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Steam Link app now available for the Linux desktop

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Valve along with their partners at open source consulting firm Collabora have ported over the standalone Steam Link application to the traditional Linux desktop.

Originally available as the Steam Link hardware that was discontinued in 2018, which Valve then replaced with the standalone application. The idea is that it allows you to stream content from Steam on one PC to another, or to a different device like an Android phone. Previously the app was only supported for Windows, iOS, Android, or a Raspberry Pi but that ends now with the official announcement today adding traditional Linux desktops to the mix.

So why now? Well, Valve only just recently announced Remote Play Together - Invite Anyone, which uses the Steam Link to allow people without a Steam account to join a game hosted by someone else. So you could host a game of your favourite co-op or multiplayer experience, let's say Stardew Valley, and someone only needs the Steam Link installed on whatever device they have available to join your game with a link you send over.

You can grab the Steam Link for Linux from Flathub and you can see the reference files on GitHub. Looks like this is Valve's first official release as a Flatpak package.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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STiAT 2 Mar, 2021
Hmh, never thought about that for my home / couch setup. Not the Linux-PC side... that's one anyway, but I could put one of those Raspberry Pis to use and use it as a console setup for steam link on PC... never even came to my mind. And probably still can make use of those nice Steam controllers? :D.
wvstolzing 2 Mar, 2021
Quoting: JuliusFinally!

Edit: arg, seems like x86_64 only. Why Valve? Why? We were able to run a normal Steam Linux client on x86 before :( What is really missing is an Arm64 build of the steam-link :(

Does the Raspberry Pi 4 run arm64 binaries? Maybe they'll release an update for the Rpi version (I mean this: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=6153-IFGH-6589 ) eventually.


Last edited by wvstolzing on 2 March 2021 at 11:36 pm UTC
Julius 2 Mar, 2021
Quoting: wvstolzingDoes the Raspberry Pi 4 run arm64 binaries? Maybe they'll release an update for the Rpi version (I mean this: https://support.steampowered.com/kb_article.php?ref=6153-IFGH-6589 ) eventually.

The RPI4 hardware yes, but I think the app only works with Rasbian which last time I checked was still 32bit only. Also for some strange reason the Steamlink app for the RasberryPi depends of some specific code from the RasberryPI GPU driver and refuses to work on any non-Rasberry hardware because of that.
Creak 3 Mar, 2021
I really like the idea of Valve's Remote Play Together, it simply makes a lot of sense. I like to compare video games and board games, and you wouldn't ask every player of a board game to pay for the game.

So, as with board games, I like to discover new games my friends might have and, if I like them, I buy them in order to play it whenever I want too.

This is true for the multiplayer part of a game only. The solo/scenario part is yet another reason to buy a game (to me).
slaapliedje 3 Mar, 2021
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Quoting: MayeulCThis is huge, especially the bit about they releasing it on flathub.

I wish they built it for ARM as well, though maybe it is usable in qemu-binfmt? Is it using HW-accelerated decoding with VA-API or similar?

I also wouldn't be surprised if it ends up reverse-engineered.
They've had a Steam Link App for ARM for quite some time.. You can install it within retropie quite easily.

https://www.reddit.com/r/RetroPie/comments/a2va0q/how_to_add_steamlink_to_emulationstation/
Ananace 3 Mar, 2021
Quoting: fagnerlnIt's surprisingly that they are using flatpak, they should release Steam officially on flatpak or create a sandbox solution with their Steam Runtime, most of the users of rolling distros are having problems on CSGO because of the new glibc, which not happens with the flatpak version.

Steam has their Pressure Vessel system, called the "Steam Linux Runtime" in Steam itself, which is based on Flatpak - which is also why the Flatpak package of Steam has trouble using it.
They have a public gitlab project for pressure vessel at https://gitlab.steamos.cloud/steamrt/steam-runtime-tools/-/tree/master/pressure-vessel

And they are also working on improving support of the Flatpak package of Steam;
https://github.com/flatpak/flatpak/issues/3797
https://github.com/flatpak/flatpak/pull/4018
https://gitlab.steamos.cloud/steamrt/steam-runtime-tools/-/merge_requests/203
3zekiel 3 Mar, 2021
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Quoting: fagnerlnIt's surprisingly that they are using flatpak, they should release Steam officially on flatpak or create a sandbox solution with their Steam Runtime, most of the users of rolling distros are having problems on CSGO because of the new glibc, which not happens with the flatpak version.

As far as I understood, they do help for the steam flatpak. But it still has rough edge, so I would expect they don't want to make it official yet. They definitely should do it in the end though.
Good new is, they did not use snap package, so everyone can have access to it already, and without all snap issues.
3zekiel 3 Mar, 2021
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Quoting: EMO GANGSTERwill this work with q4os it's a fork Debian I have an old tiny Optiplex that be great for a remote pc

As long as you have flatpak support, yes. It is the wonderful part of flatpak :)
starfarer 3 Mar, 2021
Good to know, although I wished it didn't use flatpak.

Oh well, running Steam on my headless desktop and streaming games to my nine year old laptop works fine (at least for most games) so I won't complain.
nullzero 3 Mar, 2021
Quoting: CreakI really like the idea of Valve's Remote Play Together, it simply makes a lot of sense. I like to compare video games and board games, and you wouldn't ask every player of a board game to pay for the game.

So, as with board games, I like to discover new games my friends might have and, if I like them, I buy them in order to play it whenever I want too.

This is true for the multiplayer part of a game only. The solo/scenario part is yet another reason to buy a game (to me).

Really like that board games comparison!

And about solo, it depends, sometimes you bring a fried to your house and have they try a bit of a single player game just for show off. With remote play you can also do that. Specially those nasty games that play tricks on the user assumptions and joke on them, like Indecision or Eryi's Action.

EDIT: Ery is native, but Indicision I played via proton.


Last edited by nullzero on 3 March 2021 at 11:41 am UTC
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