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Half-Life: Alyx now available on Linux with Vulkan

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Just like Valve said to us they would do so, Half-Life: Alyx is now available on Linux using the Vulkan graphics API. This arrives as part of a big update that went out today which also brings in modding tools and Steam Workshop support, it's going to be very fun to see what the community comes up with for Half-Life: Alyx.

Half-Life: Alyx is Valve’s VR return to the Half-Life series. It’s the story of an impossible fight against a vicious alien race known as the Combine, set between the events of Half-Life and Half-Life 2. Playing as Alyx Vance, you are humanity’s only chance for survival.

For the modding side Valve released new versions of Hammer (the Source 2 level editor), a Material Editor, a Particle Editor, Source Filmmaker and more for people to tinker with. However, these tools are usually only available on Windows. Valve did say this is only the first Beta of the Alyx Workshop tools suite though, so we may see support for that too properly in future.

If you previously used the Proton compatibility layer to play Alyx, Valve said to follow these steps to reset it to the new Linux supported build:

  • Go in the Properties for Half-Life Alyx by right-clicking the game in your Steam Library
  • Check the "Force the use of a specific Steam Play compatibility tool" box
  • Uncheck the box, and the download will properly complete.

For the Linux version, Valve are recommending an AMD GPU with the Mesa RADV driver for "best results". It may seem like Valve are giving NVIDIA the cold shoulder here but on Linux NVIDIA are missing some big quality of life features for VR. It will work with an NVIDIA GPU but the experience might not be great.

Really fantastic to see such continued Linux support from Valve. It was only earlier today in our round-up article that we listed it as an interesting upcoming game!

You can find Half-Life: Alyx on Steam, it requires a VR headset.

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Beamboom 15 May, 2020
Oh shit - that was faster than expected. Now here's hoping my Nvidia 1080 card works well enough...!!!!

Edit: It's still only listed with Windows as supported platform though?

Last edited by Beamboom on 15 May 2020 at 9:34 pm UTC
jrt 15 May, 2020
Wow the game feels a lot smoother compared to the windows version under proton. (I'm below minimum spec tho)
Ehvis 15 May, 2020
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Quoting: Guest... from serious stuttering. In the VR world, it's called reprojection. I do not suffer from this on Windows with the same hardware.

Windows has all that async reprojection + motion smoothing that is not yet in the Linux steamvr.

Anyway, I simply avoid it by choosing settings that almost never exceed the allocated frame times and putting it on legacy reprojection. But that's for nvidia though.
drlamb 15 May, 2020
Quoting: Guest

Do you set your CPU governor to performance?
Corben 15 May, 2020
Oh man, I could just shortly start it up right now, as my Controllers where dying after that 4h Beat Saber session... but oh my! This is so smooth compared to the proton version. Seems though that my save state didn't survive the transition from proton to Linux, but who cares?

I'll replay this tomorrow and try the gnome run :D
jrt 15 May, 2020
Quoting: BeamboomEdit: It's still only listed with Windows as supported platform though?
I think the product page update takes time until they refresh the CDN cache.
bubexel 15 May, 2020
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Downloading it!
rafagars 16 May, 2020
That's great. Shame that I can't play it
TheRiddick 16 May, 2020
Nice, I wish I could get Virtual Desktop client on linux :(

At this point it time I might need to get into programming myself and make my own Linux Quest Oculus SteamVR streaming app... probably take me forever as I'm a bit of a dummy :(

Last edited by TheRiddick on 16 May 2020 at 12:58 am UTC
mylka 16 May, 2020
Quoting: elmapulBenchmarks...
we need benchmarks comparing the performance on windows and linux...

for the lulz also windows version with dx and vulkan with proton VS native VS windows dx/vulkan

why did valve bother with dx11 on windows anyways?
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