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Re: How to use Debian for a HTPC/Gaming combination?

On Sat, 2018-03-03 at 14:50 +0100, Markus Grunwald wrote:
> Hello,
> Currently, I'm using libreelec as distribution for the HTPC in my
> home
> cinema. It does its job very good, but is inflexible. For example, I
> would like to use the same computer as a steam machine or to play
> other
> games using wine or, of course, native linux games which is not
> possible
> witch libreelec.
> To do that, I would like to use Debian. I know, use and administer
> Debian machines since potato and I think its flexibility is great. In
> fact, I only used libreelec because it had a driver for the quite new
> nvidia graphics card and Debian didn't - at least not in last summer.
> Now I've seen that Debian supports my graphics card and I would like
> to
> start my HTPC/Gaming PC from scratch. What I would like to have:
> - Very quick (and maybe beautiful, for the WAF ;) ) start up.
> - No surplus services.
> - Some minimal window manager
> - Boot to Kodi (or Steam) and easy switch to the other.
> I know that Linux is not the optimal gaming OS. Never mind. There is
> a
> good bit idealism involved :)
> Now, I could get this running, but I never installed a Debian machine
> with focus on the first two items. I hope to get your help and advice
> especially on the quick and lean start up. Any further Ideas are
> greatly
> appreciated ;)
> As I said, some amount of Idealism is involved. So advice like "use
> windows" or maybe "use another Linux distribution" will not be very
> helpful.
> Oh, by the way: the hardware is more or less fixed for now, and it is
> old (except for the SSD and the Graphics card). So no monster
> performance for the games, but it does the HTPC job excellently. But
> I
> will upgrade the machine in the future. Yet, I think the exact
> hardware
> spec is not so important for this topic...
> Let's see, how far we get and thanks for your input!
> cu

Kodi no problem on Debian Buster and most games will run well (64 bit
games anyway) if you are prepared to go to GoG rather than Steam and
purchase games that are for 64 bit installs rather than needing i386
libraries, Steam insist on their i386 install which will mean fetching
obsolete, buggy, security exploited and end of life libraries from much
older distributions.
If you want games that only Steam can provide (thinking Paradox here)
you may need to run Ubuntu in a vm or set up a user who you can risk
buggy libraries on.

All dependent on your hardware of course. I generally use a 2nd hand,
Xeon E3-1240 v2 with the obligatory SSD, 16Gb ram and a Nvidia 1050 and
have never even scraped the sides yet.

Happy to let you know what I have found to run well in Buster if you
are interested.