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Linux Publishing in Unity 4.0

November 22, 2012 in Technology | 3 min. read
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It's Na'Tosha from Team Penguin Pushers here, and in case you missed the news, Unity 4.0 has been released -- with a publishing option for Linux! For those of us who have been working on this port, this time couldn't be more exciting -- this project is very near and dear to our hearts, and we're thrilled to be able to share our love for Linux with you by helping you to bring games to such an open, exciting platform.

With the debut of the publishing option, it seems like a good time to answer some frequently asked questions . . .

So, does it work?

Yes! Two well-known commercial games have been shipped for Linux and are currently available in the Ubuntu Software Center -- our Linux launch title Rochard and tower defense game Cubemen, which is also one of the launch titles for the Steam Linux beta.  More and more games (like Splice, one of the titles in the Humble Android Bundle 4) are coming in on a regular basis.

What distributions do you support?

We currently only offer official support for Ubuntu Linux, version 10.10 or later. However, users are happily running games on a very wide range of linux distributions, including Arch Linux, Gentoo, Debian, and others.

What hardware do you support?

We support both 32-bit and 64-bit systems, and even provide an export option for a "Universal" build, which includes everything needed to run out-of-the box on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. We provide official support for machines with graphics cards and graphics drivers that support hardware acceleration.

What are the caveats?

Aah, yes. You didn't assume it would all be rainbows and unicorns, now did you? There are a couple of caveats with the initial version:

1) There is no screen selector, so you need to use your own input manager if you want to allow users to set their own keybindings -- they won't get a chance to reset them before launching the game. If you just want to set screensize, see the docs for command-line options to the player to set default screen width/height and fullscreen options

2) Although the player runs in batchmode, it still requires a running X session.

Rest assured, however, these are issues we plan to address in later 4.x releases.

What about the Web Player?

We don't currently have any plans to ship a web player for Linux, but we encourage you to export your game to Native Client, which Linux users can take full advantage of.

What about the Editor? I want to make my games on Linux!

As a long-time Linux user (I'm writing this post from my desktop running Ubuntu), I can certainly feel your pain. Deciding what to do as a company and as a team is hard. We make our decisions based on a lot of things -- what you guys ask us for and how the decision will affect our own sustainability are two of these things. Will we support the editor on Linux? We honestly don't know. We have no official plans to support the editor on Linux, but of course the future is always unwritten. If the publishing option for Linux turns out to be very successful, who knows what the future holds?

How do I publish my games for Linux?

Check out the Ubuntu MyApps Developer Portal to get in the Ubuntu Software Center, Desura, or if you think you can make the cut, contact the Humble Indie Bundle team.

Did I forget any questions? Ask them below! If you don't have any questions, then go make some games and publish them for Linux.

Much love from the Unity Linux Team,

November 22, 2012 in Technology | 3 min. read

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