Gamebuntu App Promises to Make Gaming on Ubuntu Painless for Newcomers


Meet Gamebuntu, a new app created by the maintainer of the Ubuntu Unity distribution to help Linux newcomers build a game-ready Ubuntu setup on their gaming machines.

While it may sound like a new Ubuntu-based distribution, Gamebuntu is in fact a simple application that automatically installs a bunch of things its creator Rudra Saraswat believes are needed for a complete and fully functional gaming setup on Ubuntu.

The app is targeted at ex-Windows users (a.k.a. Linux newcomers) who want to switch from Windows to Linux/Ubuntu and do some gaming. It works on virtually any supported Ubuntu release or derivative and acts as both an installer and launcher.

I’ve tested Gamebuntu on the upcoming Ubuntu 22.04 LTS (Jammy Jellyfish) release and with a single mouse click on the “Install” button it installed Steam, the powerful OBS Studio screencasting and streaming app, Lutris game manager, PulseEffects advanced audio manipulation tools, Wine for installing Windows games and apps, and Heroic Launcher for playing games in the Epic store.

The app also upgrades the Mesa graphics stack to a more recent version from an unofficial PPA and installs some extra packages like mesa-utils, vulkan-tools and libegl1:i386, it switches the Linux kernel to the real-time XanMod kernel, installs the NoiseTorch real-time microphone noise suppression app, enables click-to-minimize in GNOME, and it also installs VLC media player, Kodi media center, and the MangoHud monitoring app for gamers.

Gamebuntu in action

“Gamebuntu is an app that helps to set up a complete environment for gaming on Ubuntu without any other tweaks,” says Rudra Saraswat. “It is intended for new users coming from Windows who want to game on Ubuntu.”

During the initial installation, a terminal window will open to install and setup all the things I’ve mentioned above. The terminal window will automatically close when it finishes installing the packages and you can literally start some serious gaming sessions by launching your favorite apps from the Gamebuntu window.

Web browser apps like Twitch and YouTube Studio will launch directly in the Gamebuntu window, while things like Discord or Xbox Game Pass will open in the default web browser (e.g. Firefox). The app also has a shortcut for Ubuntu’s Software and Updates utility if you need to install extra drivers needed for your hardware.

If you’re new to Ubuntu and want to some serious gaming, you should give Gamebuntu a try. The app is available for download as an AppImage that doesn’t require installation, as well as a Snap app you can easily install from the Ubuntu Snap Store using the sudo snap install --dangerous --classic /path to snap file command in the Terminal app. Also check out its source code on GitLab.

Happy gaming!

Update 07/12/21: The Snap Store version of Gamebuntu is outdated, use the command above if you want to install the Snap app. However, I strongly recommend using the AppImage instead!

Update 10/12/21: The latest version of Gamebuntu also installs Minigalaxy for those who want to download, install and play GOG Linux games, OpenRGB to control RGB devices, Mumble VoIP app, GNOME’s GameMode extension, Polychromatic for Razer devices, GOverlay for managing Linux overlays, and puts a shortcut the NVIDIA Settings in the main window.

Last updated 2 years ago

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