Valve joins Linux Foundation as part of its SteamOS push

Valve's upcoming SteamOS is based on the open source Linux kernel but modified by Valve to, in theory, become a better gaming and multimedia operating system. So it should come as no surprise that Valve has now joined the Linux Foundation, which is dedicated to expanding the use of the OS in all areas of technology.

The non-profit organization reports that Valve will be a "silver" tier member of the Linux Foundation, paying between $5,000 and $20,000 per year. Valve's Mike Sartain stated:

Joining the Linux Foundation is one of many ways Valve is investing in the advancement of Linux gaming. Through these efforts, we hope to contribute tools for developers building new experiences on Linux, compel hardware manufacturers to prioritize support for Linux, and ultimately deliver an elegant and open platform for Linux users.

Valve's Steam client now has over 200 games that run on Linux. A year ago a Valve employee, Drew Bliss, stated during a Ubuntu developer summit that Linux was a more viable game OS than Microsoft's Windows 8. However, both Windows 8 and 8.1 are currently more popular than any Linux-based OS on Steam, according to Valve's most recent hardware survey.

Valve will release SteamOS to developers in 2014 and a number of third-party companies will release Steam Machines that will be based on SteamOS next year as well.

Source: Linux Foundation

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Athernar said,
We're not talking about operating systems, we're talking about kernels.

And it's still anecdotal as you can't have one without the other... real world tests say otherwise.

Athernar said,

We're not talking about operating systems, we're talking about kernels.


The kernel doesn't really have much to do with filesystems.
By your logic, NTFS-3G will be faster on linux that native support on windows because of linux's kernel? Err, no.

Max Norris said,

And it's still anecdotal as you can't have one without the other... real world tests say otherwise.

Maybe not, but pointing to benchmarks that are oriented around or heavily impacted by the userspace as evidence for the performance of the kernel is idiotic.

If GNU is slow and the kernel is fast, which would you want improved?

n_K said,

The kernel doesn't really have much to do with filesystems.
By your logic, NTFS-3G will be faster on linux that native support on windows because of linux's kernel? Err, no.

Of course not, since NTFS-3G uses FUSE. *snip*

Edited by Caleo, Dec 7 2013, 12:07am :

Max Norris said,

FUSE is a kernel module....

FUSE is a kernel module yes, but the derived filesystems are userspace. It's an abstraction layer, so comparing it to native kernelspace filesystems is asinine.

Athernar said,

Nope. NT is slower by nature and will always be slower, and that's by design.

Being paid by Microsoft to shill does not constitute "teaching".

Nope, that's not my job since I'm not the one that initially started making accusations here. Especially with your reasoning being both vague and contradictory to the reality of the two design models.

I'm glad you can offer your opinion as fact. In the online community, we call this trolling.

However, I will offer you this one final honest attempt to provide some information or concepts to consider for your edification.

Let's take this for example...
"Nope. NT is slower by nature and will always be slower, and that's by design"

By design NT has more overhead; however, this is not directly related to efficiency or performance.

As software and hardware complexity increase, it creates more code redundancies to manage the complexity.

However, if you have an OS model that inherently deals with the redundancies, not requiring additional code, an increase in hardware and upper layer software complexity no longer impacts overall performance.

It is analogous to writing code, and why developers use objects for better performance when dealing with complex software and hardware.

In 1993, NT was slower by design. However, as complexity increased, by 1996, the 'overhead' in NT was easily offset. This is why Microsoft was even surprised to see Win95 performing 25% slower than NT 4.0, as Win95 was far more simplistic with far less overhead. (Win95 - Fast monolithic kernel, no security, written in low level assembly, etc.)

The NT 'overhead' was big in 1993, in today's world of hardware and software, it is tiny.

Even take these concepts to hardware.
Research RISC vs CISC CPU designs. RISC can be simple and fast, but when it has to deal with the constructs for instructions to keep shoving through itself, its simplistic model starts to have a lot of redundant instructions. This is where a CISC design becomes more efficient as its 'overhead' becomes faster as it doesn't have to keep recreating instructions.

NT deals in objects so it doesn't need tons of redundant code to work with the objects in various contexts. The Unix model is simple, but when you add in all the contingency and redundant code to deal with hardware/software complexity, it gets slower, while being less functional.


Bring it on ! With a nice interface, proper driver support, ironed bugs, cash investments, a big game developer to propell this OS with a big title, lots of marketing, frequent updates it will surely meet succes.

Not a title. You'd need many big titles and billions to sink into it. Look what it cost Microsoft to break into the market and they already were a major game developer and had the biggest gaming OS on the market.

When computer are more an appliance in your home vs having a "PC", the OS it runs on is not as important. It has to do what you want it to do.

I can also see Steam boxes, in particular, complimenting your windows gaming machine that's hooked to your tv so you can stream your games to it. If they succeed in that, it's only a matter of time before more games run native on the steam box vs running on your windows pc.

Perception of what a device is important, when you ask a normal consumer what's the difference between a game console vs a computer, most people think of them as different objects, with different expectations.

Free OS = more profit for Valve.
Sure it's nice to see a push for Linux but what is Valve's game here?

SK[ said,]Free OS = more profit for Valve.
Sure it's nice to see a push for Linux but what is Valve's game here?

well not necessarily, all good games will stay at windows. look at linux share of steam right now. less than a percent.

Lord Method Man said,
Yep. This is all part of Gabe Newell's Windows 8 temper tantrum.

This comment brought to you by Steve Ballmer's Chair Throwing association.

Lord Method Man said,
Yep. This is all part of Gabe Newell's Windows 8 temper tantrum.

More accurately, Gabe's misunderstanding or purposeful misdirection of understanding of Windows App Store, it intent and long term goals.

Right now there are other 'Game Distribution' companies listing Desktop Apps on the Windows Store, essentially for free that just redirects uses to their game download and management client. There is NO reason Steam couldn't be doing this too, except once Gabe stuck his foot in his mouth, his pride won't let him repair the damage he did.

Mobius Enigma said,

More accurately, Gabe's misunderstanding or purposeful misdirection of understanding of Windows App Store, it intent and long term goals.

Right now there are other 'Game Distribution' companies listing Desktop Apps on the Windows Store, essentially for free that just redirects uses to their game download and management client. There is NO reason Steam couldn't be doing this too, except once Gabe stuck his foot in his mouth, his pride won't let him repair the damage he did.

I realise you guys love to have your silly little conspiracy theories about Gabe ruling Valve with an iron fist, but you really couldn't be further from the truth.

Easily proved by the precedent of Portal 2 on the PS3 even after Gabe's comments on developing for Cell.

Athernar said,

I realise you guys love to have your silly little conspiracy theories about Gabe ruling Valve with an iron fist, but you really couldn't be further from the truth.

Easily proved by the precedent of Portal 2 on the PS3 even after Gabe's comments on developing for Cell.

wait...

Your assumption is completely wrong. Gabe DOES NOT rule Valve, nor with an iron first.

However, his perversion of ideals has influenced their direction, at their own potential peril.

He hates Microsoft for very personal reasons. This isn't about an ideological debate of technology or gaming. Right now this anti-Microsoft position is helping Steam and Valve, which is why you see Valve going as far to risk their reputation by releasing false benchmarks to support their position.


To gain a historical perspective, go back to ID Software in the 90s/early 00s. At this time, John Carmack was very outspoken against DirectX for very specific technical reasons.

This became bigger than him, and it led ID Software from the top to the bottom, as they got caught up in the anti-Microsoft crowd by making decisions to please their anti-Microsoft fans instead of what was actually best for themselves and their gamers.

This hurt their engine work and release schedule for Doom 3, and even later hurt Quake 4 because of the anti-Microsoft direction that led them too far away from the new set of technologies introduced on the Xbox 360 and the PC world.
(Quake 4 was considered to be one of the worst Xbox 360 console ports in history.)

I don't think John ever intended to become the icon of the 'we hate Microsoft' club, but his technical concerns of DirectX, which were valid at the time, shoved him into that role.

He also wasn't ruling anything with an 'iron fist' either, but just as is happening to Valve now, ID got caught up in the spin that they inadvertently had partially created.


If you look back and history, you will see Valve and Steam making the same mistakes that ID Software made. (The wave and fans created the buzz that ID would save Linux and making Linux THE gaming platform, and destroy Windows gaming, and finally kill off DirectX, etc.)

Mobius Enigma said,
<snip>

You still haven't explained Portal 2 on the PS3.

Just to enlighten you by the way, the whole "gabe personally hates Microsoft" narrative is an invention by the media in order to clickbait people (fanboys), into getting all wound-up in comment sections to maximum ad-impressions.

Really, your grand theories are nothing more than deluded byproducts of a business model that monetises controversy. Hot topics generate more controversy, and guess what - Windows 8 was a hot topic at the time, just like the PS3's architecture was even earlier.

Athernar said,

You still haven't explained Portal 2 on the PS3.

Just to enlighten you by the way, the whole "gabe personally hates Microsoft" narrative is an invention by the media in order to clickbait people (fanboys), into getting all wound-up in comment sections to maximum ad-impressions.

Really, your grand theories are nothing more than deluded byproducts of a business model that monetises controversy. Hot topics generate more controversy, and guess what - Windows 8 was a hot topic at the time, just like the PS3's architecture was even earlier.

You keep conflating me and my posts with other people.

I never said Gabe hates Microsoft. I said he made comments that got him caught up in the new anti-Microsoft movement, whether he wanted it or not. This momentum is pushing him and his company, which could be disastrous if he doesn't stop it.

As for Portal 2 on the PS3, it was NOT relevant to what I was saying. It may be in context to another person's post, but not mine.

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