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Linux Kernel getting prepped for the Steam Deck

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While it's already known that the Steam Deck will ship with Valve's own SteamOS 3 based on Arch Linux, what about running more standard Linux distributions? It will get easier in a future version of the Linux Kernel.

Since it's open source, Linux gives Valve a lot of true control on what they can do and tweak for the Steam Deck and that's a big part of the reason they went with Linux instead of Windows. At release it will likely be using a good number of Valve special patches, many of which will be upstreamed to various projects and we're starting to see part of that now.

Sent into the Kernel mailing list was this patch across the weekend that adds in a driver to expose various low-level features of the Steam Deck including (but not limited to): the CPU fan control, Read-only access to DDIC registers, Battery temperature measurements, Various display related control knobs and a USB Type-C connector event notification.

Having it upstreamed isn't just good for other distributions of Linux though, it's less hassle for Valve once it's all official as there's no messing around with patches.

Hopefully this will all be pulled in and ready for Linux Kernel 5.18, which would be due out quite a bit later this year.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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4 comments

BielFPs Feb 7, 2022
Mainline those patches are great for those who intended to fork SteamOS or install another distro on it, also allowing people to make improvements that could be backported to the stock version too.

Nice move from Valve.
Mountain Man Feb 7, 2022
I wonder if SteamOS will be suitable for everyday desktop use, and would there be any advantage to doing so compared to Arch or Manjora?
Freya Feb 8, 2022
Quoting: Mountain ManI wonder if SteamOS will be suitable for everyday desktop use, and would there be any advantage to doing so compared to Arch or Manjora?

I think if they do what a lot of the user friendly debian distros do it could be usable by newbies. I only recently learned from a Linus tech tips video that updating arch is considered to be a "mistake". If valve where do validate updates not breaking key features when updating that could be a big deal though it would be less cutting edge. However for a less tech savvy or even just a user that can't be bothered to manually verify updates it is a worthwhile tradeoff
knightly9999 Feb 8, 2022
Quoting: Mountain ManI wonder if SteamOS will be suitable for everyday desktop use, and would there be any advantage to doing so compared to Arch or Manjora?

I (briefly) used SteamOS 2.0 back when it was based on Debian 8 and wouldn't have recommended it as a daily driver. Being purpose-built to act as a games console made doing basic computer stuff more of a hassle than it really needed to be, and it leaned really heavily on Steam's Big Picture Mode as it's main user interface so the desktop environment felt like a tacked-on afterthought.

I doubt there'd be an advantage to running SteamOS over a well-configured Arch unless you're using the Steam hardware it's specifically tweaked for, but I'll probably try it when SteamOS 3 is available. =D
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