Solus Linux Working On A Flatpak-Based, Optimized Steam Runtime
Written by Michael Larabel in Operating Systems on 21 January 2017 at 07:47 AM EST. 30 Comments
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The Solus Linux developers have been working on their "Linux Steam Integration" for Steam and improvements around the Steam runtime, with this being one of the distributions interested in good Linux performance and making use of some Clear Linux optimizations, while their next step is looking at Flatpak-packaging up of libraries needed by the Steam runtime to fork a Flatpak-happy Linux gaming setup.

Ikey Doherty of the Solus project posted the following to this Steam issue report:
Alright so long story short, Solus just adopted flatpak

Effectively, we're going to produce a gaming specific runtime that is created with every intention of being entirely ABI compatible for the Steam runtime. The difference being is that it will replace the runtime used by Steam currently.

It will leverage the Solus work on build machinery to provide a highly optimized runtime and SDK, so that Steam can then be provided as a flatpak depending on this repo (Which we'll also set up/host on on the Solus infrastructure).

Due to the isolation from the host, any Linux user will be able to benefit from the runtime, have no ABI issues, and get all the juice out that they need. Additionally, game developers will be able to leverage the SDK for this runtime to build against and test.

Entirely up to the Valve crew if they're interested in this, but it's the direction Solus is going to take and we're open to working with others, and taking orders from Valve on the specification & requirements here. :)
It's an interesting opportunity, using Flatpak makes their packaging more distribution-agnostic, it's obviously more secure than not using any app sandboxing, etc. It will be interesting to see where it leads. This won't be a quick project though as there are some complications around making use of the host's OpenGL library and other factors.

Those not familiar with the Solus Linux project can learn more at Solus-Project.org.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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