Free games on spare PC - Linux or Windows?

elsmandino

Active Member
Hi there.

Due to my upgrading my server, I now have a spare PC that I do not need anymore:

i3-2105 with 8GB RAM (no GPU)

My son has enquired whether there are any free games that he might able to play on it.

Just in case it is relevant, he already has an XBox One (and also plays some games on his Android tablet).

I just wondered whether there were many free games (older ones, given the integrated graphics) that you can download and play on PC, that would make use of it.

Also, would it be better to go down the Windows or Linux route for this (I have a Windows Key, so can do either)?

Thanks very much.
 

vacant

Member
I had fun a couple of years ago running UAE on my Linux laptop.

I was transferring games and old Dpaint artwork the kids had done from my A1200 before its capacitors started to leak ... and there are many sites where you can download games.

Monkey Island, Worms, Lemmings - it goes on and on, I could waste so much time (again).
 

richardb70

Distinguished Member
Keep your eye on the Epic store giveaways, they have a freebie every week (for Windows). Next week, I think, is a child-friendly game. If it doesn't run well on integrated graphics then might be worth seeing if you can bung anything in there. My daughter uses a rubbish GT440 which I cannibalised from my HTPC, but it runs Roblox, Portal 2, Fortnite etc.
 

next010

Distinguished Member
Free full games given away on Epic games and occasionally GoG.

Free to play stuff on Steam but has micro transactions or free indie games.

Riot games who make some of the most popular competitive PvP games are also free to play.

Emulation
  • Retroarch is an all in one solution for many past consoles to arcade machines (tens of thousands of games, even 3D stuff from 20 years ago will run fine on iGPU).
  • ScummVM plays lots of old puzzle games from past 30 years.
  • Dosbox can play lots of old PC games from 90's.

There are lot of abandonware sites out there were you can get old games.

Linux has a learning curve, even with the desktop GUI variants. If you have a windows key spare for him its probably easier to go windows unless he wants to learn some aspects of Linux.
 

elsmandino

Active Member
Brilliant - thanks very much for all the advice.

Having a look around, there seems to be quite a lot on both platforms.

I have a couple of unused 60GB SSDs, lying around, so I might install both Windows and Linux - I used to use the latter many years ago but I migrated back to Windows as I needed to use a few programs that were only available on Windows.

I also have a spare 2TB hard drive that I can use for storage, as well - if I use NFTS, both OSs should be able to use if for games.
 
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vacant

Member
I agree with @next010, Linux is a steep learning curve so I'd stick to the Windows version of UAE unless you want to update your Linux skills. BTW, the Amiga stuff is tiny. My Amiga's 60 MB 2.5 inch hard drive was dead so I got 40 MB for a fiver to load floppy disks then transfer to laptop. Yes that's megabytes not gigabytes!
 

next010

Distinguished Member
I have a couple of unused 60GB SSDs, lying around, so I might install both Windows and Linux - I used to use the latter many years ago but I migrated back to Windows as I needed to use a few programs that were only available on Windows.

I also have a spare 2TB hard drive that I can use for storage, as well - if I use NFTS, both OSs should be able to use if for games.
One of the more popular desktop Linux distros these days is Manjaro, the KDE and XFCE versions have GUI's similar to windows (KDE = modern win, XFCE = retro win roughly speaking).

Intel/AMD GPU drivers on Linux are really good but there are no GPU control panels like windows, just the stock video settings of your chosen GUI.

For games on Linux
Steam has proton a compatibility layer built in that makes windows only games work, Steam is included in Manjaro, the protondb can tell you status of games with proton.

Heroic games launcher - an open source client for the Epic game store (which is web based), it also uses proton so some games will work.

Mini-Galaxy - an open source client for the GoG Store however this really only works with Linux native games, it has an option to show/run windows games but it doesn't work well at all.

Bottles - a front end to a number of open source tools to make windows software run, definitely the simplest solution without ever having to tweak much, works really well.

Gamehub - a pretty cross store interface, can make windows games run via a number of compatibility layers but requires more work to get set everything up than other solutions.

Most of the major emulators have linux versions, again retoarch simplifies a lot of it.

Linux appimages (full standalone app) and flatpaks (installer script) are the increasingly common way to distribute software, if you don't find any of the above in the Manjaro software repository then you can easily install them by downloading either of those versions.

Manjaro doesn't enable Flatpaks by default you must go into the software installer settings, enable support for it then refresh its database but appimages will work out of the box.

Edit: Forgot to some add popular multiplayer games wont work under Linux, their anti-cheat drivers/service aren't supported.
 
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WildeKarde

Distinguished Member
There are a few good games on steam for starters. In addition gog.com has older games, that run on modern OS ,and they have about 30 older games for free

Thats before any of the emulation above
 

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