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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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53 comments
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3zekiel 3 Mar
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
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
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
MagicMyth 3 Mar
Quoting: aokamiI've never had great use on my Steam Link, but that's always nice seeing improvement over there! :)
Despite discontinued is the Steam Link hardware still being updated with latest software updates ?

Steam Link (Hardware) still gets regular updates and keeps adding new controller support. All the latest console controllers have had support added and I think you can even use the Google Stadia controller with it now. I use mine all the time for couch gaming.


Last edited by MagicMyth on 3 March 2021 at 1:48 pm UTC
Good news, at least for those hosting their games on Windows or on linux with an Nvidia GPU. Linuxusers owning an AMD GPU are still out of luck with steam remoteplay because it is still lacking GPU based hardwareencoding for videostreams via VAAPI.


Last edited by ripper81358 on 3 March 2021 at 2:05 pm UTC
libgradev 3 Mar
Quoting: ripper81358Good news, at least for those hosting their games on Windows or on linux with an Nvidia GPU. Linuxusers owning an AMD GPU are still out of luck with steam remoteplay because it is still lacking GPU based hardwareencoding for videostreams via VAAPI.

Streaming fine from an Ubuntu KVM guest using an AMD graphics card (soft encoding works fine)
Quoting: libgradev
Quoting: ripper81358Good news, at least for those hosting their games on Windows or on linux with an Nvidia GPU. Linuxusers owning an AMD GPU are still out of luck with steam remoteplay because it is still lacking GPU based hardwareencoding for videostreams via VAAPI.

Streaming fine from an Ubuntu KVM guest using an AMD graphics card (soft encoding works fine)

Softwareencoding might work on a system with a more highend CPU and a wired networkconnection. In my case it stopped working in a decent way after switching from Nvidia to AMD. Since remoteplay was never an ideal solution for me because of several games not working correctly i stopped using it. I am connecting my rig directly to my A/V Receiver for now.
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Quoting: Hori
Quoting: slaapliedje
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/

Kind of. Technically yes, it's ARM all right, but it only works on a Raspberry Pi.
While the Pi is probably the most widely used ARM device for Linux, this is not always the case. ARM is growing in market share, slowly but surely, and is likely to eventually become the standard on most laptops.

For example, there are ARM laptops such as the Pinebooks, which are Linux-first, as well as the Macbook M1 and some Windows ARM laptops, which you can install Linux on. Steam Link doesn't work on those.
What ties it to the Pi? (asking as I don't know) as it's just an armhf .deb package. I don't know why you couldn't set it up on any debian based distro on something that supports armhf packages.
Julius 3 Mar
Quoting: slaapliedjeWhat ties it to the Pi? (asking as I don't know) as it's just an armhf .deb package. I don't know why you couldn't set it up on any debian based distro on something that supports armhf packages.

People tried it before, but it doesn't work. It actually seems to check for some OS specific things and if you spoof these it fails with a very specific issue related to the highly uncommon GPU utilized in the RasberryPI type SBCs.

There is probably some sort of technical reason (likely a short-cut), but with Collaboras support this could definitely be solved I think.
libgradev 4 Mar
Quoting: ripper81358
Quoting: libgradev
Quoting: ripper81358Good news, at least for those hosting their games on Windows or on linux with an Nvidia GPU. Linuxusers owning an AMD GPU are still out of luck with steam remoteplay because it is still lacking GPU based hardwareencoding for videostreams via VAAPI.

Streaming fine from an Ubuntu KVM guest using an AMD graphics card (soft encoding works fine)

Softwareencoding might work on a system with a more highend CPU and a wired networkconnection. In my case it stopped working in a decent way after switching from Nvidia to AMD. Since remoteplay was never an ideal solution for me because of several games not working correctly i stopped using it. I am connecting my rig directly to my A/V Receiver for now.

You do need more CPU horsepower, yes, but it does work - your post stated it didn't
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