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At the recent Open Source Summit Europe 2023, Alberto Garcia a software engineer at Igalia did a talk covering Valve, Steam Deck, SteamOS and how it all helps Linux as a whole.

For people who understand Linux and open source, a lot of this would be pretty obvious but it's always nice to have a refresher from people who work with Valve - talking about how good it is to have all the Valve funding, and how having SteamOS Linux shipping on widely available consumer devices like the Steam Deck is great for Linux in general.

Giving a nice overview reminding people that SteamOS is actually a pretty standard Linux distribution based on Arch Linux, with some customizations and a full KDE Plasma desktop mode. It also goes over: Wine and Valve's funding of Proton working with CodeWeavers, Valve's funding work for Linux kernel improvements like the new futex API, work to solve filename case sensitivity in ext4 to extend it to support case insensitive like Windows (so games can work properly through Wine / Proton), various work on graphics drivers like AMD RADV, the ACO shader compiler, Vulkan Video extensions, advanced colour and HDR, better handling of GPU resets, Gamescope, supporting Flatpak by default on SteamOS and much more.

The main overall point is that Valve contributes a lot, it's all open source and Valve's philosophy is "upstream everything" which improves Linux for everyone everywhere.

The full talk can be seen below with the Steam Deck / SteamOS bit starting at 4:12:07 and ending 4:47:00.

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The event page is here.

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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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Bumadar Sep 22
I am glad valve choose to work with codeweavers, they did and still do a lot for wine but are often forgotten and feels crossover is mentioned to little :)
mattaraxia Sep 22
This talk feels like the most obvious thing in the world that should go without saying, and a thing that can't be said enough. It is crazy what Valve is accomplishing here, and even crazier how they are doing it. They have been very good Open Source/Linux citizens, they are a great model for other companies to follow.
I am very thankful for Valve's contributions. They have made a big impact.

I do worry a little that they may go to the dark side some day. Google was once a "champion" of linux (chrome-os, android) and that didn't work out so well...

For now Valve seems to be doing all the right things. I hope it stays that way!
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