Drauger OS Linux Aims to Bring Console Gaming Experience on the Desktop

For years (or decades) people complained that one of the reasons to not use Linux is lack of mainstream games. Gaming on Linux has improved drastically in last few years specially with the introduction of Steam Proton project that enables you to play a lot of Windows-only games on Linux.

This also has encourages several Linux distributions centered around gaming. Take Lakka for example. You can turn your old computer into a retro gaming console thanks to Lakka Linux.

Another such gaming focused Linux distribution is Drauger OS and we are going to take a look at it today.

What is Drauger OS?

Accord to the project’s website, “Drauger OS is a Linux desktop gaming operating system. It aims to provide a platform for gamers to use where they can get great performance without sacrificing their security. Furthermore, it aims to make it easy for anyone to game, whether they use a keyboard and mouse, or some sort of controller.”

They stress that Drauger OS is not for everyday use. As such, many of the productivity tools that most other distros come with are not in Drauger OS.

Drauger OS 7.4.1
Drauger OS 7.4.1

Drauger OS is based on the Ubuntu. The current version (7.4.1 Jiangshi) uses “Liquorix low latency Linux kernel, a pre-compiled ZEN kernel designed with a balance between latency and throughput in mind”. However, that will be changing in the next release. They only have one desktop environment choice, a modified version of Xfce.

Drauger OS has several applications and tools installed out of the box to improve the gaming experience. These include:

It also has an interesting set of tools that are not gaming related. Drauger Installer is a .deb installer and alternative to Gdebi. Multiple Repository App Installer (mrai) is “an AUR-helper-like script for Debian-based Linux Operating Systems”. Mrai is designed to work with apt, snaps, flatpaks, and can install apps from GitHub.

Interestingly, Drauger OS’ name is an error. Lead dev Thomas Castleman (aka batcastle) has intended to name his distro Draugr, but had mistyped the name. In episode 23 of the Drauger OS podcast, Castleman said the name will stay misspelled because it would be a lot of work to correct it. According to Wikipedia, a draugr is “an undead creature from Norse mythology”.

Yes, you read that correctly. Drauger OS is one of only a few distros that have its own podcast. When asked about it, Castleman told me that “I wanted to ensure that we had the maximum transparency possible with our community, no matter their circumstances.” Most of the time, the podcast is an audio version of the Drauger OS blog, but sometimes they use it to make an announcement when they don’t have time to write a blog post.

The Future for Drauger OS

Drauger OS 7.5.1
Drauger OS

The developers behind Druager OS are working on their next major release: 7.5.1. This release will be based on Ubuntu 20.04. There will be three major changes. First, the Liquorix kernel will be replaced with “a kernel we are building in-house.” This kernel will be based on the Linux Kernel GitHub repository, “so it’s about as vanilla as it gets”.

The second major change in the new release will a new layout for their desktop. Based on user feedback, they have decided to change it to something that looks more GNOME-like.

Thirdly, they are dropping SystemBack as their backup tool and installer. They have instead written a new installer from scratch.

The Dev team is also working on an ARM version of Drauger OS. They hope to release it sometime in 2022.

System requirements for Drauger OS

The Drauger OS system requirements are pretty modest. Keep in mind that Drauger OS will only run on 64-bit systems.

Minimum system requirements

  • CPU: Dual-Core, 1.8GHz, 64-bit processor
  • RAM: 1 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB
  • Graphics Processor: Integrated
  • Screen Resolution: 1024×768 at 60Hz
  • External Ports: 1 Port for Display (HDMI / DisplayPort / VGA / DVI), 2 USB Ports for Installation USB Drive and Keyboard (Mouse optional, but recommended)

Recommended system requirements

  • CPU: Quad-Core, 2.2Ghz, 64-bit processor
  • RAM: 4 GB
  • Storage: 128 GB
  • Graphics Processor: NVIDIA GTX 1050, AMD RX 460, or equivalent card
  • Screen Resolution: 1080p at 60Hz
  • External Ports: 1 Port for Display (HDMI / DisplayPort / VGA / DVI), 3 USB Ports for Installation USB Drive, Keyboard, and Mouse, 1 Audio Out Port

How you can help out Drauger OS

There are several ways that you can help out the Drauger OS if you are interestedin doing so. They are always looking for financial support to keep development going.

If you want to contribute code, they are looking for people with experience in BASH, C++, and Python. All of their code is up on GitHub. You can also contact them on social media.

Final Thoughts

Drauger OS is quite a project. I’ve seen a couple of other gaming-oriented distributions, but Drauger OS is single-minded in its focus on gaming. Since I am more of a casual gamer, this distro doesn’t appeal to me personally. But, I can see how it could lure gaming enthusiasts to Linux. I wish them good luck in their future releases.

What are your thoughts on this gaming-only distro? What is your favorite Linux gaming solution? Please let us know in the comments below.

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  • This is actually really cool for us vega guys trying to get away from the aidsware on windows; this takes all the hassle of compiling a ZEN kernel with AMD integrated graphics.

  • I was hoping for a distro with a UI designed around controller support when I read it was aiming to bring the console experience to the desktop. Guess I’m stuck with Steam big picture mode for now.