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While there's a huge focus on Flatpak and Flathub thanks to the Steam Deck shipping with it out of the box, Canonical on the other hand continue with their own Snap packaging and they have a Steam Snap in testing for Ubuntu (and other distros, since Snap also works elsewhere).

In a fresh introduction post on the Ubuntu Linux Discourse forum (thanks OMGUbuntu), it outlines how they're now actually "going all in on the gaming experience on Ubuntu and we’ve started building out a team dedicated to working on just that". Part of that is reducing the need for PPAs and other solutions, and their focus now is on Steam.

The call for testing has now begun on their Steam Snap package which gives you everything you need for Native Linux gaming and for Proton too. It's early days for the Steam Snap so expect issues but they said they will "iterate quickly, and respond to this feedback" on it.

On top of that we can expect more gaming on Ubuntu Linux improvements to come "such as providing easy ways to get more bleeding edge components like Mesa drivers, and even newer kernels and proprietary drivers" — that all sounds great to me.

It's not actually live yet but once it will be, I'll update the post here with instructions they give, which they will also post in the link above. Update: Canonical has now done an additional blog post, going over the instructions. Either install it from the website / Snap Store or via terminal: snap install steam --beta

With the blog post, Canonical once again reiterated their plan to improve Ubuntu gaming mentioning that "the Ubuntu Desktop team is getting down to work planning for the future, and improving the gaming experience features heavily in our priorities (and hiring plan!)". They go on to mention how "serious gamers" continue using Windows primarily, which we all know as Steam puts Linux at about 1% currently (see our Steam Tracker) but they hope by "improving the gaming experience, and the Steam experience in particular, we can ensure that Ubuntu can become a genuine daily driver for gamers".

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Meta, Steam, Ubuntu
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scaine 29 Apr
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That's a great turnaround from a few years ago, when the threatened removal of 32-bit libraries would have crippled the O/S from a gaming perspective.

A better gaming experience in what is still an incredibly popular "entry" distro is superb news.
damarrin 29 Apr
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I'd be happier with snaps if at least they started faster. 10 secs for FF from an NVMe drive, 40 seconds from a spinning drive in a recent Ubuntu is a joke.


Last edited by damarrin on 30 April 2022 at 7:33 am UTC
Perhaps Valve going with Arch for SteamOS lit a fire under Canonical. Good!

Also..

QuoteOn top of that we can expect more gaming on Ubuntu Linux improvements to come "such as providing easy ways to get more bleeding edge components like Mesa drivers, and even newer kernels and proprietary drivers"

This sounds very very exciting, and has great potential for positive impacts downstream to related distros such as Mint as well. One consistent issue with Ubuntu and Ubuntu based distros has been, while it's a great basis for a distro and very stable, it takes far far too long for updates for things such as drivers and kernels to reach Ubuntu. It's probably the only real major downside of Ubuntu based distros, so addressing that would definitely make Ubuntu far more competitive to Arch based distros again.
fagnerln 29 Apr
Quoting: scaineThat's a great turnaround from a few years ago, when the threatened removal of 32-bit libraries would have crippled the O/S from a gaming perspective.

A better gaming experience in what is still an incredibly popular "entry" distro is superb news.

I think that the idea of removing 32 bits was always to push snaps. I agree that 32bits could be removed in favor to sandboxing, but that time they didn't have anything to show.

If they had a Steam Snap that time, things would be different.
Koopacabras 29 Apr
Flatpak already has several issues, I think, with Proton, most of them fixed but still... how is this any different?
tamodolo 29 Apr
Fedora 36 is the first Linux release that actually solves input delay to be on pair with windows. They did this unintentionaly as it was an issue related to touchpads. I am extremely happy by this fix as FINALY FINALY Linux is starting to move forward instead of just doing sidesteps and go anywhere.
CyborgZeta 29 Apr
As someone who uses the Steam Flatpak on his EndeavourOS install, I would rather Canonical contribute to that and help make it better instead of doing their own thing and making a Steam Snap package (which, let's be honest, likely no one has asked for). Of course, Canonical is going to do the latter.
TheSHEEEP 29 Apr
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Quoting: gradyvuckovicPerhaps Valve going with Arch for SteamOS lit a fire under Canonical. Good!
Definitely my impression.
akselmo 29 Apr
Meanwhile I am not into snaps, for people who simply don't care about packaging method as long as it works, this is great!

Whatever makes gaming on linux easier, and ubuntu has always been pretty easy to recommend for newbies.
Remember the time basically every major application had a .deb package available and most the disk space was available for games and data and stuff, because applications where small and started nearly instantly and... actually...worked...?

I mean seriously, what is the goal of this? To accelerate climate change by being intentionally wasteful? To incite social unrest by creating an atmosphere comparable to a traffic jam whenever one opens an application?
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