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Another SteamVR release is up, further improving the VR experience on Linux

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Valve continue to move at a rapid pace to improve SteamVR across all platforms, especially with the Valve Index being so new there's plenty of teething issues to address. This is not a beta release, this is an official release of SteamVR.

Something that has been posted across the web (and emailed to us), is an issue with the Valve Index Controller thumbsticks. Like a lot of thumbsticks, you can click it in to perform some sort of action. However, it seems you're not able to click it in all the time and in certain positions it won't click or won't register it has been clicked. To the point that VR game developers have been working to remove the need for it. So what have Valve done? They added this ability:

Added a setting in joystick modes that allows thumbsticks to consider themselves clicked if they are deflected more than a threshold amount. This lets a user click in the center, move a thumbstick to the edge and release the physical click, but still keep the thumbstick clicked as far as the game is concerned.

Well, that's one way to attempt to address some sort of hardware issue.

There's plenty more updates that come with the SteamVR 1.6.10 update too like: automatic firmware recovery if updates were interrupted or failed, numerous crashing bugs were fixed with SteamVR, Lighthouse has seen improved device discovery to reduce the impact of misbehaving USB drivers and devices, there's a fix for some Valve Index users experiencing Base Station Power Management intermittency, the Valve Index should now have a more neutral (less-blue) white point, improved controller binding options for legacy applications, improved startup reliability for users of all headsets and so on.

On the Linux side, these fixes and improvements made it into this release, so hopefully the Linux SteamVR experience will be a little less finicky:

  • Fixed Index HMD always notifying a firmware update is available.
  • Fixed being unable to re-start SteamVR after vrserver is killed/crashes (aka LfMutexUnlockRobust crashes.)
  • Fixed vrwebhelper crashing the Steam client.
  • Fixed 'psychedelic' colours in the Steam client caused by exiting SteamVR.
  • Fixed 'Restart SteamVR' prompts exiting SteamVR but not restarting it.
  • Fixed various vrcompositor crashes.
  • Fixed 'ioctl(GFEATURE): Broken Pipe' spam in stdout.
  • Adjusted basic dialogs during startup to use the host's zenity program when available.

See the full update notes here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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21 comments
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minimaul 5 August 2019 at 9:28 am UTC
I've been using an Index on Linux for a week or two now. It's been a pretty good experience so far - my thumbsticks are fine though

It's great to see Valve pushing VR on Linux (Oculus don't care at all) and quite a lot of games run between native releases and Proton.
Ehvis 5 August 2019 at 9:49 am UTC
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Somehow I feel the whole thumb stick click is blown out of proportion. It is true that the thumb sticks don't appear clickable when they are moved too far from the centre position. But clicking a thumb stick is not the most comfortable thing to do in any controller. Especially when you have to keep control over the position. So to me it seems like a bad idea in general to have an interface that requires it.

So far I've mostly been working out to use things in the most optimal way. I had a lot of issues with tearing. It was suggested that it was related to having a GSYNC monitor, but it didn't get better if I disabled it completely. However, it now appears that this was related to reprojection. Turning it off eliminated the tearing and gives me a much smoother experience in general. I just need to make sure that the rendering scale is appropriate for the type of game to keep fps high. So no 150% rendering for Talos Principle VR. Now if I can only figure out how to pick up those tetris pieces.
Beamboom 5 August 2019 at 11:01 am UTC
Come to daddy. Index. Come to daddy.
Sil_el_mot 5 August 2019 at 11:13 am UTC
EhvisSomehow I feel the whole thumb stick click is blown out of proportion.

i myself have no click-feeling at all at any edges. it is quiet uncomfortable with games that need it to run, and these are quiet a number.
i bought the controllers for 300€ so i expect them to work for this price.
Ehvis 5 August 2019 at 12:15 pm UTC
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Sil_el_mot
EhvisSomehow I feel the whole thumb stick click is blown out of proportion.

i myself have no click-feeling at all at any edges. it is quiet uncomfortable with games that need it to run, and these are quiet a number.
i bought the controllers for 300€ so i expect them to work for this price.

I know it doesn't work. And frankly, considering the geometry of those sticks, I can't see how you could ever make that work properly.

My point is that it shouldn't be necessary. Pushing on thumb sticks was annoying on xbox controllers and I never used it because it was uncomfortable. On the small sticks on the Index controllers it is even more uncomfortable and I don't ever want to be put into a situation where I have to click and move it. If that happens, I consider it a software problem that needs to be fixed.
Sil_el_mot 5 August 2019 at 12:47 pm UTC
Yeah. You are right. Unfortunately there are a lot of games that still need this. Sadly the fix from valve also don't eliminate the need to click.
Some games like onward eliminated the need of clicking the tumbstick for running and just register the push of the stick to the very end of its range as running.
Corben 5 August 2019 at 3:17 pm UTC
To the Linux Index users: does the microphone of the index work for you? I mean does it produce any amplitude on the input? It's detected for me, but it doesn't record any voice. That's why I now went for an AntLion Modmic wireless...
Shmerl 5 August 2019 at 3:28 pm UTC
Why are they pushing SteamVR instead of let's say backing Monado/OpenHMD? Weren't Valve one of the major contributors to OpenXR?


Last edited by Shmerl at 5 August 2019 at 3:28 pm UTC
Ehvis 5 August 2019 at 3:58 pm UTC
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ShmerlWhy are they pushing SteamVR instead of let's say backing Monado/OpenHMD? Weren't Valve one of the major contributors to OpenXR?

Not exactly the same thing. SteamVR involves more than just the hardware interface. I wouldn't be surprised if SteamVR started using OpenXR at some point.
Shmerl 5 August 2019 at 4:01 pm UTC
EhvisNot exactly the same thing. SteamVR involves more than just the hardware interface. I wouldn't be surprised if SteamVR started using OpenXR at some point.

From what I've seen before, Valve proposed something they called OpenVR, which was a precursor of OpenXR. SteamVR is an implementation of OpenVR. So if that's the case, they could switch to Monado, which is implementation of OpenXR instead, and use something like OpenHMD for their hardware support.
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