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News Valve SteamOS set for launch on Friday

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Gareth Halfacree, 12 Dec 2013.

  1. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    I didn't ask if they'd make a good choice; I asked if it would make them give up on the idea of buying a car at all, because "it's not worth the effort to find out what [car] to use."
    I can't say I've ever heard of that happening, but I'm willing to bet it has happened at least once. I can't see it being a big problem, however: searching for Linux on Google brings up, after Wikipedia, the result "Ubuntu: The world's most popular free OS." If I were a novice and I saw that, I'd figure "hey, a billion flies can't be wrong" and head for the download section. Searching for which Linux should I choose - an autocompleted entry, I note, meaning it's a common search term - brings up as its first hit this extremely useful post from Linux.org - if our theoretical novice didn't know enough to make a decision at the start, they will by the time they hit the end of the post. Even if they skim-read, there's a nice big "the most popular Linux distributions are" list near the bottom: just click one of those, hit 'download,' and you're done.

    There's another thing you're missing about Linux which is unique to free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) in general: there's no risk factor. If I'm buying a car, I need to be sure I'm making the right decision: I'm about to drop £8,000 or more on a vehicle I'm keeping for the next few years at least, and if I decide I don't like it a week in - I bought the Smart Car, and suddenly realise it's entirely unsuitable for use in my land-based invasion plans 'cos it keeps getting stuck on the trenches - I'm shafted. With Linux, you don't have that problem 'cos it costs you nothing but time. Let's say I download Ubuntu, then decide Shuttleworth's a tit and abandon it for Linux Mint; a week later, I'm feeling bold so I try Arch. Whoops, that just terrified me so it's off to Puppy Linux, perhaps with a bit of Gentoo in a VM so I can flex my skills. Total monetary cost for picking up those five operating systems: zero.

    I'm not saying choice won't scare anyone off; I'm merely saying I doubt it's as a big a problem as you're suggesting.
     
  2. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    But people don't give up on buying a car, just as they don't give up on buying a PC, they just take the path of least resistance. I need to get from A to B, IDK what car to buy so i will buy the one im told is what i need. I need to browse the internet, do my accounts what does the guy at PC world recommend.
    Sorry if it came across that i was saying its a big problem, im not. I'm merely saying to much choice can confuse people into actually making no choice, like what ever OS the box they just bought came with.
    You only have to Google about too much choice for tons of information on why it can cause problems.
     
  3. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Wasn't that what I just said? :p

    Remember what I've said in previous threads: I'm not a zealot that thinks everyone should switch to Linux. I don't spend my time evangelising or advertising. As far as I'm concerned, you should use whatever operating system lets you get the work done. Haven't got the time or the inclination to try a few Linux distributions to find the one that's right for you, but you're too scared to just go with the masses and use Ubuntu? Then stick with Windows. Nothing wrong with that. Windows has excellent software and hardware support, is frequently updated, looks pretty and handles 99% of anything anyone would want to do. So does OS X. If a user - novice or otherwise - is happy with either of those operating systems, there's absolutely no need for them to switch - and I'm certainly not going to suggest they do so.

    You're acting like someone wanting to try Linux is immediately given an alphabetised list of every single distribution there ever was, with no supporting information, and left to make a decision. As I've shown above, they aren't.
     
  4. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    It doesn't have to be a massive list for people to give up, sometimes people just want it to work with no fuss. when flicking through "which linux should I choose on Google recommendations range from 3 to 10 and beyond, other OS's make the choice for the user or rather take the choice away from the user so its one less thing to worry about.
     
  5. Assassin8or

    Assassin8or Minimodder

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    Damn, my Linux/Ubuntu box currently has an R9 280X in it mining LTC and I won't have earned enough to pay for it until the end of the month :(

    Steam OS is going to have to wait as my partner will spaz out if I put Steam OS on her PC :)

    Hmm, now I think about it, I've got two machines either side of me, one with an HD6450 and one with an HD3850 256MB in it. The HD3850 is poorly supported in Linux with it just having LT driver support which is broken for SoL. The HD6450 is slow for games. Ah, but the partner's PC has an 8800GT and I have a slightly flakey spare too.

    And I seem to have 6GB of DDR2 800 to go in with the DC processors. Time to hunt down a spare HDD and download the OS (going to have to be a USB install). :)
     
  6. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    I did post this in the SteamOS, Machine, Controller thread in gaming, but either no one cares or its not worthy of comment :worried:

    It seems some more info on SteamOS have surfaced on the SteamDB, along with some shots of the interface.
    http://steamdb.info/blog/34/
     
  7. Assassin8or

    Assassin8or Minimodder

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    Okay, so Steam OS requires UEFI, and I don't have a single motherboard that supports UEFI (Out of 8 motherboards not a single one is that new) :(
     
  8. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag What's a Dremel?

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    There are UEFI emulators. That's what you need to use if you want to install a retail version Mac OSX on a non-Apple PC.
     
  9. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Install it in a virtual machine. That's what I'm doing right now: got it part-way through an automated install on VirtualBox, emulating a dual-processor system with 32MB graphics and 1GB of RAM on an EFI-equipped motherboard. As far as I'm aware, you can use VirtualBox's EFI mode without having an actual EFI environment on your motherboard. I think.
     
  10. AlienwareAndy

    AlienwareAndy What's a Dremel?

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    So Nvidia only atm. Not off to the best of starts then.

    Well that kinda rules me out on this one, though tbh if it's a Beta and so on I may just skip it until it's ready.
     
  11. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag What's a Dremel?

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    They do intend to have the catalyst drivers at some point, and you should be able to manually install them. Also, I heard it has (or at least supports) the open source radeon drivers. Depending on your GPU, the open source drivers might be good enough anyway. It seems to me the HD5000 series has the most feature support with reasonable performance, though older GPUs seems to perform better. If you've got any of the Southern Islands GPUs, either install Catalyst or wait it out.


    @Gareth
    Virtualbox might be ok for testing it out but even if the virtualbox GPU drivers work, you can't really do much. I think QEMU or Xen might be better for virtualization since those support GPU passthrough.
     
  12. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Oh, I'm not daft enough to be trying to play any games on it - I've got Steam for Linux installed directly in Ubuntu for that. I just want a poke at the UI. Which I may or may not get: my virtual machine is way below the minimum specs (1GB of RAM to 4GB recommended, 16GB hard drive to 500GB recommended, whatever the VirtualBox GPU pretends to be instead of an Nvidia GPU). So far, it seems to have worked: the OS went through the installation process fine and rebooted. Now it's spinning the hard disk, thrashing the CPU and sitting at a black screen. Whether that's 'cos it's doing something complicated, or 'cos it's trying to shove 500GB partitions at a 16GB drive I don't know - although we should be past that stage now, so gawd only knows what it's doing.
     
  13. AlienwareAndy

    AlienwareAndy What's a Dremel?

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    Hmm OK thanks for that. Might have to dig out a hard drive to play with :)
     
  14. Corky42

    Corky42 Where's walle?

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    @Gareth, Probably wondering why you're being so cruel to it ;)
    Although i am interested to see how it gets on with less ram and HDD size than recommended, i mean their recommended specs seem oddly high to me.
     
  15. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag What's a Dremel?

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    Those recommended specs are there so Valve can quickly and easily dismiss people who have issues. Someone could say "my game isn't working!" and Valve is like "oh, you have 2GB of RAM? Sorry, can't help you". Not exactly a bad idea, because Valve probably don't have the time or patience to be dealing with people who have problems due to inadequate computers.

    Your black screen is probably because of the lack of proper drivers. I heard the UI is gnome shell. That means if they don't have gnome fallback, you simply aren't going to get a working display. You could try logging into another TTY and check the xorg logs but I doubt there's anything you can do. Another option would be to install gnome fallback with vesa drivers.
     
  16. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    No, that's not the problem. Remember, this ain't my first rodeo - I'm well acquainted with Debian Wheezy, Gnome Shell and everything else Valve's shoved into this thing. (As an aside: Debian? Interesting: the initial packages in the SteamOS repository were Ubuntu-based, while everything I'm seeing here is from Debian directly. Wonder what Canonical did to piss Gaben off?)

    It's literally working on something. I'm watching it at 100% CPU and thrashing the hard drive right now - it wouldn't be doing that if X had simply pooed itself as a result of a lack of drivers, now, would it? Especially as I watched it install all the open source graphics drivers Wheezy has - and Wheezy works just fine in a VirtualBox instance.
     
  17. Xlog

    Xlog Minimodder

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    Instruction on how to get SteamOS working in Vbox: https://gist.github.com/voltagex/7955961
    (you have to reconfigure xorg after instalation).

    You would also need MB with IOMMU support (Intel support it only on server MB and while AMD supports it in their higher end chipsets, mb vendors usually don't bother to enable or test it)
     
  18. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Staff Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Ooh, handy! I ended up killing the virtual machine by powering it down, boosting the memory to 4GB, and rebooting. Whatever it was doing with the hard drive, interrupting it was a Bad Idea. I'll reinstall tomorrow and give the above a go, see how far I get. Cheers!
     
  19. Xlog

    Xlog Minimodder

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  20. Assassin8or

    Assassin8or Minimodder

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    Last edited: 16 Dec 2013

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