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Valve continues to improve Linux Vulkan Shader Pre-Caching

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Recently we wrote about a new feature for Linux in the Steam Client Beta, where Steam can now sort out Vulkan shaders before running a game. With the latest build, it gets better.

The idea of it, as a brief reminder, is to prepare all the shaders needed for Vulkan games while you download and / or before you hit Play. This would help to stop constant stuttering seen in some games on Linux, mostly from running Windows games in the Proton compatibility layer, as native / supported Linux games would usually do it themselves. Just another way Valve are trying to get Linux gaming on Steam in all forms into tip-top shape.

Here's what's changed in the latest Steam Beta:

Linux Shader Pre-Caching

  • Added support for merging NVIDIA per-thread cache files after processing new Vulkan pipelines and after a game exits
  • Adjusted core count of background Vulkan pipeline processing to a quarter of logical cores by default
  • Changed processing tasks to idle priority
  • Updated Vulkan layer API version

Want to try out the latest Steam Beta? Go into Settings on Steam and it's on the first section you see:

Steam will then restart to do the update.

Will be great when this is rolled out to everyone, as it's a very clever way to get around the Proton shader stuttering issue using the open source Fossilize library and Vulkan layer.

Article taken from
Tags: Beta, Steam, Update, Vulkan
About the author -
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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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Lolo01 May 30, 2020
I appreciate Steam's effort to improve the playing experience with Proton, even though I haven't seen any difference so far.
Has anyone noticed any improvements?
dpanter May 30, 2020
Far from every title will benefit. You'll have to try something which suffered greatly, games like Warframe, Quake Champions, Path Of Exile to name a few.
I've heard reports of significant improvements in some cases. :)
[email protected] May 30, 2020
I have seen substantial benefits in Remnants of the Ashes. You can see from mangohud that frame latency is consistent mostly now.

Before that, i used to have massive spikes in game due to shaders.

Last edited by [email protected] on 30 May 2020 at 12:25 pm UTC
Brisse May 30, 2020
Oh yes, I've noticed improvements, but as with most things YMMV.
Laboratoryo_ni_Neil May 30, 2020
Is this new feature of the Linux Steam client the answer to my question linked below?
Blaster-PR May 30, 2020
in monster hunter world there is a big improvement on the first install
awesam May 30, 2020
Anyone else having problems with the background processing getting stuck at 0% processing shaders with certain games?

I believe I triggered the issue by uninstalling a few games before the background process had completed all of them. I reported that on Valves github. As it kept trying to process an uninstalled game.

But now I think there is more to this than that, the background process is now stuck at 0% processing a game that I had not uninstalled. And uninstalling/reinstalling/launching the game makes no difference.

Is there some kind of queue for the background process that can be reset, so that it starts again from fresh? Or any ideas what is causing this?
Desperalaw May 30, 2020
I really want to thank Valve for their efforts concerning Linux gaming.
Also, this new shader pre-caching/pre-compiling helped removing the stuttering I had in GTA IV, making the game smoother with DXVK.
kokoko3k May 30, 2020
Quoting: Laboratoryo_ni_NeilIs this new feature of the Linux Steam client the answer to my question linked below?
It downloads precompiled shaders, but it does not precompile.
awesam May 30, 2020
Quoting: kokoko3k
Quoting: Laboratoryo_ni_NeilIs this new feature of the Linux Steam client the answer to my question linked below?
It downloads precompiled shaders, but it does not precompile.

There is a new "allow background processing of Vulkan shaders" option, that when enabled does appear to precompile :)
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