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Steam reportedly coming to Chrome OS - Linux gaming across even more devices

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Android Police have an article up mentioning that Google is reportedly working on getting Steam working officially and supported on Chrome OS. While the details of this are a little sketchy, since neither Valve or Google have announced this, Android Police claim they spoke directly to Kan Liu at CES, the Director of Product Management for Google's Chrome OS who told them of their plans to make it happen.

Note: You can get Steam working on it in some form with some manual effort now, although it's not great. This seems to be about making it all official. Having it properly integrated, enabling ease of use would be good, part of what Chrome OS is supposed to be about—being simple and easy.

Weird though, typical Google perhaps with plans that don't quite fit into what they're doing elsewhere. Since Google are pushing their own gaming service with Stadia, you wouldn't expect them to do this. Gaming is a massive and powerful market though, giving a big boost to Chrome OS and Chromebooks with advertising that it works with Steam could definitely make some waves.

Chromebooks have historically been quite low-powered devices, for the most part anyway. However, that has been changing and they're continuing to get beefier devices with more storage (which would be important for this) out across different manufacturers. With more powerful AMD-based Chromebooks apparently planned, it might actually make a little sense given they would actually be able to run some of the games on Steam for Linux.

Another reason why developers may want to ensure their games work on Linux to then gain Chrome OS compatibility too? Sure, sounds good. Let's not get ahead of ourselves though, this type of project could be a long time away if it ever happens. Who knows, could be one of the reasons or just a possible use case for Valve's Gamescope.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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42 comments
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Sparhawk 18 January 2020 at 3:35 pm UTC
For the same reasons I have dumped Windows, I will never touch Google and its products either.
And that is privacy. Technically, cool. Otherwise, hell no! lol
slaapliedje 18 January 2020 at 5:14 pm UTC
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Chromebooks are basically the newer version of the Netbook, but have Google in control, which ia a scary thing in a lot of our views.
F.Ultra 18 January 2020 at 6:55 pm UTC
LinasIn Denmark I see people using Linux on their laptops from time to time. MacBooks are very popular. But I don't think I have ever seen a Chromebook, either in use, or in a shop. Not anywhere in Northern or Eastern Europe for that matter.

Here in Sweden they are quite popular in Schools.
Shmerl 19 January 2020 at 1:06 am UTC
If it will help increasing the number of Linux games, then it's a good development.
Linuxwarper 19 January 2020 at 11:32 pm UTC
OrkultusSo are they planning on making these chromebooks have enough power to run games in steam?
It's possible they are trying to expand how many games can be played by allowing their Chromebook users to fallback to Steam's Remote Play service where Stadia fails.

ShmerlIf it will help increasing the number of Linux games, then it's a good development.
My experience with Steam Remote Play and Play Together has been OK at best. Remote Play Together did not work and Remote Play image was distorted, especially when movement came into play. Perhaps the PC I used to stream to was to outdated. But I don't think Google will encourage developers to develop natively for Linux. Instead I think they will try to twine developers into ChromeOS and somehow make it different enough so that it doesn't run on Linux. Outcome can be a good thing (more work on Linux ecosystem) but it can be bad too. I don't want a third walled garden for Linux to compete against.


Last edited by Linuxwarper on 19 January 2020 at 11:38 pm UTC
Hori 20 January 2020 at 8:49 am UTC
flesk
HoriDoes that mean Steam is gonna come to ARM-based devices? Because that would be awesome

No, probably only the x64 Chromebooks, since none (or at least very few) of the games on Steam have an ARM version anyway.
True, but the same could be said about Linux a few years ago.
And tbh I think ARM-based laptops (laptops, not Chromebooks) will be a huge thing in a few years, bigger than what Linux achieved so far. Word is that Apple's also gonna migrate their Macbooks to ARM.


Last edited by Hori on 20 January 2020 at 8:50 am UTC
Hori 20 January 2020 at 8:58 am UTC
Linuxwarper
OrkultusSo are they planning on making these chromebooks have enough power to run games in steam?
It's possible they are trying to expand how many games can be played by allowing their Chromebook users to fallback to Steam's Remote Play service where Stadia fails.

ShmerlIf it will help increasing the number of Linux games, then it's a good development.
My experience with Steam Remote Play and Play Together has been OK at best. Remote Play Together did not work and Remote Play image was distorted, especially when movement came into play. Perhaps the PC I used to stream to was to outdated. But I don't think Google will encourage developers to develop natively for Linux. Instead I think they will try to twine developers into ChromeOS and somehow make it different enough so that it doesn't run on Linux. Outcome can be a good thing (more work on Linux ecosystem) but it can be bad too. I don't want a third walled garden for Linux to compete against.

I think it requires a very good and stable internet connection. Last year I've been able to play Black Mesa with no lag all the way from another city. My PC monitor is 1440p but I streamed at 1080p since my client is just 1366x768 (old laptop), so IDK about higher resolutions since I didn't try.
Mohandevir 20 January 2020 at 3:01 pm UTC
Didn't read through all the posts, but there is this bit of news that might have a link to what's going on or that Steam may benefit from...

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/11/google-outlines-plans-for-mainline-linux-kernel-support-in-android/

ChromeOS gaming PCs? Mmmmm...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 20 January 2020 at 3:03 pm UTC
Ardje 20 January 2020 at 3:19 pm UTC
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MohandevirDidn't read through all the posts, but there is this bit of news that might have a link to what's going on or that Steam may benefit from...

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/11/google-outlines-plans-for-mainline-linux-kernel-support-in-android/

ChromeOS gaming PCs? Mmmmm...
Chromeos and android are like linux vs OS/2 . Good systems, but totally different.
It's nice to read though, because google will be forcing the manufacturers to support *mainline* linux instead of forking 3.10 in a 5.* age and call that support.
Chromeos is a basic normal linux system based on a readonly image with an overlay on top. There are a lot of nice things about chromebooks, for instance that google *enforces* manufacturers to have a developer and fully unlocked mode. The unlocked and developer mode boot with a big warning to the user it's not running certified chromeos.
This means: if you see someone boot his chromebook, and it shows no warnings, you can log into your google account, and never have to worry that that person can sniff or search your data on his chromebook. He can only delete your account.
It works pretty neat if you keep everything in the cloud, because it does not always work 100%.
I had to revert to a previous stable version because they fscked up ipv6, and I couldn't work anymore.
A fix is expected in the next stable release. But it does mean: erase all data and switch to old version.
Mohandevir 20 January 2020 at 3:26 pm UTC
Ardje
MohandevirDidn't read through all the posts, but there is this bit of news that might have a link to what's going on or that Steam may benefit from...

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2019/11/google-outlines-plans-for-mainline-linux-kernel-support-in-android/

ChromeOS gaming PCs? Mmmmm...
Chromeos and android are like linux vs OS/2 . Good systems, but totally different.
It's nice to read though, because google will be forcing the manufacturers to support *mainline* linux instead of forking 3.10 in a 5.* age and call that support.
Chromeos is a basic normal linux system based on a readonly image with an overlay on top. There are a lot of nice things about chromebooks, for instance that google *enforces* manufacturers to have a developer and fully unlocked mode. The unlocked and developer mode boot with a big warning to the user it's not running certified chromeos.
This means: if you see someone boot his chromebook, and it shows no warnings, you can log into your google account, and never have to worry that that person can sniff or search your data on his chromebook. He can only delete your account.
It works pretty neat if you keep everything in the cloud, because it does not always work 100%.
I had to revert to a previous stable version because they fscked up ipv6, and I couldn't work anymore.
A fix is expected in the next stable release. But it does mean: erase all data and switch to old version.

You are right... I tend to forget that ChromeOs is not Android based... My bad. Still, they might begin to share al lot more code, over time... No?

I'm just having the wild idea of slapping Android TV's UI and app store on top of a ChromeOS beefier box, that runs Steam and Stadia...


Last edited by Mohandevir on 20 January 2020 at 3:51 pm UTC
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