Support us on Patreon to keep GamingOnLinux alive. This ensures we have no timed articles and no paywalls. Just good, fresh content! Alternatively, you can donate through PayPal, Flattr, Liberapay or Buy us a Coffee. You can also buy games using our partner links for GOG and Humble Store.

Seems Valve do intend to go back to SteamOS at some point

By - | Views: 37,536

SteamOS, the Valve-made Linux distribution that was originally for the failed Steam Machine initiative has gradually vanished into the sidelines but it seems it won't be forever.

A while ago, we did see indications that Valve would work on SteamOS 3.0 "Clockwerk" back in 2018 but they've still been very quiet on it since apart from a few minor package updates to SteamOS 2 "Brewmaster".

Valve have been extremely active on other fronts though of course. As a quick bit of history: for Linux they put out Steam Play Proton, the ACO shader compiler for AMD, this new Steam Linux Runtime container system, the micro-compositor Gamescope and there's more with people working on all sorts under contract for Valve to improve Linux.

Still, SteamOS though, what are Valve going to do with it? Sounds like when they go back to it eventually, it might not be Debian-based. In a GitHub issue on the SteamOS page about it "languishing", another user replied with an email from Valve developer Pierre-Loup A. Griffais:

Yes, definitely lots of work still going on. Right now the focus is on core technology itself rather than distributing it, but we intend to get back to that in the future. I wouldn't expect much more movement on Debian-based Brewmaster at this point, however.

"Debian-based Brewmaster"—huh? Speculation here, but that sounds like they might be looking at a different base for whatever SteamOS 3.0 turns into.

One day then, we can clearly expect to see some movement on SteamOS once Valve get all the pieces of the Linux gaming puzzle into a state where they're truly happy with properly pushing it again. Perhaps, this will be after we finally find out what the heck Steam Cloud Gaming(#1, #2) turns out to be? Whenever we find out, we will of course let you know.

Thanks for the tag, mdeguzis.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
42 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more here.
About the author -
author picture
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.
See more from me
80 comments
Page: «6/8»
  Go to:

dubigrasu 25 March 2020 at 9:57 pm UTC
Spanner_Man
WorMzyReally? Debian is the gold standard for stability. The problem is that people want a stable OS with a "bleeding edge" graphics stack, and that's where the house of cards falls over.

Arch can provide the bleeding edge, but it requires that YOU (the end user) know what you're doing.

Considering "bleeding edge" is a 16xx series nVidia which is around the $350AUD price range or needing to compile mesa (for newer AMD gfx) to have working on debian based distros is a pain in the you know where compared with Arch there is already an AUR ready to use.

Remember in order to appeal to current gamers you need to support newer hardware to those that are getting sick to death dealing with Win10 issues. Debian based distros unfortunately fall too short of that mark.

Look don't get me wrong, I have a laptop that has a GTX 960m and it more or less works out of the box with any deb based distro. But anything new in the last ~ two years debian considers "bleeding edge".
Being Debian based by itself wasn't a problem for SteamOS (well, before they gave up on it), they periodically provided new kernels and drivers.
elmapul 25 March 2020 at 11:00 pm UTC
TemplarGRbut it is better than freezing the whole software base for 2 years just to make sure lazy devs can write their code and work without them having to modify it in the future.

i think you didnt understand the issue here.

its not about being an lazy developer, but having to chose between add an new feature and rewrite your program to fix issues caused by thirdy party code.

i dont give a fuck what python version my distro is using, if none of the programs that i run are running the lastest version of python, they dont need the new features to do what they do, they should not upgrade.

but i do give a fuck when i try to run an effect on gimp, and it simply dont work, breaking my workflow from:
"now, i need to aply the effect x, then y, they z, to make the photo montage i need to do for my work"
to: now i need to waste 3 hours figuring out why the effect X dont work anymore, 2 hours fixing it, 3 hours fixing the z effect that broke after i fixed the x effect, and... what are the steps i was going to follow to make my work anyway? i cant even remember it anymore!

that is why we need to keep things working for 2 years, imagine rewrite the entire blender every 2 years, do you REALLY want to put that work upon yourselft?
i'm not saying you gonna need rewrite everything, but good luck figuring out what broke (testing everything to make sure nothing broke) and why it broke (when its not even your fault, but the fault of some thirdy partie)

not to mention games, windows has at least 10 years of backward compatibility and 90% of the marketshare.
imagine convincing developers to port every library that an game rely on to linux, then port the game itself, only to break stuff 2 years later, with our current marketshare?
or imagine convincing players to game on linux, increassing our marketshare, only to then they figure out that they cant play anymore any game that launched 2 years ago, because those game developers didnt bother to update it?

no one will spend 200 millions of dolars to make an game, than rewrite it every 2 years to make sure its still working, they dont do that on windows, years later most of the profit was already made and any unexpected maintaince may not pay itself.
if developers had to rewrite the games every few years to make sure its still working, they wouldnt make games as amibitous as they do, they would have to scale down their games budget to deal with maintaince cost, the entire industry would evolve slower.
and why? so we can play on linux? if windows were like this, or linux where the most used on desktop and worked like this, those games would be console exclusives already, we would lost completely the most open platform to play games (pc) just because we want an open operating system to run on that platform.
F.Ultra 26 March 2020 at 1:45 am UTC
elmapul
TemplarGRbut it is better than freezing the whole software base for 2 years just to make sure lazy devs can write their code and work without them having to modify it in the future.

i think you didnt understand the issue here.

its not about being an lazy developer, but having to chose between add an new feature and rewrite your program to fix issues caused by thirdy party code.

i dont give a fuck what python version my distro is using, if none of the programs that i run are running the lastest version of python, they dont need the new features to do what they do, they should not upgrade.

but i do give a fuck when i try to run an effect on gimp, and it simply dont work, breaking my workflow from:
"now, i need to aply the effect x, then y, they z, to make the photo montage i need to do for my work"
to: now i need to waste 3 hours figuring out why the effect X dont work anymore, 2 hours fixing it, 3 hours fixing the z effect that broke after i fixed the x effect, and... what are the steps i was going to follow to make my work anyway? i cant even remember it anymore!

that is why we need to keep things working for 2 years, imagine rewrite the entire blender every 2 years, do you REALLY want to put that work upon yourselft?
i'm not saying you gonna need rewrite everything, but good luck figuring out what broke (testing everything to make sure nothing broke) and why it broke (when its not even your fault, but the fault of some thirdy partie)

not to mention games, windows has at least 10 years of backward compatibility and 90% of the marketshare.
imagine convincing developers to port every library that an game rely on to linux, then port the game itself, only to break stuff 2 years later, with our current marketshare?
or imagine convincing players to game on linux, increassing our marketshare, only to then they figure out that they cant play anymore any game that launched 2 years ago, because those game developers didnt bother to update it?

no one will spend 200 millions of dolars to make an game, than rewrite it every 2 years to make sure its still working, they dont do that on windows, years later most of the profit was already made and any unexpected maintaince may not pay itself.
if developers had to rewrite the games every few years to make sure its still working, they wouldnt make games as amibitous as they do, they would have to scale down their games budget to deal with maintaince cost, the entire industry would evolve slower.
and why? so we can play on linux? if windows were like this, or linux where the most used on desktop and worked like this, those games would be console exclusives already, we would lost completely the most open platform to play games (pc) just because we want an open operating system to run on that platform.

Exactly! And even on Windows with their "10 years of backward compatibility" enterprises still spend months of testing their applications on new releases of Windows 10 before they decide to support that new release or not (which e.g is why so many enterprises where still on Windows 7 for so many years).
ProfessorKaos64 26 March 2020 at 3:17 am UTC
Yep that was me with the reply. I've always been pretty gung-ho about this idea of Valve's so it was nice to have some sort of update.
TemplarGR 26 March 2020 at 5:34 am UTC
elmapul
TemplarGRbut it is better than freezing the whole software base for 2 years just to make sure lazy devs can write their code and work without them having to modify it in the future.

i think you didnt understand the issue here.

its not about being an lazy developer, but having to chose between add an new feature and rewrite your program to fix issues caused by thirdy party code.

i dont give a fuck what python version my distro is using, if none of the programs that i run are running the lastest version of python, they dont need the new features to do what they do, they should not upgrade.

but i do give a fuck when i try to run an effect on gimp, and it simply dont work, breaking my workflow from:
"now, i need to aply the effect x, then y, they z, to make the photo montage i need to do for my work"
to: now i need to waste 3 hours figuring out why the effect X dont work anymore, 2 hours fixing it, 3 hours fixing the z effect that broke after i fixed the x effect, and... what are the steps i was going to follow to make my work anyway? i cant even remember it anymore!

that is why we need to keep things working for 2 years, imagine rewrite the entire blender every 2 years, do you REALLY want to put that work upon yourselft?
i'm not saying you gonna need rewrite everything, but good luck figuring out what broke (testing everything to make sure nothing broke) and why it broke (when its not even your fault, but the fault of some thirdy partie)

not to mention games, windows has at least 10 years of backward compatibility and 90% of the marketshare.
imagine convincing developers to port every library that an game rely on to linux, then port the game itself, only to break stuff 2 years later, with our current marketshare?
or imagine convincing players to game on linux, increassing our marketshare, only to then they figure out that they cant play anymore any game that launched 2 years ago, because those game developers didnt bother to update it?

no one will spend 200 millions of dolars to make an game, than rewrite it every 2 years to make sure its still working, they dont do that on windows, years later most of the profit was already made and any unexpected maintaince may not pay itself.
if developers had to rewrite the games every few years to make sure its still working, they wouldnt make games as amibitous as they do, they would have to scale down their games budget to deal with maintaince cost, the entire industry would evolve slower.
and why? so we can play on linux? if windows were like this, or linux where the most used on desktop and worked like this, those games would be console exclusives already, we would lost completely the most open platform to play games (pc) just because we want an open operating system to run on that platform.

No one needs to rewritte their whole game/app every 2 years because of library compatibility. Can't you use proprietary games from 2015 in Archlinux 2020 and Ubuntu 20.04? You can.... Perhaps by installing a compatibility library or two, but you can. The breakage is not that extreme, it is just that developers want:

1) To never have to pay attention to code they released 3 or 4 years ago. Only proper developers maintain their games for decades, like Blizzard, for example... The rest do not bugfix their stuff after a year or two, and they don't even bother to provide trivial fixes to make their game compatible with newer versions of OSes... THAT is lazyness. You can't expect to freeze the OS in place just to placate lazy game devs who aren't responsible for their products

2) To not use good developing practices so their software does not break easily and is easier to maintain. They are sloppy. Again, you see like proper devs like Blizzard, could have even 10 or 20 year old games run on modern OSes without much trouble, because they were decently coded to begin with....

Take for example Divinity Original Sin Enhanced Edition on Linux, a very easy example to demonstrate this. The game by default does not run on MESA AMD drivers, even though it should, since the drivers support its feature set. It refuses to run with MESA. But if you install a shim manually you can make it work just fine, it is trivial work done in 1 minute by the user. Still, why not just update their damn game and do it automatically, without forcing the user to compile a shim? Because they are lazy, that is why.

And it is for the same reason some devs prefer the "stability" of Debian. They want to DUMP & FORGET their code.
dvd 26 March 2020 at 8:39 am UTC
I find the constant Debian bashing quite curious. None of the "linux" distros are in a position like windows, where they essentially can do whatever and tell devs to adapt or GTFO. Devs have to adapt to it no matter what. On the other hand, the vocal linux users usually prefer the "bleeding edge" distros, and while that's perfectly okay, it is also probable they don't really need that version of every package, but rahter a handful of packages.

On the side of the enterprises, it's understandable that they want something that just works (since these programs are not open, they can't get fixes "for free" even for the trivial bugs), and for that goal i think debian or ubuntu works most similarly to windows (updates). That's why most games target these distros.

I fully agree with the commenters that say the linux compatibility is up to the companies too. I too have many games from 2010-2015 that run just fine almost 10 years later, needing no library downgrades (or manual compilation). I think most people here know that which devs or porters make those games by now.

More to the topic of SteamOS i think this just means they will roll out a new release sometime. The work on the VR stuff and their usual work on the drivers probably merit that too.


Last edited by dvd on 26 March 2020 at 8:41 am UTC
Hori 26 March 2020 at 10:44 am UTC
Mohandevir
Hori
AllocHaving a full-featured open source "console" desktop from Steam would be cool imo. So not only Steam's BPM but something that resembles consoles more. Supporting streaming services in the interface (Amazon, Netflix, Spotify etc ...), playing videos from the local network, maybe support for Plex. So that you could really use that thing as a TV box and not have to hop around different interfaces for everything but games. Maybe they'll get there ...

Either way I wouldn't care about the underlying distribution ... the SteamOS thing (for me) should just work as-is, I wouldn't use that for desktops anyway.

I never understand why people want Netflix and other apps like that in Steam / consoles... don't their TVs already have those apps? Why would you fire up your pc/console just to watch a movie when you can do it straight from the TV, using the TV remote instead of a gamepad?

The thing is, many Smart-TVs are highly insecure with far and few between security updates, if ever. For this reason, I avoid using them, as much as possible, and replace the "smart" part by a TV-Box that gets maintained regularly.
I don't expect there to be too many people that do that. People would prefer using 1 TV remote instead of two, or instead of a gamepad. It's also that most people don't even know about TV boxes.

IDK personally I think TV boxes are very useful in the context of non-smart TVs, or TVs that are very outdated (e.g. early smart TVs from a few years ago that have very old Android versions).
On the other hand, I kind of dislike TV Boxes because they use Android, and I find it to be a terrible and very buggy TV OS. (However they do have a lot more apps than others)

___

Also, for example, if you use the TV's YouTube, you don't have to worry about the game not supporting "alt-tabbing", as your game never really looses focus from your PC's perspective. But I don't expect this to be a real problem, since the majority of people don't play old games, and modern ones, and even many old ones, alt-tab just fine.


Last edited by Hori on 26 March 2020 at 10:47 am UTC
Hori 26 March 2020 at 10:51 am UTC
TemplarGR
elmapul
TemplarGRbut it is better than freezing the whole software base for 2 years just to make sure lazy devs can write their code and work without them having to modify it in the future.

i think you didnt understand the issue here.

its not about being an lazy developer, but having to chose between add an new feature and rewrite your program to fix issues caused by thirdy party code.

i dont give a fuck what python version my distro is using, if none of the programs that i run are running the lastest version of python, they dont need the new features to do what they do, they should not upgrade.

but i do give a fuck when i try to run an effect on gimp, and it simply dont work, breaking my workflow from:
"now, i need to aply the effect x, then y, they z, to make the photo montage i need to do for my work"
to: now i need to waste 3 hours figuring out why the effect X dont work anymore, 2 hours fixing it, 3 hours fixing the z effect that broke after i fixed the x effect, and... what are the steps i was going to follow to make my work anyway? i cant even remember it anymore!

that is why we need to keep things working for 2 years, imagine rewrite the entire blender every 2 years, do you REALLY want to put that work upon yourselft?
i'm not saying you gonna need rewrite everything, but good luck figuring out what broke (testing everything to make sure nothing broke) and why it broke (when its not even your fault, but the fault of some thirdy partie)

not to mention games, windows has at least 10 years of backward compatibility and 90% of the marketshare.
imagine convincing developers to port every library that an game rely on to linux, then port the game itself, only to break stuff 2 years later, with our current marketshare?
or imagine convincing players to game on linux, increassing our marketshare, only to then they figure out that they cant play anymore any game that launched 2 years ago, because those game developers didnt bother to update it?

no one will spend 200 millions of dolars to make an game, than rewrite it every 2 years to make sure its still working, they dont do that on windows, years later most of the profit was already made and any unexpected maintaince may not pay itself.
if developers had to rewrite the games every few years to make sure its still working, they wouldnt make games as amibitous as they do, they would have to scale down their games budget to deal with maintaince cost, the entire industry would evolve slower.
and why? so we can play on linux? if windows were like this, or linux where the most used on desktop and worked like this, those games would be console exclusives already, we would lost completely the most open platform to play games (pc) just because we want an open operating system to run on that platform.

No one needs to rewritte their whole game/app every 2 years because of library compatibility. Can't you use proprietary games from 2015 in Archlinux 2020 and Ubuntu 20.04? You can.... Perhaps by installing a compatibility library or two, but you can. The breakage is not that extreme, it is just that developers want:

1) To never have to pay attention to code they released 3 or 4 years ago. Only proper developers maintain their games for decades, like Blizzard, for example... The rest do not bugfix their stuff after a year or two, and they don't even bother to provide trivial fixes to make their game compatible with newer versions of OSes... THAT is lazyness. You can't expect to freeze the OS in place just to placate lazy game devs who aren't responsible for their products

2) To not use good developing practices so their software does not break easily and is easier to maintain. They are sloppy. Again, you see like proper devs like Blizzard, could have even 10 or 20 year old games run on modern OSes without much trouble, because they were decently coded to begin with....

Take for example Divinity Original Sin Enhanced Edition on Linux, a very easy example to demonstrate this. The game by default does not run on MESA AMD drivers, even though it should, since the drivers support its feature set. It refuses to run with MESA. But if you install a shim manually you can make it work just fine, it is trivial work done in 1 minute by the user. Still, why not just update their damn game and do it automatically, without forcing the user to compile a shim? Because they are lazy, that is why.

And it is for the same reason some devs prefer the "stability" of Debian. They want to DUMP & FORGET their code.
And this is why most people don't use, or want to use Linux. Because it requires the user to do a lot of things to make things work.
While it may be fun for us, it isn't for most people.

Games should just work. Try to think what a mess it would be if we had to do individual fixes just to watch movies.

I also highly disagree with Blizzard being a "proper" developer. It's a very bad one. It may have been in the past, but all those people are mostly gone, and the new ones reflect the corrupted nature of what the company has become. Blizzard, like many other ex-proper developers, outlived their usefulness.
Mohandevir 26 March 2020 at 12:43 pm UTC
Hori
Mohandevir
Hori
AllocHaving a full-featured open source "console" desktop from Steam would be cool imo. So not only Steam's BPM but something that resembles consoles more. Supporting streaming services in the interface (Amazon, Netflix, Spotify etc ...), playing videos from the local network, maybe support for Plex. So that you could really use that thing as a TV box and not have to hop around different interfaces for everything but games. Maybe they'll get there ...

Either way I wouldn't care about the underlying distribution ... the SteamOS thing (for me) should just work as-is, I wouldn't use that for desktops anyway.

I never understand why people want Netflix and other apps like that in Steam / consoles... don't their TVs already have those apps? Why would you fire up your pc/console just to watch a movie when you can do it straight from the TV, using the TV remote instead of a gamepad?

The thing is, many Smart-TVs are highly insecure with far and few between security updates, if ever. For this reason, I avoid using them, as much as possible, and replace the "smart" part by a TV-Box that gets maintained regularly.
I don't expect there to be too many people that do that. People would prefer using 1 TV remote instead of two, or instead of a gamepad. It's also that most people don't even know about TV boxes.

IDK personally I think TV boxes are very useful in the context of non-smart TVs, or TVs that are very outdated (e.g. early smart TVs from a few years ago that have very old Android versions).
On the other hand, I kind of dislike TV Boxes because they use Android, and I find it to be a terrible and very buggy TV OS. (However they do have a lot more apps than others)

___

Also, for example, if you use the TV's YouTube, you don't have to worry about the game not supporting "alt-tabbing", as your game never really looses focus from your PC's perspective. But I don't expect this to be a real problem, since the majority of people don't play old games, and modern ones, and even many old ones, alt-tab just fine.

You don't need to convince me of the conviviality of using a SmartTV or the popularity of my idea. You wanted to know why people are asking for such features on SteamOS, I provided you with one exemple. It would probably be a lot more secure on SteamOS than any unmaintained SmartTV, like it or not. There are many other reasons to ask for these features too. Why flat out deny them when you may get the same features out of an Xbox one or PS4?

We have to keep in mind that SteamOS is not a desktop OS, it's targeted for consoles devices/uses. For my part, it should be minimally on par, feature wise, to any other consoles on the market which it strives to compete with.

Edit: Really amusing that this news gets out today...

https://www.forbes.com/sites/jasonevangelho/2020/03/26/plasma-bigscreen-is-a-new-smart-tv-experience-powered-by-raspberry-pi-4-and-kde/#27fc39433465

Personnally I would be willing to try this on my computer, along with Steam.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 26 March 2020 at 3:21 pm UTC
BrazilianGamer 26 March 2020 at 2:18 pm UTC
Debian is the market standard. All applications target primarily Ubuntu or any other Debian based distros. It would be like going against the normal industry flow if Valve used any arch or Red hat(Cent OS) based distributions. Let's see. Well, Canonical has given some reasons for them to ditch Ubuntu in favor of other distros I have to admit. Time will tell
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • Everspace - Live. Fight. Die. Repeat.
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts