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SteamVR 1.8 is now out of Beta and with it, comes plenty of updates to the whole system with some big audio changes and some good sounding Linux fixes.

The biggest changes seem to be on the audio side of SteamVR with this release. By default, SteamVR will now select the correct audio input and output devices that actually belong to the active VR HMD. Valve said this works with the Index, Vive, Vive Pro, Rift and Rift S. OpenVR HMD drivers will also "in the near future" be able to tell SteamVR about audio devices too, so that's great. They've updated the settings UI too, to reflect this as you can override the audio input/output. Additionally, if you saw your audio settings vanish after updates, they fixed multiple problems there. There's plenty more, like SteamVR now actually restoring audio settings to their correct prior state, Index HMDs default to 40% audio instead of 100% when run for the first time, so newer users shouldn't get such a shock and so on.

If you saw flickering issues, this release might also help with that. The default colour is now black which should help avoid it on startup, plus there's a fix for flickering overlays with games that don't have a good framerate. Their Base Stations also saw a few adjustments, including improvements to Base Station 2.0 wireless updates which should be less flaky now.

On the Linux side, there's some really big sounding improvements. They managed to fix asynchronous reprojection hitches and stutters, thanks to many bug reports. Performance on lower-end Linux systems was turned up a notch, various crashes were solved, using 100% of one CPU core on recent NVIDIA drivers was squished, a ghost window opening for desktop webui panels should no longer happen along with an empty window on the desktop opening when SteamVR is started and so on.

Really great to see so many fixes for Linux Virtual Reality getting in. See the full release notes here.

For our readers who do have some VR device, has this big 1.8 made an improvement for you? Do let us know in the comments.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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19 comments
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Ehvis 6 November 2019 at 11:31 am UTC
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QuoteBy default, SteamVR will now select the correct audio input and output devices that actually belong to the active VR HMD.

Does this actually work for anybody on Linux? It sure doesn't for me. Also, the volume setting in the SteamVR overlay doesn't work for me when I manually switch the audio over.

Overall the experience seems a bit smoother. Still vsync issues with gsync enabled (on the main monitor) and reprojection is still a mess for me.

All in all this beta sequence has been messy. A lot of temporary were introduced that had to be fixed in the next release. The ghost windows being least bad. Having the actual VR overlay corrupted was particularly bad. I hope they'll be a little more careful going forward.
Termy 6 November 2019 at 12:55 pm UTC
Ehvis
QuoteBy default, SteamVR will now select the correct audio input and output devices that actually belong to the active VR HMD.

Does this actually work for anybody on Linux? It sure doesn't for me. Also, the volume setting in the SteamVR overlay doesn't work for me when I manually switch the audio over.

Nope, i have to switch manually as well.

Also, i still have massive reprojection issues in several titles (Project Cars 2, Talos VR, Senuas Sacrifice VR to name a few) - but i don't know if that might be attributed to the early state of 19.3 Navi drivers.

The Overlay doesn't work for me at all since some time, pretty annoying :/

And one other big elephant in the room is that there is no basestation power management on Linux, so you have to manually unplug them...


Last edited by Termy on 6 November 2019 at 12:57 pm UTC
Beamboom 6 November 2019 at 1:47 pm UTC
So, Valve, when oh WHEN will your Index be made available in northern Europe? I have been sitting here for a long time already throwing money on my screen! It doesn't help! Nothing happens!
peta77 6 November 2019 at 2:19 pm UTC
The audio device selection was the most annoying lately, so good to hear they work on that. Haven't tried the new version yet, so can't tell if it works. But at least they got it that it's an issue to be dealt with.
Morguldir 6 November 2019 at 2:19 pm UTC
BeamboomSo, Valve, when oh WHEN will your Index be made available in northern Europe? I have been sitting here for a long time already throwing money on my screen! It doesn't help! Nothing happens!

It's been available in Sweden, Finland and Denmark since launch
Eike 6 November 2019 at 3:19 pm UTC
MorguldirIt's been available in Sweden, Finland and Denmark since launch

I guess Valve left out Norway as they could afford more devices than Valve could possibly produce? ;)


Last edited by Eike on 6 November 2019 at 3:19 pm UTC
ghiuma 6 November 2019 at 4:28 pm UTC
I dream of a day when I can use my Oculus Rift on Linux...
peta77 6 November 2019 at 4:49 pm UTC
ghiumaI dream of a day when I can use my Oculus Rift on Linux...
I hope the Pimax will support Linux in the near future. Because right now the low resolution is a major downside of the stuff for me. The visual quality is pretty bad compared to a normal HD-Display.
wolfyrion 6 November 2019 at 6:39 pm UTC
I am thinking to get Valve Index VR as Xmas Present, I wonder if its worth it to use it under Linux.

Also I wonder how is VR under Linux , do we have enough titles or at the end is not worth it?
Zappor 6 November 2019 at 7:44 pm UTC
Wait, so is there async reprojection support for Linux at all? Is it the same hw requirements as on Windows or different? How can I tell? And what about motion smoothing?
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