In the last chapter you learned how to use Linux to help you work; in this chapter you’ll learn how to use Linux to help you play. A variety of challenging and exciting games are available for Linux; many of them are free. In addition, you can use WINE to run a variety of commercial games originally written for Microsoft Windows. Because most computer games include sound effects or music, this chapter also describes the procedure for configuring your sound card for operation under Linux.
If you recall playing computer games before computers were generally equipped with sound cards, you know firsthand why game players demand high-quality sound. A shoot-em-up game, for example, just isn’t the same without the whizzing of bullets, no matter how sophisticated the graphics. Unfortunately, the Linux installation program does not automatically configure your computer’s sound card. So, until you configure your sound card, you’ll hear only the boring beep of your computer’s speaker.
Fortunately, it’s not difficult to configure Linux to work with most sound cards. In this section, you’ll learn how to do so.
At one time, configuring Linux to work with your sound card required you to compile a customized version of the Linux kernel. Today, Linux support for modular drivers lets you load (or unload) a sound driver without recompiling the kernel. You don’t even need to reboot your system.