Linux operating systems gives the stability and security that Windows platform somewhere fails to deliver. But what about gaming? Linux users understand this pain. It will be a fare game to compare both on this aspect. Users who want to go with gaming will rarely use Linux and users who are comfortable with Linux operations will rarely go for Windows. Both are big competitors to each other and both have respective pros and cons. But when it comes to gaming then Windows leads Linux somewhere.
So, does this mean, can't we play games on Linux? Well it's not true and today we can easily play most of the Windows games on Linux system.
Here are the some tools that will convert your Linux machine into a gaming ware.
Wine is a compatibility layer which is capable of running Windows applications in systems like Linux, BSD and OS X. With the help of Wine, you can install and use a number of Windows games in Linux. WINE is a free and open source that allows Microsoft Windows to run on machines using Unix environment. WINE is quite famous for its software library Winelib which allows users to compile and port Windows apps to Unix platform.
PlayOnLinux acts as the graphical front end for compatibility layer of Wine software. It is a powerful tool that allows you to club almost any Windows apps like MS Office, IE, video games with your Unix platform. It has different interface and slightly easier to use than Wine. Like Wine, PlayOnLinux too is free to use. You can browse the applications and games supported by PlayOnLinux on its database.
Steam is a digital distribution platform for video games. It provides you the option to buy and install games, play multiplayer and stay in touch with other games via social networking on its platform. The games are protected with DRM. A couple of years ago, when Steam announced support for Linux, it was a clear indication that gaming on Linux is being taken seriously. Though Steam's decision was more influenced with its own Linux-based gaming console and a separate Linux distribution called Steamos.
CrossOver is an improved version of Wine that brings professional and technical support to Wine. But unlike Wine, CrossOver is not free. Good thing about CrossOver is that every purchase contributes to Wine developers and that boosts the development of Wine to support more Windows games and applications.
VMware allows you to use popular games like WoW and SIMS on your Linux machine. So if you are looking towards playing high level games on your Linux machine then it is the best tool to go with.
These are the tools that you can try to install Windows games on your Linux machine. I think that's pretty much what you need to know to get started with gaming on Linux. If you are still not convinced, I would advise you to dual boot Linux with Windows. Use Linux as your main desktop and if you want to play games, boot into Windows.