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SteamVR for Linux is now officially in Beta

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Valve have put up SteamVR for Linux officially in Beta form and they are keen to stress that this is a development release.

You will need to run the latest Steam Beta Client for it to work at all, so be sure to opt-in if you want to play around with it.

VR on Linux will exclusively use Vulkan, so it's going to be a pretty good push for Vulkan if VR becomes more popular. Vulkan is likely one of the pieces of the puzzle that held it back, since Vulkan itself and the drivers are still so new.

On NVIDIA, you need to have the 375.27.10 "Developer Beta Driver", which can be found here. There's also this PPA for Ubuntu users. It's likely it needs some newer Vulkan extensions not found in the current stable drivers.

For AMD GPU owners, you need a very recent build of the open source radv driver (Mesa), Valve provide this pre-release on their github page.

Intel GPUs are not supported and it's probable it will be a long time until they are, since VR generally requires some beefy hardware to run smoothly. It's possible they may work in future, but I imagine the Intel 'anv' Vulkan driver needs more work done.

Also, you will likely need some updated udev rules, but all of that and more can be read about on their github page for it.

It's exciting to finally see VR on Linux starting to become a real reality now. I just wish the hardware wasn't so damn expensive. It will likely be a long time before I can afford a headset myself to review, but hopefully someone can send us a review unit to hold onto.

Thanks for tweeting it to me Dennis.
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pete910 22 February 2017 at 12:06 am UTC
Nice to see radv included , as in that Valve is targeting the oss driver. I know they have employed people to help with the oss driver.
It will help devs also code towards a open/standard driver rather than a prop driver that does some unknown tricks/hacks.
sarmad 22 February 2017 at 12:23 am UTC
Great to see it happen finally. But VR is very expensive for me right now
bisbyx 22 February 2017 at 12:49 am UTC
Does steam VR have all the abstraction in it that will allow my Oculus Dev Kit 2 to work, or do I need a Vive for this to work?
Narcotix 22 February 2017 at 12:52 am UTC
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Very nice! although it was showed to the attendees of the Steam Dev Days last year alrdy, i didn't expect it to be available this "early". Was even hoping(!) for a late 2017 release. Now I hope Google is kind enough to release a Linux version of Tilt Brush and other developers than VALVe are considering a port of their already available products as well.
gotta VALVe
Shmerl 22 February 2017 at 1:49 am UTC
Any news on Steam-less VR support for Vive on Linux?


Last edited by Shmerl at 22 February 2017 at 1:49 am UTC
Magamo 22 February 2017 at 1:53 am UTC
ShmerlAny news on Steam-less VR support for Vive on Linux?

OpenHMD is working on that.

http://openhmd.net/

One of the devs has hacked together a OpenHMD version of OpenMW, or so I was told on OpenMW's IRC channel.
Shmerl 22 February 2017 at 1:54 am UTC
Magamo
ShmerlAny news on Steam-less VR support for Vive on Linux?

OpenHMD is working on that.

QuoteOpenHMD aims to provide a Free and Open Source API and drivers for immersive technology, such as head mounted displays with built in head tracking.

Can it work as a drop in replacement for OpenVR (API that SteamVR uses)? Also, strangely it seems to be using OpenGL, not Vulkan.


Last edited by Shmerl at 22 February 2017 at 1:56 am UTC. Edited 2 times.
kibbles 22 February 2017 at 5:24 am UTC
Finally... I was one of the early adopters (back when you had to wait 2+ months after ordering) and I have been waiting to try this out for what seems like forever.
slaapliedje 22 February 2017 at 6:25 am UTC
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Damnit, now I decide... remove Debian's packages for the nvidia driver and install the driver by hand... or try to wedge Ubuntu packages in....

I usually have better luck with option 1...
anth 22 February 2017 at 7:14 am UTC
It may be coincidence but this is ready just in time for GDC and Valve have made some major announcements there before. Croteam's announcement including VR support on Linux came out just a few days ago too.

Dave Airlie (open source GPU driver developer) says they're using Vulkan extensions which Khronos haven't yet made public. Khronos will be at GDC.
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