Proper support for the Linux platform

I’d like to interject for a moment. What you are referring to as Linux is in fact GNU/Linux or as recently i have taken to calling - GNU+Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself but rather another free component of a full functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.


Snaps are quite possibly one of the most hated Linux features. Just go with Flatpak. It even supports atomic distributions (Fedora Silverblue for example)

7 Likes

It is true that Snaps are hated but the only reason it is brought up is because Ubuntu is one of the most popular distros out there. Not to mention it is a base for several other distros. I understand though it is VERY trivial to add Flatpak to any distro too.

doesn’t ubuntu support .deb files? couldn’t roblox just make a .deb and support any debian based distro? they would still have control over how they can update it,but while still having decent support

2 Likes

They could, but you have to take into account that there are a lot of debian-based distros out there with varying release cycles. One distro like base debian could have a release cycle of ~2 years with old dependencies while another like PopOS is rolling release; it’s dependency hell out there. It makes so much more sense to just make it a flatpak which has the benefit of not only working between all these debian based distros but also just working on most distros period. This is especially true for a closed-source piece of software like roblox where the only people who can actually package it properly are roblox themselves. Less formats = less issues = less time spent = less money spent

7 Likes

Yes it does, this is exactly how software like OBS ships to Linux, they have a .DEB file for Ubuntu and debian-based users and a flatpak for everyone else.

1 Like

Quick correction here. Pop OS is not a rolling release. It is still based on Ubuntu LTS with upgrades from System76 like a later kernel and some more friendly drivers for things. It is rock solid (I am currently using Pop btw). The only Ubuntu or Debian based rolling release I can think of is either Debian Unstable/Sid or Rhino Linux.

Agreed. Flatpak would be the most ideal.

2 Likes

wanted to pop in once I heard Flatpak

Based on the data I collected as part of Vinegar’s optional hardware survey…

Roughly 85% of my sample was using Flatpak as their distribution choice. I did some napkin math from the data and created a 95% confidence interval with the bounds of 83% and 86%, meaning that the proportion of the entire population of Vinegar using Flatpak only has a 5% chance of being outside that interval.

Effectively, the majority of users are in Flatpak, meaning that Roblox would likely find similar success that way.

13 Likes

Yeah, that’s more or less what I meant. It’s somewhere in the middle and from what i’ve heard, dependency issues are not a large issue when it comes to PopOS or debian in general but do cause issues on other distros sometimes

1 Like

Oh wow. That is some impressive stuff. A deviation of only 5% really compiling it themselves from source or installing from package is not what I would have expected. I would imagine in contrast Grapejuice would be a bit different because of the issues with the Flatpak version (at least on my end). I did find Vinegar to run on my system the best personally though! So, I am a big fan of your work!

I can see one way of Roblox on Linux making a return. Possibly by building a custom wine to package into a Flatpak. Maybe some sort of custom Proton wrapper to do the same. Maybe working with VinegarHQ to make something official. I can dream.

4 Likes

Pop OS is sort of in the middle. Basically it’s like a unsnapped Ubuntu with minor changes and a custom desktop environment called Cosmic, which in the past was based on GNOME. However System76 has been working on a brand new Cosmic which is based on Rust.

2 Likes

I have recently managed to add the Roblox app to my Steam launcher, with the intention of using Steam remote play to be able to play roblox on Linux. What I have discovered while doing that, is that Roblox is the only non-steam game to simply not stream to another machine.

Running non-steam games through remote play is not supported, issues are expected. It is, however interesting that this only happens on roblox, although getting that in the steam launcher itself was slightly hacky.

It is possible to use a remote desktop application to simply run roblox that way either through your web browser or the roblox app. Using remote play or a regular remote desktop will create excessive latency and make competitive games impossible.

Something I am interested in is finding a viable streaming solution if neither native support nor wine compatibility will be coming in the foreseeable future.

I doubt many solutions would exist for roblox specifically since its supported on everything except for linux lol

2 Likes

The interesting data is not “how many Linux devices are there” but how many of the 4.33% would want to actually use Roblox on those devices, are they in Roblox’s current target audience.

My hunch is that (prospective or not) Roblox players/creators are underrepresented on that share compared to some of the other bars on your graph.

I think Roblox itself is in the best position to know and make a value judgement because they can check what user agents are hitting the Roblox web surfaces but not converting to retaining users / users who try to install the software but fail.

4 Likes

Exactly. But Vinegar users and developers still continue to use this percentage to try to justify a Roblox Linux port with 3k Linux players on a platform with over 60 million daily active users.
As a Linux user, I admit that official support for Roblox on Linux would be cool, but Roblox doesn’t have the government’s painted paper printing machine. 3k Linux players compared to daily active users on other platforms is unjustifiable.

2 Likes

I fail to see where Vinegar developers tried to “justify a port with a percentage”, at least with the link you’ve shown. Please don’t put words in our mouths.

These only represent a portion of RoL. The survey was opt-in, and we didn’t count the number of users which didn’t consent, for obvious reasons. It also only accounts for Vinegar users (Grapejuice still has an userbase) over a 2 week period[0].

CC: @buildthomas

There’s actually a surprisingly big amount of interest in Roblox among Linux desktop users. Here’s an example I brought up earlier:

(this doesn’t count users who were actually trying to use wrappers such as grapejuice or vinegar)

For what it’s worth, I also have some anecdotal experiences of Roblox being brought up in both gaming and non-gaming Linux forums/communities. As you can imagine, Roblox was the headline in r/linux_gaming whenever something with Hyperion happened. :wink:

In any case, there’s definitely a lot more than 3k people interested on RoL. I can assure you that much.

[0]:

The survey began on December 21, 2023.

This report was created based on data retrieved on January 3, 2024.

6 Likes

I was giving some ideas on the GitHub issue of the Vinegar repository in question and a tinfoil hat commented that Microsoft might be paying Roblox not to develop a Linux port. I then respond that any financial incentive from Microsoft would be insignificant if Linux players managed to get 10% of Roblox’s market share. The same user responds to me referring to 4% of the desktop market share, not Roblox’s. I then ask where he got 4% if Roblox doesn’t have official statistics for Linux users on Wine. It was his misinterpretation.
Another user then answers the link to the desktop market share where Linux has 4%. Lunarlettuce appears out of nowhere and says that my comments are going to his “copypasta drawer”, basically calling what I said a meme, since the meaning of copypasta is a large text to be copied and pasted that has controversial ideas and is considered a meme. Not only was this disrespectful, but it also shows that Lunarlettuce agrees with the blue lettuce eaters who misread what I wrote. I don’t know if he can be considered a developer, he seems more like a repackager of the Flatpak version of Vinegar, since most commits are from apprehensions.
It’s not the first time Vinegar developers have acted disrespectfully either.
Cope 1, cope 2.
I feel sorry for the engineers for being bothered over and over again with this. Bother them again when Linux has 10% of Roblox’s player base.

1 Like

If an official statistics agency of the country X goes from home to home and people optionally attend the employee and answer how many people live in their home, and the final result is that this country X has total number Y of inhabitants, and someone wants to assert that this number Y is many times greater because of people who have decided not to respond, it is questionable if this analysis of this “someone” is correct.
Analogies aside, what I mean is that probably the number of Roblox players on Linux is just thousands of players. 3k. It is around that number, be 10k, or miraculously 20k.
You have the biggest bootstrapper to run Roblox on Linux. It’s easily distribution agnostic because it’s the only one packaged in Flatpak on Flathub, besides Grapejuice, which isn’t even maintained anymore. What we’ve seen is that interest for unofficial support in Wine is not high. If it were, the Roblox employees who made the decision to block Wine would know better than us.

One issue with your analogy is that a large portion of people in country X are homeless and country X’s statics agency fails to account for that nor can it even tell how many percentage of their residents are homeless, might as well be 90%
Many people would be interested in running Roblox on Linux but are either turned away during the block of wine or they don’t understand/trust bootstrappers when wine works, and many have opted to keep using roblox on windows/not at all instead due to how there isn’t official support. There’s really no way to even estimate the amount of people that are interested in Roblox on Linux unless there’s official support, which there isn’t.

1 Like

I’ve been seeing specific percentages of Linux users being talked about, and now the Vinegar opt-in survey that I didn’t even know existed until recently. Without Roblox giving us statistics about the Linux users, I don’t think it is safe for us to use any percentage statistics for users.

  • Steam’s hardware survey probably favors Linux because of the Steam Deck. It also works against macOS because of how many Steam games don’t run on macOS.
  • Website statistics probably favor Windows and macOS because the Steam Deck is not a normal device for web browsing. User-agent spoofing is rare but sometimes it is a thing because some websites treat Linux user agents weirdly.
  • Vinegar’s survey doesn’t cover Grapejuice users, custom solutions, or people who did not even know you could opt into this. The reason I didn’t opt-in is that I didn’t know it was a thing until recently, and I was never prompted.
  • Roblox doesn’t provide per-OS statistics, and these numbers might favor Windows and macOS because Linux compatibility is not advertised anywhere on Roblox.

I think focusing on the numbers of Linux users is pointless because we simply don’t know what the real numbers are. To buildthomas’s point, the overlap of Linux users and players is probably low. Linux support would be much more biased to those who are developers, especially for the bigger games that deploy Linux servers/containers. This being discussed on a forum for developers helps illustrate that point. I want to move my main system to Linux for development.

8 Likes

If Roblox does decide to release a Linux native version of Roblox instead of using Vulkan Roblox can use DXVK native allowing for higher FPS than the poor performance of Roblox’s implementation of Vulkan or OpenGL. DXVK native is as it says DXVK without Wine/Proton, Valve uses this for its games in every game other than the very old games that Valve has made.

1 Like

The issue is here that Proton is for Linux and it runs all Windows games or at least most of them. ProtonDB even boasts over 14,000 at least playable titles. So you are sort of correct about the lack of Steam games available for Mac, but also you aren’t considering that Proton allows for far more than just Linux native games unlike Mac native Steam games.

That is true. Windows and Mac are much more polarized.

This is true, I am curious about if the Grapejuice survey shows similar results though.

I wish they would though. Even if Linux just makes up around 1% of users on Roblox, that to me would be amazing. It really does show that people are using more than just Windows and Mac.