Linux support

(Bill Shepard) #21

This is huge for us.  Both my wife and myself are looking at zwift but the cost of two full computers with decent video cards and Windows dedicated to zwift on top of two trainers is just crazy.  Linux would kill a good chunk of that.  If you had a release that worked and people can get help from the forums and other users they will try it and use it since it is free.  If you have a Mac client this isn’t that big of a stretch.  If you can’t support it fully at this point we understand.  Make it clear that it is experimental unsupported beta and let us try.  Please reconsider. 


(David Billings [BRT]) #22

Sounds like your testing process is a very manual one and your deployment processes are manual too? Invest in automation and then just have the Linux client be tested by the automation builds. The community could then do the manual testing by using the thing provided the automation passes. You could then focus your manual QA on windows/mac/ios builds. 

Testing and deployment should not be an onerous process in a modern development environment. 

We deploy and run our automation on every commit and release from master every few days, it shouldn’t be hard. 


(Jesper Kold) #23

Linux support would be great… Linux desktop use it up to 2% btw

Open source the thing and let the linux community build and deploy. 


1 Like

(Roman Priesol) #24

I am going to cancel my subscription. On my old mac book pro it doesn’t work very well, on virtualized windows (VirtualBox) and under Wine it doesn’t work. Really I don’t understand why it has so huge hardware requirements. My desktop computer is powerfull enough, but it runs unsupported operating system.


(Gareth Hay TT1) #25

Given Asus has just released a debian capable “tinkerboard” that can run at 4k with hw acceleration and only costs £55, linux support should have become more of an opportunity?

You could make a debian port specifically for this board, its cheap enough for you to buy some for testing, and easy to support - one set of drivers.

Then the community could a) buy their own tinkerboards and have zwift or b) zwift could design a case for the tinerkboard and release a mini zwift controller - you just add a phone charger, ant dongle and your tv.

Seems like a no brainer to me


(poneil express) #26

It can only help to add my name to the list. I’m a huge Linux fan and had trouble running the app on a Win 8.1 machine (only had external Bluetooth adapter and could only get Zwift to work with phone app + computer. Trainer resistance wasn’t changing during ride) AND then I tried it on a Win 10 VM and it would crash when I’d select ‘Ride’. Please invest in Linux support. 


(John) #27

Yes Linux support would be a good idea. It would reduce the entry cost of using Zwift. I would like to build a PC just for Zwift (as it would live in the garage) to replace my ageing windows laptop. But it seems like a waste to have to purchase a Windows 10 licence. But Zwift is a business and I can understand that Linux has a small install base at the moment and the cost of updating a Linux port would be expensive. I can’t see them open sourcing due to intellectual property issues. May be one day!


(David Billings [BRT]) #28

Come on Zwift, don’t make me send Tux in after you. 


(John) #29

I had to google what Tux was (it’s the Linux penguin mascot for those like me). If he/she does come run to the Watopia lava fields as I don’t think Tux would like the heat!

Keep up the good work Zwift.


(Miguel Pires) #30

Come on Zwift, Linux need to be supported


(Warren Gilbert) #31

Yes, I’m another of the “half of one percent”!
I want the paincave to have a dedicated Linux box for running zwift, to avoid bringing my bike indoors to hook up to my iMac and I don’t want to duplicate expensive hardware and OS costs. Windows would be a deal breaker on any i386 box for me. There’s a monitor waiting for this. Steam OS would be a good idea too


(Jon) #32

It’s been ages since I last chimed in on this one.  Sorry about that.

I’ll cut to the chase here - It seems highly unlikely this will ever happen.  We get it - we’re a tech company and some of us have spent countless years using Linux (and some use it daily as their work OS). Heck, I can still remember the time I configured and compiled my first kernel in 1996 (slackware 3 distro I think?), but you have to understand, this simply doesn’t make much sense for us.

Less than 1% of steam users use Linux, and I’d be almost certain that for Zwift users (who are on average a less technical demographic than ‘steam users’) it’s something like 1/10th of that.  The overlap between ‘IT folks’ and avid cyclists is very small.

If we did it we’d have continuously worry about breaking those vocal ~100 linux users every 2 weeks.  We’d have to worry about crappy video card drivers missing obscure extensions, and half broken bluetooth support on random laptops from 2012.  It’s currently just not worth it as the audience is too small and our software updates constantly.     If we were a traditional one time game release, supporting linux would be much more of a viable option - 1 time QA cost, 1 time dev cost, and we’re done, but it’s simply not what kind of software we are.  There is a continuous cost per platform.  As I said above it’s not that getting Zwift to run on linux is hard, it’s that continuously supporting it on ANY additional platform continuously for years has significant time, money, and process costs.

One day the user base may be there for us, but the day isn’t here yet unfortunately.


No Linux support yet?
(Gareth Hay TT1) #33

Cannot say i’m not dissapointed.

Especially as my idea of producing a low cost Zwift box based on asus tinker board or rpi would bring revenue from sales & additional subscriptions. So one-off cost of port. The support cost would be minimal, as you would know the exact spec of the hardware and it wouldn’t change. (Tbh, graphics driver argument is pretty moot on modernish linux anyway)

If you are purchasing a turbo trainer, fan, etc, but currently use linux, due to the current required specs a laptop or pc on top of that is prohibitive. I’m in the absurd situation that i had to repurpose an old system76 laptop to run windows to run zwift. (I’ve never run windoze and was a mac user before switch to linux) 

Tbh, a low-cost zwift box is probably the best way forward. Base it on whatever os you like, but i shouldn’t have to buy and maintain a windows device just for zwift.


(Jon) #34

Hey Gareth - the low cost solution is something we’re sensitive to.  For that we’ve got Apple TV support coming.  For $139 it’s something that can run Zwift nicely, is very consumer friendly from an ease-of-use standpoint, and can be bought almost anywhere.  It’s also basically just another iOS device so our iPhone/iPad QA pass mostly overlaps with AppleTV.


(Warren Gilbert) #35

Do you know if the AppleTV can use an ant+ USB dongle? It has an USB-c port…
Or can you include Wahoo RFLKT+ support in app? Then I’m not replacing sensors or my wrist HRM which is a bit more expensive than an Apple TV !


(Bill Shepard) #36

Apple TV support sounds great.  Thanks!  I am in for two as soon as you have it. 

I am also disappointed about potential Linux support and don’t agree on the number of potential users. Granted it is a small number but I think it is considerably bigger than most people realize and growing fast.  Linux isn’t just for the tech savvy any more.  Go walk around a dorm and see how many Ubuntu boxes are running.  Give us the code and let the community help.  Don’t support it.  On our side we need to find a way to get more people involved and improve those numbers.

I patched together two systems to run Zwift this winter.  I would rather use this money to maintain the Zwift accounts over the summer when we will rarely use it than upgrade hardware and pay for Windoz.

Zwift is in an odd place.  Zwift gets very little of the actual cost to run it.  For the users the cost is really high but most of the money goes to the trainer, computer, and bike companies. 


(Miguel Pires) #37

Like  Bill Shepard told you"Give us the code and let the community help.  Don’t support it". I think you have 3 options on this subject:

  • Don’t do what your users are asking (Linux Support)

  • Do what users are asking (The best option)

  • Help users to implement the solution but without official support

You can do the 3 option in 2 ways:

  • “Give us the code and let the community help.  Don’t support it” open source is community driven so Is a good thing to do this

  • Help users to run Zwift via wine (not the best option). You know what is needed to run Zwift, so is more easy to you to help/guide us to do this.

So way should I/us spend money in a appleTV or whatever if we can use less expensive things to run Zwift. I will pay a full year in advanced if Zwift support Linux, if not, like many, in the summer I will cancel my subscription. Is always about costs/benefices!


(Bill Shepard) #38

I regret saying that.  It just isn’t practical.  They already have a better solution in the Apple TV and I am very excited about it.

We should realize from Jon’s post that they really do get it and they are listening.  Hopefully in time they will be able to do something but we should be glad they are listening and thinking about this and just let it die for now.  The Apple TV is an even better solution for me.  For the price of a decent video card you get a Zwift appliance with the bonus of watching a movie in a smaller footprint on an OS that they are already supporting.  Brilliant!  We have already started to plan out our new gym layout.  I had video cards in the budget and we will use that money for Apple TV’s.  A couple of $100 TV’s from Best Buy or Newegg and we are done for at least a few years and the cost is less than 25% of the trainers.  Zwift will be the most cost effective piece of the puzzle.

Thanks again Jon and Zwift.  Keep up the good work.






(Miguel Pires) #39

Hi Bill,

Sorry, whats not practical? Help users to run it via wine? Give the code to be maintained via the community? or support the app for Linux?? Or by a 179€ thing only to use it to zwift (and zwift gains 0€)?

Like I saied if Zwift make it appends to run in Linux (in any possible way) I will pay a 12months subscription (and probably some linux will do that). Do the math:

  • I need Zwift for 4 months, that is 40€±, if Linux exist i will pay more 80€. If 24 of linux users (the number of its in the first post) do the same thing ±1920€ in 1 year more then the normal revenue. Is a lot?! No! Is possible to have more pp on ? Probably yes.

But this is a a business decision, so i only are expressing my opinion…




(Pete GameCock WBR (D)) #40

As a former owner of an Apple TV, that is not the solution I would like. The AppleTV was one of the worst media devices I have ever owned and I have bought some really crappy ones. If Zwift could run on an Android device or a Odroid C2 or even an RPi it would be awesome. The little tinkerboards make great Media Players and would be a great, low cost option.