Though Linux is the most popular alternative to the ubiquitous PC operating system Windows, the number of active Linux OS users is still quite small compared to users of Windows-powered gadgets. The biggest appeal of Linux platforms are the fact that the OS was released as open-source software. That gives anyone with the desire and the ability a chance to customize the basic Linux platform to create something even better.
Unfortunately for fans of Internet betting, there haven’t historically been a large enough group of Linux OS users to justify much attention from online casinos or download gambling app developers. This doesn’t mean pokies aren’t available to people running a Linux platform, it just means they have to work a little harder than people operating other systems to place bets on Internet-based poker machines games.
The History of Ubuntu and Pokies
Ubuntu is a Linux OS-based platform that premiered in April 2004. Ubuntu’s growth in the last decade has led to its current status as the most popular Linux environment in the world. The project’s unique name is a South African concept that refers to sharing with your community. The founder of the Ubuntu project was Mark Shuttleworth, an early dot-com millionaire who founded a think-tank in South Africa, one of the results of which was this most-popular Linux platform.
The system’s strange name comes from a combination of respect for the project’s roots and a desire to do something good for the world at large. Ubuntu is a behemoth in the world of alternative operating systems – Mark Shuttleworth, the founder, expects the number of total users to reach 200 million by 2015. That number would be akin to half the number of Apple’s iPhone customers worldwide.
Playing Poker Machine Games on Ubuntu
As of this writing, three methods of using Linux-based systems to place real cash bets online exist:
- The use of Ubuntu-friendly browsers that allow access to instant play games
- Yhe installation of a program called Wine (which can act like Windows and therefore allows access to poker machines playable with Windows OS)
- Simply dual-booting your machine with Windows as well as Ubuntu or your favourite alternative operating system and running Windows on your computer just for your pokies sessions.
How Instant Play Works
Sometimes called “no download” games, instant play titles are the easiest way for people running Windows alternatives to get access to pokies. Download-free poker machine games are available at the vast majority of online casinos these days. The reason it is important for an Ubuntu-powered computer to run instant play games is the fact that no download or running of .exe or other unfriendly file types is required. All the computer needs is a Web browser that supports Flash animation. Many such browsers exist, including Firefox, which is included in contemporary downloads of the free Ubuntu OS.
So long as your Linux-based computer can browse the Internet using Adobe’s Flash Player tool, customers who run the Ubuntu system can play any game that’s legally available in their part of the world. Instant play is considered the best option for this type of OS because of the lack of a download package, the addition of any files to the computer’s hard drive, and the ease of playing, since all that’s required is the right browser, an Internet connection, and a free username. In most cases, customers don’t even need to make a username to play trial (play-money) versions of a site’s instant games.
Using Emulators for Online Casino Play
Linux operators can’t run the Windows software-specific .exe files required by online gambling download suites, so Ubuntu users can’t access download-only casino games. Since poker machines available from download casinos are the best-looking titles with the most-updated features and titles, it’s easy to imagine an Ubuntu user and pokie fan who’d want a way to get the best of both worlds.
Thankfully, programs called emulators allow alternative operating systems to run these .exe (Windows OS) files. Linux OS users interested in an emulator, such as the popular Wine program, download the open source emulating program and install it. These emulators work by actively interpreting the signals sent by an .exe file into a language the alternative OS can understand. The end result is access to full-download casino software as designed for regular Windows customers playable locally on a non-Windows computer.
Adding an emulator like Wine isn’t as easy as downloading an app on a smartphone – first, the entire packet of emulation software must be installed, as well as a set-up system called WineTools. To make the words on the screen legible, Ubuntu users then have to download a series of fonts called “TrueType” as well as a few other .exe system files so the emulation will work correctly.
As a downside, any time an emulator is used, customers should expect connection or other technical glitches. Sometimes the software that translates Windows API files runs a bit slower than the files coming in, creating lag. One good thing about Ubuntu users is they don’t mind making small adjustments, looking into settings, or even writing a little code if necessary to make their emulator work just right. People running Windows alternatives tend to be tech-savvy and keen on the “DIY” movement.
Ubuntu Poker Machines and Windows Dual Boot
The third and least-likely option to please a Linux OS fan who wants to play online pokies means setting up what is known as a dual booting system in which your non-Windows computer becomes a computer that can run some version of Windows compatible with Internet betting. Some Linux fans wouldn’t dream of installing Windows on a Linux computer, but if desperate for pokies action, a user could run both operating systems at the same time. All that is left is to download poker machine game software or play Windows-designed instant games at the casino of their choice.
As for other problems with a dual-booted Linux computer? Obviously this method requires taking up more space on the machine’s hard drive. While we’re on the subject, double booting is essentially the same as partitioning your machine’s hard drive, which makes the loss of random files fairly likely. If attempting to use dual booting on a non-Windows machine, operators should do plenty of research to make sure they know what they’re doing. Otherwise, they could ruin their computer just for a chance to play poker machine games.