Best Linux Chess Setup

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AdminX
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Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by AdminX » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:18 pm

Hello all,

I am currently using Fedora 8, but also use Ubuntu. My desktop of choice is Gnome. I would like to know what you feel is the best Linux Chess Setup? Distro, Apps, engines, etc ...

I do play online, conduct engine matches, analyze games, and play chess engines. Are there any major changes with Linux Chess in the last 6 months?

Thanks
"Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions."
__________________________________________________________________
Ted Summers

eriq

Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by eriq » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:18 pm

I like freebsd & kde myself but, The Tagua project looks promising, check it out when you have time. http://trac.tagua-project.org/

ps. When I get some time, I really must play some in atlanta, as i do miss the place.

Mr. H.

Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by Mr. H. » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:20 pm

Hi Ted,

this is my system:

Processor: 2x AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4800+ overclocked @ 2760 Mhz
Memory: 3 GB
Operating System: Ubuntu 7.10
Desktop: latest Gnome

I'm working completely without MS-Software (for financial and ideological reasons).

My chess software which I mainly use for analyzing my correspondence chess games and playing games online:

- Chess-database-software: SCID with self-compiled reference-database

- Chess-engines (as analyisis engine in SCID):

Zappa Mexico MP (native linux),
Shredder 11 (native linux - MP-version too expensive!),
Hiarcs 11.2 MP (native Windows via WINE),
the new Toga II 1.4-5c MP (native linux - I'm very happy about that!),
Fruit 051103 (native linux),
Glaurung 2.0.1 MP (native linux),
Spike 1.2 (native linux),
Arasan 10.1 (native linux)

(I haven't bought Rybka yet because, unlike with HIARCS, multi-processor-use is not possible via WINE. Maybe the latest Naum will be a better choice?!)

- 3-4-5-men EGTB (Nalimov) + 3-4-5-men EGBB

- Eboard for playing online at FICS

- Xboard for engine-engine tournaments (UCI-engines via polyglot and all native Windows binaries via wine)

That's all I need and I think about the best there is (with Linux).

Regards, Michael

shiv
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Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by shiv » Wed Jan 30, 2008 12:15 am

This topic needs to be made sticky! For chess databases under linux, I recommend the Pascal Georges version of scid: http://prolinux.free.fr/scid/
Scid also allows you to play on FICS.

Scid is fine for game analysis or playing a multi-engine game but cannot be used for playing many computer matches and keeping score. If you want to conduct engine matches, get the windows commercial version of Shredder Classic and run it under Wine in linux (works fine). If you do not want to conduct engine matches put are interested in online play, game analysis, playing chess engines, Scid is fine.

Alternatively, if you connect to ICC, you can use http://www.jinchess.com/, a java client that runs natively on linux.

Comments regarding wine. Contrary to logical reasoning, I have seen that engines running under wine often perform better than when running natively under linux. Digging deeper into the issue, it seems to me that this is because the developers often just use GCC for native compilation. They often did not optimize their apps for GCC. In addition, GCC lags behind MS C++ in terms of branch prediction optimization (PGO). Thus, using a windows engine under wine in linux will actually get you better performance than running native engines in many cases. Of course, the spped difference will never be too significant (within 10% or so).

A rapidly changing project is Pascal's scid version (he often releases new code).

Regarding Gnome, all of the above apps are not written with gnome libraries but work fine in the gnome or other desktops.

For a free large reference chess database, download the 3.5 million game reference from chessdb.sourceforge.net from the files section.

If you do not like the Scid interface, there is jose-chess.sourceforge.net. Beautiful graphics for less functionality.

For engines, Michael's suggestions are great. Multi-processor rybka works fine for me in linux.

If you want a commercial GUI for linux, then shredderchess.com provides Shredder Classic for linux.

menniepals
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Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by menniepals » Wed Jan 30, 2008 5:36 am

Scid/Jose: Toga, Fruit, Spike, Glaurung, Crafty, Phalanx, Yace, Jonny, Baron. I think this should be the best freeware combination available for Linux. Actually there are plenty to choose from but other freeware would be weaker. Anything better could be expensive.

krazyken

Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by krazyken » Wed Jan 30, 2008 8:22 am

Mr. H. wrote: the new Toga II 1.4-5c MP (native linux - I'm very happy about that!),
How did you get this? Looking through the source, the MP threading was all windows specific.

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Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by AdminX » Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:38 pm

eriq wrote:I like freebsd & kde myself but, The Tagua project looks promising, check it out when you have time. http://trac.tagua-project.org/

ps. When I get some time, I really must play some in atlanta, as i do miss the place.
This project interesting, I will give it a try.

Thanks for the info.
"Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions."
__________________________________________________________________
Ted Summers

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Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by AdminX » Thu Jan 31, 2008 12:47 pm

Hi Shivkumar and Michael,

It's been a long time since I looked at Scid, I will give it another go and see how much things have changed. As for online play I have preferred Jin here myself. I like the Shredder Chess Interface, but wish it had more features as it's Windows counter part has.
"Good decisions come from experience, and experience comes from bad decisions."
__________________________________________________________________
Ted Summers

revengeska

Re: Best Linux Chess Setup

Post by revengeska » Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:47 pm

I would say the biggest news is Zappa Mexico being native Linux, because now Linux users have the option of a strong engine being available natively for multiple cores(and Toga as well, but someone here suggested that it was Windows specific stuff, so I have no clue if it works on Linux or not). Linux I do believe handles multiple cores better than Windows if I remember right.

A version of Arena for Linux was supposed to be in the works as well, but I've heard that months ago and am not sure about the state of it's development.

Rybka 3 is set to be available under Linux natively, that will be big news I think when it comes out. The landscape seems to be slowly changing.

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