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The big SteamOS beta update that Valve shipped last month has now officially been released into the stable updates branch.

From the release notes:
QuoteThis is a very large update. It includes a new 4.11 Linux kernel, and updated drivers for AMD, Intel, and NVIDIA graphics hardware. This update also switches SteamOS from the proprietary AMDGPU-PRO driver to the open source mesa driver. Debian 8.8 and security updates are also included.


Really great to see Valve push the open source driver for AMD users, since they are in a pretty good state nowadays and the progress is absolutely amazing.

I'm keen to see what Valve do next, since this update was a long time coming. Hopefully such a big update will quell some of the rumours constantly circling around about it being left to rust.

Is anyone here actually using SteamOS? What are your thoughts on it?
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Zappor 6 June 2017 at 9:22 am UTC
I guess SteamOS uses RADV now then? Did SteamOS have Vulkan support before?
dubigrasu 6 June 2017 at 9:32 am UTC
I use SteamOS and since I'm still continuously use it since it was released, you can imagine that it does the job and my thoughts about it are pretty positive.
Except for this: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/1291816880499593115/

Edit: To be exact this is not an issue with SteamOS as a distro, but rather with the Steam client's BPM and is true for all distros I tried (and even on Windows).
But the issue is more aggravating on SteamOS where BPM is the only intended interface.


Last edited by dubigrasu at 6 June 2017 at 7:38 pm UTC
Pecisk 6 June 2017 at 10:20 am UTC
Well, SteamOS development has never ceased according to bits and pieces of information we have gotten. And using Mesa is awesome step and importance cannot be understated. Thank you team and thank you all Mesa developers. It was gamble for AMD to go open source route, but it starts to pay off.

However question is what's current end game for Steam Machines? Will be there any new generation machines? Or prototypes? Or vendors have given up or never cared in first place (which is highly plausible scenario)?

I never expected first generation to take off really. However would be interesting to understand Valve's long game here.
MayeulC 6 June 2017 at 10:37 am UTC
Is it using S3TC with libtxc_dxtn? If so, how did they clear the licensing? The patent expires in around 120 days, so I expected them to hold on until then.
Nanobang 6 June 2017 at 11:50 am UTC
dubigrasuI use SteamOS and since I'm still continuously use it since it was released, you can imagine that it does the job and my thoughts about it are pretty positive.
Except for this: http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/1291816880499593115/

This has made me crazy for a few months now, ever since I discovered it was happening with the Steam client. I could make it happen by starting BPM, and then starting a game in BPM. BAM! CPU would skyrocket and stay high until I left BPM and returned to the Desktop client.

I avoid BPM now. I've reconfigured my Steam Controller configs so they don't use any of the on-screen, BPM reliant menus, and I design my new configs without menus too, which is a shame since these are powerful tools.

Thanks for the link to your Steam post, it was very informative. And thanks, too, for all your testing and troubleshooting. If Valve were to put forth half the effort you have, it would be fixed soon.


Last edited by Nanobang at 6 June 2017 at 11:51 am UTC
Nanobang 6 June 2017 at 11:57 am UTC
This is huge affirmation of Mesa and AMDs open-source efforts! It excites me and I'm currently an Nvidia user! XD
GustyGhost 6 June 2017 at 1:22 pm UTC
I imagine most SteamOS users are running audio through HDMI. How is this working out without AMD DAL/DC merged yet? Or are Valve using a custom kernel?
MayeulC 6 June 2017 at 2:05 pm UTC
AnxiousInfusionI imagine most SteamOS users are running audio through HDMI. How is this working out without AMD DAL/DC merged yet? Or are Valve using a custom kernel?

If their GitHub repository is anything to go by, I would say no (no "display" folder in https://github.com/ValveSoftware/steamos_kernel/tree/brewmaster-4.11/drivers/gpu/drm/amd ). Then, they might have their source tree elsewhere, or maintain some patches separately (edit: I also checked their available patches, it doesn't seem to be included).

I think it makes sense, given their relatively low head count, not to focus too much on maintaining too many out-of-tree patches.
Plus, RADV and the rest of the stack might be progressing quickly, but it's not top-notch yet. They are still working on some kernel features designed for VR, so I guess they have time to wait for DC.


Last edited by MayeulC at 6 June 2017 at 2:12 pm UTC
Blauer_Hunger 6 June 2017 at 4:28 pm UTC
Hopefully nvidia will start to think about freeing their driver when they see this.
inlinuxdude 6 June 2017 at 6:56 pm UTC
QuoteIs anyone here actually using SteamOS? What are your thoughts on it?

I installed it a couple years ago with Stephenson's Rocket.. I've done some modifications, but still running it on my TV box.. I like it overall, although it can seem a bit flaky on updates at times (I've had to fix things via command line rescue mode and/or ssh). Overall, though, it does a fine job as a basic game console in BPM. I wish they'd build more advanced game console features into it and media apps though.
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