Well this is exciting! Even more people will be able to play games on Linux from today, as Google announced Steam on Chromebook is now in Beta. For those less technically-minded reading, Chromebooks run ChromeOS, which is Linux.
Back in March it was in Alpha, and it was pretty severely limited in what systems it supported and what it could play but that changes today. In the announcement, it's mentioned that this stage brings with it "broader availability, an improved user experience, and better performance and compatibility for more of your favorite games".
Part of bringing it to more people is that it moves from ChromeOS Dev to ChromeOS Beta, meaning while Chromebook users still need to switch over to it they're likely to see far less system issues overall while testing. On top of that, Google are now supporting AMD Ryzen 5000 C-Series and Intel 12th Gen Core CPUs and lowering the minimum CPU requirement to i3 / Ryzen 3.
Another big improvement is how they handle storage. Some games need to download additional data outside of Steam, so they entirely reworked that and this gave an additional benefit like improved filesystem access performance for Windows games in the Proton compatibility layer. Power management was also upgraded, adding in power notifications on top of full-screen games.
Tons of other improvements like DirectX 12 and Vulkan 1.3 support, improving shader storage and so on. The list of games they've tested and recommend has grown but still on the small side.
Full changes includes:
- Added various game-specific tweaks
- AMD Ryzen 5000 C-series support
- Avoid sleeping when game indicates activity via dbus
- Changed shader cache format to reduce disk footprint
- Initial DX12 support
- Enable pointer lock by default (without the #exo-pointer-lock flag)
- Fixed some cases previously resulting in GPU hangs
- i3/R3 device support
- Improved battery life from reduced CPU overhead in Vulkan and DirectX titles
- Optimized display pipeline when scaling
- Improved GPU rendering performance with transparent huge page support
- Improved handling switching between apps and full-screen
- Improved keyboard handling; for example, the launcher key now works when the Steam client is focused
- Improved window management support
- Include Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai fonts
- Increased size of shader caches
- Intel 12th Gen core support
- Low battery notifications
- Mouse cursor fixes
- New installer and splash screen
- Revamped storage management
- Fixes games that install additional content outside of Steam
- Improves file access performance for Proton games
- Note: alpha users will need to uninstall and reinstall Steam so these changes can take effect
- Device no longer sleeps while games are downloading in the background.
- Shader caches persist until software update
- Show all low-battery notifications while gaming in fullscreen
- Vulkan 1.3 support
- Vulkan and GL performance improvements
- xshape support for games/launchers with transparency
Instructions can be found here.