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Valve are looking towards Flatpak functionality for Steam

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After a rumour circulated on Reddit about Valve using Flatpak in future for Steam, it was suggested by user "gutigen" that I reach out to Valve for an official comment. I now have an answer.

I asked a simple question: "People have been claiming that Valve is moving Steam to being a Flatpak package, would you be able to confirm if this is happening?"

The reply was this:
Pierre-Loup A. Griffais, ValveHi Liam,

Not quite; we're looking at some of the underlying technology to see if it would be a good fit to improve the Steam runtime environment interactions with the host system. If we went forward with it, we would be using some of the same kernel functionality Flatpak/bubblewrap is, and hopefully reusing some core code, but we have no plans to change the cross-platform distribution and packaging method at the core of Steam.

Quoted with permission.

To put that into simpler terms: they won't be using it for how they deliver the games directly, so you won't in future get games downloaded and installed as Flatpak packages, but how Steam itself is packaged and interacts with your Linux distribution may change in future.

So essentially, nothing is happening right now as it's still at the research stage. However, it is great to hear that they are actually looking to further improve Steam on Linux.
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37 comments
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Luke_Nukem 22 November 2016 at 7:53 pm UTC
This sounds exactly like they'll be replacing the included Ubunutu runtime directories with Faltpak versions of it. Likely with the aim of enabling use of multiple versions to help prevent breakage in the future.
liamdawe 22 November 2016 at 7:55 pm UTC
LukeNukemThis sounds exactly like they'll be replacing the included Ubunutu runtime directories with Faltpak versions of it. Likely with the aim of enabling use of multiple versions to help prevent breakage in the future.
Well I hear a lot of complaints about how out of date things are in the Steam Runtime, so hopefully they will do something about that.
Spud13y 22 November 2016 at 7:58 pm UTC
liamdawe
LukeNukemThis sounds exactly like they'll be replacing the included Ubunutu runtime directories with Faltpak versions of it. Likely with the aim of enabling use of multiple versions to help prevent breakage in the future.
Well I hear a lot of complaints about how out of date things are in the Steam Runtime, so hopefully they will do something about that.

From what I heard the runtime is based off Ubuntu 12.04, which will see end of life early next year. Hopefully whatever they'll due is sooner than that and will work. At least then it'll appear Valve is still interested in Linux.
ZekThePenguin 22 November 2016 at 8:01 pm UTC
After basically NO news from Valve concerning Steam, it's good to hear that they are still looking to the future with Linux in mind.
MayeulC 22 November 2016 at 8:14 pm UTC
Pretty nice answer (and pretty nice to have an answer at all from Valve ). Thank you, Pierre-Loup.
Yep, Flatpack technology makes sense here, IMO. I just hope it won't make it too difficult to use more recent libraries *instead* of broken ones that might be shipped.


Last edited by MayeulC at 22 November 2016 at 8:15 pm UTC
mehari95 22 November 2016 at 8:19 pm UTC
Does anyone know why they chose Flatpak over Snap?
ismaelbonato 22 November 2016 at 8:40 pm UTC
I vote for Snappy!
kalin 22 November 2016 at 10:05 pm UTC
ismaelbonatoI vote for Snappy!
why ?
tmtvl 22 November 2016 at 10:25 pm UTC
Title and article aren't really meshing together, seems more like Valve is planning on doing their own take on things (problem: we have X competing standards, attempted solution: create a better standard, problem: we have X+1 competing standards).

Of course in this case it could actually work if they decide to integrate some VCS and P2P type functionalities to facilitate global rollout of updates.
Kiba 22 November 2016 at 11:38 pm UTC
ismaelbonatoI vote for Snappy!
Please, no.
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