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SteamOS updated, Valve drops AMDGPU-PRO for Mesa

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Valve haven't been sitting on their hands, as they have pushed out a fresh update for SteamOS that's currently in Beta. It's been a while and it's a good one.

They have rebased it against Kernel 4.11 and they have also updated the graphics drivers. The big thing here is that Valve have officially dropped AMDGPU-PRO in favour of Mesa. This goes to show how far Mesa has come, for Valve to be using it directly.

It also pulls in changes from the Debian 8.8 release, so it comes with everything there including the usual security updates too.

From the release notes:
QuoteIt has been a long time since the last update. We have not been idle. This update is huge. First, we have rebased our kernel changes on top of the latest 4.11 Linux kernel. We have updated all the graphics drivers. This update also switches SteamOS from the proprietary AMDGPU-PRO driver to the open source mesa driver. Our friends at Debian have released Debian 8.8[www.debian.org] so we picked up those updates as well. And of course it wouldn't be an update without the usual security patching.

Please be on the lookout for any regressions around game controller support, WiFi, or graphics.

This is easily the biggest SteamOS update we have ever done. Sorry it took so long but we hope this will give us a good base for quite a while.


Now they have this big update done and in Beta, I am keen to see what they do with SteamOS.

Find the release notes here.

Thanks for the info dubigrasu! Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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73 comments
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Madeanaccounttocomment 23 May 2017 at 12:27 am UTC
With the rate radeonsi has been moving I'm expecting it to be completely on par with linux Nvidia proprietary in about a years time. And then be up to the same quality standards as Windows drivers a year after that. :crosses fingers:
Guest 23 May 2017 at 12:51 am UTC
MadeanaccounttocommentWith the rate radeonsi has been moving I'm expecting it to be completely on par with linux Nvidia proprietary in about a years time. And then be up to the same quality standards as Windows drivers a year after that. :crosses fingers:

I don't think it will even be a full year. Recent benchmarks of MESA 17.2 dev branch are putting most titles within 10 - 15% and this appears to be related to CPU overheads that I expect will be ironed out within a month or two. More important for me is that they get great Vega support and Freesync working this year.

btw we have to thank Ferral, Valve and all the devs competing to make the FOSS driver the best possible There seems to be a real enthusiasm towards it. Perhaps Valve really is going to make a AMD SteamOS machine in a year or so ?
sr_ls_boy 23 May 2017 at 1:45 am UTC
While they're at it, they could update the copy ofthe std c++ lib
in their runtime. Starting with the bootstrapper That is given
me headaches.


Last edited by sr_ls_boy on 23 May 2017 at 1:46 am UTC
chimpy 23 May 2017 at 1:51 am UTC
Awesome, but they need to fix the HDMI audio issues (DAL) and the issues with the Steam runtime.
Comandante Ñoñardo 23 May 2017 at 2:12 am UTC
I wonder if someday We gonna have a final SteamOS release, so porters and developers of steam-only games will do their job focused on that final SteamOS release and not generic Linux distros...

If Valve really want to set a true ecosystem around them, and not be only a DRM, they need to set an standard in operative system and Hardware...They have the operative system, SteamOS, but is not ready.... now the must have the hardware config.
"Ok Devs and porters! You must optimize your games for this specific Linux distro, this family of CPU's and that family of GPU's"..

Is a hard decision for the users, but convenient for Devs and porters.

Keep in mind that the new Windows distro, called Windows 10-S (I know, We think the same word with that "S")), represent the Valve's worst nightmare and a good reason for the Linux incursion five years ago; you can only run apps from the Windows store... I don't know if the Steam client itself will be on the windows store (I use Win7), but certainly all the Steam catalogue will not be on the Windows store... So A LOT of Steam games will not run.

I know, Windows S is intended for students, but students like to play videogames and most videogames are Steam only, so..
C'mon Valve! The SteamOS revolution is now or never!

At the end of the day, it seems to be true what they said:

Spoiler, click me
image
Grazen 23 May 2017 at 3:34 am UTC
I've got my Alienware X51 (4700 with GTX 1060 and 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD) connected to my UHD TV in the living room running SteamOS (beta) full time. Works like a charm though 4K support in many games is lacking. I'd be all in for an AMD based Steam Machine. Bring it on!
no_information_here 23 May 2017 at 4:39 am UTC
NyamiouI hope they could release an AMD based Steam Machine but they also have to redo their marketing else they will have a backlash from corrupt gaming journalists (ArsTechnica and Polygon) again and they won't be able to do anything.
I like Ars Technica in general, but it does frustrate me that their attitude toward linux gaming is very negative. However, I really don't think it is "corrupt". Just some unconscious bias from two of their main writers.

I do agree that Valve has to make some real effort toward marketing, though. Their SteamOS engineering team might be solid, but the public corporate attitude is embarrassing.
m0nt3 23 May 2017 at 5:38 am UTC
no_information_here
NyamiouI hope they could release an AMD based Steam Machine but they also have to redo their marketing else they will have a backlash from corrupt gaming journalists (ArsTechnica and Polygon) again and they won't be able to do anything.
I like Ars Technica in general, but it does frustrate me that their attitude toward linux gaming is very negative. However, I really don't think it is "corrupt". Just some unconscious bias from two of their main writers.

I do agree that Valve has to make some real effort toward marketing, though. Their SteamOS engineering team might be solid, but the public corporate attitude is embarrassing.

It is not just ArsTechnica. Some of the other tech forums I check out have a strong bias against it and always have the same silly arguments of market share, poor performance, blah blah (I usually get this when bring up the merits of vulkan and how it will help with porting games to linux). Then I slap them with all the porters and have to explain how all that works. They always comment on it without keeping up to date with what all is going on with linux gaming. I ditched windows over a year ago completely and couldn't be happier.
sasann 23 May 2017 at 5:52 am UTC
I completely forgot SteamOS existed to be honest.
skinnyraf 23 May 2017 at 6:21 am UTC
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Everyone focuses on the AMD driver change, but Nvidia is quite bleeding edge too with 381.22.

I hope that the update will go smoothly when this release hits stable, considering it will be a bump from 2.98 to 2.115.
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