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Interested in all the work the open source consulting firm Collabora are doing with Valve to help improve Linux gaming? We've got you covered.

We've already been over a few bits of what they're doing together, like their Linux Kernel work that will hopefully be live with Linux 5.11 and also their work on the Steam Linux Runtime Container system. Collabora have been doing a lot of other work in the open source space too that we've been following, like the Monado runtime for VR and AR (XR) and their work on the Panfrost driver for Mali.

During the Linux App Summit 2020, Collabora developer Vivek Das Mohapatra did a presentation giving a whistle-stop tour of their work to give an overview of all the bits and pieces. It's about 28 minutes, so it won't take you long to go through if you want a nice way to catch up.

You can see the full video below:

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What really captured my interest was the mention about the work with "Atomic Updates & A/B Booting", which Vivek Das Mohapatra mentioned can help with a "game console like piece of kit". While no direct reason was mentioned for working on it, Vivek Das Mohapatra said it has been a "big chunk" of the work they've been doing and that the hope is we will see it "real soon". 

It's interesting as such a system should allow both seamless and fool-proof system updates that something like SteamOS would benefit from. This is a similar sounding system to what the SteamOS-like distribution GamerOS currently uses too and we know that Valve at least had plans in the past to go back to SteamOS at some point.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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4 comments

Cats and dogs, living together . . .
Actually, the atomic updates and A/B booting seems pretty generally useful, a nice alternative to current distro update approaches. (Disclaimer: I know nothing about this stuff, that's just my impression)
mirv 15 Nov
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Quoting: Purple Library GuyActually, the atomic updates and A/B booting seems pretty generally useful, a nice alternative to current distro update approaches. (Disclaimer: I know nothing about this stuff, that's just my impression)

Atomic updates as mentioned are useful where there's a more known configuration, generally for known hardware or known (and probably limited) environment. Console-like stuff maybe, or very controlled setups (Steam, the runtime environs it packages, the games). Might not use it for an entire OS.
Nod 20 Nov
Given all the speculation I usually read on this site about Valves long team goals and strategy I am surprised there is zero discussion about the `Atomic Updates and A/B booting` section of this talk. This technique pioneered a few years back by CoreOS has very obvious application to consoles (steam machines).

Correction: I wrote the comment above having listened to the talk but not read the full article, Liam makes the same point in the article.


Last edited by Nod on 20 November 2020 at 6:14 am UTC
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