Get your big-screen Linux gaming on with a new GamerOS release

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The SteamOS-like big-screen Linux gaming distribution GamerOS has a fresh release out, with some surprising new features integrated and it's looking slick.

Providing an out of the box couch / sofa gaming experience, thanks to the Steam Big Picture interface along with their own homebrew integrations for using things provided outside of Steam, GamerOS continues to be a fine choice for a dedicated big TV box.

GamerOS 22 went out on January 12 upgrading the main internals like Linux Kernel 5.10.5, Mesa 20.3.2, NVIDIA 460.32.03 and updates to their web-based Steam Buddy tool and the Steam Tweaks tool. It gets more exciting when you look at the rest of the work done which includes:

  • New Steam Buddy platforms: GOG, 3DO
  • Automatic download and installation of Proton GE
  • Added Boxtron compatibility tool for DOS games
  • Improved reliability of Steam Tweaks database file updates
  • Adjusted some default emulator configurations for better performance
  • Improved GameCube game compatibility
  • Fixed DualShock 3 configuration for emulated games
  • Added Xbox Series X|S controller configuration for emulated games
  • Added support for Hyperkin Duke Xbox controller
  • Improved handling of Bluetooth dongles
  • Compositor fix to allow Far Cry 5 (and possibly other games) to launch correctly
  • Compositor fix to hide system tray icons
  • Fixed failures when uploading many large ROM files
  • Added podman to allow for running additional background services

With the GOG support now hooked up, it does include some caveats like DOS games not launching, no download progress and updating games not yet being supported. GOG support for GamerOS is only "preliminary", so hopefully we will see it improve in the next release.

The developer has also "certified" more games to work with GamerOS, which means they've been setup and tested working properly. Games tested include Linux supported games, and also Windows games run through Steam Play Proton. Here's what's newly certified: Children of Morta, Indivisible, Overcooked! 2, Shining Resonance Refrain, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Gris, Struggling, Yuppie Psycho, Path of Giants, Ancestors Legacy and BattleBlock Theater.

Want to download and try GamerOS? Find out how here.

If you missed it, the developer did a talk at the last Arch Linux Conference to go over the main details. You can view the video below:

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slaapliedje 12 Jan, 2021
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We need secure boot support for the AtariVCS :)
Was hoping they added that here.
pb 12 Jan, 2021
I will probably try this on my old machine, but before I erase SteamOS , can anyone confirm that Stadia and GeForceNow work fine on GamerOS with xbox controllers? I couldn't get them to work in SteamOS' browser, I guess it's too old.
Comandante Ñoñardo 12 Jan, 2021
C'mon GabeN! Hire this people!
Purple Library Guy 12 Jan, 2021
Hey, they added Boxtron!
drmoth 13 Jan, 2021
Really great explanation and super interesting video. This guy needs more support!
Solarwing 13 Jan, 2021
Quoting: Purple Library GuyHey, they added Boxtron!

Hey!Boxtron is meant for old Dinosaurs like me! Anyway it's really good to see this project to continue maturing. Valve really should hire these developers!It would save time and maybe money...
Nanobang 14 Jan, 2021
I'm simply not wired to listen to someone as calm and tranquil as this for even ten minutes, let alone forty-four, so I haven't watched hardly any of this video. I wonder, then, if he mentions GamerOS having, or having plans to include, media playing abilities, streaming Netflix etc., or playing local video and music ... features I saw introduced during the life of my X360. (Without these standard console functions, I think SteamOS was sort of doomed from the start.)

I'm perfectly happy with my current Linux living room/TV computer at the moment, but my other one, my Windows 7 box, its days are numbered --- and will not be extended by "upgrading" to Win10. It seems like a perfect candidate for a future version of GamerOS.

An exciting project, to be sure!
slaapliedje 14 Jan, 2021
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Quoting: NanobangI'm simply not wired to listen to someone as calm and tranquil as this for even ten minutes, let alone forty-four, so I haven't watched hardly any of this video. I wonder, then, if he mentions GamerOS having, or having plans to include, media playing abilities, streaming Netflix etc., or playing local video and music ... features I saw introduced during the life of my X360. (Without these standard console functions, I think SteamOS was sort of doomed from the start.)

I'm perfectly happy with my current Linux living room/TV computer at the moment, but my other one, my Windows 7 box, its days are numbered --- and will not be extended by "upgrading" to Win10. It seems like a perfect candidate for a future version of GamerOS.

An exciting project, to be sure!
I find it funny seeing the arguments on the Valve Index discussion group on Steam of some guy whining that he'll never upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 10 simply for the Index, as it won't work on 7 (though I thought I saw somewhere that someone did get it to work). I couldn't help but suggesting if he really doesn't want the telemetry, etc of Win10 (which they backported to Win7 anyhow) that he should just upgrade to Linux where the Index does work :)
pb 16 Jan, 2021
Quoting: pbI will probably try this on my old machine, but before I erase SteamOS , can anyone confirm that Stadia and GeForceNow work fine on GamerOS with xbox controllers? I couldn't get them to work in SteamOS' browser, I guess it's too old.

I'll answer myself. It's not possible to use Stadia or GFN on GamerOS, because, like SteamOS, it only has the internal Steam browser, with no way to install Chrome or Chromium, so neither of the services work. My overall experience with installation and 3h usage of GamerOS has been rather terrible, worse than SteamOS anyway. With the system being read-only I had no way of modifying any launch settings, such as mounting another disk, where I have all the games installed. I'm sure it's better than SteamOS in subtle ways, such as newer drivers and more games working, thanks to compositor fixes (like Dead Cells), but for me it's fundamentally broken, it might have been the first way I had a worse experience with a Linux distro than with Windows.
alkazar 16 Jan, 2021
Quoting: pbI'll answer myself. It's not possible to use Stadia or GFN on GamerOS, because, like SteamOS, it only has the internal Steam browser, with no way to install Chrome or Chromium, so neither of the services work. My overall experience with installation and 3h usage of GamerOS has been rather terrible, worse than SteamOS anyway. With the system being read-only I had no way of modifying any launch settings, such as mounting another disk, where I have all the games installed. I'm sure it's better than SteamOS in subtle ways, such as newer drivers and more games working, thanks to compositor fixes (like Dead Cells), but for me it's fundamentally broken, it might have been the first way I had a worse experience with a Linux distro than with Windows.

That is inaccurate.

It is possible to use Stadia and also probably GFN through Chromium installed via Flatpak. The downside is the Flatpak version of Chromium cannot access gamepads. For some reason native Chromium fails to run on GamerOS and Google refuses to let you login via Steam's built-in browser.

Sorry to hear you had a poor experience with GamerOS. /etc is read-write so you can definitely add additional disks. We are looking into ways to make that kind of use case work out of the box. The goal of GamerOS is to be a plug and play system, sometimes that means sacrificing some use cases, at least in the short term.
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