This is going to deviate from what I usually post about, but here goes! I'm getting interested in the exciting sport of FPV drone flying (and racing!). Everyone I spoke to recommended spending time practising in a simulator before risking expensive equipment in the real world.
So, of course, this resulted in a search for software compatible with Linux that I could run on my desktop! Here's my comprehensive list and comments on each simulator I found that reports Linux compatibility.
- These are not reviews of the simulators themselves (physics, graphics, features, etc.), but rather comments on using them on Linux. The aim of this article is to help inform Linux users of compatibility and potential issues.
- Everything here I was able to run using the most recent release on an up to date Archlinux system at the time of writing.
- $ prices are in AUD.
Quick summary of FPV drone simulators that support Linux:
Read on for more details and gotchas.
Installing it was as simple as downloading the latest Linux release zip, extracting, and launching the executable. The zip contained the entire game files and was about 560MB.
I didn't try the original FPV Freerider. It appears to be functionally similar and I wouldn't expect any trouble getting it running on Linux though. It's also the cheapest of the commercial simulators, at $7.
Liftoff is available on Steam for $29. Being on Steam and officially supporting Linux, installing and running is seamless through the Steam client. It clocks in at 15GB on disk though; the largest simulator in the list.
It was simple to install though: download the 200MB release zip from Itch, unzip, and run the main executable. Interested to know if others have had a better experience with this? Perhaps it would work if built from source?
This costs about $32, and managed via a license key and download links from the official website once you have purchased a license.
Note that it provides two 'Launcher' downloads - one labelled Debian and the other Redhat. The Debian version worked for me on Archlinux; the other complained about missing shared libraries. YMMV
The launcher is a small download. Unzip the zip file to run the
executable. It will download about 8GB of data files into the same directory as
the launcher on first run. Later runs of the
Launcher will run the game
without re-downloading everything.
For completeness, here's a quick list of other reportedly popular FPV drone simulators I found, but definitely don't support Linux:
I'm absolutely delighted at the range and quality of FPV drone simulators available on Linux! Did I miss any?