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With the Steam Deck delayed until February 2022, Valve has produced new developer documentation giving a helping hand to devs interested in testing ready for it using Linux.

They're not quite ready to put out SteamOS 3 Linux just yet (which is what the Steam Deck uses), or even an official developer image to install but "soon" something should be available in that way. Until then, they've come up with a way for developers to test everything on Linux a little easier.

It starts by going over the already expected essential things like gamepad input and resolution support but this time there's more detail on actually testing it on a Linux system. Specifically, Valve are now suggesting developers go for Manjaro KDE, as it's also based on Arch Linux and has the same Plasma desktop as you will find in the desktop mode with SteamOS 3 on the Steam Deck.

On top of that, Valve has created two new tools to help developers test their builds (either a native Linux build or a Windows build with Steam Play Proton) with the SteamOS Devkit Client Tool and the SteamOS Devkit Service. These tools allow developers to deploy game builds from a development machine to either a Steam Deck or another Linux machine for full testing. Valve also said to ensure developers use Proton Experimental when testing Windows builds.

Valve even gave a hint for developers wishing to buy a mini-PC with somewhat similar specifications to the Steam Deck, with their pictured suggestion being the MINISFORUM UM700 Ryzen NUC available on Amazon (US / UK) along with a picture using the banana scale:

This includes:

  • AMD Ryzen 7 3750H
  • Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics
  • 16GB of DDR4 RAM

While it has a stronger CPU, weaker GPU and less memory bandwidth they say "it will definitely run well on Steam Deck" if it runs well on something similar to that.

Nice to see some more clear documentation go up, although it's a little crazy to think this has only just gone live considering the Steam Deck was supposed to launch next month.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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42 comments
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CatKiller 12 Nov
QuoteNice to see some more clear documentation go up, although it's a little crazy to think this has only just gone live considering the Steam Deck was supposed to launch next month.

The information about the dev tools has been up for quite a while already, and they previously had instructions for setting up a Linux test environment it's just that it was based on Ubuntu rather than Manjaro. The performance-equivalent hardware information should be pretty handy, though.
That NUC is frickin' adorable tho.
Liam Dawe 12 Nov
Quoting: CatKillerThe information about the dev tools has been up for quite a while already, and they previously had instructions for setting up a Linux test environment it's just that it was based on Ubuntu rather than Manjaro. The performance-equivalent hardware information should be pretty handy, though.
I'm aware they had some stuff available but nothing laid out as clear as this as a guide.


Last edited by Liam Dawe on 12 November 2021 at 8:06 am UTC
CatKiller 12 Nov
Quoting: Liam DaweI'm aware they had some stuff available but nothing laid out as clear as this as a guide.
It's a definite upgrade. It's just that it's not like they had nothing before.
Liam Dawe 12 Nov
Well I did say "more clear documentation", I didn't say no documentation.
psy-q 12 Nov
Isn't "NUC" an Intel-specific marketing name (Next Unit of Computing), nothing to apply to AMD-based hardware? So it's now a proprietary eponym like Band-Aid, Kleenex, Hoover etc.! 🤔

Intel must be proud, especially since they didn't even pioneer the concept 😛
CatKiller 12 Nov
Quoting: rustybroomhandleThat NUC is frickin' adorable tho.
There are some others that come with Linux pre-installed that GOL has reported on before, if you're interested in that kind of thing.

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2021/05/slimbook-think-they-have-the-one-for-you-with-their-new-compact-mini-pc

https://www.gamingonlinux.com/2021/11/the-tuxedo-nano-pro-is-a-powerhouse-in-a-tiny-box
Still not complete though. They don't say which kernel to test against and which branch of Proton Experimental.
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: rustybroomhandleThat NUC is frickin' adorable tho.
There are some others that come with Linux pre-installed that GOL has reported on before, if you're interested in that kind of thing.

Alas, I have 9 cats to support, I cannot spend 600 bucks on electronics. :P
damarrin 12 Nov
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Quoting: rustybroomhandleStill not complete though. They don't say which kernel to test against and which branch of Proton Experimental.

I don’t know you, but demanding much?

In any case, like any of that matters for devs who will be using linux for the first time in their lives.
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