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SteamOS Compositor Details, Kernel Patches, Screenshots

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  • #11
    Originally posted by Adarion View Post
    I know it's not actually SteamOS related but does anybody have a hint if these Steam-Boxes (though it is more a design principle that can be used by many builders) are going to support / make use of coreboot? (And thus avoid UEFI crap)
    Honestly, what's the point in using Coreboot over UEFI aside from ideological reasons? The latter is standard in off-the-shelf motherboards (remember, they want Steam Box to be "just a computer"), it's supported well enough by Linux and the boot firmware is largely an irrelevant concern. For secure boot, they'll either disable it or preload the SteamOS bootloader's keys into the firmware.

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    • #12
      Originally posted by Sonadow View Post
      I still don't see the newsworthiness of SteamOS.

      So it's a Linux distribution that is utilizes a Debian Wheezy base with extensive modifications. That's no different with Microsoft using a modified Windows for the Xbox. Or Sony using modified FreeBSDs for the PlayStations.
      which leaves me wonder what did you expect.

      it's a RT kernel distro with steam preinstalled and integrated to remove every bit of lag from games. the fact that i see desktop is bothering me more, especially since they use RT. hope it only runs when you leave out and logs out when you go back to BPM in order to conserve resources. i'd truthfully prefer something like Boxes integrated in steam and access remote machine, but hey... can't have everything. then again... when you think, having console and development seemingly integrated might be downright game developers tastes.

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      • #13
        Originally posted by ricequackers View Post
        Honestly, what's the point in using Coreboot over UEFI aside from ideological reasons? The latter is standard in off-the-shelf motherboards (remember, they want Steam Box to be "just a computer"), it's supported well enough by Linux and the boot firmware is largely an irrelevant concern. For secure boot, they'll either disable it or preload the SteamOS bootloader's keys into the firmware.
        IIRC UEFI requires you to get a signature from Microsoft. That alone invalidates UEFI in my eyes.

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        • #14
          Originally posted by dragonn View Post
          Rt? This is realtime kernel right? Why did they use an realtime kernel for a game console system?
          I'm guessing to guarantee the responsiveness of the UI regardless of what background tasks are running. So there shouldn't be any stutter even if the OS is doing heavy background tasks like running the automatic update for example. Real time kernels are ideal for game consoles.

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          • #15
            Originally posted by amehaye View Post
            IIRC UEFI requires you to get a signature from Microsoft. That alone invalidates UEFI in my eyes.
            That's negative...

            UEFI have nothing to do with signatures.

            SECURE BOOT (which is JUST an extension to UEFI), does not either...


            Its just OEM's who may not bother to add any non-MS keys... (That's why getting keys from MS is so smart)

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            • #16
              Originally posted by amehaye View Post
              IIRC UEFI requires you to get a signature from Microsoft. That alone invalidates UEFI in my eyes.
              Nope, in fact to be certified for Windows 8, an x86-64 system must allow the user to disable secure boot or load in their own keys. Microsoft put this in the certification requirement to avoid the scenario where a lazy or crappy OEM omits the secure boot toggle from their firmware, preventing a user from installing Linux on their system and causing a publicity shitstorm on the internet. This brings me back to my original point:

              Originally posted by ricequackers View Post
              For secure boot, they'll either disable it or preload the SteamOS bootloader's keys into the firmware.

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              • #17
                It is not "just" ideological. It has to do with the fact that UEFI (sadly) is bug infested, also due to the fact that even the reference implementation is way too large. It is full of nonsense also (vendors love to put in animations of spinning fans, "3D" setup menus and other crap). It has to do with performance. It has to do with royalties / licenses to be paid for this mess. And last but not least it has to do with security and privacy. A firmware that is so huge like the Linux kernel without drivers, wow, that leaves a lot of open surface for attacks / security holes, general bugs or intentional backdoors.

                So Coreboot would probably be not the worst choice. They can add some Seabios payload in case somebody needs to install Windows on it (which afaik still does some BIOS calls).

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                • #18
                  So pretty much it looks like some sort of a debian/gnome3 build-on OS (i think its debian based because of IceWeasel, who else is using it by default) ?

                  Oh right, now i see that its actually stated on the last image, Even better.

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                  • #19
                    Originally posted by Adarion View Post
                    It is not "just" ideological. It has to do with the fact that UEFI (sadly) is bug infested, also due to the fact that even the reference implementation is way too large. It is full of nonsense also (vendors love to put in animations of spinning fans, "3D" setup menus and other crap). It has to do with performance. It has to do with royalties / licenses to be paid for this mess. And last but not least it has to do with security and privacy. A firmware that is so huge like the Linux kernel without drivers, wow, that leaves a lot of open surface for attacks / security holes, general bugs or intentional backdoors.
                    This is the reason I prefer syslinux over grub2. I can't stand bloated software.

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                    • #20
                      Originally posted by dragonn View Post
                      Rt? This is realtime kernel right? Why did they use an realtime kernel for a game console system?
                      Some time ago I theorized here games should go better with RT kernels

                      Phoronix then made game benchmarks and did not notice significant differences but perhaps Valve did.

                      http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag..._kernels&num=2

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