Today the hackers over at Collabora announced the release of xrdesktop 0.14, a Valve Software sponsored effort to bring Linux desktops into the VR world.
xrdesktop enables traditional Linux window managers to be aware of VR, and it is then able to use VR runtimes to render your traditional windows into a 3D space giving you the ability to interact with them using VR controllers. It's seriously cool! With the latest release of the open source project, there's plenty new.
The biggest change comes with xrdesktop now able to run on XR runtimes with the OpenXR API enables the use of a runtime like Monado which Collabora also develop. It also now supports OpenVR 1.11 which they say provides full support for the latest SteamVR. Additionally they added what they call "scene mode" which is where "xrdesktop renders the full environment in our internal Vulkan renderer, in addition to the existing overlay mode" and there's plenty more in their release notes.
Want to see a demo? You're in luck! They showed off a short clip of xrdesktop running on the Monado runtime with the Valve Index and Index controllers on an experimental libsurvive branch:
How seriously cool is that! If this continues expanding, it could end up being the ultimate way to use Linux in VR. Still, early days yet but tech like this sure is exciting. Uses like this can help VR and Linux adoption too. Stellar work from the folks at Collabora.