Proper support for the Linux platform

Yeah it appears a lot of the bugs on ubuntu were cause of web2view, I’m on mint and it’s somehow fixed, I’d presume that it should work fine on debian and ubuntu too now if everything is updated, but can’t 100% confirm.

Also I still don’t understand why they removed the login endpoint, it was so useful; but i guess if studio actually works fine for all linux users from now on then there won’t really be a need for it (if it doesn’t somehow break again).

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Make sure to post feature requests or bug reports when you see platform issues. They generally won’t be found if you post them on an unrelated thread with a lot of replies like this. (happened to see this comment randomly)

That being said, someone else did file a thread about it, and I responded there with details why: Reintroduce /login/return-to-studio - #3 by Hooksmith

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As support for running the Roblox client on Wine officially dies out, this has never been a more relevant request.

We are about to reach mid 2023.

  1. Linux keeps getting more attention from game development studios.
  2. Linux keeps progressing and maturing as a Desktop platform. It has never been easier to target and publish software in it.
  3. Linux’s corporate backing only gets bigger and bigger.
  4. Mainstream manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo and HP are offering Linux compatibility, support and hardware pre-loaded with it.
  5. The Linux desktop has steadily grown its userbase. Not just in amount of users, but also in its marketshare.
  6. The amount of Roblox developers daily driving Linux has increased over time.

Despite that, Roblox has gone back. While everyone else in the industry has taken steps towards the Linux desktop, some even embracing it, Roblox has jumped back to the stone ages and killed off Wine compatibility for their client.

Virtually all other major game engines and development tools have had their SDKs natively available on Linux for years, with support for compiling a Linux target. Even Unreal Engine 4 (Developed by Epic Games, which is famously known for maliciously refusing the Linux desktop) still offers a native Linux SDK and target option.

So what’s up Roblox? Why are you going backwards when everyone else has taken a brave step forwards?

Roblox is a development tool, not just a platform for playing. Even companies that have zero interest in the Linux desktop and offer no support whatsoever for their user-facing ecosystem recognize the need for developers to have Linux SDKs and targets and as such provide the necessary tooling and programs for developing and publishing in Linux.

Roblox, out of all major engines, is the only one that doesn’t offer a Linux SDK. It doesn’t even have a Linux client!

If Unity, Unreal Engine, Godot, Frostbite, Game Maker Studio, and so many others provide Linux SDKs, tooling and targets, why not Roblox?


Roblox’s past statements to its Linux community

Over the years, Roblox has communicated with its Linux community and explained the reasons there’s no Linux support. However, many of those reasons have become outdated due to Linux’s massive evolution since 2017…
The Linux desktop has standards that are universally followed by all major players.
The Linux desktop has universal packaging standards that provide a single target for every distribution.
The Linux desktop has a strict “Don’t Break Userspace” policy that is near-religiously followed. A modern kernel can usually be ran on a very outdated userspace.

Something is better than nothing. I’d rather have buggy and limited Linux support (or compatibility) over nothing.

The Linux driver situation has massively improved in the last 6 years. There are some exceptions (Looking at you nvidia), but many vendors now have first-class Linux support (Some, like amdgpu, have even surpassed their Windows counterparts and offer better stability and more features!)

This problem is solved with Flatpak/Snap. Userspace drivers and dependencies are also included in its runtime, bypassing outdated distro packaging. It also bypasses other issues like Fedora lacking hardware acceleration for some codecs due to legal issues, as those are provided by flatpak as well.

The Kernel rarely breaks userspace compatibility, so its OS APIs are rarely (if ever) an issue. Other libraries can easily be packaged with Flatpak/Snap, solving the issue with outdated distro packages.

No denying that. But still, it’s important to keep in mind that “half-baked support” is better than “no support”.

Again, this is an issue that is much easier to deal with by using universal packaging. With Flatpak/Snap, you only have to worry about a single runtime, like how it usually works with Windows and MacOS.

Flatpak’s default source (Flathub) gives full release control over the publishers IIRC. Even if it doesn’t, what is stopping Roblox from managing their own flatpak source or including a thin installer inside of the package? (Just like how Steam does it,)

Amount of users (and how it keeps rising) aside, you have to consider that a disproportionally big amount of the Roblox Linux userbase is also a developer in the platform. This isn’t just a question of end users, but also developers and people that make a living off your platform.

After 2018, Roblox goes radio silent and no longer comments on the state of Linux support. Eventually, in 2021, Roblox finally becomes usable in Wine (due to the Linux community’s efforts). Although it has issues, this unofficial compatibility leaves most people satisfied enough.

Just as 2022 is about to end, Roblox introduces a new change that makes studio unusable on Wine. Luckily, Roblox ended up providing a quick workaround that allowed Linux users to go around this issue. This was the first time in years that Roblox acknowledged Linux.

Although Roblox still refused official Linux compatibility and explained how it could “die out” at any moment, the transparency and willingness to investigate the issue was very refreshing and showed that whenever possible, Linux issues would be looked at.

But then, just a few months later, Wine compatibility ended for the client.

Unfortunately, the reasoning was very vague and the future has since been uncertain. We got no timeline and no further explanation on what Roblox’s views on Linux are.

The reasoning behind the Wine block was further explained, but sadly no more information about the future was given, besides that “Wine won’t be intentionally blocked on Studio”.

In fact, the future has been left even more uncertain with this one single statement. A kernel-level anti-cheat would make Roblox impossible to run on Wine.

Not much else was clarified, essentially all we know is that “compatibility might eventually come back”.

This should be better explained. Has anything changed since 2017?

No information about an official Linux release either.

In the end, Roblox claims that the Linux community is extremely important to them. But this statement completely contradicts the total lack of any information of when we’ll be able to use the Roblox client in Wine again, other than an unconvincing “we’ll try to fix it eventually”.

We’ve never really received an update on past information, and in fact, Roblox remained mostly radio silent until the Linux community detected Wine compatibility was about to be broken. This lack of communication means Roblox’s current stance on Linux support and its Linux community is still unclear and sometimes contradictory.


Improving communication

I believe that both sides would benefit greatly if Roblox made a statement that sums up their current views of Roblox on Linux, what’s holding it back from becoming officially supported and what plans Roblox has with it.
You’ve told us that you care and that’s a great beginning, but we need more information.

The following questions need to be answered with up-to-date information:

  • What is Roblox’s commitment to its Linux user and developer community?
  • What is currently blocking official Linux support/compatibility?
  • What is Roblox doing to improve Linux support/compatibility?
  • What is the future for Linux support/compatibility?
  • If there’s a future at all, are you able to provide any general timeline or priority?
  • Are there any plans to improve communication and transparency?

Many years have gone by and old information is now outdated. Roblox should make a new statement that clarifies the state of everything right now. Communicating with the Linux community about the challenges that you’re currently facing will massively increase the amount of trust we’ve been placing on this platform and prevent developers from leaving to other game engines that provide Linux SDKs.

Even if Roblox has no “good news” to give, this gesture would nonetheless show to everyone that Roblox is acting in good faith and cares about the issue.

One of the most important assets Roblox has is its development community. Roblox should improve communication in order to maintain the trust its community has placed on it.

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Welp, I can’t play Roblox anymore after many years, thanks to the Wine removal…

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Even then, there’s still some hope if you’re willing to run a Roblox Android Client and this works best if you’re running a Wayland display server and also using Intel and AMD GPUs.

All is not lost. There are some ways we can do to keep Roblox working on Desktop Linux. While compatibility layers or even virtual machines and emulators are required, the hope is not lost. The Desktop Linux community keeps growing. Especially while Microsoft are still putting unwanted things inside their Windows 11 and also after major companies in the gaming market such as Valve and AYANEO are pushing their own compatible Desktop Linux to their devices such as Steam Deck and AYANEO Gaming devices. Just keep up, and eventually the good thing will always come for us.

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Hi - thanks for the question. I definitely get where you’re coming from, and as you point out, you deserve a clear, good-faith answer. Unfortunately that answer is essentially “no.”

From a personal perspective, a lot of people at Roblox would love to support Linux (including me). Practically speaking, there’s just no way for us to justify it. If we release a client, we have to support it, which means QA, CS, documentation, etc., all of which is much more difficult on a fragmented platform. We release weekly on a half-dozen platforms. Adding in the time to test, debug, and release a Linux client would be expensive, which means time taken away from improving Roblox on our current platforms.

Even Wine support is difficult because of anti-cheat. As wonderful as it would be to allow Roblox under Wine, the number of users who would take advantage of that is minuscule compared with our other platforms, and it’s not worthwhile if it makes it easy for exploiters to cheat.

I’m sorry to be such a downer about this, but it’s the reality. We have to spend our time porting to and supporting the platforms that will grow our community.

Again, I’m personally sorry to have to say this. Way back in 2000 I had a few patches accepted into the kernel, and I led the port of Roblox game servers from Windows to Linux several years ago. From a technical and philosophical perspective, it would be a wonderful thing to do. But our first responsibility is to our overall community, and the opportunity cost of supporting a Linux client is far, far too high to justify.

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Hey, thanks for replying.

Bad news suck, obviously, but not communicating them sucks even more. By setting expectations straight, you avoid making others wait and hope for something that will never come.

Although this means we will probably not be seeing Roblox on the Linux desktop any time soon, we don’t have to guess what the situation is anymore.

Being transparent isn’t just about saying what the community wants to hear, but also what they wouldn’t like to hear. There’s no point in keeping us in the dark, so being truthful and explicit was the right decision for this situation. Again, thanks for the refreshing amount of transparency & communication.

Quick side-question, if any alternative to Wine appears, would Roblox be willing to look into it?

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Does this mean that Roblox plans to keep actively blocking attempts to run Roblox under any Linux environment (WINE or VM with hardware passthrough)? Windows is holding back my professional development and I need to move on to stop wasting time. I’ve been fine with the no support for Linux, but the active blocking, especially of Windows virtual machines on top of Linux, is continuing to make me question staying on the platform.

I currently maintain one of the biggest VR projects on Roblox with no successor. If I go, a lot of VR on Roblox will degrade. I don’t want to have to make this decision. Again: I am fine with the lack of official support. But if that is the stance, please stop blocking us from even trying to make it work. We’re Linux developers. We always make unsupported stuff work somehow. I don’t want the way for me to move off of Windows to involve bypassing Byfron’s/Roblox’s anti-cheat.

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Does all this also hold true for studio?

Yes, as Studio requires engine support for Linux as a prerequisite before it could offer any Linux support

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if you’re gonna actively block me from playing roblox can i have a refund on all my purchases?

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what about this?:

Even Wine support is difficult because of anti-cheat. As wonderful as it would be to allow Roblox under Wine, the number of users who would take advantage of that is minuscule compared with our other platforms, and it’s not worthwhile if it makes it easy for exploiters to cheat.

studio doesn’t need an anticheat i don’t think…

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Roblox is for profit and once they delete items they don’t refund when they do that so prolly gonna do the same to us Linux users

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Yes, this applies even aside from anticheat. The cost of QA/support/etc @AtomicOperation mentioned also applies to Studio, but assuming that things panned out differently for Studio and it made sense to support Linux for Studio specifically, Studio is just a UI on top of the engine. If there is a non-anticheat crash in the engine under Wine, then it’s also going to crash in Studio. We’d need to also commit to engine supporting Wine in order to make any guarantees about Studio supporting it.

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Studio doesn’t use Byfron Hyperion so couldn’t it be allowed to run using Wine?

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security through obscurity, a tale as old as time (it doesn’t work)

edit: whoops i thought this thread was brand new! the reply is literally 5 years old :woman_facepalming:

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if you released a half broken client, that’s ok! we’d be happy to send bug reports and assist in any way we can to help y’all get some sort of linux support with minimal cost to the company, our entire thing is making unsupported stuff work

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This isn’t contributive to the discussion. It’s obvious that they don’t want to use Windows, otherwise they wouldn’t be posting here to begin with.