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Linux Plans

Explaining our decisions regarding the future of the Linux version of Rust.

09 August 2019
General
Garry Newman
Programmer
UK
Since this post we've updated our plans. You can read our new plan here.
We made a Linux version of Rust because it felt like the right thing to do. We knew it would cost more money to create and maintain than it would make us - but that's not really what Linux is about. We thought this would be appreciated by the Linux guys and they'd understand that while we were happy to support Linux in this way we couldn't dedicate a significant amount of resources to support it. It still feels like the right thing to do but the reality of continually updating a game across three platforms has changed things.
While our support of Linux might have been above average, I don't think we've done a great job. None of us use Linux properly. We never routinely tested on Linux unless we knew/suspected something was wrong. We've been reactive instead of proactive - and that's not what you should expect when you have paid for a game.
There have been times in the past where we've had to choose between breaking the Linux version or breaking the Windows version. Are we going to inconvenience 99% or 0.1% of our players. While the quiet majority of the Linux community is accepting of their position in the ecosystem, they've paid the same as everyone else - so shouldn't expect to be treated like a second class citizen. This is why about 12 months ago we stopped selling the Linux version on Steam.
Over the last six months the Linux version has become more popular with the cheating community. Next patch we plan to ship the Windows and MacOS builds compiled with IL2CPP to improve performance and security. Unity doesn't currently support making an IL2CPP build for Linux - which we assume will increase the attractiveness for cheaters.
Here's some stats for the last 30 days in Rust. The amount of people playing on Linux is tiny compared to Windows, but they're still playing the game. Shutting down the Linux version isn't fair to those guys.
Platform Unique Players
Windows 227,842
MacOS 2,414
Linux 217
Our plan as of today is this:
  • Linux and Win/Mac will split.
  • The Win/Mac versions will update as normal and will be able to play on the same servers.
  • The Linux version won't receive new features
  • The Linux version will have its own dedicated server and won't be able to join Win/Mac servers.
  • The Linux version will get maintenance patches
  • The Linux server for Win/Mac builds will be available as normal
  • This will happen on 5th September
  • Don't make Linux versions of any future games because we can't/won't properly support it

It's easy to pick apart or maybe even find solutions to some of the issues I've talked about here and elsewhere. But when you combine them, multiply by the number of users and then look at the bigger picture - this feels like the right move for all of us going forward. If you're affected by this please feel free to reach out to me at garry@facepunch.com