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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #1 
I'm in the process of testing a Linux based configuration for two of my bridge stations (Core i5-2350, rather old). The motivation? Under Windows 10, the DirectX 9 rendering was too slow for fighters. And under Windows 7, the frame rate is faster but the machines crash horribly after anywhere from 10 minutes to 8 hours. The crash isn't just Artemis.exe exiting either: it's a complete machine deadlock with flashing corrupted display, the typical symptoms of a graphics driver implosion or GPU overheat.

Here's the annoying part: the complete system crash only happens on Artemis. All other RAM tests, onboard diagnostics, Memtest86+, and even FurMark + CPU load testing can run flawless for days. Throw Artemis in there, and the machine crashes, hard. (Personally I think there's a low-level DirectX 9 problem with the Intel HD 3000 hardware and the HP loadout.)

I've even updated the graphics driver beyond the HP-provided version and went with Intel's own driver with the same results.

For Linux setup, I did the following:

  • Installed Linux Mint MATE 32-bit, latest edition via Easy2Boot from flash drive.
  • apt-get purge libreoffice* to get some disk space back.
  • Installed Wine per the instructions provided at https://wiki.winehq.org/Ubuntu including the line about Linux Mint 18 because Mint is notoriously out of date with their Wine distro and I wanted the latest stable edition.
  • Installed Artemis v2.0 in Wine to C:\Artemis taking all defaults and adding no additional tweaks.
  • Updated to v2.7.1.
  • Reconfigure Power and Screen Saver to turn them completely off. Linux is more than happy to blank the screen when it's not being used!

So far, the laptops have not had the complete system deadlock. I'll have more details on the total runtime stability later today. The frame rate is far better than Windows 10, and seems on par or perhaps better than Windows 7 too.

The bottom line: if you have hardware that seems dodgy ONLY running Artemis but otherwise pass all other hardware tests, you might be looking at a DirectX or video firmware issue in Windows. Consider Linux as plan B!

More later...

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cdm014

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Reply with quote  #2 
Definitely interested in hearing more about how this goes.
Sandman

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'm interested as well. I tried running Artemis on Linux Mint about a year ago. I found the display to be a bit laggy, particularly with the cursor - IIRC a few others mentioned that in the forums. I didn't feel like putting a lot of effort into finding a solution, so I went back to Windows. I'm finding that Artemis performs reasonably well on my Dell D630 laptops with Nvidia graphics on Windows 10 - also the Optiplex 745 that is my mainscreen server.
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Hnefatafl

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Reply with quote  #4 
Is there a reason you used the 32-bit OS, and not the 64-bit?
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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #5 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hnefatafl
Is there a reason you used the 32-bit OS, and not the 64-bit?


Great question. WineHQ implies the 32-bit version of Wine is less buggy. I have heard that some 32-bit games have trouble running on 64-bit Wine without an additional add-on for Wine. To reduce the complexity, I just went with 32-bit Linux across the board.

Note that 32-bit Linux kernels with PAE support can address more than 4GB RAM, so it still gains some advantages over 32-bit Windows.

AND... I have some very old Planar touchscreens which never had 64-bit driver support.

Ref: https://wiki.winehq.org/FAQ#Is_there_a_64_bit_Wine.3F which states...

2.6 Is there a 64 bit Wine?

Yes. 64 bit Wine has been available on Linux since 1.2. WineHQ binary packages are available for 64 bit, and most major distros package it for users. Normally, installation should be as simple as installing the Wine package for your distribution through your package manager. Check the Download page. If you are building Wine from source, see Building Wine for instructions on how to build 32 bit Wine on a 64 bit system and instructions on how to build 64 bit Wine in a shared WoW64 setup.

A few things to note:

  • 32 bit Wine runs on both 32-bit and 64-bit Linux/Unix installations. 16-bit and 32-bit Windows applications will run on it.
  • 64-bit Wine runs only on 64 bit installations, and so far has only been extensively tested on Linux. It requires the installation of 32 bit libraries in order to run 32 bit Windows applications. Both 32-bit and 64-bit Windows applications (should) work with it; however, there are still many bugs.
  • Current Wine includes support for 64 bit Wine on Mac OS X; however, this has not been tested very much, and some applications may never work due to an ABI incompatibility between Win64 and OS X.





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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Well, the results are in, and it's indisputable... that I'm kinda confused! [confused]

The test subject is an HP ProBook 6460b with Intel Core i5 2nd generation CPU and HD 3000 graphics (on-chip). The test is a level 5 Siege, timer at 1 minute, AI feature engaged, which ensures missions restart as soon as the ship is destroyed. 

Screen shot of the settings:
vlcsnap-2018-04-14-19h24m12s685.png 



Under Windows 7, Furmark, an OpenGL based 3D GPU stress test (see http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/) will run for literal days without problems.

However, Artemis which is DirectX 9.x based, will crash horribly, deadlocking the laptop and requiring a cold start to recover. This crash happens anywhere from 2 to 6 hours of game time.

Linux results, ending in a recoverable crash (no reboot needed):
  • 3.5 hours run, then crash with Wine throwing "Program Error".
  • 3.0 hours run, then crash
  • 3.75 hours run, then crash
  • 2.5 hours run, then crash
  • 5.5 hours run, then crash. This one was set to a longer mission time instead of a 1 minute cycle.
Here is what the Wine Linux crash looked like:

vlcsnap-2018-04-14-19h28m23s539.jpg 
Click "Close" and you can immediate restart Artemis with nary a glitch.

Windows results, ending in a complete Windows deadlock: it's prettier I guess...

vlcsnap-2018-04-14-19h31m35s912.png 

If I had to guess, I think we're dealing with a DirectX memory leak, which eventually crashes the graphics driver. This could either be a flaw in DirectX 9, in the Intel HD 3000 driver (which I've used several versions of in an attempt to stabilize things), or in the underlying 3D engine (Panda?).

SO... I'm going to continue testing with Linux and see if Joy2Key and the HOTAS controller I'm using get along well in Wine. If so, I think I'll go with Linux/Wine for the fighters at our next convention as a true "stress test". At least if it crashes out, the recovery can be much faster!


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LawsonThompson

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Reply with quote  #7 
Update: Just copying my current JoyToKey setup, then tweaking artemis.ini to change "JOY0" to "JOY1" seems to have the Fighter configuration up and running! Not sure why Linux Wine renumbered the joystick. *shrug*


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BigEd

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Reply with quote  #8 
I've been using Ubuntu and wine with 2.6 but haven't updated to 2.7 yet. At least it runs well with the default wine you get with a sudo apt-get install wine. We use joysticks too...
BigEd

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Reply with quote  #9 
I should add I only did the Linux wine because I'm too cheap to buy os licenses for all the old hardware I've scrapped together for my bridge.
Jormungandr83

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Reply with quote  #10 
Yeah, Lubuntu here, with default Wine and qjoypad for the HOTAS. Always ran just fine for me, and we've been playing this way for a few years now.
Hnefatafl

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Reply with quote  #11 
It's been a while since this post, but because of it I've been running v2.7.1 on Ubuntu, the "Game Pack" version, with Play on Linux.  It installs as 16.04, but I've updated to 18.04. It's installed on several 6-year-old i3 laptops w/ 8MB RAM.

So far, it's been working very well. Admittedly, it's only been two 5-hour sessions, but I've encountered no glitches. It seems more responsive than Win10 on these machines.

Thanks for this suggestion!

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