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Valve continue working behind the scenes for Linux gaming with 'Gamescope'

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Valve are definitely up to something. For a little while, Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais has been tweaking steamcompmgr, the SteamOS session compositing window manager.

After being quiet on SteamOS development for a long time with no update since July last year, it certainly seems now like some parts of it are being revived either for the next major SteamOS release or Valve's other Linux gaming projects. Work on steamcompmgr seemed to stall back in 2018, with it suddenly seeing activity on GitHub in October last year.

In fact, it's no longer named steamcompmgr and seems to be expanding to do a whole lot more. It's had so many tweaks and changes, Griffais has actually given it a new name. Meet Gamescope (GitHub), which Griffais said when renaming it that "We're a superset of steamcompmgr now, but have a wider scope, so new name to reflect it.".

Going over the project there's a few things that stick out. It seems that they're going with Vulkan and Wayland (what's supposed to eventually replace Xorg in most major Linux distributions). Exciting!

Once they talk more about what they're doing and their plans, we will let you know. With all that Valve's doing including Steam Play, the Linux container system, this Gamescope and various other projects they're certainly still giving Linux gaming plenty of attention.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
Tags: Steam, SteamOS, Valve
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26 comments
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Whitewolfe80 15 January 2020 at 3:11 pm UTC
rustybroomhandleI still think all of this is leading up to a second attempt at Steam Machines, except this time with Valve also being the hardware provider.

I dont think they are silly enough to be a hardware provider i think they will go for the licence model again but how many takers there will be after the first attempt bombed.
Shmerl 15 January 2020 at 3:19 pm UTC
Great to see bigger focus on Wayland. And if anyone worries about Nvidia - simply ditch it. They'll never play along with Linux ecosystem properly. May be in the future things will improve, when Nouveau will be unblocked and will replace the blob kernel driver.
Mohandevir 15 January 2020 at 3:20 pm UTC
Whitewolfe80
rustybroomhandleI still think all of this is leading up to a second attempt at Steam Machines, except this time with Valve also being the hardware provider.

I dont think they are silly enough to be a hardware provider i think they will go for the licence model again but how many takers there will be after the first attempt bombed.

Personnally, I doubt that we'll ever see another wave of Steam Machines, if they don't intend to go "the silly way". All these tweaks are probably Steam Cloud Gaming oriented (you know, Steam Linux streaming servers) and the desktop user might gain new features because there is no reason to not let them (Steam in-home streaming and the diy sofa gamers).

I would be the happiest guy to be proven wrong.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 15 January 2020 at 3:44 pm UTC
raneon 15 January 2020 at 4:02 pm UTC
I use Plasma Wayland only since a long time on all my systems, so even on my gaming machine. It works well on AMD, gaming with XWayland works fine too. Sure, there are still some bugs that plague Wayland, but I know how to works around them so that they don't affect me to much. Really good news that Valve invests in Wayland now!


Last edited by raneon on 15 January 2020 at 4:04 pm UTC
Shmerl 15 January 2020 at 5:01 pm UTC
ThetargosAny news on multithreaded input support in Wayland yet? About the most annoying thing (for me) in modest systems (I still have and use a netbook, for simple tasks) and Xorg is deffinitely faster in such scenarios, particularily input-wise than Wayland, and reading about these issue, seems it stems from the fact that Xorg has at least the mouse input in a different thread than the window-drawing, and it does show especially under load. Good thing Valve are getting behind further wayland refinement and pushing it forward.

Wayland is a protocol. Multithreading has nothing to do with it. It's up to the compositor to use it. I.e. a proper compositor can be multithreaded, use Vulkan and etc.

I.e. some compositors could indeed be bad. It doesn't mean Wayland is, or all of them are.


Last edited by Shmerl on 15 January 2020 at 5:03 pm UTC
Shmerl 15 January 2020 at 5:03 pm UTC
raneonReally good news that Valve invests in Wayland now!

I hope they'll put some effort into speeding up support for adaptive sync and other Wayland based gaming scenarios that aren't supported yet.
BrazilianGamer 15 January 2020 at 8:25 pm UTC
#ValveRules
Thetargos 15 January 2020 at 8:45 pm UTC
Shmerl
ThetargosAny news on multithreaded input support in Wayland yet? About the most annoying thing (for me) in modest systems (I still have and use a netbook, for simple tasks) and Xorg is deffinitely faster in such scenarios, particularily input-wise than Wayland, and reading about these issue, seems it stems from the fact that Xorg has at least the mouse input in a different thread than the window-drawing, and it does show especially under load. Good thing Valve are getting behind further wayland refinement and pushing it forward.

Wayland is a protocol. Multithreading has nothing to do with it. It's up to the compositor to use it. I.e. a proper compositor can be multithreaded, use Vulkan and etc.

I.e. some compositors could indeed be bad. It doesn't mean Wayland is, or all of them are.
Indeed, alas (AFAIK) you cannot use say Weston with Xorg. My experience is rather limited with it as I have only used Weston and did notice that under load, mouse input is rather sluggish, which is not the case with Xorg, albeit in a rather weak netvook sporting an Atom N270 with GMA915 graphics, which speaks volumes in terms of modern [E]GL feature support, but which runs just fine Xorg with composition either through WM (XFCEWin/Sawfish) or even GL accelerated Compiz.

Edit, typos, darn phone keypad.


Last edited by Thetargos on 15 January 2020 at 11:23 pm UTC
Grabby 15 January 2020 at 10:36 pm UTC
BielFPs
YoRHa-2BWat?

XWayland generally does work with native games and wine, but there are a ton of issues, especially related to the Vulkan WSI, so you sometimes get weird performance, Vsync may or may not be broken, etc.

Good to know, I've read somewhere that one of the problems with wayland and games is the lack of hw acceleration with xwayland, so the performance would be terrible

But of course, I'm far from being an expert in this subject

Nvidia doesn't support XWayland yet, so HW acceleration is disabled if you have an Nvidia card (applications do run, but on the CPU and with abysmal performance). It works fine on Intel and AMD though (minus the problems mentioned by YoRHa-2B).
BielFPs 15 January 2020 at 10:48 pm UTC
GrabbyNvidia doesn't support XWayland yet, so HW acceleration is disabled if you have an Nvidia card (applications do run, but on the CPU and with abysmal performance). It works fine on Intel and AMD though

So only Nvidia then, nice thank you for the information.

I wish Cinnamon had support for wayland
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