Linux support

(Roman Priesol) #41

I don’t want to buy a dedicated device for zwift and I dont need any other linux box - all my computers runs on linux already.
Anyway, math in my case is simplier - 0 € (I canceled my subscription) or 120 € for full year subscription. I like to support any multiplatform solutions -i don’t care about used framework. MS supports linux via mono project, so it should not be so a big problem for you.

(Alex Farioletti) #42

Apple TV sucks. Everyone who’s ever used it knows it. 

If you want to talk scale and reach and TV embedded, why not Android?

Android TV is way more capable than Apple TV, most smart TV’s are running Google TV which is based off Android.

(John) #43

I think that there was some talk of zwift coming to android and the android TV fork. Would be a great idea and open up zwift to more users at a lower cost of hardware than a PC or Mac. Jon am I correct in thinking that we will see an android port at some point down the line?

Although more expensive than Apple TV the Nvidia Shield TV would be a great device for Zwift. 

(Gareth Hay TT1) #44

I think one of the things Zwift were saying is that they want to expand to devices, but there is a cost to any new devices.

AppleTV represents minimal changes from their ios version and its ready to go.

An android port falls into the same category as a linux port - multiple random graphics cards and drivers causing issues. I can see their point, if Zwift isn’t working because you updated your graphics driver, who are you going to call? The answer is most users will call Zwift because they are “paying customers”, even though its not necessarily their fault anything broke. They end up spending time an energy managing situations to avoid bad PR.

Like I said, I’m as sad about no linux support as anyone - but they don’t have the time and resources to do it properly right now, and doing it badly could end up worse than not doing it, which is the judgement they have made.

I still think picking one small dev board (Rpi, tinker board, etc) that have decent graphics capability but are cheap, is probably a better option than AppleTV, but it’s their choice. 

(John) #45

It is great that Zwift is coming to apple TV the more devices the better. I think android does throw up some development issues due to variation in device specs in comparison to iOS. They way around this is that official support is given to a number of well known android devices and made available but with no support for others. The android install base could be huge. 

(Laura Vance (RWC)) #46

I think the focus on the graphics differences is misguided, because Windows boxes have the exact same diversity in graphics cards as Linux. In fact, it’s the same hardware base.  The graphics cards have chips that support DirectX and OpenGL.  With modern coding (and Zwift supports this), the graphics level is dynamically set based on video card performance. I used my old Linux hardware (upgraded my main Linux box) to build a Zwift box, and the only thing I had to buy was a new video card (kept the other one in my Linux box).  With that upgrade I was able to see much more environmental detail than before (haze at sunset for crepuscular rays as an example). If you code for OpenGL, then any OpenGL implementation will support the application.   Most Linux users are tech savvy enough that they will have their video card and driver working properly if they spent the time to buy a high-performance card.   Personally I prefer nVidia cards, but I always have to surgically remove the nouveau driver to get the nVidia proprietary driver which is many times better than nouveau.  Since Linux is still a small market, the average user is quite a bit more tech-oriented than Windows users.

The more difficult thing is supporting the Linux OS, because the runtime libraries are different… except that there are SDL libraries (http://libsdl.org/) or Mono (http://www.monodevelop.com/) that are supported in both Windows, Mac and Linux that make coding essentially the same (mono claims single codebase).

Now let’s explore the “let the community compile and support it” option.  There are several projects that have a corporate project with a community port, and as far as I know, there are no problems with those community ports.  There are disclaimers that say if you do have a problem, you cannot contact the company, because it is an unofficial port.  I haven’t heard of a single legal issue with any of them.  Here are a couple of examples:

http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Alternate_Viewers (disclaimer at the bottom near “Third-Party Viewers”)

http://www.ephesoft.com/products/enterprise-document-capture/community-edition (disclaimer indicating self support)

You could ask those companies what their blow-back is regarding unsupported software.

With all of this information, if the choice is still to not support Linux, then it’s just an arbitrary decision, and that’s fine.  But please don’t claim anything else.

(Gareth Hay TT1) #47

I would disagree.

Windows isn’t a moving target - the vast majority of hardware will come with some kind of “designed for windows” badge on it. What does this guarantee? That it has been tested to operate in a certain way, or number of ways.

Now, compare this to Linux. Some motherboard vendors will limit the ways in which non-windows OSes can work. This can be at the BIOS/(U)EFI level.

It is perfectly possible to get a high end graphics card to work in a Linux box to draw a desktop environment, but have absolutely no access to the hardware accelerations features of the card - and then Zwift would fail to run.

You would have users complaining “I have XYZ latest graphic card” and it won’t work in Zwift, but it draws my desktop fine, so it’s zwift’s fault.

Could be a FOSS driver issue, could be an Nvidia binary driver issue, which only occurs in one of the 3 currently available binary drivers, but you have to manually install one of the others.

Having written software that required support, I can completely understand the attitude of sticking to known configurations, and locked down hardware that users cannot mess with. 

It may seem “arbitrary” to you, but to Zwift there will be an actual cost (financial and otherwise) which they have decided is too high to any return they can get. 

I’m sure they fully understand the amount of “free” time and energy they would get from the community to support a linux port, but have still arrived at that decision.

 

Here’s a radical idea, if there genuinely is enough support for a linux port, Developer’s who are willing to help raise their hands now. If there are enough (open to debate), get together and approach Zwift to produce a licensed port, whereby there is an official agreement (NDAs, etc) and a Linux port is produced and supported by the linux-co-op.

That would be the only real way I could see this situation progressing.

1 Like
(2 Chains-BSTT-USMES) #48

We ride our $6000+ di2 equipped carbon bikes on $1200 trainers and you’re telling me a $500 Alienware Alpha or some barebones laptop is the roadblock?

 

 

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(David Brinkman) #49

Just because you have a very premium set-up doesn’t mean everyone out there does?

(Warren Gilbert) #50

That’s very arrogant and elitist, maybe a lot of people want to ride a $300 bike on a $400 trainer and want to use the least licensed platform they can manage to put together.

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(Miguel Pires) #51

Or people wana run the app in their +1.200€ linux system, because they can use it to do a lot more things!!! If you have a +$6000 di2 cool for you. I don’t, and I think we are discussing the port to Linux, and not the “wallet” of the pp. 

 

(Jeff Hemminger) #52

I’m not disputing the corporate agenda here of not providing Linux support. That’s your choice to make.

However, today I am canceling my subscription because of the lack of Linux support.

Zwift is a nice product, but it no longer runs on operating systems I’m willing to use. Bye Zwift!

(jj kens) #53

+1 for a linux distribution!

(Mike Klebolt [CRR]) #54

+1 for Linux support. Open source the wrapper and offer it as an unsupported option for power users.

(Toby Murray) #55

I just did my first trial ride tonight. I had enough parts laying around to put together a perfectly sufficient computer to hook up to the TV in the living room where my trainer is. And I liked my first ride. I think Zwift does a better job at estimating distance traveled for a given effort than just the Garmin with a speed sensor and I like having terrain challenges and other people to pace myself against. I might even be able to get other people in the local cycling club to try it. I could totally see us doing a weekly group ride together on Zwift.

But now I have to decide if I want to actually activate the copy of windows just for Zwift. I mean… even home edition will cost me about the same as an entire years worth of Zwift subscription. Kind of a hard pill to swallow, especially since I will probably only use Zwift for 3-4 months before I can ride outside reliably again.

I tried installing Zwift under Wine and inside of VirtualBox. Both worked for the installer but failed horribly when I tried to run it. In VirtualBox I got as far as logging in but as soon as the fancy graphics start up, it crashes.

(Pete GameCock WBR (D)) #56

Toby, FWIW, I tried my best to avoid using Windows but finally gave in. Zwift runs best IMHO on Windows. The updates can be annoying but overall I simply have you fire up the system and ride. The time savings from having “work arounds” or “hacks” vs. an activated windows computer is worth it to me. I hate Windows and use Linux exclusively (Except for Zwift) 

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(Warren Gilbert) #57

I recently found PlayOnMac for another program i wanted to support and realised they have PlayOnLinux as an offering, maybe this will allow an easy option to run the win.exe on Linux for Zwift?

(Tony Brack) #58

I keep reading the self imposed denial of the Linux market place by the authors, but would like to chime in with my $.02. Personally, I feel it would be great if you would decide on a simple distribution and provide either a community supported version or (better still) a canned appliance. On the other hand, working in Support for a major vendor, I can also understand the challenges. My suggestion: get over it!

I think your figures of .1% of .03% of the marketplace are grossly underestimated. I find both Windows and MacOS are becoming increasingly intrusive on their respective user communities and see no advantage in having yet another Microsoft box to pay licensing for. (Apple is an inane exercise in restrictive marketeering)

Provide a light duty appliance, including your recommended choice of distribution (your favorite distribution, if you will), devoid of OS licensing caveats, and people WILL use it. I believe that your .0003% of market is grossly underestimated. The question that I would ask is who will be the first / best to market with an appliance that is NOT dependent upon traditionally licensed and expensive bloatware. You, or your competition? … and the challenge is who will make a better job of it.

BTW: Platform of choice, so far, is a base Intel NUC. I can afford a Windows, license, but would rather NOT have to deal with it.

Again, my $.02 (CAD) …

(Oliver Bolm) #59

+1 for linux support!

(Allan Jõgi) #60

+1 for Linux!!!