I'm totally new to linux, but I've basically had enough with using windows. A recent HDD failure has prompted me to take this as a good time to switch (my new setup will be a 250GB SSD and 1TB HDD for media).

Most of my tasks involve simply using browsers, checking emails, compiling LaTeX and so on. However, I do still occasionally play games on my PC (on steam) and this seems to be the only negative of switching to ubuntu.

So, my question is basically one of the best solution for installing ubuntu but still being able to play steam games (I am aware that they now support some games).

From what I gather, I have these options:

1) Just install ubuntu and use a program like wine to run games.

2) Partition my drive so that I have one for windows for when I want to play games and another for ubuntu, for everything else.

The only advantage of 1) is that I'll have more disk space without having to install windows (and potentially create too large of a partition for it. I assume that the games should be installed onto the same partition as the OS?). On the other hand, it feels natural to me that running games through a program like wine isn't going to be all that great - can it handle newer games well (civ V, CSGO?); does one see a general drop of frame rate?

Option 2) seems like the best option for me, but then I need to decide on how to partition the drive and risk losing unnecessary space.

I would be very grateful to hear opinions on the best solution. I am totally new to ubuntu and this forum, so apologies if the question isn't appropriate, is poorly phrased, or is too long!

  • CS:GO may have a Linux version already. I know CS:S does. See: Steam Linux
    – Powerlord
    Jun 27, 2013 at 18:15

1 Answer 1


From personal experience I can say that running games (especially newer ones) through wine, although possible, can be a very frustrating process. Even if you eventually get them to run, there will be some reduction in performance.

There are some comercial tools (crossover comes to mind) for running windows applications on linux, but I have never tried them.

I found that installing a windows partition purely for gaming was a much simpler solution. I use an old 160GB HDD for my windows partition and that seems to do the trick nicely. If you are worried about running out of HHD space then buy a small(ish) second hand HDD.

Also if you only keep games on your windows partition, and not important files, then it is not too critical if the installation breaks and you have to re-install.


In terms of partitioning layout. I have a separate 160GB HDD for windows, and a 250GB HDD for linux. I have separate root, var, swap and home partitions, sized at 20, 10, 4.5 and the rest GB each.

I recommend reading this wiki entry: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Partitioning

Although it is not specific to Ubuntu, the principals still apply.

  • +1 - I don't know of any good way to run civ V in linux, and dual-booting is still the best solution for games like that. Jun 27, 2013 at 18:41
  • Thanks for that. I was definitely leaning towards dual-boot already, so this is definitely what I am going to do. As to the partition: what would you recommend? It appears that games actually don't need to go on the same partition as the OS. So would it be sensible to just allocated 20GB to windows and install everything else on the remaining space?
    – JayW
    Jun 27, 2013 at 18:55
  • I am going to dual boot, so these different windows emulators aren't of much interest to me atm. I'm pretty new to all this and am unsure about what is compatible with what in terms of partitions. Perhaps this is for another question, but given that I'm going to have a windows install, an ubuntu install and about 100GB of games (for windows) [and I'll run most other applications in ubuntu]: then how should I partition my 250GB SSD? What sizes, and what file types?
    – JayW
    Jun 27, 2013 at 21:36
  • For partitioning layouts it's worth asking another question as the answer may be quite long :p. See my edit.
    – maxf130
    Jun 28, 2013 at 5:38

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