Lutris is a gaming client for Linux. It gives you access to all your video games with the exception of the current console generation. You can, in a single interface, run any game from your childhood memories to the current multiplayer games. Integrations with stores like GOG and Steam allow you to import your existing game library and community maintained install scripts give you a completely automated setup.
Lutris uses what we refer as runners. Runners are programs that the client can control and launch. Our most popular runners include RetroArch, DosBox, FS-UAE, ScummVM, MESS, Dolphin and of course Wine TkG, a build of Wine optimized to give you the best performance out of your system. It is also possible to launch Linux native games, we have a large selection of free and Open Source games ready to install from the client. Download the client and start playing in minutes!
Video games are now part of our history and our culture. If we want to keep a trace of the actual games and not just videos or articles about them, we need have a way to play them in a way that would closely match how the game was meant to be experienced. We also need to make sure that the games we have today still work tomorrow. This is why the choice of Linux as a gaming environment is so important. In a closed ecosystem, our legacy is at the mercy of software vendors able to kill features required to run some games. While we cannot support each and every recent AAA release, mostly due to DRM and anti-cheat incompatibilities, Lutris does support a vast majority of every game ever released in history, on a wide variety of hardware systems.
Mathieu Comandon (aka Strider, or Strycore when “this username is not available”) has been experimenting with Linux since 1997 and became a full time user in 2006, driven away from Windows by the Vista announcements and a general desire to take control back over his machines.
Back in 2006, playing games on Linux wasn’t an easy or necessarily fun task. Native ports were rare, we still had support from id Software with ports of id Tech 4 games like Prey and Quake 4 but that was pretty much it. Other options for gaming were playing open source games, emulators or using wine, which was still struggling with DirectX 9 games at the time. Another product would later appear: Cedega, a proprietary UI for a patched version of Wine (previously known as WineX). This would let you play games such as Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty 4 on Linux.
Seeing the potential of Linux as a gaming platform but being frustrated by spending so much time setting up games, Mathieu started toying with the idea of automating game setups. He spent a few days learning Python and GTK to make a launcher for TES: Oblivion but then wanted to apply the same principle to any game playable on Linux. In late 2009, after picking the otter as the project’s mascot, Lutris was born…