Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 14th Dec 2013 00:14 UTC
Games

As promised, Valve has released the first test release of SteamOS. From the FAQ:

SteamOS is a fork (derivative) of Debian GNU/Linux. The first version (SteamOS 1.0) is called 'alchemist' and it is based on the Debian 'wheezy' (stable 7.1) distribution.

The major changes made in SteamOS are:

  • Backported eglibc 2.17 from Debian testing
  • Added various third-party drivers and updated graphics stack (Intel and AMD graphics support still being worked on)
  • Updated kernel tracking the 3.10 longterm branch (currently 3.10.11)
  • Custom graphics compositor designed to provide a seamless transition between Steam, its games and the SteamOS system overlay
  • Configured to auto-update from the Valve SteamOS repositories

You need to have an NVIDIA card for it to work, since Intel and AMD graphics are currently not yet supported (work is underway).

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Phoronix
by WereCatf on Sun 15th Dec 2013 11:14 UTC
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

Phoronix has just posted an article going into more details on SteamOS. Notable things from the article:

* The xcompmgr package is still popular though among lightweight Linux users. In looking through the code, steamos-compositor is much-changed compared to upstream xcompmgr. The diff between steamos-compositor and upstream xcompmgr is over a 4,200 line patch.

* SteamOS is using the Linux 3.10 kernel, but it's not a vanilla kernel. There's many patches added onto the Linux 3.10 kernel for SteamOS, particularly taken from the real-time patch-set and other changes. As pointed out by a Phoronix reader, "SteamOS appears to be using linux 3.10 - PREEMPT_RT_FULL (unsurprisingly) with a heavy amount of patching (282 patches for -rt in the 'all' architectures/folder, alone). The kernel is also using aufs and they seem to be sitting on some bug fixes for upstream on top of that. Some of the -rt related hacks they are using i have seen (in one case, i am using the same patch for ntrig)... It looks like they have gone to a lot of effort getting the kernel just right for their needs."

* Valve though did make (not-in-mainline) improvements to the Xpad Linux input driver for the Microsoft Xbox 360 game controller.

Details at http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTU0MzY and http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTU0Mzc

Reply Score: 4

RE: Phoronix
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 15th Dec 2013 11:22 in reply to "Phoronix"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Thanks, I'll see if I can summarise the articles accurately later today.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Phoronix
by allanregistos on Mon 16th Dec 2013 04:10 in reply to "Phoronix"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

* SteamOS is using the Linux 3.10 kernel, but it's not a vanilla kernel. There's many patches added onto the Linux 3.10 kernel for SteamOS, particularly taken from the real-time patch-set and other changes. As pointed out by a Phoronix reader, "SteamOS appears to be using linux 3.10 - PREEMPT_RT_FULL (unsurprisingly) with a heavy amount of patching (282 patches for -rt in the 'all' architectures/folder, alone).


And someone above these posts was able to say, this is a minor change?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Phoronix
by WereCatf on Mon 16th Dec 2013 04:20 in reply to "RE: Phoronix"
WereCatf Member since:
2006-02-15

And someone above these posts was able to say, this is a minor change?


That's partially the reason why I posted that here ;) I mean, none of that is "minor changes" and I would assume the devs have really tested each and every patch they made and/or applied to see that they bring out as stable and fast performance as possible. Even just the heavily-modified xcompmgr alone is quite a lot of work.

This certainly isn't just vanilla-Debian with the regular Steam-client on top of it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Phoronix
by oiaohm on Wed 18th Dec 2013 03:50 in reply to "RE: Phoronix"
oiaohm Member since:
2009-05-30

"* SteamOS is using the Linux 3.10 kernel, but it's not a vanilla kernel. There's many patches added onto the Linux 3.10 kernel for SteamOS, particularly taken from the real-time patch-set and other changes. As pointed out by a Phoronix reader, "SteamOS appears to be using linux 3.10 - PREEMPT_RT_FULL (unsurprisingly) with a heavy amount of patching (282 patches for -rt in the 'all' architectures/folder, alone).


And someone above these posts was able to say, this is a minor change?
"
http://packages.debian.org/wheezy/linux-image-rt-amd64
Compared to lot Distrobution kernel alterations this is a minor change. Yes I have provide a link to a debian equally messed with kernel.

Its all about prospective.

If you expect the steam customised kernel to be a good desktop kernel you have another thing coming. Linux kernel is highly customisable. The options you set do effect performance quite a bit.

Reply Parent Score: 2