Yesterday, Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.3. The new version of the kernel has come with many new features, some of them, as usual, in the form of support for new hardware, but for the father of Linux that is already past. Right now you're focused on Linux 5.4, the next installment that has already opened the request window of what will include the Linux kernel version that will arrive in mid-November.
It is no secret that Linux is not the preferred platform for game developers, but neither is it that more and more titles are added for us, partly thanks to platforms like Steam. Sometimes games do not work on linux and this will improve, in part, in Linux 5.4 thanks to a patch that will come from the hand of CodeWeavers that will help some Windows and 64bit games run better in Wine and other types of software such as Crossover or Proton. The main beneficiaries will be the users of Intel and AMD equipment.
Linux 5.4 will be a bit more for gamers
The change introduced (via Phoronix) in the CodeWeavers patch will add emulation support for SGDT, SIDT and SMSW instructions (Store Global Descriptor Table Register, Store Interrupt Descriptor Table and Store Machine Status World respectively). UMIP (User-Mode Instruction Prevention) functionality on the latest processors prevents these instructions from running in user mode. The problem is that these instructions are usually used by Windows programs and can present problems when executed in environments such as Wine.
The core code UMIP It has already offered instruction emulation for 32-bit processes, while with Linux 5.4, SGDT, SIDT, and SMSW are covered for 64-bit processes. This in turn helps some 64-bit Windows games that are based on these instructions. Without this emulation support, those games were crashing on recent CPUs by stumbling over the affected instructions.
Among the games that are affected by this problem and could work in Linux 5.4 we have:
- Metro Exodus.
- Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
- Wolfenstein: Youngblood.
- Soulcalibur VI.
- Great Theft Auto.
- Devil May Cry 5.
- Team Sonic Racing.
Therefore and although Linux will never be Windows (thank heaven), Linux 5.4 will be a little more for gamers.