just brew it! wrote:The combination of tiny market share and the large number of different distros/versions that would need to be targeted means the ROI just isn't there for the malware writers.
There's a myth that could use some busting: cross-distro compatibility is a problem. It mostly isn't. I'm in the trenches of this one all the time due to gaming on Arch, and despite most Linux games being targeted at Ubuntu, I very rarely run into any trouble.
I used to have issues once in a while, and it was always libpng12's fault (meaning 1.2, the old version). Libpng did some sloppy work, 1.2 isn't compatible with newer versions, and Arch moved to latest a whole lot faster than Ubuntu, leaving games targeting 1.2 and me without it (through the default channels, at least). It was always a pretty simple fix when it was an issue, and Arch put libpng12 back in the standard repos at some point, so it's a total non-issue now. Running into that kind of problem with any other library is once in a blue moon, in my experience.
I imagine things would go a lot worse if you tried to game on CentOS or something, as presumably too old is a lot worse than too new. Games' usual target seems to be Ubuntu 12.04 or 14.04 though, so you don't need to be on the bleeding edge of anything.
Packaging systems are more fragmented than many other parts of a distro, but you can still target the vast majority with just .deb and .rpm, and freestanding installs (.tar.gz or an executable installer) work fine for the rest. I've never run into a game that didn't make something available for a freestanding install.