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Seems Valve do intend to go back to SteamOS at some point

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SteamOS, the Valve-made Linux distribution that was originally for the failed Steam Machine initiative has gradually vanished into the sidelines but it seems it won't be forever.

A while ago, we did see indications that Valve would work on SteamOS 3.0 "Clockwerk" back in 2018 but they've still been very quiet on it since apart from a few minor package updates to SteamOS 2 "Brewmaster".

Valve have been extremely active on other fronts though of course. As a quick bit of history: for Linux they put out Steam Play Proton, the ACO shader compiler for AMD, this new Steam Linux Runtime container system, the micro-compositor Gamescope and there's more with people working on all sorts under contract for Valve to improve Linux.

Still, SteamOS though, what are Valve going to do with it? Sounds like when they go back to it eventually, it might not be Debian-based. In a GitHub issue on the SteamOS page about it "languishing", another user replied with an email from Valve developer Pierre-Loup A. Griffais:

Yes, definitely lots of work still going on. Right now the focus is on core technology itself rather than distributing it, but we intend to get back to that in the future. I wouldn't expect much more movement on Debian-based Brewmaster at this point, however.

"Debian-based Brewmaster"—huh? Speculation here, but that sounds like they might be looking at a different base for whatever SteamOS 3.0 turns into.

One day then, we can clearly expect to see some movement on SteamOS once Valve get all the pieces of the Linux gaming puzzle into a state where they're truly happy with properly pushing it again. Perhaps, this will be after we finally find out what the heck Steam Cloud Gaming(#1, #2) turns out to be? Whenever we find out, we will of course let you know.

Thanks for the tag, mdeguzis.

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Templar Μάγκα μου (its in greek, use translate - be aware its slang)

Yes yes yes!

Windows with the latest implementation is now a rolling release, I guess though valve hates it they want to focus on their games!!! So they are doing all this job to switch to Linux because they can control some things, I would argue that they are going to go to a Distro with support like fedora or red hat or something similar in the sense that they will have people that really know what they do in the OS area do all the up keeping and also cooperate with them to have the best possible gaming experience for their users. Heck, I even really might bet on the Pop!OS side of things! They are a company that has hardware and OS that is focused on ease of use and gaming!
Cooperate with them and release a console/PC/OS that will be the last thing we know as a gaming machine!

I so hyped about Valve they are awesome,

I am hyped also about GOG.com they rock and their beta GOG Galaxy program is the $h1t!!!

What do you all think about that?
micha 25 Mar
Liam Dawe
michaWhat I'm I missing here? I understand that the next version won't be based on a specific Debian version (Brewmaster) but I don't see statement saying it certainly won't be Debian based.

That said I remember Valve at some point was evaluating other distributions like Arch. Again, I did't see any definite statement yet..

Did I overlook one?
It's all in the wording, how it was very specifically mentioned as "Debian-based Brewmaster".

IC, I'm not a native speaker which is probably why I don't see that the same way. Thanks for clearing it up. =)
Wernersorry but i really must rant now, i can't hear that crap anymore about Manjaro or Arch based distributions, i get a lot of support requests because many sites now make articles that Manjaro is great for beginners or First Time Users :><:, sorry but WTF, no it is not great for beginners. Normal users don't need f**king bleeding edge the only thing they need is a updated hw stack and a stable base thats it.

If we're going to throw around generalisations, then I'll go with: Users want to be able to run the software they want to run. When it come to running non-standard type stuff, it's way easier to point a user to the AUR than to explain PPAs or Flatpak or such things. Same with drivers. "Bleeding edge" has its downsides, but Linux gaming is currently a teenager undergoing a huge growth spurt... you kind-of want the most up to date vulkan/gpu driver/ etc.

Also, Manjaro is hardly bleeding edge. It's just the right amount of conservative. imo.
rustybroomhandleManjaro is hardly bleeding edge. It's just the right amount of conservative. imo.
well I liked it that it was updating every week and having new goodies plus the AUR!
sigz 25 Mar
rustybroomhandleI think Arch-based would be the sensible option here. Arch-derived distros just seem way more stable and upgrade-fubar-proof than debian-derived ones.

From time to time you have some breakage on critical packages (not that often.. but sometimes), it's always fixed but it usually take one or two days, I'm not sure it's really reliable for common users.


Last edited by sigz on 25 March 2020 at 11:35 am UTC
elmapul 25 Mar
we all know that valve dont know how to count to 3.
GuestThere are 2 vastly different things when we talk about "stability":

1) Stability in terms of software not crashing/freezing/bugging.

2) Stability in terms of software libraries/APIs/frameworks/software in general remaining the same (= stable) in order for app/game developers to know what to target for and not need to care about fixing incompatibilities with future upstream versions.

Debian is stable in terms of (2), not always in terms of (1). But people often seem to confuse the 2 and use them interchangeably in forums and discussions.

Arch derived distros are definitely stable in terms of (1). Following upstream means getting fixes for bugs and problems sooner. Yes it does break stuff that should work with earlier versions and it does require by devs to not rest on their laurels and support/maintain their code, but it is better than freezing the whole software base for 2 years just to make sure lazy devs can write their code and work without them having to modify it in the future.

I disagree. Debian package maintainers do the best job (in my opinion) of vetting the packages that make it into their repository. Almost everything works exactly how it should almost all of the time with Debian. Arch is just a tech toy and things will break or not work as intended daily update to daily update.
Werner 25 Mar
sorry but in my eye it is the opposite, as soon as you let them play with AUR you can for sure expect that they will soon break their system!
Just some examples

I help/helped a lot of companies to switch from Windows to Linux and most of this companies need stability and a minimum of support, if they would use manjaro or arch then it would be a disaster not only for me but also for them!! Most of them need little support now because everything works as it should and that now for years.

Libreoffice using always the latest version is a big issue, because libreoffice tend to break stuff in every new version and then need often months before they fix them or will never fix them, so you need to change many documents to get them working with bleeding edge libreoffice! and if you really need it then adding the needed ppa is not more issue then playing around with AUR.

Companies which use Autocad i switched them to BricsCAD and no Bricscad doesn't work good in Arch based distributions.

Vivadesigner no way to get it running in Arch based distributions

and i could go on and on.

Driver what do you need, most of the time you need a up to date Hardware stack, so one ppa for AMD/Intel, or for NVIDA also one ppa and thats it.

And no this customers won't go into Forums/Wikis and search for solutions they will call me :) which is good because it means money for me, but that's not what i want, i want happy customers and not everyday calls because something in manjaro/arch doesn't work as it should, because an update again broke something.

Its the same with servers how many servers are arch based or generally rolling releases, correct almost none and that for good reasons.

Manjaro/Arch is fun to play around and test stuff, if they need bleeding edge then for sure they need to be experienced and know them self how to fix stuff.

But Manjaro/Arch is nothing for beginners or for people trying to switch away from Windows. Users who tried Manjaro, to switch away from Windows, most of the time go back to Windows after they had the first issues.

Please take note that this are just my personal experiences which i had over the years, and i also use manjaro on one of my PCs and i also like it, but the articles on some public sites (not linux specific sites) who say Manjaro is great for beginners are really strange!



rustybroomhandleIf we're going to throw around generalisations, then I'll go with: Users want to be able to run the software they want to run. When it come to running non-standard type stuff, it's way easier to point a user to the AUR than to explain PPAs or Flatpak or such things. Same with drivers. "Bleeding edge" has its downsides, but Linux gaming is currently a teenager undergoing a huge growth spurt... you kind-of want the most up to date vulkan/gpu driver/ etc.

Also, Manjaro is hardly bleeding edge. It's just the right amount of conservative. imo.


Last edited by Werner on 25 March 2020 at 12:18 pm UTC
scaine 25 Mar
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All this talk of Debian vs Arch feels pretty irrelevant. If Valve revive (revalve?) SteamOS, it'll be a console-like experience with its own update mechanisms and an overlay that prevents you seeing what's under the hood. It won't be linked to AUR for god's sake. When you update your PS4, you're given one button to click and a ten minute wait. Then you're gaming again. That's as complex as your typical SteamOS target user wants it to get. It could a rolling release under the hood, but it'll still be controlled by Valve, assuming they do it "the console way".
jardon 25 Mar
I could see arch being a viable option honestly. As long as they keep the systems stable and put their container runtime to use, they can provide updated graphics stacks and keep stable targets for developers.
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