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Further evidence that Valve is here for the long-run, they've hired yet another developer to help improve open source graphics drivers on Linux.

Daniel Schürmann is the latest, confirmed by Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais on Twitter. So they have now hired Samuel "hakzsam" Pitoiset, Timothy Arceri (who previously crowdfunded his work to improve Linux drivers), Andres Rodriguez and more in addition to this latest. 

It's going to be interesting to see if Valve continue to bring in more Linux folk, and the fact that Valve is still hiring people to help Linux gaming through driver work, VR work and so on is quite telling on how they plan to continue pushing Linux gaming for some time. They might not be shouting from the rooftops about it, but the work they're doing is vitally important.

Something else that Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais shared recently, is that approximately 13% of Mesa contributions in 2017 were from Valve developers:

Fun fact: Valve contributions seem to make up about 13% of Mesa commits in 2017. (commit count isn't relevant to contribution significance, so this fact is not only fun, but also useless).

It's going to be interesting to see what kind of splash Valve make, when VR support is solid on Linux and what their plans are after then. Some form of Steam Machine with SteamOS and a VR headset bundle, along with some upgrades to SteamOS could be quite interesting.

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102 comments
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Samsai 9 February 2018 at 10:26 pm UTC
Seriously, take the Wine talk to the forum. If this mess of a comment section keeps spiralling out of control further I'll have to close it.
natewardawg 9 February 2018 at 11:12 pm UTC
SamsaiSeriously, take the Wine talk to the forum. If this mess of a comment section keeps spiralling out of control further I'll have to close it.

Agreed, haha, why are Wine, Feral ports and different wrappers being discussed on an article about Valve hiring a graphics driver engineer?

Mesa development affects every kind of port, but also helps people who do video editing, 3D content creation, and even helps people who just want to watch a movie through a player with GPU acceleration. I think it's awesome what Valve is doing and it will likely affect more than just games.
Salvatos 10 February 2018 at 4:17 am UTC
ZybersunSee the problem I have is way back Nvidia was the only good supporter for Linux. So I have always stayed with them, even through their stupidity. ATI, what it was called at the time, just sucked and forget about Intel graphics.
I'm in the same boat. Last time I upgraded my GPU, everyone said to use nVidia because it was the only thing getting proper drivers for gaming on Linux. I have no clue why everyone is complaining about them now since I haven't had any trouble with that card except for the occasional bug in driver updates, but I suppose it has to do with the newer cards' support?
jens 10 February 2018 at 7:30 am UTC
SalvatosI have no clue why everyone is complaining about them now since I haven't had any trouble with that card except for the occasional bug in driver updates, but I suppose it has to do with the newer cards' support?
I don't see much complaining NVidia user, it is more that some AMD users feel the need to highlight what NVidia users seem to miss . I'm still more than happy with my newer NVidia card.

My feeling is that all newer cards are perfectly supported by both vendors. Both choices are still very valid:
- Go for NVidia when looking for speed and compatibility with all games but expect some hassles with driver installation and a "tainted" system due to the closed source nature.
- Go for AMD if you are looking for the perfect fit into the Linux ecosystem, though expect slightly lesser performance and be aware that you might need a lot of bleeding edge components (kernel, mesa) for newer games to run well.

(This will be my only post on that subject, I don't want to start another off-topic discussion )


Last edited by jens at 10 February 2018 at 11:00 am UTC. Edited 3 times.
Zybersun 10 February 2018 at 10:31 am UTC
Back to the original. I am glad Valve has not given up on Linux. I know of a few companies that just used Linux to get where they are and than they turned their backs on it.
Peapoll 10 February 2018 at 2:35 pm UTC
Pierre-Loup Griffais back in march 2017:
QuoteWelcome keithp to the team! Our open graphics group is now 5 strong, but still hiring. Shader compiler performance people especially wanted.

Pierre-Loup Griffais this month:
QuoteWelcome Daniel Schürmann to the Valve open-source graphics group! https://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/mesa-dev/2018-February/184685.html

If my math is correct we now got 6 dedicated people at Valve.


Last edited by Peapoll at 10 February 2018 at 2:35 pm UTC
Joeyboots80 11 February 2018 at 10:32 am UTC
Great news! It always gives me hope when Valve announces they're doing more work on Linux open source graphics drivers. This can only be a good thing for Linux gamers.
PJ 11 February 2018 at 1:01 pm UTC
ShmerlSolution is quite easy and likely will be a common choice for many Linux gamers going forward. Ditch Nvidia and use AMD. It's a shame of course that Nvidia are being jerks when it comes to proper Linux support, but it's not our problem anymore.

Not so easy if you're doing stuff outside gaming. AMD open source drivers sucked when it comes to OpenCL and Vulkan support last time I've checked. And those may be a must depending on what you do.
Also if you're using 3d render engines like Redshift or Octane you're stuck with Nvidia as they require CUDA.
So yeah, I'd love to see Nvidia suck less when it comes to the way they handle their driver development and their general attitude (yup, I'm taking a long look at the Wayland case now), but that doesn't change that I have little choice...
pete910 11 February 2018 at 2:06 pm UTC
OpenCL has worked out of the box for like forever on the prop stack tbh, oss opencl stack works fine too admittedly not as quick as the prop stack.

Vega is a little different due to ROCm .

Vulkan was sketchy I admit, now works fine, currently playing doom through wine with Vulkan.

The cuda bit is obvious, if you need it, NV only, but lets be honest here, it the sole reason why NV came up with it is? Vendor Lockin! It's no different to DX from MS

The choice you do have however is the software you use though. Buying software that uses cudu only does not help and only strengthens vendor lockin for instance

Edit:

Just to point out, the argument regards cuda is kinda moot based on the fact the very site you are discussing this on has GAMING ON LINUX in the title. Plus I would dare say the vast majority of uses here are gamers due to the nature of the content. Be a good metric for liam to include in the PC stats mind.

If it was renderingonlinux you would have a case


Last edited by pete910 at 11 February 2018 at 2:16 pm UTC
PJ 11 February 2018 at 2:33 pm UTC
yeah, Pete, but as I've stated - it is not so easy if you use your box for work too, not only for gaming.
This really restricts your choices, especially when you add few options (or no options) with professional software outside dev / server side.
If I'd only done gaming on my PC - sure AMD could be taken into consideration. But I need to do actual work as well... Thus no "ideology" talk can make me switch (I'd like to) - I need to be pragmatic with my hardware choices.
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