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While SteamOS had a nice idea to bring Linux gaming to the living room, it's currently on hold (although Valve may return to it). Now, there's another choice with the simply named GamerOS.

GamerOS focuses on a true out-of-the-box experience with Linux and Steam, along with the Big Picture Mode. However, it's a lot more than that. It includes a ton of special tweaks to make everything run a lot smoother including: great gamepad input support, their own curated Steam Play Proton list to give you the best setup for Windows-only games, a "Steam Buddy" tool for installing non-Steam software like Flatpaks from Flathub and emulators, and a whole lot more.

If you've used Steam Big Picture, you'll feel right at home.

They even claim to have "zero downtime updates" to not disrupt gaming sessions. This is done using frzr, which they say it "deploys pre-built systems via read-only btrfs subvolumes, thus ensuring safe and atomic updates that never interrupt the user".

Recently a new release was made available with major upgrades. It updates the Linux Kernel to 5.6.3, Mesa drivers to 20.0.4, NVIDIA driver 440.82 and other software updates. MangoHud has been pulled in and integrated for Vulkan games, and you can now install GamerOS on drives bigger than 2TB.

Additionally the Steam Buddy tool now supports PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, Saturn, and Dreamcast emulation too. Even the list of supported Flatpak apps from Flathub expanded to include StepMania, Hedgewars, SuperTux, Katawa Shoujo. The Flathub package support was also improved, to have automatic recovery when apps from Flathub fail to install correctly. Full changelog can be seen here. There's a lot of impressive work going into it.

See more on the official site if you're after a Linux couch-gaming distribution. Forbes writer, Jason Evangelho, also seemed to quite like it.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Distro News
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24 comments
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Nanobang 15 Apr
I'm intrigued by GOS's controller support. On the GOS website it says:
QuoteUse any controller
support for Xbox 360, Xbox One, DualShock 4, Switch Pro, Steam controllers and more (compatibility varies by game)

How is this accomplished, I wonder? Are they using their own custom driver? Or have they incorporated Steam's own driver? I wonder because developement of kozec's sc-controller --- both the older, python2 original and the newer C-based fork --- has seemingly all but ceased, and I would be comforted thinking there may be another driver in the wings besides the one built into the Steam client.

--- Also posted at r/Linuxers


Last edited by Nanobang on 15 April 2020 at 3:15 pm UTC
Mohandevir 15 Apr
Quoting: NanobangI'm intrigued by GOS's controller support. On the GOS website it says:
QuoteUse any controller
support for Xbox 360, Xbox One, DualShock 4, Switch Pro, Steam controllers and more (compatibility varies by game)

How is this accomplished, I wonder? Are they using their own custom driver? Or have they incorporated Steam's own driver? I wonder because developement of kozec's sc-controller --- both the older, python2 original and the newer C-based fork --- has seemingly all but ceased, and I would be comforted thinking there may be another driver in the wings besides the one built into the Steam client.

Can't say if they tweaked it, but it's probably based on what may be found in the Steam client / SteamOS.

This said, if you want to pair a bluetooth controller, there is a bug in the steam client that prevents the BPM bluetooth pairing system from working. Better start here:

https://github.com/gamer-os/gamer-os/issues/71

This workaround works great with my DS4 and my 8Bitdo SN30Pro.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 15 April 2020 at 3:16 pm UTC
Nanobang 15 Apr
Quoting: MohandevirCan't say if they tweaked it, but it's probably based on what may be found in the Steam client / SteamOS.

That's sorta what I'm imagining and kinda hoping, because if that's so, then maybe someone could be able to create a stand-alone version of Steam's own configuration tool/driver.

(As a Steam Controller fanboy, these are the things that keep me awake at night) :P
Valve should hire these people like they did with DXVK.
Knef 15 Apr
A heads up: GamerOS requires a wired connection for at least the first setup (this is listed in the instructions but not on the requirements).
chr 16 Apr
Quoting: KnefA heads up: GamerOS requires a wired connection for at least the first setup (this is listed in the instructions but not on the requirements).

You should make a PR or at least an issue here then.


Last edited by chr on 16 April 2020 at 5:55 am UTC
officernice 16 Apr
Based on Arch, wisely. Good alternative for those who can use it. It won't really do anything to move my choice of distro. Even in a living room setting. Best of luck to the project, though.
razing32 16 Apr
HMMM so what distro is it based on ? Or is it made from scratch ?
Mohandevir 16 Apr
Quoting: razing32HMMM so what distro is it based on ? Or is it made from scratch ?

Arch based, but no meddling with AUR. All that is required is included directly into the image.
14 19 Apr
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