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03-02-2022 05:31 AM - edited 03-02-2022 05:32 AM
Hello every! Like many, Im getting sick of the BS from Windows and would like to try out Pop!_OS.
However, I'm not sure if Pop!_OS will install and run fine with my HP Omen 15t-dh000 CTO. I'd like to know if there's a way I could check if the drivers will be fine, will I have performance loss etc.? Since I like to game, it's super important to me that it runs well (keeping my fingers crossed). I'm not super tech-savvy but can follow guides well. So, if you have any guides to show a newbie like me how to check/ test this out on my laptop, I'll greatly appreciate it!
In addition, I was wondering if modding games on Pop!_OS is possible? I love Bethesda games a lot (eg. Fallout 3 and NEw Vegas) and would like to throw on a lot of mods on those. I'm not sure if there'll be a huge difference in modding them on Linux vs Windows? And if the steps are any different? Again, any guide or vids I can learn about this will be greatly appreciated too.
03-02-2022 09:05 AM - edited 03-02-2022 09:05 AM
@sovike77 -- you can boot from a DVD-R that contains the UBUNTU distribution.
It has an option to load UBUNTU into your RAM **without** touching any of the files on your disk-drive.
This is called the "Live CD" option. So, you can "test-drive" that variant. Just power-off your computer, after you have completed your testing.
Is there a simiilar "live" option for the variant that you want to try?
03-02-2022 02:52 PM
Hello! As mentioned in the other reply, a good way to try out a Linux OS before installation would be with what's called a Live USB. Basically what you'll do is write the OS image to a USB drive (This will erase everything else off the drive, make a backup or use a new drive), then boot from the USB drive instead of the hard drive in your omen. Each OS vendor will have a guide on how to do this, or you will be able to look it up online. Use a USB drive that's at least 8GB.
Some things to keep in mind:
- You will need to disable secure boot in your BIOS. You can keep UEFI turned on and Legacy disabled.
- You will need to change the boot order for your system in BIOS to make sure that USB is first in order for the USB drive boots before the hard drive (you can change this back after you finish installing Linux to your hard drive)
- Most of the support for community distros like Pop!_OS is going to come from the community for that distribution, so you'll likely get better answers from their forums and wikis.
- While you are using the Live USB, everything will be running from RAM and the USB drive, so that will limit the size of any programs you want to test in the Live environment. You should be fine with just Fallout 3 or Fallout NV though. This also means that no changes will be persisted should you reboot before installing to your hard drive.
- Make sure you back everything on your Windows drive up before you do anything (personal files, etc). Booting a Live USB will not damage your Windows files, but installing Linux to your drive definitely will.
- It is also easier to switch if you make a list of installed programs before installing Linux. This way you can go down the list and re-install everything you used to have post-switch. A lot of programs have Linux versions or very close alternatives and making a list will save you time searching for them.
It looks like Pop!_OS has both an AMD/Intel image and an Nvidia image. You'll need to choose the one that matches your graphics hardware for the best experience (in Linux, the AMD and Intel graphics drivers will be included with the kernel, but the Nvidia graphics driver is separate). Most other distributions won't have separate images like this. Ubuntu would be a good alternative to Pop!_OS if Pop!_OS doesn't work for you for whatever reason. Pop!_OS is built off of Ubuntu, and both distributions should offer a similar experience, but Ubuntu is far more popular and probably easier to find support for. As for the version to install (currently 21.10 and 20.04LTS - Those are Year.Month of release, so 2021.October and 2020.April), I would recommend that you stick to the LTS (Long Term Support) versions of the OS. A new LTS version of Pop!_OS and Ubuntu (22.04LTS) should be releasing either next month or the month after. It may be a good idea to wait for that to come out.
Things to test in the Live environment once you have it running:
- Your Mouse/Keyboard/touchpad
- Wired Networking/Wifi
- The function buttons on your keyboard (brightness, media keys, etc)
- Any lighting you have on your system
A lot of gaming-branded peripherals do not have Linux configuration utilities, and only a small number of them have on-board memory to carry configs across computers. Just something to keep in mind. A dual boot may fit your use case better than completely removing Windows, but is also more complicated to set up. Waiting for the 22.04 versions of Pop!_OS or Ubuntu may also fix any problems you run into with the 20.04 version, but it's not guaranteed.
As for the games you mentioned in your question: if you're running them through Steam, there is a native Linux Steam client, and Valve has been making great strides in supporting Windows-only games (such as Fallout 3 and NV) in Linux with their Proton compatibility layer. You can look your games up at protondb.com. It looks like both of those Fallout games currently have a Gold rating, which I believe is the third highest behind Native and Platinum. That means you may run into some issues with the games, but probably not many. Some of the comments in the respective protondb pages mention mods, so I'm assuming that Steam Workshop mods will work at least. I do not know if any of the third-party mod managers will work on Linux or not, but you should have the ability to install the mods manually if it comes to that.
You will have to enable proton in the Steam client settings before it lets you install Windows-only games on Linux. If you don't have your games through Steam, Lutris is a good alternative.
As for trying out your games before you install Linux to your computer, you should be able to install Steam/Lutris and at least one Fallout game in the Live USB environment. Once you have the Live USB booted and running, you would simply install the games as you would normally with whatever OS you happen to choose. There will be guides out there detailing how to do that for each OS. Keep in mind that in a Live USB environment, changes are not persisted to the USB drive, and so any change you make (such as installing a game) will be lost as soon as you reboot. I would recommend not rebooting until you've tested your games. You will also need to reinstall the games/software once you install the OS after testing.
As a side note, if you also play The Elder Scrolls, there is a native Linux engine replacement available for TES3: Morrowind called OpenMW. I do not believe that any of the other Bethesda games have engine replacements like this available, but in time they might. OpenMW supports non-engine mods. They have a lot of documentation on that on their site.
--I am an HP Employee
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