Want to read Slashdot from your mobile device? Point it at m.slashdot.org and keep reading!

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Compare cell phone plans using Wirefly's innovative plan comparison tool ×
Graphics AMD Intel News Entertainment Games Linux Technology

Valve's SteamOS Now Supports Vulkan, The Cross-Platform Alternative To DirectX 12 (pcworld.com) 119

SteamOS just gained support for Vulkan, the cross-platform alternative to Microsoft's DirectX 12 and Apple's Metal. This should make it easier for developers to write and optimize games for SteamOS, closing the performance gap with Windows and encouraging more developers to support Linux. This feature arrived in SteamOS Brewmaster version 2.63. Valve added version 355 of the Linux Nvidia driver, which means SteamOS offers Vulkan support when used alongside Nvidia hardware. Intel's graphics hardware should also support Vulkan on SteamOS in the near future. AMD is still working on its new driver, known as AMDGPU, that will replace the current fglrx driver for SteamOS and other Linux-based platforms. If you use Linux distribution besides SteamOS, you can download Nvidia's Vulkan-ready Linux driver or an experimental version of Intel's Vulkan-enabled graphics driver.
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Valve's SteamOS Now Supports Vulkan, The Cross-Platform Alternative To DirectX 12

Comments Filter:
  • I have lots of steam games, but I dont trust the steam client and therefore certainly dont trust the steam OS.

    Here is the deal. Steam includes a web browser (currently based on webkit I think) but on windows you cannot disable flash in the steam client. The only thing that you can do is remove the client from your global flash plugin folder, which means flash will no longer work in any browser that uses this location, not just steams.

    Over the years the valve forums have been inundated with requests for
    • Ah you know that SteamOS is ubuntu right with the steam client autostarting in big picture mode and some of the desktop stuff removed. That is all....

      And if you could point me towards one instance of a machine being compromised as a result of steam that would be really useful as well....

      I think you should just calm a little.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2016 @06:23PM (#51600549)

    I was surprised to learn that very few games are running on DX12 (maybe 1-3?)..

    Vulkan already has one and it's looking likely to get more. I'm guessing Valve at least will port all their modern titles to it. If so, Valve is really playing the long game on becoming less dependent on MS Windows..

    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 27, 2016 @07:03PM (#51600769)
      Valve is really pushing vulkan hard. I think it was at a recent SIGGRAPH that a valve employee basically said if you aren't targeting a 2016 release for a DX12 game, don't even bother with it since vulkan will do just as much across more platforms with higher performance. I'm with Valve here 100%. The moment AAA titles are releasing on Linux and Windows at the same time, I ditch windows forever and I know I'm not alone on that. Gaming is the single thing that keeps me on windows still, and I hate dual-booting so I stay in windows all the time for the few times I game. If I can play BF4, GTAV, , etc on Linux without performance or fidelity loss (compared to windows version) that will be the final deciding factor. I might not wait that long though if Microsoft has its way. I was planning on switching to W10 before M$ went batshit insane with forcing everyone to upgrade and then sending back "telemetry" data even after you specifically disable it doing so. It may not be nefarious or private data being sent back, but the very fact that M$ is going about this whole thing in a shady way has put me off. W7 will for sure be my last M$ operating system. I just hope Valve gets the gaming industry as a whole running Vulkan before W7 becomes inadequate for future hardware generations.
    • by Kjella ( 173770 )

      You say it like it's a good thing. The premise of DirectX 12/Vulkan is that game/engine developers want more low level access. If that premise is false they're both going to flop. And I'd say OpenGL has bet a lot more on Vulkan than Microsoft has on DX12, if the premise is false it's worst for Linux and open source in particular. Winning the battle is not so great if you're losing the war.

    • While I can't speak for other game developers, I'm betting adoption is low because:

      a) It's new, and
      b) Windows 10 only.

      Microsoft pulled the same stunt with DX10, and games simply held onto DX9 compatibility for many years after we should have moved past it, thanks to Windows XP and ports from our last-gen consoles.

      Keep in mind that games also spend a very long time in the pipeline, and game engines spend even longer than that. While occasionally you'll see someone rush support out in a game out in the marke

    • by mikael ( 484 )

      All the game developers who have already published titles have a massive code base of shaders and rendering code that they need to maintain. They can only justify upgrading all that code to do something better if they can provide it will boost short-term revenue. Because they may have written their own abstraction layers to encapsulate multiple platforms, they simply can't just change one shader at a time. They'll have their own standard for defining materials, particles, skinned characters, cameras and mo

      • by MrL0G1C ( 867445 )

        Because they may have written their own abstraction layers to encapsulate multiple platforms

        Doesn't seem to be done that way, I say this because it's often a third party that handles the 'port' to PC, if they were using what you describe then they wouldn't need to use a third party to port a game.

        • by mikael ( 484 )

          It might depend on the developer. I know one company who did try and abstract the differences between the different shader languages (GLSL, Cg, HLSL) into their own macro language.

  • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @07:39PM (#51600969)
    Cross Platform? Please tell me that it means more than just Windows + Linux, and that I can install & run it on FreeBSD
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Maybe you guys should aim for 1% market share first. ;^)

    • It is an open API (though not free, you have to pay membership dues) that can be implemented on basically any platform people wish. As of right now, only nVidia and Intel have implemented it and only on Windows and Linux as far as I know, nVidia may have it in their drivers for other platforms. Apple has expressed no interest and most other OSes rely on the graphic drivers to provide APIs. AMD will eventually probably get a driver out, they were one of the driving forces behind Vulkan, however they suck at

      • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

        AMD will eventually probably get a driver out, they were one of the driving forces behind Vulkan, however they suck at drivers so it always seems to take them a long time.

        Actually, AMD already supports Vulkan - it was based on their proprietary Mantis APIs. And it actually makes AMD shine if you use their draw-call optimizations (The only game using it, The Talos Principle, doesn't) compared to NVidia - the AMD GPUs are faster if you properly use it.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Awesome. Way to go SteamOS! DirectX is pretty much the only thing that has been driving the gaming scene on PCs. Take that away from Microsoft and you'll be able to get Linux PCs that people are happy with, rather than being forced to game on Windows. Kudos Nvidia, kudos SteamOS.

    • No, it's not "just" the D3D API. It's the complete tool chain which is far superior to anything you get anywhere else and the complete set of APIs of which the 3D API is just one part.
      • But then you have to put up with Windows, which is broken and clumsy by comparison, and seems to be more interested in the welfare of Microsoft than the user. Never mind still a malware magnet and full of crapware and adware.

        • Good grief, it's no way near as clumsy as Linux for computer graphics or software development in general. If there's one thing Microsoft get right its their tool chain and SDKs. D3D9 - D3D11 (haven't coded with 12 yet) were far superior to OpenGL as APIs, though I prefer GLSL to HLSL for purely aesthetic reasons. Of course Vulkan makes Linux a first class citizen again so we'll see what happens.
          • Good grief, it's no way near as clumsy as Linux for computer graphics or software development in general.

            Gee, you better hand in your geek card. Windows has got practically zero automation, being a windows developer means being a click-monkey.

  • by westlake ( 615356 ) on Saturday February 27, 2016 @09:36PM (#51601387)

    This should make it easier for developers to write and optimize games for SteamOS

    It's difficult to get solid numbers on Steam Machine sales. But they don't appear to be setting the world on fire:

    Alienware Steam Machine ASM100-6980BLK Desktop Console (Intel Core i7, 8 GB RAM, 1 TB HDD) NVIDIA GeForce GTX GPU [amazon.com] 3.1 Stars. #3,293 in Computers & Accessories #237 in Computers & Accessories > Desktops

    The Steam Hardware & Software Survey: January 2016 [steampowered.com] doesn't offer much to feed on:

    Windows 95%
    Win 10 64 Bit 33% and Trending upward.

    OSX 4% No change.

    Linux 1% No change.
    Ubuntu 0.4%. Mint 0.2%

    • by CRC'99 ( 96526 )

      Windows 95%
      Win 10 64 Bit 33% and Trending upward.
      OSX 4% No change.
      Linux 1% No change.
      Ubuntu 0.4%
      Mint 0.2%

      You know what, I'm running Win7 at the moment - and I'd ditch it in a second for Fedora 23 + KDE. Problem is, the fglrx driver doesn't work on Fedora 23 without downgrading packages to F22 release versions. I'd run RHEL7.2 - which fglrx works on, but then no KDE 5 / plasma.

      So right now, I'm stuck on Windows 7 and trying to keep MS out of my stuff with their BS 'telemetry' data.

      I would love this to change - but right now, I'm stuck with the one problem - graphics drivers.

    • by phorm ( 591458 )

      Well, if that's an example of a typical Steam box sale, with an "NVIDIAIDIA GeForce GTX GPU 2GB GDDR5" (their spelling, not mine, and no mention of the actual model) graphics co-processor it's no wonder...

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."

Working...