent on settings/config, and the game requires installing Steam and downloading 12+ GB. For some of us, that's a lot. This isn't 'f2p' as in some little Flash game
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 12:47
  • 2
    @hunter2 Steam Backups are a thing that exist and they mostly work cross-platform
    – badp
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 13:01
  • Sorry, I don't follow. What do Backups have to do with .. anything?
    – hunter2
    Commented Jul 18, 2013 at 13:12

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