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SteamOS beta 2.88 is now out, nothing major as usual but it does feature a newer AMD driver and a fix for an updater crash.

QuoteUpdated driver from AMD, updated linux kernel to 4.1.30, added ttf-dejavu-core to fix a crash in the Steam update UI, and the usual security fixes.


See the full details here.

I am hoping one day we see something more major for SteamOS instead of these small maintenance releases. Still, it's good to see regular small releases like this. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Steam, SteamOS
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8 comments

opera 18 Aug, 2016
QuoteI am hoping one day we see something more major for SteamOS instead of these small maintenance releases.
Word!
ProfessorKaos64 18 Aug, 2016
No no no! [Don't stop belieeeeeeeven](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCy7lLQwToI), errr updating.. SteamOS. I'll have to start shifting my packaging to Ubuntu and Debian :/

Anyway, I found a workaround for the black screen updater issue, but 2 days later this came out :). Those on the non-beta OS release can reference the wiki page on GitHub if they are still affected.
Nanobang 19 Aug, 2016
Can y'all tell me if Big Picture in SteamOS has the shortcomings of BPM in the client?

I've used the desktop client to workaround BPM's limited display of my wishlist and inability to access settings from the overlay, But the recent discovery that I can't group chat in BPM has me starting to look into longer term alternatives.

Is SteamOS better than BPM in these regards?
Liam Dawe 19 Aug, 2016
SteamOS is practically the same as SBP.
Beamboom 20 Aug, 2016
The only major release will be the first release out of beta.
Redface 20 Aug, 2016
Quoting: liamdaweSteamOS is practically the same as SBP.
Thats not exactly true, please see the SteamOS FAQ from Valve: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648814395741989999/
Especially:
QuoteQ: What is SteamOS? SteamOS is a fork (derivative) of Debian [www.debian.org] GNU/Linux.
and
QuoteQ: What software runs on SteamOS?
SteamOS is designed to run Steam and Steam games. It also provides a desktop mode which can run regular Linux applications

So SteamOS is a Linux distribution like Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora etc, and Steam (including the BPM it starts on bootup) is not considered a part of the OS.
Steam on SteamOS is the same Steam installed on other Linux Distributions, and has its selfupdater, it is not updated with SteamOS, but on its own schedule independently.
This might be considered nitpicking but I find it important to distiguish between those two in a discussion about the update of one of them, and a question about features of the other:-)

And Liam could you maybe not call it "released" when they update the beta? I find that confusing, Valve themselves only call it release when they come with non beta updates.
Quoting: PicoboomCan y'all tell me if Big Picture in SteamOS has the shortcomings of BPM in the client?

I've used the desktop client to workaround BPM's limited display of my wishlist and inability to access settings from the overlay, But the recent discovery that I can't group chat in BPM has me starting to look into longer term alternatives.

Is SteamOS better than BPM in these regards?
There is one difference between Steams BPM under SteamOS copmapred to otehr distributions, but thats due to the way it is started and not because its a different version.
You can not easily switch to the windowed mode of Steam, you have to start a desktop first, then in a command window:
sudo killall -9 steam
sudo steam
steam

This will start steam regularly, either in windowed mode or in bigpicturemode, but with an option to go to windowed mode then.
Not ideal but I do not have to switch to windowed mode that often so I kept the standard configuration to start in BPM on my steam machine. And if you do use thew windowed mode often that counts against switching to SteamOS until they provide a better way.
Halifax 21 Aug, 2016
Quoting: Redface
Quoting: liamdaweSteamOS is practically the same as SBP.
Thats not exactly true, please see the SteamOS FAQ from Valve: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648814395741989999/
Especially:
QuoteQ: What is SteamOS? SteamOS is a fork (derivative) of Debian [www.debian.org] GNU/Linux.
and
QuoteQ: What software runs on SteamOS?
SteamOS is designed to run Steam and Steam games. It also provides a desktop mode which can run regular Linux applications

So SteamOS is a Linux distribution like Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora etc, and Steam (including the BPM it starts on bootup) is not considered a part of the OS.
Steam on SteamOS is the same Steam installed on other Linux Distributions, and has its selfupdater, it is not updated with SteamOS, but on its own schedule independently.
This might be considered nitpicking but I find it important to distiguish between those two in a discussion about the update of one of them, and a question about features of the other:-)

And Liam could you maybe not call it "released" when they update the beta? I find that confusing, Valve themselves only call it release when they come with non beta updates.
Quoting: PicoboomCan y'all tell me if Big Picture in SteamOS has the shortcomings of BPM in the client?

I've used the desktop client to workaround BPM's limited display of my wishlist and inability to access settings from the overlay, But the recent discovery that I can't group chat in BPM has me starting to look into longer term alternatives.

Is SteamOS better than BPM in these regards?
There is one difference between Steams BPM under SteamOS copmapred to otehr distributions, but thats due to the way it is started and not because its a different version.
You can not easily switch to the windowed mode of Steam, you have to start a desktop first, then in a command window:
sudo killall -9 steam
sudo steam
steam

This will start steam regularly, either in windowed mode or in bigpicturemode, but with an option to go to windowed mode then.
Not ideal but I do not have to switch to windowed mode that often so I kept the standard configuration to start in BPM on my steam machine. And if you do use thew windowed mode often that counts against switching to SteamOS until they provide a better way.

On my little i3 Alienware Steam Machine, SteamOS is by far the preferred Linux distro.

1) Other distros I've tried to install (Ubuntu 15.x + 16.x, Debian 8 Jessie, OpenSUSE Leap 42.1) fail due to not having the correct drivers for the custom laptop components.
2) SteamOS has all those drivers out-of-box, and enables a very fast and reliable sleep/resume on the Alien Head power button (ironically, only in desktop mode - no sleep/resume in BPM).

And since I hardly use BPM at all, personally, I end up using SteamOS in desktop mode for most of my day-to-day computing and light/Indie gaming these days. It's a perfectly fine desktop distro with some hacking, as long as you are OK with Gnome 3.

sudo killall -9 steam
sudo steam
steam


That's how I do it, minus the killall. You don't need it if you configure for booting straight to desktop:

Boot to Desktop steam user:
  Settings -> Users
  Select ‘SteamOS Desktop’
  Unlock (button up top)
  Auto Login = On
  (Reboot)


But it's still best of both worlds to start Steam as the steam user like you listed, just so resetting SteamOS to the "true" steam user X session BPM will have all your games still there.
Halifax 21 Aug, 2016
And another point in SteamOS's favor as a desktop distro: Perfect vsync out-of-box on the desktop.

I've generally found desktop vsync an issue in many more sexy desktop distros, unless you find/config tweaks, and even then results may be inconsistent.

Considering all the web browser page scrolling and video watching I do on my desktop - having desktop vsync always working correctly is very nice.

EDIT:

Plus the recent 2.8x patch added a very recent nVidia driver + VLC Media Player. Those were by far the two biggest things I was wanting out of an update, myself.

VLC Media Player was the only desktop app I was unable to get working on my own after an 'apt install' from the main Debian repos before the 2.8 patch. (Not that everything else from the main Debian repos would work, just saying of the handful of desktop apps *I've* reached into Debian Jessie to install on SteamOS, that was the only one failing for me :-)

So, I've hugely appreciated the latest 2.8x patch myself. Living without the VLC Media Player sucked. I can live with SteamOS and Steam Machines not taking over the world for now, it is what it is. Valve is still supporting their OS and my Alienware SM, so I'm happy with them. Still a fan!


Last edited by Halifax on 21 August 2016 at 5:04 am UTC
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