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The State Of VR HMDs On Linux With DRM Leasing, Etc

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  • The State Of VR HMDs On Linux With DRM Leasing, Etc

    Phoronix: The State Of VR HMDs On Linux With DRM Leasing, Etc

    Keith Packard who has been doing contract work for Valve the past year on improving the support for virtual reality head-mounted displays (VR HMDs) shares a status update on his work at this week's Linux.Conf.Au in Sydney...

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...-Steam-VR-HMDs

  • #2
    Is it likely that 1.20 will be delayed until it has all the necessary bits to support VR HMDs that Keith has been working on? Not too keen to wait until however long for 1.21 to have decent VR experience on Linux

    xorg aside, is it likely that all the other parts could be ready by mid 2018? (at least for rolling distros) That'd be great

    Any idea how much all of these changes will address the stuttering performance pointed out in previous articles and community discussions? Is there any possibility of getting better perf than Windows delivers with VR experiences?(not neccessarily games, I have worked on converting historical/cultural real-world environments into digital for experiencing within VR)

    While these improvements are aimed at better supporting VR, would they help address the issue I have with some games(I only use Steam for games atm) where they randomly seem to decide what monitor to open on(requiring going to window mode if available to adjust, else disabling a monitor), or in some cases I've seen some more indie games open up in the middle, spread out across half of each monitor...

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    • #3
      Originally posted by polarathene View Post
      While these improvements are aimed at better supporting VR.
      none of what Keith discussed seemed particularly specific to HMDs; I was thinking about "accessory" displays - like the OLED VU meters for HTPCs etc - which could use this mechanism and pretend to be "real" displays or even attach to "real" GPU hardware and yet be invisible to the desktop. He mentioned using the leasing stuff for "multi-seat" environments (ie: more than one person using a single computer) which is just a nice fallout from having the mechanism.

      would they help address the issue I have with some games(I only use Steam for games atm) where they randomly seem to decide what monitor to open on(requiring going to window mode if available to adjust, else disabling a monitor), or in some cases I've seen some more indie games open up in the middle, spread out across half of each monitor...
      I guess it's entirely up to the game - and how it "discovers" what hardware it has to run on... I guess following his example maybe you could fake out an existing game (that didn't know about the leasing stuff) by setting up a specific X server just for that game with only the display you want it on while still running your other desktop on the rest of your displays...

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Happy Heyoka View Post

        none of what Keith discussed seemed particularly specific to HMDs; I was thinking about "accessory" displays - like the OLED VU meters for HTPCs etc - which could use this mechanism and pretend to be "real" displays or even attach to "real" GPU hardware and yet be invisible to the desktop. He mentioned using the leasing stuff for "multi-seat" environments (ie: more than one person using a single computer) which is just a nice fallout from having the mechanism.


        I guess it's entirely up to the game - and how it "discovers" what hardware it has to run on... I guess following his example maybe you could fake out an existing game (that didn't know about the leasing stuff) by setting up a specific X server just for that game with only the display you want it on while still running your other desktop on the rest of your displays...
        Holy crap that's an interesting and good point. Probably even more niche than VR, but still.

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        • #5
          Amazing how valve has been working towards Linux VR for quite some time, yet facebook has not done anything, even when they promised "launch day Linux support". The money came in, and palmer gladly forgot every promise he ever made and became a good little bitc to FB.

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          • #6
            From directly after the acquisition by facebook:
            Facebook is run in an open way that’s aligned with Oculus’ culture. Over the last decade, Mark and Facebook have been champions of open software and hardware, pushing the envelope of innovation for the entire tech industry. As Facebook has grown, they’ve continued to invest in efforts like with the Open Compute Project, their initiative that aims to drive innovation and reduce the cost of computing infrastructure across the industry. This is a team that’s used to making bold bets on the future.
            It is definitely true. Facebook has a good track record on open hardware and software, which is great for us. We want to make our hardware and software even more open than they already are, and they are totally cool with that.
            We promise we won't change. If anything, our hardware and software will get even more open, and Facebook is onboard with that.
            Not long after, they stopped providing source code to the Oculus SDK and dropped cross platform support and started financing "exclusives" and had a short trial for hardware DRM to block hacks like "ReVive" that add SteamVR compatibility with Oculus-only software.

            SteamVR has never provided any source code either, but at least they have a documented API for adding VR Headset/Controller support and they employ all these open source developers contributing to mesa and the kernel.

            And it's not a matter of money. Oculus' funding for VR games is somewhere up to $500M, maybe even more by now.

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            • #7
              So can we say by mid 2018 we can have a decent experience with Linux VR with something like the HTC Vive Pro (if it is released by then)?

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