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Move over Steam Link, there's a Raspberry Pi app in town now

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Valve have today announced a Beta version of the Steam Link app for the Raspberry Pi which could prove to be interesting.

Since Valve are seemingly discontinuing their own Steam Link device, along with creating the new Steam Link applications for mobile devices, one for the Raspberry Pi does make a lot of sense. I imagine quite a number of people already own the device, so being able to stream your favourite Steam games to it is probably quite appealing.

Specifically, the Pi 3 and 3 B+ are supported running Raspbian Stretch (A Debian-based Linux distribution). It can be installed directly from a Valve-provided .deb file and in the comments on the announcement Valve also linked to a Debian source package (after someone said about an arch PKGBUILD).

I imagine the Raspberry Pi folks are pretty happy to see Valve do this too.

See the full info here.

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39 comments
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14 5 December 2018 at 1:11 am UTC
Appelsin
14
GrabbyI was looking for an excuse to buy a Raspberry Pi...now I have one
Yup. I might buy my first Pi because of this. I've borrowed friends' before, but I never bought one because I wouldn't have put it to use.

A bit off-topic, but it's rPi-relevant:
I was in the same boat, kinda. Had a Pi lying around, with no real use for it. Then a friend showed me Pi-hole. Network wide ad-block. Highly recommended.
This is a cool tool, but it doesn't look unique to the Pi. I have a rack-mount server with quite a few virtual machines in my house, so the Pi doesn't really have an advantage here either. Cool suggestion though. Maybe I'd run that in a VM.
Iperpido 5 December 2018 at 1:31 am UTC
Woah, great news!

I'm definitley going to try it out
Appelsin 5 December 2018 at 5:58 am UTC
[quote=14]
Appelsin
14A bit off-topic, but it's rPi-relevant:
I was in the same boat, kinda. Had a Pi lying around, with no real use for it. Then a friend showed me Pi-hole. Network wide ad-block. Highly recommended.
This is a cool tool, but it doesn't look unique to the Pi. I have a rack-mount server with quite a few virtual machines in my house, so the Pi doesn't really have an advantage here either. Cool suggestion though. Maybe I'd run that in a VM.

True, it's not something unique to the Pi, as there are many ways of achieving the same result, both via the router itself (at least LEDE/OpenWRT afaik) and a server/VM. But if we look at it from a general point-of-view, I would say the Pi does have an advantage in that it's very low cost, not to mention low effort. I also think "most" poeple are more likely to have an unused Pi lying around than having a server
MayeulC 5 December 2018 at 12:35 pm UTC
[quote=Appelsin]
14
Appelsin
14A bit off-topic, but it's rPi-relevant:
I was in the same boat, kinda. Had a Pi lying around, with no real use for it. Then a friend showed me Pi-hole. Network wide ad-block. Highly recommended.
This is a cool tool, but it doesn't look unique to the Pi. I have a rack-mount server with quite a few virtual machines in my house, so the Pi doesn't really have an advantage here either. Cool suggestion though. Maybe I'd run that in a VM.

True, it's not something unique to the Pi, as there are many ways of achieving the same result, both via the router itself (at least LEDE/OpenWRT afaik) and a server/VM. But if we look at it from a general point-of-view, I would say the Pi does have an advantage in that it's very low cost, not to mention low effort. I also think "most" poeple are more likely to have an unused Pi lying around than having a server

I'm extremely interested in pi-hole, especially the statistics page, otherwise I would just configure a DNS server myself. Unfortunately, last time I checked, there was only a curl | bash way of installing it (which is a big no-no), or a full distro install (and I want to keep my other services)... Ideally, I'd use a docker, but raspbian has quite outdated software (incl. kernel), so I think I'll go with Arch or Alpine.

Regarding Steam link, has anyone tried to run that executable under qemu on a x86 machine? That could be handy as well
slaapliedje 6 December 2018 at 2:15 am UTC
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[quote=MayeulC]
Appelsin
14
Appelsin
14A bit off-topic, but it's rPi-relevant:
I was in the same boat, kinda. Had a Pi lying around, with no real use for it. Then a friend showed me Pi-hole. Network wide ad-block. Highly recommended.
This is a cool tool, but it doesn't look unique to the Pi. I have a rack-mount server with quite a few virtual machines in my house, so the Pi doesn't really have an advantage here either. Cool suggestion though. Maybe I'd run that in a VM.

True, it's not something unique to the Pi, as there are many ways of achieving the same result, both via the router itself (at least LEDE/OpenWRT afaik) and a server/VM. But if we look at it from a general point-of-view, I would say the Pi does have an advantage in that it's very low cost, not to mention low effort. I also think "most" poeple are more likely to have an unused Pi lying around than having a server

I'm extremely interested in pi-hole, especially the statistics page, otherwise I would just configure a DNS server myself. Unfortunately, last time I checked, there was only a curl | bash way of installing it (which is a big no-no), or a full distro install (and I want to keep my other services)... Ideally, I'd use a docker, but raspbian has quite outdated software (incl. kernel), so I think I'll go with Arch or Alpine.

Regarding Steam link, has anyone tried to run that executable under qemu on a x86 machine? That could be handy as well
Not sure why you'd need it, since you can already stream over Steam on x86.

At that point, it's just where your storage is. Would be nice if I could just dump my Steam games on my NAS and stream to any system in my house.
Appelsin 11 December 2018 at 9:58 am UTC
MayeulCUnfortunately, last time I checked, there was only a curl | bash way of installing it (which is a big no-no)

Out of curiosity, why is installing via curl not recommended? I've seen this statmenet elsewhere, with regards to Pihole installation, but due to not being well-versed in the different methods of installing software on Linux, I'm curious as to why curl|bash isn't considered safe. Does it give elevated access for installation, or somesuch? Or that the source just isn't verified properly, like it would be via e.g. apt-get, with risk of malicious actors contaminating the source? And is the same true for e.g. wget?


Last edited by Appelsin at 11 December 2018 at 11:04 am UTC
tuubi 11 December 2018 at 6:09 pm UTC
Appelsin
MayeulCUnfortunately, last time I checked, there was only a curl | bash way of installing it (which is a big no-no)

Out of curiosity, why is installing via curl not recommended?
I don't think the command being curl is the important bit here, but the fact that they ask you to blindly execute a shell script you download from an internet URL. Of course, you can just download the script first and check it over before executing. I certainly would.
MayeulC 11 December 2018 at 10:03 pm UTC
Appelsin
MayeulCUnfortunately, last time I checked, there was only a curl | bash way of installing it (which is a big no-no)

Out of curiosity, why is installing via curl not recommended? I've seen this statmenet elsewhere, with regards to Pihole installation, but due to not being well-versed in the different methods of installing software on Linux, I'm curious as to why curl|bash isn't considered safe. Does it give elevated access for installation, or somesuch? Or that the source just isn't verified properly, like it would be via e.g. apt-get, with risk of malicious actors contaminating the source? And is the same true for e.g. wget?

There are a couple of issues I see with this:
  • executing a script without reading it first

  • bypassing the package manager

  • (somewhat rethorical): directly piping to sh



Let's get the last out of the way: since sh/bash/other shells read scripts line-by-line, the server can detect this, and serve a different script. In practice, this isn't really one of my worries.

While the first point has obvious security implications, I would trust you to only run a script from a known source (also note that http-not-s is prone to hijacking), and you then have to trust that the source hasn't been compromised.

Regarding the second one, the package manager and its (signed) packages mostly solves the above concerns about hijacking and trust. But also, on a practical point of view, I really prefer my package manager to handle the packages, for the following reasons:
  • easy uninstalling

  • easy listing of the packages for backup/restore purposes

  • easy upgrading, reinstalling, integrity verification, etc



I feel like the downsides are too many to bother, especially if you aren't even sure it will work on your distribution (without screwing anything up). I hope it's clearer

I can expand a bit on the security of package managers, which, while not bullet-proof, is quite good. Also, a lot of those scripts indeed ask for elevated privileges, and I have read a few that were actually quite badly written... If people bother writing one of those, they could at least provide a flatpak or an appimage instead, it isn't much harder :/


Last edited by MayeulC at 11 December 2018 at 10:14 pm UTC
Appelsin 14 December 2018 at 12:36 pm UTC
MayeulCsnipp

Thank you very much for the write-up It's always nice to have some basics of why no-no's are no-no's.

I'm still learning the ways of Linux-fu, and this right here hasn't really been covered (so far) in any of the CLI and Linux instructions/tutorials/whateveryouwannacallem, but when I give it any amount of thought it's really down to the good old "don't go around just adding and installing from some random repo you found on stackexchange" And even though I've only really used this for installing Pihole, it seems a good thing to be aware of.


It also seems that the Pi-hole guys are now addressing this elephant on their page:

QuoteOur code is completely open, but piping to bash can be dangerous. For a safer install, review the code and then run the installer locally.

But as you say, another, cleaner, form of distribution would be nice.
__
It seems they are currently working on a Snap package (I just looked it up).


Last edited by Appelsin at 14 December 2018 at 12:38 pm UTC
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