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The big SteamOS update that drops AMDGPU-PRO in favour of Mesa has left beta

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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? Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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19 comments
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dubigrasu 6 June 2017 at 8:14 pm UTC
Nanobang
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.
Hey, thanks for the confirmation. I took the liberty to mention your post in that bug report, hope you don't mind.
Geopirate 6 June 2017 at 8:17 pm UTC
IMO they were too early with SteamOS for their intended use case/audience. These things are supposed to compete with a console that's just plug and play.

As others on the thread have said you need some Linux knowledge to troubleshoot issues. In the next year, we should actually have wider Wayland adoption, merged DC/DAL in mainline and more solid Vulkan infrastructure. Hopefully the Nvidia Wayland issue will also get worked out. They will also move steam over to Debian 9 which has been much smoother for gaming for me at least for the last 6 months or so compared to Debian 8.
dirkdierickx 7 June 2017 at 7:02 am UTC
I'm fully steamified, running SteamOS (on a self-build pc ofcourse), steam controller(s) and steam link. I think SteamOS is great for the pure gaming experience. A true desktop OS is better and more complete if you want to tinker a lot. But as i want to just play games without any effort (i already spend way to much time @work as a linux admin with fixing things), SteamOS has been a really great fit. Sometimes i get worried about Valve and their commitment to SteamOS but then they release a major update and i'm happy again. Really, how can you not be? Never in my gaming history have i ever collected so many (great! & original) games, and i'm playing them on Linux.

The only real problem i have is that it seems as if Valve does not have a lot of QC, Steam client updates are frequent and almost always something suddenly doesn't work properly anymore. Last week, my steam controller didn't work properly when connected by usb cable (worked fine wireless), every now and then steam link problems pop up (i hate those), and so on. They get fixed rather quickly though (mostly the next day), but still, it puts a bummer on the limited down/play-time i have.
edddeduck_feral 7 June 2017 at 11:07 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/

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.

I've raised this with our developer contacts at Valve and linked to your Steam community post for all the details. I think we've seen a few rare but strange performance drops for people playing in BPM and this bug looks like the cause.

kudos on the detailed and easy to follow post, having spent most of my days reading and logging bugs for over a decade a nicely written report is a joy to read
Nanobang 7 June 2017 at 11:51 am UTC
dubigrasuHey, thanks for the confirmation. I took the liberty to mention your post in that bug report, hope you don't mind.

I don't mind at all! In fact, I'm delighted you did, as I had meant to, then quite simply forgot in the hustle and bustle of the day.


Last edited by Nanobang at 7 June 2017 at 11:51 am UTC
dubigrasu 7 June 2017 at 12:15 pm UTC
edddeduck_feralI've raised this with our developer contacts at Valve and linked to your Steam community post for all the details. I think we've seen a few rare but strange performance drops for people playing in BPM and this bug looks like the cause.
Wow, thank you for sending this to Valve. This issue is killing my gaming experience, and so far (although I kinda posted the bug report everywhere I could) I could'n get someone from Valve to directly acknowledge it.
edddeduck_feral 7 June 2017 at 12:30 pm UTC
dubigrasu
edddeduck_feralI've raised this with our developer contacts at Valve and linked to your Steam community post for all the details. I think we've seen a few rare but strange performance drops for people playing in BPM and this bug looks like the cause.
Wow, thank you for sending this to Valve. T

No problem, you did all the hard work It was more copy pasta for me with a few Feral game examples thrown in.
Jan 7 June 2017 at 3:02 pm UTC
Switching between BPM and desktop mode is much slower for me since the update. But CrossOver and GOG games work much better for me now, maybe due to proper driver support for Skylake and my GTX 1080 in my Zotac EN1080.
Ardje 16 June 2017 at 1:27 pm UTC
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ZapporI guess SteamOS uses RADV now then? Did SteamOS have Vulkan support before?
Steamos had vulkan support in the previous release: it was nvidia driver release 367 something.
It was incapable of handling vulkan on any steam machine though...
The worst part about this news is that I missed it, and I packaged 381.09 for steamos myself and gave it a higher precedence than valves repo, so I never noticed that steamos *stable* released a newer nvidia driver version: 381.22, which fixes all vulkan problems on steam machines.
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