You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

In a recent update to the Linux Steam Client, the ability to run Linux games inside a special container was added in. At the FOSDEM event, Collabora consultant Simon McVittie who works on helping Valve with the Linux steam-runtime gave a talk on it.

The talk goes over a brief bit of history on the different versions of the steam-runtime, which is definitely interesting for any developers looking at Linux support and for gamers who perhaps don't entirely understand much about it. This includes the problems with it and from there they go into info about "pressure-vessel", the new and experimental Container system.

Hilariously, Steam pops-up during the presentation asking McVittie to update. See the full video below:

YouTube Thumbnail
YouTube videos require cookies, you must accept their cookies to view. View cookie preferences.
Accept Cookies & Show   Direct Link

We've heard so many times on how the fragmentation of Linux distributions causes issues for game developers, and while I'm no game developer and not knowledgeable enough on the internals of Linux and game dependencies to properly comment on that I do think it's fantastic that Valve funds attempts to make Linux gaming better in so many ways like this. Obviously a big hat tip to all the people at Collabora too, some really smart people working there.

A more up to date runtime code-named "Soldier" seems to be in testing, with the pressure-vessel container opening up options on this with it being a lot more flexible, so older games can keep an older runtime in the container with newer games using the newer runtime again in a container. Certainly sounds like the future of Linux gaming will be interesting.

There's more Linux videos up from Collabora which you can see listed on their website here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Steam, Video
33 Likes , Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG and Humble Store. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
The comments on this article are closed.
27 comments
Page: «2/3»
  Go to:

mphuZ 6 Feb, 2020
Pressure-Vessel has been in the SteamOS repository since August last year:
http://repo.steampowered.com/steamrt-images-scout/snapshots/0.20190821.1/
Seegras 6 Feb, 2020
Yup, was quite a nice talk (been there), so I can recommend watching the video.
Grimfist 6 Feb, 2020
Ah the FOSDEM videos are finally up. Enough stuff to go through the next evenings :D
tgurr 6 Feb, 2020
Quoting: minkiuOut of curiosity what linux are you running?

Could it be you are using musl instead of glibc?
I'm running Exherbo Linux and while we also offer the possibility to switch to musl if desired, the default is glibc, which is also what I'm using.
elmapul 6 Feb, 2020
things like this make me want to give up developing for linux...
Liam Dawe 6 Feb, 2020
Quoting: elmapulthings like this make me want to give up developing for linux...
Ah yes: Developers try to make things easier to deploy across all distributions.

You: I give up.

Makes sense.
lucinos 6 Feb, 2020
Quoting: tgurrwhile they run fine without the container solution.

It's funny how containers are said to be the cure to everything by adding yet another layer of complexity.

I completely agree. Meanwhile all the "compatibility issues" mentioned are completely distro-irelevant and are relevant with the evolution of linux and in some cases if you are just missing a library (which is also a really distro-irelevant thing). The whole distro-fragmentation thing has never been a real issue and the only problem with that is that it is misleading people.

The fact is that a proper executable will just work on linux using the host libraries no matter the version. If you do not use the host libraries and you are trying "to be safe" then it will stop working in the future because these libraries will be incompatible with new libraries.

So the real solution should be to give a proper way to developers to develop and test the games using API that we just know it will never break no matter what changes underneath in the future.
Brisse 6 Feb, 2020
Quoting: mirvI'm not the most clued up person with container tech, and flatpaks, etc, but:

Really glad Valve is continuing to research ways of keeping games running, and giving some kind of interface stability. Just would prefer if there was something a little more generic for GNU/Linux desktop, so that games outside of Steam's environment could benefit.

Games -> Add non-Steam game to my library
mirv 6 Feb, 2020
View PC info
  • Supporter Plus
Quoting: Brisse
Quoting: mirvI'm not the most clued up person with container tech, and flatpaks, etc, but:

Really glad Valve is continuing to research ways of keeping games running, and giving some kind of interface stability. Just would prefer if there was something a little more generic for GNU/Linux desktop, so that games outside of Steam's environment could benefit.

Games -> Add non-Steam game to my library

== reliance on 3rd party proprietary software. That's not an answer to the problem at all.
Liam Dawe 6 Feb, 2020
Quoting: mirv
Quoting: Brisse
Quoting: mirvI'm not the most clued up person with container tech, and flatpaks, etc, but:

Really glad Valve is continuing to research ways of keeping games running, and giving some kind of interface stability. Just would prefer if there was something a little more generic for GNU/Linux desktop, so that games outside of Steam's environment could benefit.

Games -> Add non-Steam game to my library

== reliance on 3rd party proprietary software. That's not an answer to the problem at all.
Well, the steam-runtime is already open source and they're using bubblewrap which is also open source.
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on:

Patreon, Liberapay or PayPal Donation.

We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!
The comments on this article are closed.
Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
Latest Forum Posts