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GNU virtual private Ethernet
Valve launches SteamOS
Posted Sep 23, 2013 20:02 UTC (Mon) by SEMW (guest, #52697)
(More specifically, the teaser for today's announcement was "O", the teaser for the Wednesday announcement is "[O ]". Seems like a pretty good bet that that means a console running SteamOS).
Posted Sep 23, 2013 20:17 UTC (Mon) by anandrajan (subscriber, #146)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 4:56 UTC (Tue) by imunsie (subscriber, #68550)
My guess is one of the next two announces will be a new game controller and the other will either be a Steam box console and/or a partnership with other vendors to produce a range of SteamOS compatible living room PCs.
Steam Big Picture mode already works with many existing controllers (The XBox 360 controller seems to be the most recommended), but they have previously indicated that they are very interested in advancing this area. We know their R&D has been churning away, but other than "motion is overrated" and "biometrics are interesting" we don't know any details yet.
As I see it these are the three pillars of a living room gaming PC - Software, hardware and a way to interact with it, but we'll find out more later in the week.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 16:51 UTC (Tue) by rahvin (subscriber, #16953)
Posted Sep 25, 2013 18:15 UTC (Wed) by Cyberax (✭ supporter ✭, #52523)
This is looking good.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 9:31 UTC (Tue) by Otus (guest, #67685)
Or streaming? Perhaps something like Chromecast, but for Steam?
Posted Sep 24, 2013 10:45 UTC (Tue) by HIGHGuY (subscriber, #62277)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 14:23 UTC (Tue) by nye (guest, #51576)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 18:16 UTC (Tue) by Otus (guest, #67685)
They confirmed the feature for SteamOS, but they've announced no products.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 21:38 UTC (Tue) by jspaleta (subscriber, #50639)
Honestly, I'm just entirely desensitized to technology announcements that don't actually involve a demo of the technology being announced.
It's hard for me to be excited by yesterday's announcement considering there's nothing tangible..not even a closed beta to sign up for or small private demo shown to tech laypress or pundits..something to show anyone outside of the Valve fenceline that this is a real thing.
I've seen so many such tech announcements over the years...not tied to any actual roll-out or teaser implementation, that never actually materialized, that I just don't have any enthusiasm left in the tank for this sort of technology-less technology announcement. Maybe its just me.
Hopefully the rest of the announcements this week will come with something tangible for someone to interact with so they can get authentically exciting by the technology and share that excitement.
Posted Sep 25, 2013 17:26 UTC (Wed) by mathstuf (subscriber, #69389)
Valve's PR isn't…orthodox, but I would also expect to see *something* by the end of the week.
Posted Sep 25, 2013 17:32 UTC (Wed) by mikemol (subscriber, #83507)
Supplemented with performance metrics (like the "Windows Experience" metric set in Vista and up) and feature presence tests, and you can automate compatibility by encouraging developers to put performance and feature requirements in package manifests. You might even go so far as to warn the user if they want to run a game for which their system is on the edge of supported specs.
It would help with things like "why is this game so sloow?" "You see that yellow marker next to the title? That means your system isn't fast enough to run that game at the visuals preferences you set in your global settings. Don't ignore that yellow marker."
Posted Sep 23, 2013 20:24 UTC (Mon) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
Posted Sep 23, 2013 21:34 UTC (Mon) by quartz (guest, #37351)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 4:31 UTC (Tue) by mikemol (subscriber, #83507)
My expectation is that SteamOS will be designed to work on commodity hardware, and that it will use a system performance rating system not unlike what Microsoft first deployed with Windows Vista to match video games with system capabilities.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 4:34 UTC (Tue) by salimma (subscriber, #34460)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 4:44 UTC (Tue) by mikemol (subscriber, #83507)
The simplest thing for them to do is most likely to deploy an OS on top of the stock kernel. That lets them control everything they wish to control, and get as much assistance on the rest of the stack as they could want.
They don't need to create a console that can't be copied. Like Google with the Play store, their money is in the distribution rights--and they already have those.
This also means that SteamOS is definitely not a permanent thing. The moment PC hardware stops seeing continual improvement, is no longer performance-competitive with some other platform, and their users have moved on, they'll move on, too.
(No guesses as to when that will happen, though; the PC is the Lich of computing platforms...)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 6:39 UTC (Tue) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 5:31 UTC (Tue) by zdzichu (subscriber, #17118)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 6:41 UTC (Tue) by k8to (subscriber, #15413)
I mean you might be right, but I'm not too certain, myself.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 14:53 UTC (Tue) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 14:20 UTC (Tue) by raven667 (subscriber, #5198)
Posted Sep 24, 2013 6:08 UTC (Tue) by AndreiG (guest, #90359)
The 'stable' version renders most Steam (linux) games that use advanced shaders rather useless, including Valve's own TF2 which only works ok-ish if I disable blur, ffxa and such. Luckily I play a lot of indie titles like FTL, FEZ, Stealth Bastard that require no advanced shaders and such ( most are basic 2D ).
Try exporting a vaguely complicated project from Unity to a Linux binary and run it on AMD's fglrx ... Kind of pathetic since, the same project exported to Mac OS X and run on an iMac with AMD 6750M GPU works perfect.
Or, far worse from the 'average joe' point of view, attach another monitor and try to 'extend desktop'. Catalyst will ask you to reboot ... Even windows XP drivers can extend the desktop to another monitor without rebooting :( or Nvidia's Linux blob, for that matter )
Good luck with an AMD-based GPU system and SteamOS, unless AMD wrote special fglrx drivers for them, which I seriously doubt.
The sad fact is that the open-source drivers are shit for anything more that a 15 years old modded Quake 3 engine ( like those phoronix 3D tests ) and the only blobs that work out of the box and can match the Windows drivers in performance and features are Nvidia's ...
Who knows, maybe with the push for quality drivers for the PS4 - as I can't imagine AMD delivering something of fglrx (lack of ) quality to Sony, we'll get better Linux drivers...
Posted Sep 24, 2013 6:19 UTC (Tue) by mikemol (subscriber, #83507)
I've got a few 6870s that worked fine for me. I never used Steam, though...
Posted Sep 24, 2013 6:51 UTC (Tue) by AndreiG (guest, #90359)
All of the linux ports in Steam that I have, that are based on a 3D engine ( not 2D titles ) have all sorts of corruptions when enabling a modicum of special effects. Oil Rush, The Cave, Portal, TF2, L4Dd etc ... You can't play them with high quality settings on AMD's fglrx driver. If I pop in an Nvidia 450, their blob makes everything work 'out of the box'.
They have no excuse, in 2013, for requiring a fucking kernel reboot to extend the desktop a new monitor. That's just as pathetic as Adobe's crappy reader ( a program that interprets text and renders it pretty ) to require a Windows reboot ...
The sad truth is that AMD preferred to spend money on Game Bundles and ferrying reporters to Hawaii for product launches and not on fglrx. The fact that they open-sourced their GPU drivers somehow gave them the license to not give a fuck about drivers for their products.
I bought their product, launched 3 month ago, which included a iGPU core based on an architecture almost 3 years old and their *beta* driver splats an 'unsupported hardware' overlay ...
Sorry for the rant, I've been using Nvidia cards for a while and I always assumed that the horror stories about fglrx are a tad bit exaggerated, but, after a week with my new A10 I see there is much truth to the said horror stories. :(
Posted Sep 24, 2013 9:16 UTC (Tue) by Otus (guest, #67685)
It's the same as Nvidia binary drivers, IME: either everything works fine, or pretty much nothing does. Your luck depends on which part you buy and when.
My Radeon HD 4850 and HD 7770 have both worked with no problems using fglrx (although I moved to the open drivers for 4850 when they matured). The "HD 6310" in my APU didn't work at all the first few fglrx versions (no display output on some boots, no suspend, hibernate or video acceleration), but recently started working.
Likewise, I had loads of problems trying to use an Nvidia iGPU (8300?) a few years ago, both with their binary drivers and the open ones. These days it just works with nouveau (although I have no idea about performance).
My small sample size (some data points in addition to the above) suggests integrated and mobile are much less likely to work, while discrete desktop GPUs are usually fine.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 17:32 UTC (Tue) by speedster1 (subscriber, #8143)
I've helped other people who come to LUG Q&A sessions fight through graphics problems, so I know they still exist on random hardware that came with windows pre-installed, but my own gaming rig bought with the above strategy has worked great despite having a (discrete) radeon.
Posted Sep 25, 2013 11:25 UTC (Wed) by AndreiG (guest, #90359)
There is no excuse for AMD's binary blob to work with their discrete GPUs - I borrowed a HD7750 and it works ok - but not with their integrated GPU in the A10. Technically it's a 6xxx series GPU slapped on the same die as the CPU cores. It is not an entirely different architecture from outer space.
They can make drivers for Mac OS X that work flawlessly with 6xxx-series cards in iMacs but not for Linux ?
Posted Sep 24, 2013 21:17 UTC (Tue) by mikemol (subscriber, #83507)
Dial back the venom, dude.
Mostly, World of Warcraft, which gets engine overhauls every couple expansions. CATA came out right around the same time as the 6770, for example. But also Diablo III when that came out. And then there was some OpenCL work...
Posted Sep 25, 2013 13:03 UTC (Wed) by AndreiG (guest, #90359)
Everybody with some random Radeon card for which the fglrx happens to work for Phoronix tests, desktop management and youtube is reporting that there are no problems with AMD's drivers :
In subject X' specific case, under irrelevant loads ( for a monstrously complex simd coprocessor ) it seems to work ... Ever had that kind of guy in your team which commits something that doesn't work and he goes 'dunno, it worked on my machine' ? This is how I imagine that AMD Linux developers are.
Posted Sep 25, 2013 13:29 UTC (Wed) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784)
Use of bulk capitals does not denote "venom". It denotes shouting. One can be (superficially) exquisitely conformant to the letter of customary etiquette (all spelling/punctuation/grammar immaculate, no gratuitous capitalization, no profanity) and still be figuratively "venomous" in one's speech. It's something of an art form among some people.
That said, "'work fine' for what ? Phoronix test suite ? Those use 2000-era 3D engines." is indeed not "venom".
Posted Sep 25, 2013 14:06 UTC (Wed) by mikemol (subscriber, #83507)
It's not just that question specifically, but the nearly frothing railing against AMD leading up to it combined with the presumption that I used a benchmark suite (and an old one at that) to denote "works fine" in response to someone who was clearly more demanding.
I'm regularly on the receiving end of like-structured conversations in a vocal context. "Venomous sarcasm" and presupposition of incompetence/bad faith would be precisely how one would describe it.
Posted Sep 25, 2013 14:23 UTC (Wed) by Otus (guest, #67685)
What's the alternative? No one can test what they don't have.
Since I reported that mine (Radeon HD 7770) works fine with fglrx, here's what that means:
All Steam games I've tried work, including e.g. Dota 2, CK2, TF2 and Brütal Legend (the last is a console port with the highest recommended HW). I use 1920x1080 resolution, whatever settings the game recommends (although I sometimes turn on AA if it wasn't) and can usually get 60FPS, always over 30.
Bitcoin mining using OpenCL works and performs as others report it to. I've done some other things with OpenCL, but nothing particularly demanding or benchmarkable.
Video acceleration using xvmc works.
Posted Sep 26, 2013 9:20 UTC (Thu) by AndreiG (guest, #90359)
The alternative would be ...
... wait for it ...
... wait for it ...
... for AMD to release functional drivers for their products. I didn't download their APU, I payed for it.
AMD's APUs would be the perfect core for a 'Steam Machine' running SteamOS. Unfortunately, as we've seen last night, AMD shoot themselfs in the foot :
While Valve announced an open, Linux-based OS and an open hardware 'console', AMD, in alliance with two of the worst offenders to anything related to standards and openness ( M$ and EfA ) announces a completly new 'standard' that is suppose to replace DX and OpenGL for which there will be only one 'reference implementation' : AMD's proprietary, closed-source driver for Windows. Give their track record with fglrx, one can only imagine how this will end up... Goodbye OpenGL and OpenCL, it was nice while it lasted.
Really, a sad day for AMD/Linux users ... :(
Posted Sep 26, 2013 11:58 UTC (Thu) by Otus (guest, #67685)
Actually, they said the API would be multi-platform, only the initial release is limited to Windows PCs.
My guess is that they'll make it available on Xbox, PS4 and Linux as well. That gives them the most advantage with console ported games. (Not necessarily good for competition, but possibly good for AMD owning Linux gamers.)
Anyway, we'll have to wait until November for details.
Posted Sep 26, 2013 0:18 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Ever had that kind of guy in your team which commits something that doesn't work and he goes 'dunno, it worked on my machine' ? This is how I imagine that AMD Linux developers are.
(Happy AMD GPU customer here. By this point the support does everything I want of it, from compositing through Unity-based games. As of 3.11 with its working Radeon power management my machine's power draw has dropped by about 33% in one stroke, which is nice.)
I have heard nothing but horror stories about fglrx, and have never even been tempted to use it.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 15:32 UTC (Tue) by andreasb (subscriber, #80258)
When I bought a new GPU last year I opted for the Radeon HD6950 over the new 7850, given that they have roughly the same performance and I figured that the older series would have better support in the open source drivers.
Performance in TF2 was horrible (unplayable) when the Steam beta came out and I had to compile mesa 9 myself for the required features because it wasn't in Debian yet. Then, sometime early this year, something clicked and performance just went through the roof. I don't know whether it was mesa 9.1, or it now being in Debian and properly integrated with the X stuff, or improvements on the kernel side.
In any case, since then I was running Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead 2 at native resolution (2560x1440) with settings above those recommended by the games and everything runs smoothly (in the 25 to 60 fps range according to the games themselves). I haven't compared the raw numbers to Windows, but since it's smooth I don't care.
I'd rather boot into Windows than install fglrx again, so this suits me rather well. For comparison, Serious Sam 3: BFE, a game with a more demanding graphics engine, is quite smooth in most places but has places where the fps drop below 20.
Posted Sep 26, 2013 0:20 UTC (Thu) by nix (subscriber, #2304)
Posted Sep 25, 2013 11:17 UTC (Wed) by higuita (guest, #32245)
So probably the problems you are finding its just related to that APU or some setting you enable.
Posted Sep 26, 2013 9:25 UTC (Thu) by AndreiG (guest, #90359)
TF2 works fine with most special effects disabled, but, then again, I would have bought an Intel with HD4xxx for that.
AMD markets their APU as best value CPU+GPU, basically stomping over Intel's iGPU. This may be the reality in Windows, but in Linux, only old or simple engines, 2D titles and the like work OK-ish.
Posted Sep 24, 2013 1:58 UTC (Tue) by marduk (subscriber, #3831)
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