There’s growing interest in the Linux operating system as a platform for gaming and game development. It may not be the right choice for everyone, but for those of you who are (or wish to become) Linux enthusiasts, fans of Arch Linux specifically, and interested in the features detailed below, we are proud to offer a custom Arch Linux installer designed with gamers and game developers in mind: Golden Drake Linux (GDL).
GDL is a highly-modified fork of the Anarchy installer and thus, like Anarchy, it is not an independent distro. Rather, it’s simply a convenient method for installing a customized version of the Arch Linux distro. It’s also provided without any warranty and without any promise of technical support: it’s just a fun open source side project that we hope might be of interest to some folks out there beyond our walls.
- Arch is a robust, well-managed, rolling distro that offers bleeding-edge versions of software while still maintaining an impressive level of stability.
- In addition to extensive official repositories, Arch offers convenient access to a seemingly endless array of additional software for those bold enough to venture into the Arch User Repository (AUR). This greatly reduces the need to rely on snaps, flatpaks, etc., though these options are available, too.
- The Arch community is highly knowledgeable and maintains one of the all-time best sources of Linux lore: the Arch Wiki.
- The overall structure and philosophy of Arch make it uniquely versatile, customizable, and liberating.
The only major downside of Arch, in our view, is that its standard installation process can be intimidating for newcomers and time-consuming even for experienced Linux users. This is why we see great value in installation helpers such as ours.
Four popular desktop environments, each lovingly customized for beauty and usability, are available during installation:
All desktop environments include a custom
.bashrc file to provide the following while in a terminal:
rollfunction for tabletop gaming or anytime random numbers are desired: type “
roll 3 6” to roll 3d6 (or just “
roll 3” since six-sided dice is the default), “
roll 2 4” to roll 2d4, “
roll 1 20” to roll 1d20, etc.
- Functions for creating and extracting archive files:
mcdfunction for creating a directory and immediately moving into it.
- Aliases to improve some basic commands, facilitate a few important tasks (
yaycleanup, etc.), and provide more convenient access to features of some of the fun terminal commands listed below.
- AUR helper
yay-bin) for convenient access to AUR software.
- A wide selection of free/libre and open source (FLOSS) games and gaming-related software (OBS Studio, MangoHud, Discord, etc.).
- If Lutris is selected during installation, GDL will also include
winetricks, and other useful packages for running Windows apps/games, including all the prerequisites for Lutris-assisted installation of Blizzard Battle.net, providing access to Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Hearthstone, Starcraft II, Diablo III, etc., all within Linux!
- Steam, itch.io, the heroic Epic Games launcher, RetroArch, etc., can also be selected to provide even more access to an endless variety of games.
- The Godot game engine, Unreal Engine, Unity Hub, Gimp, Inkscape, Goxel, Blender, Tiled, Audacity, LibreSprite, and other apps relevant to game art, game programming, and other aspects of game development are also optionally available.
- LibreOffice for spreadsheets, word processing, presentations, etc. Dark theming has been applied (to change this, go to Tools > Options > Application Colors).
- A variety of fun terminal programs, including
nms(“No more secrets,” to recreate the data decryption effect from the 1992 hacker movie Sneakers).
- Access to the Arch Wiki, online or offline, both during and after installation, via “
wiki-search [query]” (courtesy of
- The “Uncomplicated Firewall” (
ufw), preinstalled and enabled.
GDL utilizes the standard Linux kernel. Yes, there are a few interesting custom kernels, such as xanmod and tkg, that can in some cases provide slight improvements to gaming performance, RAM usage, etc., but they can also reduce stability and make upgrading less convenient, so, for now, GDL only installs the vanilla kernel. You are, of course, free to install additional kernels as you see fit.
Minimum System Requirements
- CPU: 1 GHz dual-core 64-bit processor (3 GHz quad-core recommended)
- GPU: Whatever you need for the type of games you want to play/develop!
- Memory: 2 GB RAM (16 GB recommended)
- Storage: 20 GB of HDD/SSD space (1 TB recommended)
The first official release of GDL will be available…soon. We hope you’ll enjoy it and provide constructive feedback, but if it doesn’t offer what you’re looking for then we recommend checking out another tried-and-true Arch installer, such as Anarchy or ArchLabs, or a more user- and beginner-friendly Arch-based distro, such as Manjaro, EndeavourOS, or Garuda Linux. Alternatively, we can also highly recommend Ubuntu and Ubuntu-based distros like Linux Mint and Pop!_OS, options that some people consider even more user- and beginner-friendly.