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Phoenicis PlayOnLinux 5 Alpha Release

Discussion in 'News' started by booman, Sep 24, 2018.

  • by booman, Sep 24, 2018 at 11:23 PM
  • booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Finally after several years of waiting, PlayOnLinux developers released the first Alpha version of PlayOnLinux 5
    https://www.playonlinux.com/en/comments-1354.html

    Installers:
    https://repository.playonlinux.com/PlayOnLinux/5.0.0-alpha1

    Unfortunately they are scripting games from scratch, which means there are currently 135 supported Games/Installers (scripts)

    Report bugs here:
    https://github.com/PhoenicisOrg/phoenicis/issues

    They changed the names of the tabs so now we have:
    • Library
    • Apps
    • Containers
    • Engines
    • Installations
    • Settings
    Library Tab
    Is kind of confusing, specially with no games installed. It must be where the shortcuts will reside once you install something?

    Apps Tab
    This is where you can search their repository of scripted installers... or Games. Similar to clicking Install in POL4

    Containers Tab
    Shows you all of your wineprefixes and allows you to modify them like with Configure in POL4
    They removed the "run a shell command line" in the virtual drive which prevents installing winetricks and ability to install other dependencies like:
    • vcrun2015
    • dotnet 4.5 or 4.6
    Engine Tab
    Where you can choose a version of Wine to install. The only reason you would want to do this is to test the script installed game with another version of Wine. I would think the script would be updated to newer versions as game/client updates break the script...

    Installations Tab
    Appears to show current script installations that are in progress. I'm guessing it will be blank when all of your games are done installing.

    Settings Tab
    Allows you to change graphical settings in Phoenicis and Network, Repository, File Association settings. Not all features are available yet.

    I tried installing Dark Forces and there was very little feedback that anything was happening. After about 2 minutes the Steam installation began.
    There was a Steam error and after clicking "OK" nothing happened. There was a pending installation in the Installations Tab, but my only option was to "cancel"
    Then it disappeared.

    Side Note:
    • No manual installation to test your non-listed programs
    • Most of the GUI is just like PlayOnLinux 4 wrapped in new Java graphics.
    • All of the icons are re-used from PlayOnLinux 4
    • I don't see a debug option anywhere
    • I don't see any arguments for additional commands to run in the game console
    • No Components installations for manual testing of non-listed programs
    • No way to switch Wine versions on a Container (Installed Virtual Drive)
    Looks like Phoenicis DOES have a manual installation.
    Go to Apps and run "Local Installer" it will run a custom installer where you can install a non-listed program
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
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Comments

Discussion in 'News' started by booman, Sep 24, 2018.

  1. booman
    Now PlayOnLinux has a direct competitor: Lutris
    Hopefully the will still allow us to do some manual installations.

    I would seriously love a feature where you can record a manual installation and save it as a script. Then upload the script to their repository.
    This way I don't have to learn a scripting language for every guide I post.
    Then again, if the scripts work, I won't need to post a guide.
    gamesrule likes this.
  2. gamesrule
    A real shame about POL 5; the best feature of POL is the freedom, and I worry the POL 5 scripts are going to be very restrictive, as the POL 4 freedom meant that tweaking for people's different hardwares etc could be done too. But, yes, I can see how it would be great if uploading a script could be done, for sure!

    I glanced at the Issues at their repo link, but am not really any the wiser, lol, and not sure if adding in all the POL 4 functions is already requested or could be. I saw people saying POL 5 is less intuitive/more complex.

    This vid, at 1:39, shows a familiar screen, but I have to admit to not really understanding POL 5 in any real way.

    Unsure if Lutris is open source/private etc. I know many don't have this concern, but I keep away from anything DRM/google/fb etc, or that has to go through something else. I'm pretty much decided that when POL 4 stops working, it's time to try to learn winetricks and to draw the line about any new games beyond that point. Got a humungous backlog anyway, and very glad of your guides to date. If you know of a simple winetricks tutorial anywhere, that would be awesome. :)
  3. booman
    That seems to be the same feelings with other Linux gamers.
    Lutris is harder to use than PlayOnLinux and if Phoenicis is any harder to use, its going to turn off gamers from using it to play Windows games.

    It seems Valve might be on the right track with SteamPlay.
    They have staff who will be maintaining Proton and Scripts... so in the long run, will have better support.

    The day PlayOnLinux 4 stops working is the day all of our guides are useless.

    I have looked into Winetricks and the only problem I have is using a different version of Wine for each prefix.
    You can create separate prefixes for each game like in PlayOnLinux, but you are stuck with a default version of Wine. As far as I know.
    Adding overrides and packages is fairly painless and running Wine Config is easy as well. Winetricks has a simple graphical interface. It doesn't support staging versions of Wine or DXVK yet.

    I have tried Lutris as well and its fairly easy to use and customize, but the game I tried didn't work: Warframe
    It was all scripted and everything installed & downloaded, but the game didn't launch.

    My hope is that Phoenicis is easier to use with less steps, but still has a manual installation in place for testing
    gamesrule likes this.
  4. booman
    After watching that video, it seems all of the same features are there. Specially in the Container Tabs. Its just like Configure in POL4
    gamesrule likes this.
  5. gamesrule
    Thanks Booman :) Winetricks sounds like it has some good features, excepting I run latest wine-staging as main system version, which eg enables installing Gog's Witcher 3, along with needing dxvk too though.

    Yes, the Lutris scripting not working hopefully isn't prophetic in showing that POL 5 scripts won't go too well and end up being a waste of time. And I agree; hopefully everything possible in POL 4 is incorporated ... the video did seem to show familiar screens, but so quickly, and in another language!, that it was hard to tell. Fingers crossed, and, depressing though things are, it's good that the video shows some hope and that maybe it just turns out to be a more complex looking front to things, but still the same functions hidden in there. :)
  6. gamesrule
    I just had a quick try of the deb, via live usb [don't want to mess up current system], and it did install a little dx9 game, but suggests lower specs eg xp/wine 3.0.2, instead of win7/latest wine ... that can be changed, but I found the wine 3.16 version I chose wouldn't download so no install possible, whereas having to follow their script meant the game installed but didn't run as smoothly. Clicking on 'console' didn't bring up a console at this point. Alpha bugs most likely (hopefully).

    Have to choose the JavaFX link to run it. Then Custom, Local Installer, select/drag exe in. It suggested 'recommended' for each stage eg x86, win XP. There wasn't an option higher than win7, but I'd gone with x86. No actual buttons showed up on the game installer, so I had to wing it. Having to search out a shortcut manually wasn't so great. Nowhere to add extra dependencies or change the wine version, but the familiar engine settings part was there. The engine tools tab leads to 'configure wine', task manager, repair, etc. On system, the POL 5 directory etc is hidden.

    Bemused why things are made complex, and critical choices removed. Investing in making what was already there even more cleaned up would have been best for gamers, alongside eg your clear guides more centrally linked to, not 'dumbing down' in a way that cuts out very important features.

    Officially grumpy, lol.
  7. booman
    I'm playing with it right now and I'm not impressed.
    They changed the names of the tabs so now we have:
    • Library
    • Apps
    • Containers
    • Engines
    • Installations
    • Settings
    Library Tab
    Is kind of confusing, specially with no games installed. It must be where the shortcuts will reside once you install something?

    Apps Tab
    This is where you can search their repository of scripted installers... or Games. Similar to clicking Install in POL4

    Containers Tab
    Shows you all of your wineprefixes and allows you to modify them like with Configure in POL4
    They removed the "run a shell command line" in the virtual drive which prevents installing winetricks and ability to install other dependencies like:
    • vcrun2015
    • dotnet 4.5 or 4.6
    Engine Tab
    Where you can choose a version of Wine to install. The only reason you would want to do this is to test the script installed game with another version of Wine. I would think the script would be updated to newer versions as game/client updates break the script...

    Installations Tab
    Appears to show current script installations that are in progress. I'm guessing it will be blank when all of your games are done installing.

    Settings Tab
    Allows you to change graphical settings in Phoenicis and Network, Repository, File Association settings. Not all features are available yet.

    I tried installing Dark Forces and there was very little feedback that anything was happening. After about 2 minutes the Steam installation began.
    There was a Steam error and after clicking "OK" nothing happened. There was a pending installation in the Installations Tab, but my only option was to "cancel"
    Then it disappeared.

    Side Note:
    • No manual installation to test your non-listed programs
    • Most of the GUI is just like PlayOnLinux 4 wrapped in new Java graphics.
    • All of the icons are re-used from PlayOnLinux 4
    • I don't see a debug option anywhere
    • I don't see any arguments for additional commands to run in the game console
    • No Components installations for manual testing of non-listed programs
    • No way to switch Wine versions on a Container (Installed Virtual Drive)
  8. gamesrule
    Good summary, and I agree; it's not impressive, and, as you point out, more likelihood of games breaking (due to scripts etc) seems to be being brought IN, which, along with abandoning the better independent options of POL4, just seems deliberately regressive.

    Better to add to POL4, as we already know, rather than forcing people to either struggle with wine (whether on not they are able), or pressure to be more online/commercial/drm, or just not play on the pc. My overall feeling is that it's more towards laziness/convenience/corporate-friendly, with little concern for those 3 factors.

    Yes, POL 5 had stalled for me too, on appearing to start installing wine 3.16; no messages.

    Some sort of silver lining is that whatever is included into wine is helpful, while approaching learning very basic wine; I've found one or two very simple clear tutorials so far. I'm finding, with the (staging) system I'm running, exes for some little dx9 games often install anyway, just with a doubleclick, which was amazing to discover very recently, plus it looks like all those gog purchases will at last be played, lol. :)
  9. booman
    I know its only an Alpha release, but it also took several years. Still not the end-of-the-world because I think its only a single developer working on it. Its better to take your time, than rush through it and make a lot of mistakes.

    I hope they eventually add the functionality of changing Wine versions on the Container.
    Honestly I prefer they stick with the PlayOnLinux 4 naming structure.
    Its confusing to have yet another name for prefixes and Wine. Engines and Containers are just more confusing.

    I really like the manual installation because there is no way the community will ever script every game ever made.
    Manual installation is the only way to test your own games.
    Maybe they can release a testing sandbox as another app bundled with Phoenicis
    We can use it to test our game and write a script to provide to the Apps repository.
    gamesrule likes this.
  10. gamesrule
    Hopefully it'll take ages and ages more, and, in that time, they'll realise that including every POL 4 feature is how to be really popular, lol. Definitely better to work steadily and get things right. Does that also mean it could be quite a long time before POL4 is retired to a pasture somewhere? (yay!)

    I found the renaming confusing too, so I don't see the point in those changes either. And, yes, manual all the way, and I like the sandboxing win win you're describing ... independent installs that feed into the script library sounds like the perfect outcome all-round. At the end of the day, I can't imagine the dev wouldn't include what everyone uses so much, so maybe as development continues we'll see all the great POL4 features coming back in. :)
  11. booman
    I've had several conversations with the developer and their moderators. PlayOnLinux was never meant to be a manual installation process.
    They want their scripts to handle every game and program.
    This was a great plan, but considering the number of games and applications... its impossible. Specially when they work in their free time.
    If they charged money for PlayOnLinux like Steam does and Crossover then they could create scripts as a full-time job.

    But they relied on the community... the community didn't give back as they had expected.

    Most gamers just want to play games...
  12. gamesrule
    Good luck to them, definitely, but I'm a little puzzled why, with Lutris/Proton etc, they would want to do a similar thing, when POL4 is unique and surely less work to maintain. A very ambitious plan, especially when low on manpower and, sadly, support. I'm very new to linux and all of this, so it's a shame to hear that POL doesn't receive the support it deserves.

    Many seem to think POL isn't around any more, and are genuinely surprised to hear it is, which then makes me surprised ... but then it's often written loud across Reddit that many only care about getting the games, regardless. The few occasions I see people reference POL4, they really love it, and I see you recommending it to people, which is great. I used to when I was on social media.

    Many ideas have probably been covered by yourself and the dev. I'd suggest a big crowdfunder, lots of advertising on sites, etc, but I have to admit that without the POL4 missing features I personally couldn't pay in. There could be many who want this version of POL who might though. If the missing POL4 features were to be included, I'd be there in a heartbeat!
  13. booman
    I completely agree.
    For us, its a waiting game. I just recently found out that Proton doesn't support Direct X 9 titles. For some reason I assumed that Proton supported all Direct X versions like stable Wine does. Looks like the overrides and libraries for DX10/11 are already set in Proton which can cause issues for DX9 games.
    I think there is a command or switch to turn them off, but I'm not sure cause I've barely messed with it.

    So once again, this turns me back to PlayOnLinux 4. I can play practically any game with PlayOnLinux 4 because I can select which version of Wine for any prefix I want.

    Lutris has a feature where you can turn on/off DXVK
    If PlayOnLinux 4 had this feature, then we wouldn't have to do all the extra DXVK stuff in our Guides.

    If your games is DX10/11 = Check the DXVK box
    If your game is DX9 = Don't check the DXVK box

    You are right, either Phoenicis needs to add more control to Wine and the prefixes, or they should update PlayOnLinux 4 with DXVK support like Lutris
  14. gamesrule
    That's quite a thing to discover; the Proton release certainly didn't emphasize that, lol, as many may have not been quite so excited if they'd known that ... I also thought 'play dx10/11' meant there'd be no issue with dx9 games. I haven't even touched Proton, but, just doing a quick search, people are having to fix loads of things ... using POL4 and DXVK is easier! and no games taken off the table or more complications to fix.

    Incorporating the DXVK switch in POL4 would be really great.
    As you say, the development about POL5 is slow, but hopefully we'll see a good balance come in with the awesome features POL4 has plus the DXVK.
  15. booman
    Yeah I was surprised as well.
    Valve is forking Wine to make Proton so all the normal Wine features are there, but as soon as you add the over-rides and DLLs, expect issues with Direct X 9 games.
    Maybe they will adjust the script for DX9 compatibility and it will use a different version of Wine?

    I hope Valve isn't assuming that one Wine can rule-them-all. Because I've experienced the exact opposite. Some games only run on specific versions of Wine. Most games run on all kinds of Wine versions.

    It gets so complicated that I decided to always test the game with Stable Wine first, then New Wine second.

    If Steam ever allows us to change the version of Wine, this would be a great feature. Right now there is only Proton and Proton Beta.

    They could easily have Proton DX9 and Proton DX10/11 and Proton DX12, etc
    Or just have the installer find the Direct X that the game uses and select the proper version of Wine.
    gamesrule likes this.
  16. gamesrule
    Hopefully they will enable dx9 scripts, as you're right; your guides clearly show that different games need different solutions. Both POL5 and Valve reducing options isn't good ... in the light of Valve cutting out dx9, POL5 even more needs to ensure independent installs can be done, not just scripts.

    Seems Valve really are aiming more for the new influx of Windows users who come to Linux/AAA games/'compete with MS' route? ... it would have been so easy, as you say, to provide for dx9/10/11, especially if the installer just brought up the right version ... that would have been something that adds something good.

    The huge majority of games enjoyed on Linux are dx9 purchases, so I imagine many users, and also the devs of dx9 games, wouldn't be too pleased with what's happening. Funnelling the focus more onto non-native AAA, but critically in a way that cuts out dx9/independent installs, doesn't feel right ... too Windows/Apple 'upgrade/replace device' feel to things.

    Any benefits of Vulkan/DXVK/Wine development, in the backwash from what Valve are doing, need to be freely useable, or we're not getting any progress for independent gaming. Learning Wine (and add-ins) directly at least would stop any worrying if POL5 or Proton etc continue to exclude dx9 games and independent features ... "linux wine beginners manual" ... my favourite new search, lol. Just taking a peek at this point, as wonderful POL4/your guides are here, but it's good to see that maybe it can be learnt enough to cover things. :)
  17. booman
    I just remembered... the first game I tested was Torchlight 1 in SteamPlay. It worked perfectly. So there is a chance some Direct X 9 games will still run.

    At this point all I can do is keep making guides to prove that games will run in Linux with PlayOnLinux and Wine. There are other options, but for now PlayOnLinux can run almost all of them. Even with little support.

    PlayOnLinux is my "go to" application for running any windows program. Whether its a game or a productivity application, PlayOnLinux can do it.

    That is one big risk for PlayOnLinux Developers... kill PlayOnLinux 4 and loose hundreds of gamers/users
  18. gamesrule
    That's great, Booman ... your guides are wonderful, really important for play and for giving choice and privacy. Thank you, and, yes, POL4 keeps chugging along fine ... even if no further development goes into it, will what is there now stay, no matter what?

    As you say, it REALLY would be in their best interest to keep POL4 working, also because POL5 doesn't do softwares but only games? Running important softwares through POL4 has been something I've noticed people doing a lot, as I have.

    Great to know we're in a group of hundreds! ... that should secure POL4 staying active, yay.
  19. booman
    One other problem I have with Lutris, SteamPlay and PlayOnLinux scripts... if something is broken or stops working, all we can do is post the issue and wait for a fix.
    Meanwhile there are a lot of solutions online on how to fix games.

    I've seen this over and over in the PlayOnLinux forums. Someone posts a game isn't working and then its left hanging because the developers have to fix the script with trial-n-error, test the game and post the new script.

    SteamPlay is already having the same problem. Specially when Proton is based on a single version of Wine in a single prefix (I think). Gamers are posting bugs or games that crash upon launch and all they can do is wait and see if Valve patches Wine. But we already know patching Wine can break other games. So its better to have different versions of Wine for different prefixes. This way a patched version can work with this game and another version can work with that game.
    gamesrule likes this.

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