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An interesting SteamOS update just before and now it's time for the Steam Client Beta! Valve have been putting in the effort lately for sure.

Here's the relevant bits from the changelog for us:
  • Updated STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES logic to still prefer Steam Runtime libraries if they are more recent than the host system
  • Updated Vulkan loader in Steam Runtime to version 1.0.54, which provides all the extensions currently needed for SteamVR
  • Added support for shader cache management on supported drivers (Mesa 17.1 and NVIDIA 381.26.08 or 384.59). Shader caches for games launched by Steam are placed in separate folders next to their Steam Library folder and are deleted when each game is uninstalled, or when switching drivers or graphics cards. Individual shaders are tracked and catalogued by the Steam servers in preparation for distributing pre-compiled shaders. This tracking can incur slight additional bandwidth use. The system can be disabled by setting the environment variable STEAM_ENABLE_SHADER_CACHE_MANAGEMENT=0

They also fixed an issue with the Steam client becoming sluggish, if it couldn't connect to their error and crash-reporting servers.

The new shader cache system they have sounds rather interesting for sure. A lot of games have a slightly longer loading time on the first run (or whenever you update your drivers) as they setup a shader cache. You can also experience lots of stuttering in games when entering a new area, as it builds it up. It sounds like now, Valve will ship pre-warmed shaders for games. Useful for SteamOS, since they generally control the driver versions and it could help loading time and performance on SteamOS directly. It doesn't just affect SteamOS though, since this is in the actual Steam client itself. I'm sure if I'm wrong on this, you will happily point it out in the comments. Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Beta, Steam
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dubigrasu 26 Jul, 2017
The shader cache seems to be working pretty good. At least two games were suffering greatly from these long loading times; Deadfall Adventures and Painkiller.
You'll still need to build the shader cache at the very first launch, but this time the shader cache is kept and no longer deleted when you reboot.
Borderlands 2 seem to be also benefit from this.
M@GOid 26 Jul, 2017
I hope they keep this behavior for SteamOS, because I believe it can cause problems on a conventional distro were users are costumed in changing video drivers all the time.
DamonLinuxPL 26 Jul, 2017
Quoting: dubigrasuThe shader cache seems to be working pretty good. At least two games were suffering greatly from these long loading times; Deadfall Adventures and Painkiller.
You'll still need to build the shader cache at the very first launch, but this time the shader cache is kept and no longer deleted when you reboot.
Borderlands 2 seem to be also benefit from this.

Yes, I remember when Leszek Godlewski released Painkiller for Linux. In early loading time takes ages especialy on AMD GPU... on NVIDIA faster but still too long. After patch it load much faster but still longer than other games. First game launch even now takes much times. But this is not game issue but UE3... and AMD because compilation shaders on amd gpu in this tame is very hardly. Now should be better.

So good idea to have it.
Teal 26 Jul, 2017
Quoting: M@GOidI hope they keep this behavior for SteamOS, because I believe it can cause problems on a conventional distro were users are costumed in changing video drivers all the time.

Why should this cause problems?

If you change video driver, the old cache should become invalid, get deleted and replaced.
Pecisk 26 Jul, 2017
Also flatpak support is important.
Pecisk 26 Jul, 2017
Quoting: M@GOidI hope they keep this behavior for SteamOS, because I believe it can cause problems on a conventional distro were users are costumed in changing video drivers all the time.

Cashing is done on per card basis, also when new driver comes, it is discarded.

Also people don't really change drivers that much.
Ardje 26 Jul, 2017
QuoteIndividual shaders are tracked and catalogued by the Steam servers in preparation for distributing pre-compiled shaders.
Wow, they can actually go ahead an make the biggest distributed (shader) compiler (cache) on the world... Just hash and upload the hashes and binaries, and those with the highest matching scores can be used by others (to prevent foul play).
elmapul 26 Jul, 2017
". Shader caches for games launched by Steam are placed in separate folders next to their Steam Library folder and are deleted when each game is uninstalled, or when switching drivers or graphics cards. Individual shaders are tracked and catalogued by the Steam servers in preparation for distributing pre-compiled shaders. This tracking can incur slight additional bandwidth use. The system can be disabled by setting the environment variable STEAM_ENABLE_SHADER_CACHE_MANAGEMENT=0"

Shader cache, in other words, once the game was loaded once, it will run (or load( faster the next time you play, right?

" Individual shaders are tracked and catalogued by the Steam servers in preparation for distributing pre-compiled shaders."
in other words, if someone already played the game on your video card , you will not need to run it once, to make it faster the next time, since someone already did that.

i got it right?
TheBard 26 Jul, 2017
Can the shader cache shorten the everlasting startup of Deus Ex Manking Devided ?
dubigrasu 26 Jul, 2017
Quoting: TheBardCan the shader cache shorten the everlasting startup of Deus Ex Manking Devided ?
For the very first launch, I doubt it. Feral was already using for their games a shader cache management of their own (ex: in .local/share/feral-interactive/Deus Ex Mankind Divided/driver-gl-shader-cache).
Interesting though, now is no longer used (as in gl-shader-cache is no longer created and the steam one used instead).
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