You can sign up to get a daily email of our articles, see the Mailing List page!

Valve give a little more info on what 'Gamescope' actually does for Linux gaming

Posted by , | Views: 40,614

Recently, a Valve developer revived steamcompmgr (the SteamOS compositing and window manager) and renamed it to Gamescope. After writing about it yesterday here on GOL, they've now given some more info on what it actually does.

Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais is spearheading the effort and a few hours ago they actually gave it a readme, mentioning that "gamescope does the same thing as steamcompmgr, but with less extra copies and latency". From the readme:

- It's getting game frames through Wayland by way of Xwayland, so there's no copy within X itself before it gets the frame.
- It can use DRM/KMS to directly flip game frames to the screen, even when stretching or when notifications are up, removing another copy.
- When it does need to composite with the GPU, it does so with async Vulkan compute, meaning you get to see your frame quick even if the game already has the GPU busy with the next frame.
 
It also runs on top of a regular desktop, the 'nested' usecase steamcompmgr didn't support.

- Because the game is running in its own personal Xwayland sandbox desktop, it can't interfere with your desktop and your desktop can't interfere with it.
- You can spoof a virtual screen with a desired resolution and refresh rate as the only thing the game sees, and control/resize the output as needed. This can be useful in exotic display configurations like ultrawide or multi-monitor setups that involve rotation.
 
The features of that second part are working, but aren't exposed to the user yet.

Right now, they said it runs on an AMD GPU with Mesa but could be made to work with other drivers "with minimal work". NVIDIA would need to support accelerated Xwayland to work with Gamescope.

Definitely going to be interesting to find out their actual plan for it. A revived Steam Machine effort, perhaps with an AMD GPU? Or something else to help with whatever Steam Cloud Gaming turns out to be—a simple Linux front end for it perhaps? Back down to reality for a moment, it's more likely it's linked to their container effort to make Linux games run exactly how they want them across the many different distributions and desktops.

Many questions. I've emailed Valve to see if they want to give us any insight, although they're usually tight-lipped though so we might have to just wait and see if it's for a big plan or just a fun project for now.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
43 Likes, Who?
We do often include affiliate links to earn us some pennies. We are currently affiliated with GOG, Humble Store and Paradox Interactive. See more information here.
About the author -
I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly.
See more from me
39 comments
Page: «4/4
  Go to:

MayeulC 17 January 2020 at 10:37 pm UTC
So, this could be used for chrome os, but also for headless streaming. Now that I think about it, this is ideal to leverage steam remote play without displaying anything on your computer
Shmerl 18 January 2020 at 11:32 pm UTC
Is Chrome OS using Wayland?
Vortex_Acherontic 21 January 2020 at 7:29 pm UTC
ShmerlSo why wait? If you care about innovation and progress of the Linux desktop, help yourself and everyone else and make sure your next GPU is not Nvidia.

My major issue to switch to AMD GPUs is that they in terms of performance still behind NVidia and even my GTX 1080 is as fast as the most recent RX 5700XT and I have 2 GTX 1080 for CGI stuff. So in terms of not loosing performance I'll need to get at least 2 5700 XT and would not make any benefit from it performance wise and the investment would not yet worth it. (And I still not known how well the OpenCL implementation in Blender compete with the CUDA implementation. In the worst case I would have the same gaming performance but worse rendering performance and reducing render times is vital for this task rather than increase it)

Basically I regret buying a recent card to have the same performance of a 4 year old card I already own at the moment. I had high hopes in the NAVI cards but they turned out being not so amazing.


Last edited by Vortex_Acherontic on 21 January 2020 at 7:30 pm UTC
Shmerl 21 January 2020 at 7:42 pm UTC
Vortex_AcheronticBasically I regret buying a recent card to have the same performance of a 4 year old card I already own at the moment. I had high hopes in the NAVI cards but they turned out being not so amazing.

It's an iterative process. AMD said they are investing a lot into microarchitecture for Navi, so I expect its performance to continue improving and catch up to Nvidia, or hopefully get ahead of it. Current iteration of Navi is obviously still only catching up in this sense.

So yes, currently using AMD you get lower performance than some Nvidia cards, but not really much lower, and as I said, AMD is on the course to fix it. That's a tradeoff I'm OK with. The other option is to support a nasty company that slows down Linux progress to begin with.


Last edited by Shmerl on 21 January 2020 at 7:46 pm UTC
Vortex_Acherontic 22 January 2020 at 8:26 pm UTC
[quote=Shmerl]
Vortex_AcheronticThe other option is to support a nasty company that slows down Linux progress to begin with.

Yep I agree, I love AMD (have AMD cpus since years even if they where "behind" Intel in the FX days but that FX-8350 is still kicking some ass and can handle a lot, even a GTX970 and GTX1060 at the same time )

Currenty I am waiting for the next AMD GPU generation before I'll buy a new system. Currently I have no needs to upgrade my PC so I have plenty of time to observe the progress

And maybe NVidia will change their minds ... 😑🤨🤭😅😂🤣 that one probably will not happen anytime soon if at all xD
MayeulC 23 January 2020 at 6:26 pm UTC
ShmerlIs Chrome OS using Wayland?
AFAIK, it it. IIRC, it's even used by Android apps instead of surfaceflinger. I didn't find much on this topic though (information is scattered), besides this FAQ entry.


Last edited by MayeulC on 23 January 2020 at 6:27 pm UTC
Shmerl 23 January 2020 at 6:49 pm UTC
MayeulC
ShmerlIs Chrome OS using Wayland?
AFAIK, it it. IIRC, it's even used by Android apps instead of surfaceflinger. I didn't find much on this topic though (information is scattered), besides this FAQ entry.

Interesting, thanks! If Android UI applications can work through Wayland, Google should simply move to it on Android itself.
Shmerl 23 January 2020 at 6:50 pm UTC
https://chromium.googlesource.com/chromiumos/platform2/+/master/vm_tools/sommelier/

QuoteSommelier is an implementation of a Wayland compositor that delegates compositing to a ‘host’ compositor. Sommelier includes a set of features that allows it to run inside a tight jail or virtual machine.

Sommelier can run as service or as a wrapper around the execution of a program. As a service, it spawns new processes as needed to service clients. The parent process is called the master sommelier.


Last edited by Shmerl on 23 January 2020 at 6:50 pm UTC
Shmerl 23 January 2020 at 7:08 pm UTC
Though it still runs it in the container, or that's just for security reasons? Is ChromeOS itself using Wayland or some kind of custom display server?
  Go to:
While you're here, please consider supporting GamingOnLinux on Patreon, Liberapay or Paypal. We have no adverts, no paywalls, no timed exclusive articles. Just good, fresh content. Without your continued support, we simply could not continue!

You can find even more ways to support us on this dedicated page any time. If you already are, thank you!

You need to Register and Login to comment, submit articles and more.


Or login with...

Livestreams & Videos
Community Livestreams
  • Story Time: „Unavowed“ (Wine)
Popular this week
View by Category
Contact
Latest Comments
Latest Forum Posts