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SteamVR for Linux is now officially in Beta

Posted by , 21 February 2017 at 11:32 pm UTC / 39628 views
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.
Comments
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slaapliedje 23 February 2017 at 3:40 am UTC

The problem is that NOTHING is using the nVidia VR boosting tech, outside of perhaps the nvidia funhouse. Which is actually really fun and a good example of how to optimize things.

While I personally was pointing out to an ex-coworker, that even the GPUs are implementing direct features for VR support to help out, it doesn't mean anything is going to adopt proprietary interfaces for doing so.


TheRiddick 23 February 2017 at 5:17 am UTC

Don't expect much performance from games that are not built for VR such as titles on the oculus store and such that say VR ONLY.

In saying that the Serious Sam VR game should be fine at 4k resolution I would think.. even thought the screen is 1200p, IMO you'd be better up-scaling to 1440p.


Beamboom 23 February 2017 at 8:38 am UTC

slaapliedjeThe problem is that NOTHING is using the nVidia VR boosting tech, outside of perhaps the nvidia funhouse.

And I hope it stays that way. Nvidia have always been one for the "split and conquer" strategy, like Microsoft. They pollute all other attempts at making clever APIs and standards, always have, always will. They make half-assed implementations of others work, and push their own version that does almost the same - only just for Nvidia cards.
It doesn't matter if that other version is bloody good. It's still pollution.


kwahoo 23 February 2017 at 8:42 am UTC

slaapliedjeThe problem is that NOTHING is using the nVidia VR boosting tech, outside of perhaps the nvidia funhouse.

Serious Sam VR uses both Nvidia VRWorks and AMD LiquidVR in dual GPU setups.


skinnyraf 23 February 2017 at 3:39 pm UTC

With Vulkan becoming mainstream, SteamVR about to be released and the next Debian stable release round the corner, can we expect a new SteamOS release and a new push for Steam Machines soon?


MayeulC 23 February 2017 at 11:26 pm UTC

skinnyrafWith Vulkan becoming mainstream, SteamVR about to be released and the next Debian stable release round the corner, can we expect a new SteamOS release and a new push for Steam Machines soon?
SteamOS releases are pretty much in sync with the Debian releases. They already push "experimental" (SteamOS-dedicated) packages, such as their radv build. So, I wouldn't expect a brand new SteamOS release, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did a new SteamOS push in a few months (or 1-2 years), as it looks like they keep pressuring some publishers a bit.

Wait and see. And participate, of course


slaapliedje 24 February 2017 at 2:51 am UTC

They do seem to follow (or try to) the Debian main releases, since there was a decent update when 8.7 was 'released'. I honestly think the main reason they went with Debian instead of Ubuntu is because of the stability it brings, and the lack of 'let's re-invent everything, and do it every 6 months.' mentality that Ubuntu has.


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