How to get gaming on Linux

The first benchmark we ran was Heaven, which is a well-known benchmarking tool among gamers for seeing how well a graphics card performs. You can download the RUN file from the Heaven website, and once downloaded, open up the Terminal and type:

cd /Downloads

chmod 700

sudo ./

To install the benchmark. To run it, change directory into the Heaven folder and type ./heaven . A screen will appear asking you what type of benchmark you want to perform.

Click 'OK' and an animated video will appear, putting your GPU through a workout. On the top-right hand corner of the screen you'll see a counter for frames per second – the higher it is the smoother the gameplay will be.

How to get gaming on Linux

The Heaven benchmark will stress test your graphics card to see how well it performs

The test computer we're running the benchmarks on has an Intel Core i7-6700K processor, Intel's sixth-generation Core i7 flagship. It's one of the best CPUs around, and though it's a bit pricey, it's got good future proof qualities, with support for new DDR4 RAM and a powerful integrated Intel HD Graphics 530 GPU.

Without a dedicated graphics card, the Intel Core i7-6700K reached an average of 7.9 frames per second (fps), with a minimum fps of 5.6 in the Heaven benchmark.

In comparison with a GTX 950 GPU installed, the Heaven reached an average of 39fps and a minimum of 20.4fps.

We also benchmarked the GTX 950 in Metro Last Light, a graphically demanding first person shooting game that was the first AAA game to be available for Linux.

At full 1080p resolution the GTX 950 hovered around the 50 frames per second mark for most of the run, offering a smooth gameplay experience.

However, we found there were sudden drops to 36fps when things got busy – though the graphics settings were set to maximum. If you want a more consistent framerate then you can lower some of the graphical details, and it will still look lovely.

It's certainly better than the integrated graphics that is on the Intel Core i7-6700K, which only managed 21fps in Metro Last Light – and that was while running the game at the lowest graphical settings, too.

Matt Hanson
Managing Editor, Core Tech

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Core Tech, looking after computing and mobile technology. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. Ever since he got an Amiga A500+ for Christmas in 1991, he's loved using (and playing on) computers, and will talk endlessly about how The Secret of Monkey Island is the best game ever made.