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SteamOS has a fresh beta update with some major package updates

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Valve have updated the SteamOS beta once again, this time they're pulling in some major package updates to give a better experience.

This is the second beta update in less than two months, which is really damn nice to see! A pretty nice start to 2018, let's hope they can keep a little momentum going here.

Here's the major updates:

  • 4.14 Linux kernel
  • NVIDIA 387.22 graphics driver
  • Mesa 17.2.4 for AMD and Intel

There's a few other more minor changes, but those are the biggest. See the changelog here.

Previously, SteamOS was using the 4.11 kernel so that's quite a jump. It's also pleasing to see drivers get updated as well, hopefully soon they will pull in Mesa 17.3 as they're a little behind there, although it may be worth waiting for another point release to make sure it's as stable as possible.

With SteamOS now using Mesa, building an AMD Steam Machine might be a pretty good option. I still hold hope that Valve will make their own unit in-house to have a little more control over the hardware, pricing and marketing—would be a good boost for it.

What are your hopes for SteamOS/Steam Machines in 2018?

Thanks for the tip dubigrasu!

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Grazen 4 January 2018 at 11:18 pm UTC
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Oh man... I just installed Ubuntu 17.10 on my Steam Machine today so that I could more easily stream (check out www.twitch.tv/MostlyLinux ). Not sure this is worth a reinstall just yet, but I'll keep an eye out for future updates.
wojtek88 4 January 2018 at 11:37 pm UTC
QuoteWhat are your hopes for SteamOS/Steam Machines in 2018?
I hope Steam Machines will get released, because for me they are still in Alpha, even if Valve said something different.

I said it multiple times, but without interesting bundles in each market, Steam Machines won't interest single person. Why would someone buy Alienware Steam Machine with Payday 2 for $400 (or $749 ) if there is a cheaper PS4 with any newest title in the store?

Valve did very bad with Steam Machines:
- they did not produce hardware,
- they allowed manufacturers to decide not to ship machines they promised,
- they did multiple false advertising for Steam OS (Witcher 3, Street Fighter V, Evolve),
- they did no advertising of Steam Machines,
- they released only overpriced machines,
- they decided not to invest money in Steam Machines, because Microsoft seems to abandon idea of forcing their store for each game supporting their platform,
- they did not prepare library of decent newest games for the release day.

Conclusion - Steam Machines have no target other than us - people supporting Linux gaming, because they want their favourite OS to grow...
TheRiddick 4 January 2018 at 11:45 pm UTC
The drivers are almost at green flag state for AMD, Kernel 4.15 release will be great if they introduce DC. But I hear 4.16 will also be quite good.

Once that happens then Valve shouldn't have too many more hurdles for Linux gaming in 2018, it was a pipe dream when they first launched the idea because only NVIDIA had drivers capable of actually doing good.

Now all we need is Microsoft to force steam games to sign in through their store system, now that would be funny as all hell! (that originally got valve pushing for SteamOS Linux in the first place)

PS.
I think steam machines should have used those laptop slot in PCIe cards to reduce price (they are cheaper I would assume). However I think only NVIDIA produced them.


Last edited by TheRiddick at 4 January 2018 at 11:48 pm UTC. Edited 2 times.
1xok 5 January 2018 at 12:13 am UTC
liamdaweWhat are your hopes for SteamOS/Steam Machines in 2018?

A small AMD-based Steam Machine would be very good for children. But it should also be open, so that e. g. Minecraft runs on it. In my opinion, the games on Linux are better for children than on PlayStation and sometimes even better than on the Switch. Minecraft mods are very popular with children. Most mods do not run on the normal consoles. You don't get to the public Minecraft servers either. For the children, this is just as important as PUBG or CSGO for the elderly.

Basically, I think that something like the Ataribox would be very good. It just shouldn't be from today's Atari.

Valve and all the others have done fantastic work over the last three years. If you look at what has been achieved, however, you also realize how much Linux has been missing in 2015 to be a viable Gaming alternative.


Last edited by 1xok at 5 January 2018 at 12:21 am UTC. Edited 4 times.
scaine 5 January 2018 at 12:21 am UTC
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TheRiddickNow all we need is Microsoft to force steam games to sign in through their store system, now that would be funny as all hell! (that originally got valve pushing for SteamOS Linux in the first place)

Would love to see a big MS misstep like that, especially the look on Tim Sweeney's face (Unreal CEO) after all his ranting and inaction on Linux (at least UE4 has some support).

Smaller game devs/publishers probably wouldn't bat an eyelid generally. Instead of giving 30% to Valve, they're giving it to Microsoft? What's it to them? But the big guns? Imagine the outrage if Battle.net, uPlay, Origin, Steam, Galaxy (ha!) were suddenly outlawed by Microsoft. The fireworks would be spectacular!

Here's to an interesting 2018.
TheRiddick 5 January 2018 at 12:28 am UTC
They won't get outlawed but I can envision a future where the stores software will need to run through MS store front, and the games be compatible.
sarmad 5 January 2018 at 12:28 am UTC
1xok
liamdaweWhat are your hopes for SteamOS/Steam Machines in 2018?

A small AMD-based Steam Machine would be very good for children. But it should also be open, so that e. g. Minecraft runs on it. In my opinion, the games on Linux are better for children than on PlayStation and sometimes even better than on the Switch. Minecraft mods are very popular with children. Most mods do not run on the normal consoles. You don't get to the public Minecraft servers either. For the children, this is just as important as PUBG or CSGO for the elderly.

Basically, I think that something like the Ataribox would be very good. It just shouldn't be from today's Atari.

Indeed. I think an AMD steam machine that comes in a reasonable price and allows you to easily install Minecraft would sell well for children (if the company behinds it does proper marketting for it that is). I got a PS4 for my son but most of the time he's playing either Minecraft or LittleBigPlanet. Also, surprisingly enough, there are more couch multiplayer options on Steam than there are on PS4; thanks to all the indie devs. However, compared to a PS4, pairing a Steam Controller is not straight forward on a Steam Machine, so that's an area Valve needs to improve.
slaapliedje 5 January 2018 at 1:40 am UTC
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sarmad
1xok
liamdaweWhat are your hopes for SteamOS/Steam Machines in 2018?

A small AMD-based Steam Machine would be very good for children. But it should also be open, so that e. g. Minecraft runs on it. In my opinion, the games on Linux are better for children than on PlayStation and sometimes even better than on the Switch. Minecraft mods are very popular with children. Most mods do not run on the normal consoles. You don't get to the public Minecraft servers either. For the children, this is just as important as PUBG or CSGO for the elderly.

Basically, I think that something like the Ataribox would be very good. It just shouldn't be from today's Atari.

Indeed. I think an AMD steam machine that comes in a reasonable price and allows you to easily install Minecraft would sell well for children (if the company behinds it does proper marketting for it that is). I got a PS4 for my son but most of the time he's playing either Minecraft or LittleBigPlanet. Also, surprisingly enough, there are more couch multiplayer options on Steam than there are on PS4; thanks to all the indie devs. However, compared to a PS4, pairing a Steam Controller is not straight forward on a Steam Machine, so that's an area Valve needs to improve.

Wait, you have to pair a Steam Controller on steam? I don't ever remember doing that, I just plugged it in. Or maybe I did have to do something, but it was so dead simple I don't remember what I did. Also, you can pair up to 4 (I think) on a single dongle stick. Granted with the PS4, I think it was just as easy as plugging in the USB cable.
ghem 5 January 2018 at 1:47 am UTC
Things are finally coming together
In 2018, I think it will be possible to build a small and cost efficient steam machine with lots of games.
This will be possible thanks to AMD DC being mainlined and the now great performance of radeonsi + radv, on the software side.
On the hardware side, the Ryzen+Vega+HBM2 gaming APU should be very interesting if it turns out to be true: https://www.pcgamesn.com/amd-ryzen-mobile-gaming
GustyGhost 5 January 2018 at 2:01 am UTC
TheRiddickI think steam machines should have used those laptop slot in PCIe cards to reduce price (they are cheaper I would assume). However I think only NVIDIA produced them.

Compact and/or mobile versions of anything are more expensive without economy of scale.

QuoteNow all we need is Microsoft to force steam games to sign in through their store system, now that would be funny as all hell! (that originally got valve pushing for SteamOS Linux in the first place)

As amusing as it may be, I do not wish for any further lock down even for those on closed platforms. Even then, I doubt many PC gamers would care enough to make any change.
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