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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RE: Phoronix
by allanregistos on Mon 16th Dec 2013 04:10 UTC 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[3]: Phoronix
by allanregistos on Mon 16th Dec 2013 05:02 in reply to "RE[2]: Phoronix"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"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.
"

To add to the point as I mentioned earlier in this thread, that _amount_ of work cannot be done by just anyone else, it needs to have the expertise of Valve's software engineering to do the massive changes they've made to their OS. Their experience in game development is the biggest factor why they are able to do this.

So this is not something as another basement distro, for I'm tired of seeing linux-distros popping everywhere with the same features being touted again and again.
Regardless of Valve's success on this project, I am very excited for SteamOS, for this is a very different and unique Linux distribution.

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

RE[3]: Phoronix
by allanregistos on Wed 18th Dec 2013 07:16 in reply to "RE[2]: Phoronix"
allanregistos Member since:
2011-02-10

"[q]* 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. [/q]


From my perspective, this is not a LFS-based project, the kernel was fine-tuned for gaming and not just by a random geeks, but engineers from Valve, where you cannot replicate their skills easily, you need at least their level of expertise to do the job. And that is massive. This is not about how much lines of code you added or subtracted from a vanilla Debian kernel, but the quality of code that is needed.

And I am excited also for their works on audio, since this can greatly benefit musicians who are using Linux.

Reply Parent Score: 2