- Sim Racing News – Mac & Linux Versions Coming Up

iRacing has announced upcoming Mac & Linux versions of their simulation, looking for potential testers.

Macs & Linux PCs are not exactly classical gaming platforms, but in terms of sim racing this will change soon as iRacing is branching out to the two increasingly-popular systems.

iRacing is apparently making very good progress with the first working build for the new platforms and is looking for interested Mac & Linux users to help out with the testing work.

If you own either system and are an iRacing subscriber, mail Chris Weidner with your system specs & controller and you might be picked to help out.

iRacing estimates that Linux & Mac make up at least 15% of market share among their potential customers and hopes for a significant increase of membership numbers with the new versions. The simulation will certainly fill a void as no serious driving title is available for either platform as of now.

  • Anonymous

    Steve clarified that this is a 3rd-party developed emulation layer built over top of the PC engine. Still, compared to running it in Wine or Boot Camp it should be more convenient (and officially supported).

    • Lumin0u

      I’ll be a bit finicky, but I guess you mean Windows engine rather than PC engine. PC is all about hardware. Linux distributions generally are PC compatible, and Mac OS too, only Apple prohibit installing it on a PC.

      • Anonymous

        Yes, Freudian slip.

  • WaitingForAC

    Nothing says iRacing like time,money,manpower and other resources wasted on features the user base has zero interest in.

    How about the $ the 3rd party was given for this was used to finish Long Beach, or you know hire someone who can code a lucky dog. Maybe start the work on dynamic tracks, or give us the night versions of the tracks that only run at night now.

    Just saying.

    • Matt Orr

      Night tracks are on hold as they should ideally become irrelevant in a couple builds. That was why there was the shadow overhaul, it’s the first step in dynamic time of day.

      • WaitingForAC

        Darlington (real life this week) runs at night only. Why do we not have Darlington at night yet?

        Not buying it. Staff themselves made videos about how easy it would be since they got the first few tracks down they would convert the rest of the tracks that race at night (ovals) to night one every few weeks.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t remember that post. Link?

      • Michael Hornbuckle

        Thinking it was in the old forums…Once they made night versions of Bristol and Charlotte they said that having the process down made it a pretty simple conversion and the short tracks would take very little time to complete and they expected two or three tracks to be updated each build…Other than new tracks that are released with night versions none of the ovals ever got converted…

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, that’s closer to what I remember, a few each build, not weeks. Fortunately, it seems they decided to put the effort into proper lighting transitions instead, so you won’t find me complaining.

      • WaitingForAC

        It appears they changed up their youtube channel and transfered videos to the new one and I cant find the old one.

        But they said in the video about richmond that the art guys had it down to where they could convert a track every few weeks giving us either one here and there or a bunch each build.

        I dont see why they cant just throw us a bone here and there and give us Darlington and Atlanta at night considering those tracks run exclusively at night now.

      • Anonymous

        Well, the races are at night, but not practice and qual right? Until they can schedule the three types of sessions to start at different times (and have the will to do so) one of them will always be unrealistic.

        Sounds like they still need to improve the new lighting and shadows for night tracks as well, the new dynamic shadow maps don’t work on night tracks yet.

      • WaitingForAC

        The new shadows do nothing they said they would do, in all accounts look worse and use all the computing power they said they would save.

        Since you are a fan of putting the burden of truth on others I will do the same in return- Please show me where the staff has said that these dynamic time of day/day night transitions are coming anytime in the near future?

        All I have seen the staff say is that what they did this previous build lays the ground work. I have seen nothing saying in a few builds like you and Matt Orr keep saying.

      • Anonymous

        FWIW, I was able to turn shadow maps on this build, and with moving AA/AF to CCC I gained better quality with minimal FPS hit. No big drops now, always above 60.

        I don’t remember saying dynamic lighting being ‘a few builds’, but they are working on it. Here’s the quote.

        “We hope to fix the tree shadows to actually cast from the light, soon.
        That will allow us to load up different skies/lighting at load time –
        it is mainly just tree shadows holding that up! But, this isn’t a
        small project, have you seen the number of trees and the number of

        Eliminating shadow volumes, dynamic skies are on the TOP of my list – as is a DX11 port!

        Once we have dynamic skies working, then we can look into time of day changes while driving.

      • Anonymous

        Also this:

        ” Pretty easy to change the lighting on the fly here in our tools — hopefully soon in more than our tools ”

      • Matt Orr

        So? Richmond runs night only and has for a while, it was still a day track until the change. I wish Spa was at night, but so what. I love night tracks as much as anyone, but it’s pointless.

        Why waste time on something that will be useless in a couple builds? Rather than make night versions, they are updating tracks graphically to their current standards, which will be far more important when the light transitions are in than having a static night version.

        They’ve changed their efforts in light of taking a different path. Just imagine if those art guys were stuck making Darlington Night (a track that at iRacing has never been HUGELY popular because it isn’t easy) – rather than both G6 cars. I think they got the right one on that deal.

      • WaitingForAC

        Or maybe they keep their word for once? And make the tracks night that they claimed were so easy.

      • Matt Orr

        No one ever said it was a matter of difficulty. It’s a matter of manpower.

        I’ll await “but they have John Henry and Dave K, they should be able to do anything!” as your response, inevitably.

      • WaitingForAC

        What? the more time that passes the more it becomes apparent that Dave K cant do what everyone claims he can do. Atleast not in a reasonable time frame.

        So I am not quite sure what you were getting at. As for a matter of man power being the issue- then it gets back to my original point: Why are they bothering with stuff like Mac and Linux when it can be done already with wine and boot camp?

    • Jason Cooper

      just saying….. ask them to pay you to test it if they have that much $$$ to throw around.

    • Les Roche

      I think it is good idea. I know plenty of people that run Macs and like motor racing, and would love to get into sim racing, but don’t want to buy or build a gaming PC to do so.

      • backmarker

        pardon my ignorance, but do racing peripherals need to be made for Macs? or can one simply plug in your PC peripherals to the Mac and have it run in iRAcing?

      • Anonymous

        that’s what i came to ask – do the current wheels, etc, run on these platforms (or does the way they are getting this to work get round this?) I finds this a pointless move tbh.

      • JaguarGod

        Well, most USB wheels will run under Mac OSX and I have tested quite a few wheels over the years from Thrustmaster, Fanatec and Logitech. But as of right now, only the Logitech wheels can utilize FFB which is a big disappointment. Logitech developed a “kext” (driver) for OSX that allowed their wheels to use FFB on the Mac platform. Unfortunately, they are the only wheels that work with this FFB kext. I have spoken to Thrustmaster and Fanatec about official wheel support for OSX, but they are not interested at this time due to the small user base and even smaller racing sim market.

        Also, if you are running Mac OSX 10.7 or 10.8, you have to install the FFB kext into the OS. For some reason, Apple left the FFB kext out of the newer OS’s. But it does work very well once installed. I know this all sounds a bit ridiculous, but I have used Macs since the early ’90s and I have gamed on them for just as long. Now, being a developer, I really want to bring better hardware integration to my game, but it is so hard when the OS is a bit behind in this arena.

        I use Macs and have a very nice racing rig for my own racing sim and the other racing games available on Mac. But there is a long way to go in the hardware department to get the Mac up to Windows. I have recently put together a Mac racing setup complete with triple screens, but I had to use a Matrox TripleHead2Go. Also SLI is not possible on the Mac side which is a bummer.

  • Lemming77

    I think F1 2012 has a Mac version aswell. It’s fantastic to see these other platforms being supported aswell, and I’m curious to see how much they’re adopted. 🙂

  • JaguarGod

    Being a small, indie Mac racing sim developer, I would like nothing more than to see more AAA racing titles on OSX. The Mac gaming market is… well let’s just say… a lot smaller than Windows and the racing sim user base is even much smaller than that. Thus a lot of developers do not release Mac OSX native versions as the money to be made is negligible compared to the resources and cost to develop and support it. Same goes for some hardware manufacturers 😉

    Then, with the ability to fairly easily run Windows in parallel with OSX or even boot to Windows on your Mac, developers may simply suggest playing the game in the Windows environment on your Mac.

    But I personally do not run Windows on my Macs and would love to play some of these sims on my Mac without Windows. Now I see from Bakkster’s reply that it may be an emulation layer and not a “native” port. But it is still always nice to see a company at least try to get their game onto OSX.

    Yes, F1 2012 is also on Mac OSX. It was released for Mac by Feral Interactive as they have done with a few of Codemasters racing titles like Dirt 2 and Grid. They do a really good job of getting the Mac versions close to their Windows counterparts (which some Windows users may disagree). But no matter what, if you are a Mac racing game junkie, this is interesting to say the least.

    • Lemming77

      Not to mention, even if it is an emulation layer, it’s officially supported. If there’s something not working in it, they’ll take care of that, versus solutions like Wine where you’re pretty much on your own.

      By the way, you mention you’re a developer of racing sims for Mac OSX – May I see? 🙂

      • JaguarGod

        It is just a small racing sim I sell on the Mac App Store. It is Paolo Cattani and myself working on it.

  • Max Pautov

    WOW,iracing mac and linux coming up-handsome!

  • Maurice van der Star

    Oh my….. I am no iracer, but this really excites me as the only reason I use Windows for is games. What about Linux wheel support? Guess that will be a issue at the beginning..

  • Anonymous

    No lucky dog for the majority but hey Mac and Linux is coming, wow. Did not renew 6 weeks ago and dont miss it one bit. Having a great time on the “free” side.

    • Hurdy Hurdy

      iRacing was really upset you didn’t renew, but it got over it. It seems it doesn’t miss you either.

      Enjoy your ‘free’ side.

      • Anonymous

        Hey smarta$$ I am truly enjoying the free, always did, I rather make a donation towards someone good work, mods, track etc than making a monthly payment.

  • Diego Colafabio

    More platforms, more iRacers, more money, more licenses. So simple.

    • Anonymous

      Wooow you don’t say! I always thought the aim of every developer is to sell less licenses.

      I applaud iRacing devs for wanting to port to Linux. I myself am finally discovering Linux and it’s beautiful, it’s about time to end Microsoft’s monopoly with their terrible systems. Well since Win7 it’s not bad but XP and older systems were unbelievably slooooooooooooooow compared to good Linux distros, it’s mind boggling to realize that 98% PC users (including me, yes) were WASTING 50%+ of their hardware resources just to run that stupid microsoft OS.

      • Wesley Modderkolk

        If you were actually wasting 50% on System resources then I have huge doubts about the performance of your computer

      • Marcus Caton

        He wasn’t being specific ofc but pointing out you use “allot” of resources to run the OS.

      • Anonymous

        How much RAM did your computer have in 2002? Mine had 256 or 512MB. And WinXP easily ate 100-200MB. There you have it, about 50%. Linux with the same capabilities as XP could require as little as 10MB.

        And then there is CPU, even if task manager shows you 0% usage by OS that doesn’t mean many applications wouldn’t run faster if mainstream was oriented on effective opensource.

        Of course today it’s not a big deal, I have 16GB RAM and win7 consume around 2GB on my install (plus 15GB on drive which actually matters if you have SSD, would be nice if it were less) .

      • Arie Beuker, de

        After windows 95 it started to improve dramatically. Windows 98 has been running on my pc till at least 2004 and it was flawless. XP was even better, Windows 7 is good as well, but i dont like the fact i have a lot of trouble with old games. Still use the XP machine on the side.

  • Anonymous

    So what are they using to drive graphics Open GL? If so I think it’s a good idea. A new version of open GL has not been created for many years and has been forgotten. Hopefully things like this will bring it back.

    • Anonymous

      They say it’s a translation layer on top of the Windows executable. So probably taking the Dx9 calls and routing them to Open GL. Sounds like it will operate the same way as something like WINE, except it will be officially supported.

    • Pyronick

      The latest revision of OpenGL was in August 2012.

  • Anonymous

    Nice fot the iHova’s and Linalix’ but I doubt my DIY simrig will be fully operational (extra diplays and other components).

  • Cox

    Hope to see other simulators on these platforms.

  • Arie Beuker, de

    Although this initiative sounds good. What about linux as open source system? Will it stay open source in the light of current events. I mean, some of the distro’s out there are already looking like windows.

  • posi x mosh

    Anyone know if they (or anyone else) is looking for beta testers. I normally hear about stuff like the this long before it is announced publicly. Thus, I am a bit puzzled, I haven’t even heard talk of any of the new-ish sims doing a native OSX build. This means that either they are planning on doing a very small, in house, closed alpha/beta testing regime, or this is just a rumor (or some mouthpiece telling an interviewer what they want to hear.)
    It has puzzled me why iRacing has not released a Mac version. After all, it is basically Nascar 2004 with a few frills. Furthermore, as N04 is open sourced, and has been running on OSX with a few hacks since shortly after it was released, it wouldn’t take much work to get it working and integrated in to their ecosystem securely. At this point, with the size and popularity of iRacing (whats up with the “i” if they aren’t going to run it natively on OSX), its incompatibility is down to a financial matter, which is frustrating considering the massive short-cut they took by exploiting the Open Source model at its inception. The least they could do is turn it over to the community if they aren’t going to bother developing it themselves.

    • Anonymous

      Read the post, there’s an email address for the staffer collecting beta applications.

      It isn’t a native build, though, just an officially supported compatability layer. That’s why they hadn’t done it before even being based on the old NR2k3 code, because then they’d need to work in OpenGL but they’ve done all their video work with DirectX.

      • posi x mosh

        I see what you are referring to as far as emailing the dude at iRacing (I had previously read via a news reader that strips out links). So thanks for pointing that part out.
        It is discouraging to hear they haven’t yet moved away from the (11 year) old Nascar Racing 2k3 engine code. I know they have spiffed it up and pruned it a bit but it seems like iRacing has taken enough with the sim racing community for them to invest in a comprehensive re-write. Its not like they’d have to start from scratch (well they would to move away from DirectX I suppose) as they could lean heavily upon the code that was open sourced all those years ago with NR2k3 for everything except graphics, without basing the experience entirely on it.
        Personally, I’m waiting for an announcement from either the iRacing folks or the SimRaceway folks saying that they have merged with ISI or the Assetto Corsa people, or been bought by one of the the big hitters like EA or CM (at which point iR will start to implement flying cars and the “nitrous” button).
        It sounds like they will use some wine based hack like the other PC/Mac releases that have been around for a few years now. This is not good news as it is just a stop-gap measure that is nothing more than a stalling/money saving tactic and it likely will impede the iRacing experience on OSX compared to PC until they do switch to a readily available and universal solution like OpenGL. My girlfriend has tons of trouble with a similar emulation based solution for PC games on the Mac. The Sims 3(?… or which ever one they are on) is relatively simple and slow, I can only imaging a fast moving and complex program like iRacing with more intense use of networking, graphics, and device drivers which seem to be complications just waiting to happen. Well, I hope they sort it (or move to some distributed computing solution)… Thanks for the heads up.

  • myvracelog

    wow this is very interesting and must be a huge undertaking.

    At least there showing to be pro active.

  • Stu Pid

    I will be SO happy about the Linux version.