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After the recent upset caused by Canonical's plan to drop 32bit support in Ubuntu, then to turn around and change their plan due to the uproar caused by it, Valve now have a full statement out about their future support of Linux gaming.

Firstly, to get it out of the way, there's nothing to worry about here. Valve said they "remain committed to supporting Linux as a gaming platform", they're also "continuing to drive numerous driver and feature development efforts that we expect will help improve the gaming and desktop experience across all distributions" which they plan to talk more about later.

On the subject of Canonical's newer plan for Ubuntu 19.10 and onwards in regards to 32bit support, Valve said they're "not particularly excited about the removal of any existing functionality, but such a change to the plan is extremely welcome" and that it "seems likely that we will be able to continue to officially support Steam on Ubuntu".

However Arch Linux, Manjaro, Pop!_OS and Fedora all got direct mentions in this statement, when talking about how the Linux gaming landscape has changed and how there's a lot more options to have a good gaming experience. Valve said they will be working "closer" with more distributions but they have nothing to announce just yet on what exact distributions they will be officially supporting in future.

Also, if you're working on a distribution and you need a direct line with Valve, they suggested using this link.

You can see the full statement from Valve here.

Fantastic news, I will be completely honest, there was that little worry in the back of my mind that Valve would start pulling back but why would they? They've put a ridiculous amount of resources into our smaller platform, things have improved an astonishing amount since Steam arrived on Linux back in 2013 and it sounds like things will continue getting better.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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58 comments
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TheSHEEEP 27 June 2019 at 5:47 am UTC
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Well, I did hope some positive things came from this mess.
Linas 27 June 2019 at 6:06 am UTC
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Salvatos
Mountain ManAt this point, what is the best Ubuntu alternative?
Depends on what you're after. I left Ubuntu after they forced too many UI decisions I didn't like, so Mint was a natural choice for me. Similar look and feel to good old Ubuntu + Gnome.
Debian Testing is also a good choice. It's basically the same system under the hood, so it's not even that much of a change. And Debian Testing is a rolling distribution with packages that are fairly up-to-date. And if you need bleeding edge, there is Debian Unstable. And even Experimental if you are really adventurous.

The biggest difference is that Debian is much less opinionated than Ubuntu, Mint, and other derivatives. They don't have the Debian desktop experience, but rather ship upstream packages. So you get vanilla GNOME, vanilla KDE, etc. with minimal branding from Debian.
Arehandoro 27 June 2019 at 6:13 am UTC
Linas
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Mountain ManAt this point, what is the best Ubuntu alternative?
Depends on what you're after. I left Ubuntu after they forced too many UI decisions I didn't like, so Mint was a natural choice for me. Similar look and feel to good old Ubuntu + Gnome.
Debian Testing is also a good choice. It's basically the same system under the hood, so it's not even that much of a change. And Debian Testing is a rolling distribution with packages that are fairly up-to-date. And if you need bleeding edge, there is Debian Unstable. And even Experimental if you are really adventurous.

The biggest difference is that Debian is much less opinionated than Ubuntu, Mint, and other derivatives. They don't have the Debian desktop experience, but rather ship upstream packages. So you get vanilla GNOME, vanilla KDE, etc. with minimal branding from Debian.

I’m actually surprised Valve have not mentioned at all Debian on their last post. I always considered, and still do, Debian the most appropriate distro. Although newer Mesa/Kernels, in an apt repo, would be ideal for sid to have the perfect combination whilst gaming.
TheSHEEEP 27 June 2019 at 6:32 am UTC
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Linas
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Mountain ManAt this point, what is the best Ubuntu alternative?
Depends on what you're after. I left Ubuntu after they forced too many UI decisions I didn't like, so Mint was a natural choice for me. Similar look and feel to good old Ubuntu + Gnome.
And Debian Testing is a rolling distribution with packages that are fairly up-to-date.
Rolling distributions are a rather big red flag for some distros.
Like, I'd always recommend Manjaro stable over Arch for most users, as it has a more thorough process of making sure things remain stable before updates roll out - or rather, an additional round of checking on top of what Arch does.

Nonetheless, if Steam would officially support Arch, that would (if I'm not mistaken) include Manjaro, so...
Cestarian 27 June 2019 at 6:39 am UTC
Huh, I like how they mentioned they're open to officially supporting other distributions and even mentioned specifically arch, manjaro, pop os and fedora.

Supporting arch and manjaro officially would be nice, they're basically the same under the hood but manjaro is easier to install and designed to be a noob friendly version of arch. then there's pop which I'm seeing more and more recommended lately, not a fan personally, but Valve clearly just reached out a hand towards these distributions (and others) asking them to contact them if they're interested in working together to get their distros officially supported by steam. It really wouldn't change much but it would certainly be cool.
Cestarian 27 June 2019 at 6:43 am UTC
Mountain ManAt this point, what is the best Ubuntu alternative?

Like someone else said, it depends quite a lot on what you want from your distro, if you're worried, why not just go distro hopping? Try manjaro and pop os as likely candidates, there's also elemenetary and well, I mean there's a shitload of distros and everybody like ssomething different.

I prefer manjaro because it comes with the versatility of arch and ease of use and installation as ubuntu and derivatives (like mint). I also want to have the latest versions of... well... everything, this is something I'm just used to as a long time user of windows before switching to linux and not something I'm willing to miss out on if it can be helped. Rolling release is the only thing that makes sense to me.

But you know... have you considered debian?
Nevertheless 27 June 2019 at 7:00 am UTC
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mjfa12Very happy to see this. This most recent decision/confusion by Ubuntu is what made me finally switch to Fedora. First the whole Unity 8 fiasco. Then the GNOME themeing arguments. Now the 32 Bit decision. It's clear Ubuntu is being geared toward server and cloud and away from the desktop. That is fine and probably a good financial decision for Ubuntu. But for me, a desktop user, I have switched to Fedora. Steam works well on Fedora when downloaded from RPM Fusion. There is also a flatpak, but I need access to external drives when using steam. I am looking forward to seeing how they enhance their Fedora support.

Access to external drives is no problem with Flatpak. Just type

flatpak override com.valvesoftware.Steam --filesystem=<PATH>

This will just create a textfile named "com.valvesoftware.Steam" in the directory "~/.var/flatpak/overrides", which you also can edit to add more paths or mountpoints.
Hori 27 June 2019 at 7:13 am UTC
SuperTuxGlad they made that statement, some Windows centric sites seem to think if Ubuntu got dropped that would be the end of the world which is laughable. I was around when Red Hat was the big thing, all these distros is one of the strengths, if one screws up so much users will simply switch to one that didn't.
True, the distros are similar enough to be able to pick another one up quite easily, but different enouch so that if one is going down, the others won't and would be lifeboats.
But to be fair, there are also cons to having so many distros


Last edited by Hori on 27 June 2019 at 7:13 am UTC
Zlopez 27 June 2019 at 8:41 am UTC
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As a Fedora user and full-time developer I'm glad to hear that Fedora is mentioned as one of the distributions providing great gaming desktop experience.

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ShmerlGreat to hear about Valve working closely with more distros! And especially backing efforts to improve desktop experience. I suppose the recent KDE/KWin work announcement is related to that.

Can you remind me what that KDDe kwin stuff was about ?

KWin is windows manager for KDE, the changes will introduce better handling of games in fullscreen and address issues with game windows.
PieOrCake 27 June 2019 at 8:41 am UTC
Mountain ManAt this point, what is the best Ubuntu alternative?
I've had exactly one problem with Manjaro since I switched right after Ubuntu's first announcement dropping 32bit support, and I found the solution in two minutes using a quick search on DuckDuckGo.
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