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Keith Packard has been consulting for Valve for the past year to get Virtual Reality devices hooked up and properly working on Linux. Take a look at his presentation from LinuxConfAu 2018 [Official Site].

It's all pretty technical as expected, but all very interesting too. It sounds like a massive amount of work, since they've had to come up with a way to have VR devices treated as a different type of display and not have your normal windowing system cause issues. The most important thing to note, is that he said at the end of the video "Virtual Reality in Linux is working great, and it should be coming to your desktop pretty soon"—nice!

If you're interested in the nitty-gritty details of getting VR to work properly on Linux, you can see the video below:

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Can't wait to have everything in place so Linux can be a good platform for VR games and applications.

One day, I will own one, but damn they're expensive.

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51 comments
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Beamboom 28 January 2018 at 10:55 pm UTC
Will 2018 be the year I finally take the plunge and get a VR set to my Linux rig?

Here's hoping...
beniwtv 28 January 2018 at 11:26 pm UTC
Yep, SteamVR on Linux is getting very good. Some issues need to be fixed, but it's slowly getting there.
wleoncio 29 January 2018 at 6:32 am UTC
So they are working on both Vive and Rift compatibility?


Last edited by wleoncio at 29 January 2018 at 6:32 am UTC
TheRiddick 29 January 2018 at 6:40 am UTC
2018 is the year of expensive GPU's, like double to triple launch day prices in some places. A tough year for VR adoption I think. I'm sure the HMD makers will feel that. Will be surprised if we see any new top end cards in 2018, AMD also not interested in competing with 1080ti until 2019, IMO its a mess!


Last edited by TheRiddick at 29 January 2018 at 6:42 am UTC
TheSHEEEP 29 January 2018 at 8:20 am UTC
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Quite honestly, I still see VR as little more than a gimmick.

I can see absolutely no breakthrough for a tech that requires you to have a rather clunky and heavy (even the lightweight ones) device on your head all the time.
And don't even get me started on most of the games made specifically for VR. Horrible stuff. Remove the VR aspect from them and what you're left with is games that wouldn't even sell on mobile because of simplicity and bad design.

With the improving tech and otherwise ease of use, I can see it as a gimmick with a somewhat increasing audience, though.
But they way some people jump at it as if it was THE FUTURE... lol

Reminds me a little of the Wii or Kinect when it came out.
Forget about those pesky controllers and keyboards! Right.
beniwtv 29 January 2018 at 8:48 am UTC
TheSHEEEPQuite honestly, I still see VR as little more than a gimmick.

I can see absolutely no breakthrough for a tech that requires you to have a rather clunky and heavy (even the lightweight ones) device on your head all the time.

Quite honestly, the Vive is not that heavy, I don't even notice it when I'm immersed in the game. You do notice more the fact that the current Vive does not have good peripheral vision, or the cable behind your back. The new Vive version will even be lighter, and wireless, so I really don't see that as an issue. Future versions will be even lighter I would suppose.

TheSHEEEPAnd don't even get me started on most of the games made specifically for VR. Horrible stuff. Remove the VR aspect from them and what you're left with is games that wouldn't even sell on mobile because of simplicity and bad design.

If we take out the "specifically made for VR" games (which I don't think is the best example of VR), there are some really good games for VR out there - Serious Sam / Talos Principle / Everspace for Linux, Lone Echo / Doom 3: BFG Edition with VR Mod / Star Trek Bridge Crew / Fallout 4 / Elite Dangerous for Windows, Resident Evil 7 for Playstation VR, just to name a few.

True that there are a lots of "tech demos" out there that aren't real games, and that the number of good VR titles is still low compared to normal games (even more so on Linux), but it's far from not having any good games.
lucifertdark 29 January 2018 at 8:54 am UTC
Well that just shows what he "the expert" knows about the subject of when it's likely to hit most people's desktops, for the majority it's NEVER going to happen, not at the current prices they're charging.
mike44 29 January 2018 at 9:21 am UTC
Many devices are already cheap. And with OpenXR we will get lots. I'll get later this year a device for X-Plane, but Alien Isolation and alike must be huge fun as well.
Beamboom 29 January 2018 at 9:31 am UTC
lucifertdarkWell that just shows what he "the expert" knows about the subject of when it's likely to hit most people's desktops, for the majority it's NEVER going to happen, not at the current prices they're charging.

Have you checked the second hand market? Here in Norway the Vive sets are really starting to get down to a fairly OK level now. The required upgrade of the PC will be far more expensive than the VR kit itself.
lucifertdark 29 January 2018 at 11:05 am UTC
Beamboom
lucifertdarkWell that just shows what he "the expert" knows about the subject of when it's likely to hit most people's desktops, for the majority it's NEVER going to happen, not at the current prices they're charging.

Have you checked the second hand market? Here in Norway the Vive sets are really starting to get down to a fairly OK level now. The required upgrade of the PC will be far more expensive than the VR kit itself.
As it happens, no I haven't, I will do though, I'll be happy to be proven wrong.
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