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Recently at the Akademy 2022 conference, KDE's David Edmundson gave a talk on the Steam Deck and the ongoing work in KDE to improve things.

For those who don't know, the Steam Deck is a full Linux PC and includes a full KDE Plasma desktop mode you can use for whatever you want as well. Thanks to that, the KDE team have been working on improvements (with plenty already done) to make it a better experience.

The talk description:

The Steamdeck is one of the most interesting and excitement big deployments of KDE in recent times.

In this talk I will share how Plasma fits into the Steamdeck and what aspects of KDE made us the right choice for their new userbase. I will then share some of the projects that contractors Blue Systems have been doing for Valve and how the work there benefits not just the Steamdeck but improves the ecosystem for all Plasma users.

Finally we look at what this could mean for KDE on the whole as more vendors gain the same confidence in Plasma.

It's always interesting to hear what's being done and it seems quite a lot. Various changes were done for Valve including startup performance improvements, a robust systemd managed boot, microphone volume indicators, improving resource visualization and system monitors, big improvements to system settings, firewall configuration and much more.

Here's the full clip:

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Perhaps the biggest bit of info coming out of this is that according to Edmundson, Valve has shipped over a million.  At about 29:45 in the above video in response to a question on it Edmundson said "They have crossed over a million, and they're still processing back orders". Valve haven't actually given out any numbers in public on it yet and Edmundson was not speaking for Valve but still, the answer was pretty confident and clear.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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32 comments
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BlooAlien 3 Oct
I was beyond thrilled at the choice of my favorite desktop environment being chosen as the alternate interface on Steam Deck. I knew it could only mean good things for KDE going forward. It's nice to see that the KDE folks are thinking it's a good fit for them too.
grigi 3 Oct
I preordered a week ago, and they are already shipping mine to me. The backlog isn't that long anymore.
At least for a 256GB unit in the UK.
This is just the news I was asking about the other day, very glad to hear there is collaboration happening between KDE and Valve devs.
very happy to see this
Lightkey 3 Oct
For me, the most interesting information is that Valve hired YAC (Yet Another Contractor) to improve the Linux gaming experience, I've lost count at this point.
It's great to see this!

Now.. if I had one request about SteamOS, it's if Valve made it more like a proper Linux distribution immutable OS.

I mean in the same sense of like Fedora Silverblue, where you can layer packages etc in addition to flatpaks[1].

But it's a minor niggle since this is a specific-purpose device, it would just give a bit more freedom that's all.

[1] https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/fedora-silverblue/getting-started/
I absolutely love KDE and Plasma, and I'm glad Valve is helping to show them to a wider audience.
ticktok 3 Oct
I switched to linux full time last november, and specifically endevourOS, an arch based distro with KDE because of the steam deck.(I had always liked kde before). I knew that with the support of valve and the higher visibility it would improve and it 100% has. I hadn't realized how many of these things were valve related though. The thing in kde settings that shows which settings have been changed from default has been super useful for me, as well as the 'landing page'. Spectacles improvements are crazy good and I use it all the time. The startup speed is so ridiculously fast now, especially since I moved to an m.2 that I barely blink and it's done. The microphone volume indicators I didn't even notice were a new addition it just seemed so obvious that it should be there and work the way it does. The drag&drop from flatpaks is so seemless that it didn't even occur to me what had to happen in the backend to mitigate sandboxed file system. One thing that wasn't mentioned in the talk, but also pipewire and the maturation of that has been phenomenal, and I attribute a lot of that to the deck/valve.
It is interesting to see things I recently noticed/started using like GPU stats on System monitor and microphone indicator to be endorsed by Valve.
If only the GPU monitor wasn't broken on 5.26
Quoting: BlackBloodRumIt's great to see this!

Now.. if I had one request about SteamOS, it's if Valve made it more like a proper Linux distribution immutable OS.

I mean in the same sense of like Fedora Silverblue, where you can layer packages etc in addition to flatpaks[1].

But it's a minor niggle since this is a specific-purpose device, it would just give a bit more freedom that's all.

[1] https://docs.fedoraproject.org/en-US/fedora-silverblue/getting-started/

Did you see Liam's post about Distrobox? I know it isn't built into SteamOS but it does address your concerns I think.
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