Torvalds: SteamOS will "really help" Linux on desktop
By Shona Ghosh
Posted on 23 Oct 2013 at 15:00
Linus Torvalds has welcomed the arrival of Valve’s Linux-based platform, SteamOS, and said it could boost Linux on desktops.
The Linux creator praised Valve's "vision" and suggested its momentum would force other manufacturers to take Linux seriously - especially if game developers start to ditch Windows.
"I love the Steam announcements – I think that's an opportunity to really help the desktop," he said, speaking at LinuxCon in Edinburgh.
Valve announced SteamOS last month as a way to bring PC gaming to the living room. Users will be able to install the system on PCs they build themselves, and Valve will make the system available to manufacturers to use on their own hardware.
I love the Steam announcements – I think that's an opportunity to really help the desktop
Should SteamOS gain traction among gamers and developers, that could force more hardware manufacturers to extend driver support beyond Windows.
That's a sore point for Torvalds, who slammed Nvidia last year for failing to support open-source driver development for its graphics chips. Now that SteamOS is on the way, Nvidia has opened up to the Linux community, something Torvalds predicts is a sign of things to come.
"I’m not just saying it’ll help us get traction with the graphics guys," he said. "It’ll also force different distributors to realise if this is how Steam is going, they need to do the same thing because they can’t afford to be different in this respect. They want people to play games on their platform too."
Top storiesRead more from PC Pro:
Chip chief Dadi Perlmutter to leave Intel
Apple's autumn 2013 keynote: everything you need to know
Prison caught in sloppy floppy disk leak
Ofcom: customers can cancel contracts after price rise
Former Apple CEO considers BlackBerry bid
"It’s the best model for standardisation," he added. "I think good standards are people doing things, saying 'this is how we do it' and being successful enough to drive the market."
Pretty login screens
Another reason Linux hasn't done well on desktop, according to Torvalds, is because developers focus on useless UX features.
"Linux is doing wonderfully well in so many different areas, but I still am somewhat disappointed about the fact that Linux desktop is this morass of in-fighting and people who do bad things," he said.
"I do hope the desktop people will try to work together, and work more on the technology than trying to make the login screen look really nice," he added.
Torvalds wouldn't mention specific companies, but has previously championed Google’s Chromebook Pixel, which runs on the Linux-based Chrome OS - describing other PCs as "crap" by comparison.
Is your business a social business? For helpful info and tips visit our hub.
You realise Linus was only talking about screen resolution when mentioning the Chromebook Pixel right? He wasn't calling other pcs "crap" he was directly talking about screen resolution and you took that completely out of context.
By liamdawe on 23 Oct 2013
The only thing that concerns me with Steam OS is whether other distros will see the GPU improvements.
That said, it would be nice to see Linux get more support, one of the main reasons I still mainly use Windows.
By tech3475 on 24 Oct 2013
I'm guessing things like AMD's Mantle API will mean all distros can take full advantage of compatible cards (and will greatly simplify the crossover from the next-gen consoles -that are running AMD Mantle-compatible GPUs) to SteamOS.
With Windows 8 costing £100, SteamOS removes a pretty expensive hurdle for the PC gamer. I can see SteamOS -and Linux- doing pretty well.
By Mark_Thompson on 24 Oct 2013
- iPhone 6 release date, specs/features and rumours: when is the new iPhone 6 coming out in the UK
- Still on Windows XP? There's now an unofficial service pack
- It's on: Apple announces 9 September event for the iPad, iWatch and iPhone 6... maybe
- 1,500 fake apps kicked off Windows Store
- Forget robot butlers: meet Fuji Xerox's robot printer
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office