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SteamVR 1.9 is out, Linux VR users may want to opt into a Beta

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Valve just recently put out the latest big new build of their SteamVR platform, with something to be aware of if you're on Linux. I'll start with the Linux issue right away, Valve said:

There is a known crash on Linux which is currently being investigated. In the meantime, Linux users may opt into the 'linux_temp' branch. (Right-click SteamVR -> Properties -> Betas, to enable).

With that said, there's quite a lot of improvements included even just for Linux.

Valve fixed a vrwebhelper crash that could make the dashboard disappear, they fixed the pairing UI window content not showing up the first time it was opened and they fixed a few behavior quirks in vrwebhelper's desktop windows. There's also now a rate-limit in place when "attempting to open the tracing filesystem to once every 5 seconds", SteamVR will now attempt to set thread priorities through rtkit (when available) and they also added some tracking to try and help find a rare stuck haptics bug on Linux.

It's nice to see the Linux side of SteamVR continue to pull in quite a lot of improvements, it shows Valve are committed to making VR on Linux better. Ahead of the release of Half-Life: Alyx, hopefully Valve will confirm Linux support if SteamVR keeps improving.

As for Valve's own Index HMD, they've increased the max brightness up to 140 and you should now be able to change the refresh rate without restarts (needs a firmware update). SteamVR settings was also improved, so that most settings are now available on both the desktop and in-headset. The user interface for settings also went through a re-design.

Lots of other various improvements and bug fixes to the rest of it. You can see the changelog here.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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9 comments

sub 18 December 2019 at 12:26 pm UTC
Good to hear and leaves some hope for HL:Alyx on Linux.

I'm regularly checking the Steam page for it.
Isn't it a bit strange that they don't have a "Recommended" spec and just a "Minimum"?
I mean, if they are sure what the minimum has to be, they should have an
idea what a recommended setup should look like, no?

If they're are still tweaking hard, then also the minimum should come down until release ...
Matombo 18 December 2019 at 12:48 pm UTC
I'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.
sub 18 December 2019 at 12:55 pm UTC
MatomboI'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.

Still considering to upgrade my rig and getting an Index in time for Alyx.

Did you give it a try under Windows?
If so - is it better there?
Leopard 18 December 2019 at 1:15 pm UTC
MatomboI'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.

Reprojection works on AMD gpu's with Radv , but not on Nvidia.

But yeah , other points are valid.
Matombo 18 December 2019 at 1:49 pm UTC
sub
MatomboI'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.

Still considering to upgrade my rig and getting an Index in time for Alyx.

Did you give it a try under Windows?
If so - is it better there?

Jep only thing broken in windows so far is that you can't adjust the camera refresh rate.

But i only played around on windows for one and a half day, so no exhaustive report here.

Leopard
MatomboI'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.

Reprojection works on AMD gpu's with Radv , but not on Nvidia.

But yeah , other points are valid.

I am on an amd gpu vega 56 on latest drivers (don't know the version number but I'm using manjaro)
What is Radv?
Leopard 18 December 2019 at 7:21 pm UTC
Matombo
sub
MatomboI'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.

Still considering to upgrade my rig and getting an Index in time for Alyx.

Did you give it a try under Windows?
If so - is it better there?

Jep only thing broken in windows so far is that you can't adjust the camera refresh rate.

But i only played around on windows for one and a half day, so no exhaustive report here.

Leopard
MatomboI'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.

Reprojection works on AMD gpu's with Radv , but not on Nvidia.

But yeah , other points are valid.

I am on an amd gpu vega 56 on latest drivers (don't know the version number but I'm using manjaro)
What is Radv?

Vulkan driver for AMD gpu's that lives in Mesa.

AMDVLK=! radv ( started by Red Hat people, mainly being developed by Valve these days)

AMDGPU-PRO= AMDVLK+prop compiler
wolfyrion 19 December 2019 at 7:16 am UTC
MatomboI'm now owing a Valve index but i sadly must admit that steamvr for linux is still more or less a beta overall:
Camera not working
Audio not working without tinkering
Mic not working without tinkering
Reprojection is causing headdache inducing flickering
And the constant rumbling bug in the controllers (i guess that's what they are refering to the "rare" stuck haptics bug, which isn't quite so rare)

However, despite this I'm havin a blast playing Serious Sam and Talos Principle und other games using proton ^^.

I was thinking to buy a Valve index as an Xmas Present for me but I guess it will have to wait since nothing is working..
Corben 19 December 2019 at 10:15 am UTC
I am opted into the Beta, but haven't switched to the linux_temp branch so far. For me it doesn't crash. The SteamVR releases (I'm mostly on beta, except when I experience a show stopping bug) are improving more and more over time.
They are committed to improving stability and performance. E.g I had the bug, where my Knuckles controllers (the Valve Index controllers) where vibrating all the time. They even released special SteamVR beta, so they could get more debug data about this rare issue. And it turned out, that a disabled steam vr webhelper caused this (at least for me). It only happened to the Knuckles though, not with the Vive wands.

I'm enjoying Beat Saber a lot on my rig (i7 6700, gtx 1070), but also other VR games work pretty well (e.g. Boneworks). Nevertheless, VR games get more demanding on hardware, so I'm thinking about an upgrade soon.

PS: for the issues, Index cams are working for me, after setting the default frequency to 48kHz in the pulseaudio config (source, I have no isses with the mic anymore, I didn't have any audio issues so far (and I would realize with Beat Saber).


Last edited by Corben on 19 December 2019 at 10:19 am UTC
Ehvis 19 December 2019 at 10:34 am UTC
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CorbenPS: for the issues, Index cams are working for me, after setting the default frequency to 48kHz in the pulseaudio config (source, I have no isses with the mic anymore, I didn't have any audio issues so far (and I would realize with Beat Saber).

I actually had to change that to avoid some games (and firefox) causing a lot of static at "random" moments. Never needed the mic though. I did notice that my audio switched to the HMD properly last night. Switched back to the wrong output when I turned it off though.
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