Hey all, CCP Bartender here!
There’s been a little bit of confusion about what’s happening with EVE and Linux. Let me do a little information dump and clarify some things.
Before we get to that, I want to reiterate that CCP discontinued official support for Linux in early 2009. A combination of some convenient early technical decisions and extra time by Linux-using devs has allowed Linux to remain surprisingly viable for the last decade, but it is not a supported operating system.
A forum post mentioned that the change yesterday would break how the launcher works on Linux. Our current business focus is on Windows and macOS. The change implemented is based on moving from storing tokens in our own home-rolled token storage mechanism to using secure credential storage on the OS itself. This is a significant boon to account security, and the safety of the accounts of our Windows and macOS users is simply a much higher priority than the ability to run on unsupported operating systems.
With that in mind, let’s talk about whether the EVE launcher works on Linux right this second. Because it is not a supported OS, we do not do QA on Linux machines. Occasionally, some ad-hoc testing on personal Linux machines, including my own, takes place, and the last time we did it, both the native and proton environments failed to launch clients.
Since that testing occurred, some fallbacks for credential handling have been implemented to allow for a more robust transition to OS credential storage while reducing the risk of mass-logout problems. By a happy chance, this means logins are still working under proton, which can run the Windows version of the launcher and has an up-to-date QT application binary. However, it is not working under the native launcher, which has not been updated for around a year, due to certain new dependencies that do not support Linux preventing compilation and thus has an outdated QT binary running the latest webUI.
Those using the native launcher should consider this the end of the road for that avenue of playing EVE under Linux. With the upcoming native port of the macOS client to Metal, once our Mac client does not require wine, that infrastructure will inevitably be torn down.
Fortunately for all Linux gamers, Valve has been doing a fantastic job with proton over the last few years, and at this time, you can use proton to play EVE (I certainly will be!). Key details of my currently functional setup are as follows:
- Ubuntu 18.04
- Proton 5.0-10
- Nvidia RTX 1060
- Kernel 4.15.0-147-generic
I hope this can act as a guide to help others who might be having issues get up and running again for now.
Let’s talk about the future, though. At some point, the transitionary code for the credential storage will be removed. When that happens, it is expected (but untested) that the same issue seen in the native launcher will express in the proton launcher too. There is some internal discussion about this, but at this time, Linux users should be aware that unless wine or proton adds support for the syscalls involved in the windows credential store, proton will eventually stop working too. The exact timeline for this is amorphous, and it is impossible to say whether that’s one month or twelve months. We might see support for the credential store land in upstream wine before that happens, but the matter is very much outside our scope for day-to-day work.
I hope it brings clarity to the discussion. Stay awesome, my fellow Linux nerds! o7