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Valve Begins Landing SteamOS Changes In Steam Client

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  • #31
    Originally posted by LinuxGamer View Post
    i hate to break it to you but the Steam OS will not be based off from Ubuntu
    That would be better then expected. Usually everyone just takes Ubuntu and makes some customizations.


    Originally posted by Kemosabe View Post
    I really do not understand this. I really do not get it why everybody prefers Gnome. You need for everthing a extension that does not integrate very well in many cases. KDE on the other side has much room for customization and runs out of the box. Gnome has waaay too few settings. Fully featured Desktop Environments don't suck a significant number of fps at least not more than Gnome which is everything but fully featured
    I don't prefer Gnome, but Unity and Cinnamon are based on it.

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    • #32
      I think that while Steam will continue to be able to run on practically any Linux distro, SteamOS will be very tweaked/optimized to offer the best performance and minimal latency on a given set of hardware ranges (the ones which will be Steambox'es). And that's fine by me as long as the enhancements made to latency/optimizations are made available for all so that Linux as a whole benefits rather than just through the SteamOS distro.

      However I'm quite sure it will benefit all as there's really no reason for Valve to want to keep any enhancements to themselves (and if they are done at kernel level they have to be released thanks to the GPL) since they make the same money from the Steam service if you are using your desktop or if you are using SteamOS, the only reason SteamOS exists is to give gamers a simple way to have a console-style optimized experience of Steam gaming.

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      • #33
        Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
        I think that while Steam will continue to be able to run on practically any Linux distro, SteamOS will be very tweaked/optimized to offer the best performance and minimal latency on a given set of hardware ranges (the ones which will be Steambox'es). And that's fine by me as long as the enhancements made to latency/optimizations are made available for all so that Linux as a whole benefits rather than just through the SteamOS distro.

        However I'm quite sure it will benefit all as there's really no reason for Valve to want to keep any enhancements to themselves (and if they are done at kernel level they have to be released thanks to the GPL) since they make the same money from the Steam service if you are using your desktop or if you are using SteamOS, the only reason SteamOS exists is to give gamers a simple way to have a console-style optimized experience of Steam gaming.
        It's likely some performance enhancements won't really be used by other OSes because they're most suitable for gaming systems and not all-purpose or server systems. Last I checked, the kernel has a bunch of options related to performance weigh-offs like those, so they're actually already widely available anyway.

        The most performance gain, I think, will be in the fact that there's some base hardware to work off of, so they can make really freakin' well-working, well-performing drivers for that hardware.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
          Optimum performance is had with a display server. Why do you think full-screen scrolling is faster in a terminal on an X11 desktop than in a 1280x1024 framebuffer console? It's because only embedded devices have framebuffer drivers with 2D acceleration beyond a simple enhancement to vertical scrolling.

          The accelerated drivers that Valve has put so much work into helping GPU manufacturers improve are only for the X.org X11 display server.

          Plus, Steam and the already-available Linux ports for games are using the X11 API. They'd have to be insane and stupid to expect everyone to use a different stack for SteamOS after all the work they've already put into X11.
          Frame buffer is more then just linux kernel one (fbdev), good luck rendering anything without a frame buffer, you know steamOS is planned to be used on hardware with a GPU don't you ?

          Valve are heavily involving themselves with openGL so I don't see why wouldn't the overlay be OpenGL framebuffer based.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by DaVince View Post
            It's likely some performance enhancements won't really be used by other OSes because they're most suitable for gaming systems and not all-purpose or server systems. Last I checked, the kernel has a bunch of options related to performance weigh-offs like those, so they're actually already widely available anyway.

            The most performance gain, I think, will be in the fact that there's some base hardware to work off of, so they can make really freakin' well-working, well-performing drivers for that hardware.
            You could certainly be right, they (Valve) did state however that: "In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we're now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases."

            So I'm kind of hoping that these performance and latency improvements made to the 'operating system level' will be beyond tweaking kernel options.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by XorEaxEax View Post
              You could certainly be right, they (Valve) did state however that: "In SteamOS, we have achieved significant performance increases in graphics processing, and we're now targeting audio performance and reductions in input latency at the operating system level. Game developers are already taking advantage of these gains as they target SteamOS for their new releases."

              So I'm kind of hoping that these performance and latency improvements made to the 'operating system level' will be beyond tweaking kernel options.
              The operating system doesn't limit to the kernel. Also, if they do make changes to the kernel, they are obliged to release them as GPL, so any other distribution can take them (of course, they can legitimately wait until the day they release the binaries, so the other distributions will always be a step back compared to them).

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              • #37
                simply have to love some posters here

                de on gaming console OS? why in the world would you do that? most of the time ppl will interact with controller... i imagine kde and gnome are especially friendly to that approach

                if valve is any smart (and they are) they want to avoid 2 things in process, otherwise whole project will drain them dry
                - every console has to be sold at loss in order to popularize it... Valve is nicely avoiding this one by having the (SteamOS = any OS+Steam) mantra and the fact that StemBox=hardware which is known to be certified or not. it avoids that even more since SteamBox can be made and sold by anyone under the name SteamBox
                - complete OS development is costly. not to mention, having small implementation footprint is a better reference for other distros to follow in order to achieve best possible compatibility as long as Valve keeps the public list of their tweaks

                now, let's see few clues...
                1. the only machine shipping with SteamOS will be SteamBox. i don't see many ppl here buying that one since everyone claims they prefer their box. why retardo demanding DE on it? Valve always said you can uninstall SteamOS and install your preffered OS. your preffered OS+Steam !!!SHOULD!!! be the same as long as implementation in distro is ok. risk is yours though
                2. if you build your box, don't expect everywhere to work the same. follow certified HW list which i think Valve will keep if they want to avoid customer problems. risk is again yours. you could always opt for console to get defacto good performance
                3. game development without referential platform would be disaster. no better than now for Windows. having certified box and certified OS invalidates all manners of possible regressions and speeds up development which also lowers game costs. this is probably most important factor PC always missed when compared to console. and that reason alone is why i see gaming companies jumping on the wagon
                4. some ppl like me just want to play. i don't want to be bothered by desktop. that is why i have computer for work and console to play

                i wouldn't be even the least surprised if Valve published some sort of referential benchmark. that alone would ease the factoring out badly implemented distros and at the same time Valve would have way less bad feedback in a manner "game doesn't work on xyz distro"

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by iniudan View Post
                  Frame buffer is more then just linux kernel one (fbdev), good luck rendering anything without a frame buffer, you know steamOS is planned to be used on hardware with a GPU don't you ?

                  Valve are heavily involving themselves with openGL so I don't see why wouldn't the overlay be OpenGL framebuffer based.
                  You're conflating two different types of framebuffer.

                  In your previous message, you said that "I am pretty sure valve will not even have a display server installed on SteamOS, has SteamOS is intended to run one software in full screen and everything else is an overlay on top of it, so will most likely use the frame buffer for optimum performance. "

                  The AMD and nVidia OpenGL drivers require X.org (which is a display server) and expose OpenGL via an API called GLX ("OpenGL Extension to the X Window System").

                  I never said they couldn't draw into an FBO... I just said that the drivers necessary to anything beyond fbdev depend on X.org. With desktop hardware and the proprietary drivers they've put so much effort into improving, accessing OpenGL without a display server is less of a supported configuration than Weston is.

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                  • #39
                    I can see that check box in big picture mode, auto start into steam big picture mode. Most likely uncheck and load up a command prompt. Then install a desktop. I also can see people forking off of steamOS. I still believe steamOS will be a fork off of ubuntu, but a stripped down version and highly modified, we will se next month for sure.

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                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Kemosabe View Post
                      The problem is not me. I build my pcs by myself. If VALVE would install KDE maybe with their steam-theme SteamOS and therefore Linux would become a serious alternative for Desktop Computing and Gaming.
                      But the normal stupid user is not able to do something different than use the predefined system. Thus i really hope VALVE does install any Desktop Environment. There is really no need the reinvent the wheel.
                      The normal stupid user just wants a console.

                      SteamOS will be PERFECT for that in special because it's NOT a regular Linux distro where you can use LibreOffice,etc.

                      At 1st glance is disappointing but will save Valve from a lot of customer service problems with stupid users used to use a stupid console like PSx or XBOXxxx.


                      Everyone else installs a regular distro that can have the Steam client and use it in Big Picture mode in the living room.


                      All problems solved.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by AJSB View Post
                        The normal stupid user just wants a console.

                        SteamOS will be PERFECT for that in special because it's NOT a regular Linux distro where you can use LibreOffice,etc.

                        At 1st glance is disappointing but will save Valve from a lot of customer service problems with stupid users used to use a stupid console like PSx or XBOXxxx.
                        I don't think anyone sane wants to use desktop ui or LibreOffice in their TELEVISION. It has nothing to do with stupidity.

                        I have big mythtv setup in my house and running any desktop environment in frontends would be very bad user experience. Using desktop when relaxing in livingroom (after working with computers for a day) would make me cringe.

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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by ssokolow View Post
                          You're conflating two different types of framebuffer.

                          In your previous message, you said that "I am pretty sure valve will not even have a display server installed on SteamOS, has SteamOS is intended to run one software in full screen and everything else is an overlay on top of it, so will most likely use the frame buffer for optimum performance. "

                          The AMD and nVidia OpenGL drivers require X.org (which is a display server) and expose OpenGL via an API called GLX ("OpenGL Extension to the X Window System").

                          I never said they couldn't draw into an FBO... I just said that the drivers necessary to anything beyond fbdev depend on X.org. With desktop hardware and the proprietary drivers they've put so much effort into improving, accessing OpenGL without a display server is less of a supported configuration than Weston is.
                          Should read your own link, notice the nice direct rendering path, the OpenGL API is missing a fork toward direct rendering path for the proprietary libGL.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Kemosabe View Post
                            I guess Steam Big Picture will be the only User Interface accessible without hacks . . . i hoped it will be a fully usable computer but it's just another console.
                            Then you don't understand what SteamOS is all about. From my understanding, SteamOS is all about creating a standard Linux stack for game developers and hardware manufacturers. In other words, developers and manufacturers just need to target SteamOS instead of worrying about different distros. Any special improvements Valve makes to the kernel or the graphics stack will be merged back upstream from my understanding (they did that with improvements they made while porting Left 4 Dead 2). In other words, you should be able to get SteamOS experience using Steam client on any distro, but for the unexperienced they just need to buy a ready made Steam Machine.

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                            • #44
                              some unmentioned work:

                              following how far i can get for streaming to work, valve appears to have removed their "logged in to another computer" message, instead one of your clients will simply lose connection and stay usable.

                              trying to get streaming to work from either of the clients still is no dice, but it's becoming available, inch by inch

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by iniudan View Post
                                Should read your own link, notice the nice direct rendering path, the OpenGL API is missing a fork toward direct rendering path for the proprietary libGL.
                                The link to the GLX page on Wikipedia? I've read it in full. Just because GLX supports direct rendering doesn't make it trivial to bypass the X11 side of things entirely. Direct rendering is only available once X.org has initialized the driver and been used to set up initial communication between the driver and the application.

                                Have you ever tried running games in Wine and tripped over a crash-inducing bug? It's a similar problem but in your video drivers. The drivers aren't designed to work without X.org so, unless you can fake X.org's ABI convincingly enough to manage initialization and lie about desktop status, you can't use them and, if you make even one mistake in impersonating X.org, the video drivers will crash due to a violated expectation.

                                (I get the impression you're not a programmer. As a computer science major who's been programming since the age of 8, let me assure you, there's nothing more fragile than native code which only compiled successfully because the compiler was checking against a different implementation than the one you're running with. A crash isn't actually an application saying "I give up!", it's the kernel killing the application for trying to perform an invalid action. For example, a segmentation fault us the application trying to access memory outside what was assigned to it... often at address 0 which is reserved to mean NULL in C.)

                                To get around that, nVidia, ATi, and Intel would have to make, test, and release custom versions of the drivers... and it would be more work than the XMir patch Intel just rejected. (And probably at least as much work as the MIPS recompile nVidia wanted an arm and a leg for which lost them a 10-million machine bid to ATi in China.)

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