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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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TemplateR 29 March 2020 at 3:06 pm UTC
PC Gamer just have (unfornatualy) more than one video game digital distribution service, they have others e.g. Ubisofts "UPlay" or EA "Origins". And thats the real issue to solve and develope "Gaming on Linux".

If Ubisoft or EA or other Big Player will developing "Games for Linux", then we don´t have to answer the question "Which is better for Gaming: Arch or Ubuntu or Debian?".
Mohandevir 29 March 2020 at 8:18 pm UTC
alkazarSteamOS is "stable" but has terrible game compatibility these days since new games come out and even old games get updated. Proton has lots of problems on SteamOS and recent versions of emulators can't even be compiled for it anymore.

dubigrasuSteamoS is unfortunately no longer relevant. Is just a distro that we used to know (ahem).

Makes me wonder why Valve didn't yet decide to call it a day, like they did with the Steam Machines, and pull the plug on the SteamOS Brewmaster page (or at least remove the download links) and wait for "Clockwerk" (whatever that will mean) to make a comeback.

In the meantime, GamerOS is doing an awesome job!


Last edited by Mohandevir on 29 March 2020 at 8:24 pm UTC
slaapliedje 31 March 2020 at 2:59 am UTC
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Mohandevir
alkazarSteamOS is "stable" but has terrible game compatibility these days since new games come out and even old games get updated. Proton has lots of problems on SteamOS and recent versions of emulators can't even be compiled for it anymore.

dubigrasuSteamoS is unfortunately no longer relevant. Is just a distro that we used to know (ahem).

Makes me wonder why Valve didn't yet decide to call it a day, like they did with the Steam Machines, and pull the plug on the SteamOS Brewmaster page (or at least remove the download links) and wait for "Clockwerk" (whatever that will mean) to make a comeback.

In the meantime, GamerOS is doing an awesome job!
Their priorities switched to getting the Index out. I mean Debian is already well on their way into getting version 11 out, and SteamOS is sitting at 9 if I recall. 10+backports gives you a really great and stable operating system, with newer packages. It is the fiest version of Debian that I actually have just stuck with stable and not gone with Testing or unstable. Though on my personal desktop I am still an update whore and like seeing 50 new updates a day, haha.
Mohandevir 31 March 2020 at 2:11 pm UTC
slaapliedjeTheir priorities switched to getting the Index out. I mean Debian is already well on their way into getting version 11 out, and SteamOS is sitting at 9 if I recall. 10+backports gives you a really great and stable operating system, with newer packages.

No doubt, but it seems quite clear that whatever SteamOS 3.0 will be, it won't be pure Debian based. To some extent, they could even decide to include all the critical SteamOS' components (Gamescope they now call it?) into the Steam client and let the user decide if and on which distro he wants to install them. All of that with a tick box.
slaapliedje 31 March 2020 at 7:30 pm UTC
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Mohandevir
slaapliedjeTheir priorities switched to getting the Index out. I mean Debian is already well on their way into getting version 11 out, and SteamOS is sitting at 9 if I recall. 10+backports gives you a really great and stable operating system, with newer packages.

No doubt, but it seems quite clear that whatever SteamOS 3.0 will be, it won't be pure Debian based. To some extent, they could even decide to include all the critical SteamOS' components (Gamescope they now call it?) into the Steam client and let the user decide if and on which distro he wants to install them. All of that with a tick box.
It isn't clear at all, and why shift everything around and try and base it off something else?

Don't they already let the user decide what distro and people just install that distro's steam package?

I mean I don't run SteamOS because I have no need for it. I run Steam off my desktop and have Steam Links, or even now. Raspberry Pi4 for playing on my big screen. Problem is so many games in my library don't play correctly with a controller, so I end up spending most big tv time playing on the PS4.
Mohandevir 31 March 2020 at 8:25 pm UTC
slaapliedje... why shift everything around and try and base it off something else?

You should ask that to PL Griffais or TTimo, but that's what their comments are pointing at:
QuoteI wouldn't expect much more movement on Debian-based Brewmaster at this point

Why specify "Debian-based" if it's not relevant and is not an important aspect?

This and a comment from PL Griffais on Twitter, during the Ubuntu 32bit debacle, which I can't find anymore, about the future of Steamos... Something along the lines: "We are looking for our options, but we are tired of working with Debian tooling."

slaapliedjeProblem is so many games in my library don't play correctly with a controller, so I end up spending most big tv time playing on the PS4.

I must be getting old... Sitting in front of my desk to play games is something I don't like anymore... I long for my couch. From the day I put my hands on my Steam Controller, K+M and gaming in chairs have lost all appeal to me; when a game requires K+M, I just don't play it, more often than not. This and the fact that I have a lot of tearing issues with my Nvidia GPUs that makes me switch to the SteamOS-Compositor (SteamOS' BPM DE) where I get an awesome experience with or without VSync (no full composition pipeline that causes micro stuttering required). But I still prefer Steam to any console because it's not hardware locked.

Have fun however you wish to play, no matter the Linux distro that you wish to use.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 31 March 2020 at 8:31 pm UTC
slaapliedje 31 March 2020 at 9:53 pm UTC
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Mohandevir
slaapliedje... why shift everything around and try and base it off something else?

You should ask that to PL Griffais or TTimo, but that's what their comments are pointing at:
QuoteI wouldn't expect much more movement on Debian-based Brewmaster at this point

Why specify "Debian-based" if it's not relevant and is not an important aspect?

This and a comment from PL Griffais on Twitter, during the Ubuntu 32bit debacle, which I can't find anymore, about the future of Steamos... Something along the lines: "We are looking for our options, but we are tired of working with Debian tooling."

slaapliedjeProblem is so many games in my library don't play correctly with a controller, so I end up spending most big tv time playing on the PS4.

I must be getting old... Sitting in front of my desk to play games is something I don't like anymore... I long for my couch. From the day I put my hands on my Steam Controller, K+M and gaming in chairs have lost all appeal to me; when a game requires K+M, I just don't play it, more often than not. This and the fact that I have a lot of tearing issues with my Nvidia GPUs that makes me switch to the SteamOS-Compositor (SteamOS' BPM DE) where I get an awesome experience with or without VSync (no full composition pipeline that causes micro stuttering required). But I still prefer Steam to any console because it's not hardware locked.

Have fun however you wish to play, no matter the Linux distro that you wish to use.
I remember the Debian tooling comment, but if I recall it was by one guy, and someone else had followed up with them not liking how the packaging tooling was, but that it was fixed/better in newer versions.

SteamOS already went through a transition of maybe being Ubuntu based, but went with Debian for licensing reasons, or at some point that is what we were told. Makes sense to me, Debian is a great all around base for things and is easy enough to swap out the parts you need newer versions of.

It is too bad the Steam Controller doesn't get more support from developers than it does. I love mine so much, I bought 3 of them.
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