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Feral Interactive, the specialist publisher of Mac and Linux games, has today released its GameMode Linux system tool.

What’s GameMode? That’s an excellent question.

According to the github repository page for the package:

“GameMode is a daemon/lib combo for Linux that allows games to request a set of optimisations be temporarily applied to the host OS”.

Alright, sounds relatively straightforward thus far. What’s next?

“The design has a clear-cut abstraction between the host daemon and library (gamemoded and libgamemode), and the client loaders (libgamemodeauto and gamemode_client.h) that allows for safe use without worrying about whether the daemon is installed or running. This design also means that while the host library currently relies on systemd for exchanging messages with the daemon, it’s entirely possible to implement other internals that still work with the same clients.”

Getting a little less clear, Feral.

“GameMode was designed primarily as a stop-gap solution to problems with the Intel and AMD CPU powersave or ondemand governors, but is intended to be expanded beyond just CPU governor states, as there are a wealth of automation tasks one might want to apply.”


So in summary, GameMode is an Open Source tool for Linux operating systems, to allow games to eke the most performance they can out of their machine without having to make manual and potentially difficult, case-by-case interventions. The first game package to include the tool is Feral’s own Linux release of Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Because it’s Open Source, as part of the BSD 3-Clause License, developers of games will be able to bundle the GameMode package into their own Linux builds; that means everyone developing or porting games to Linux, not just Feral themselves, will be able to make use of this package.

You can also install the package yourself. Full details for the GameMode package, including the package itself and configuration instructions, are over on github; though it is recommended you install from your distribution’s repository, if available.

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