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SteamOS Has Its Own Graphics Compositor

Gaming

Published on 13 December 2013 07:02 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming
55 Comments

More details regarding the Debian-based SteamOS are emerging. There's also a SteamOS installer now available but the server is getting slaughtered at the moment by those trying to download SteamOS.

Aside from the Debian package repository mentioned in the earlier Phoronix article, more SteamOS details have been published to the SteamOS FAQ page.

Changes that Valve made to their Debian Wheezy base included backporting eglibc 2.17, adding updated graphics drivers, switching to the Linux 3.10 kernel, auto-updates from Valve SteamOS repositories, and they have written their own custom graphics compositor.

About this SteamOS compositor running atop X.Org, Valve's notes say, "Custom graphics compositor designed to provide a seamless transition between Steam, its games and the SteamOS system overlay."

Right now only NVIDIA graphics via the NVIDIA binary Linux driver are supported by the SteamOS 1.0 Beta.

In terms of why Valve went with Debian Wheezy over Ubuntu, the FAQ reads, "Building on top of the Debian core is the best way for Valve to deliver a fully custom SteamOS experience to our customers."

Stay tuned for more details. I'll be running many SteamOS benchmarks this weekend.

UPDATE: More details here. There's also now the first SteamOS benchmarks.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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