Steam Linux Client Beta Adds Idle Detection, Updated Vulkan Loader & More
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 5 January 2017 at 04:06 PM EST. 30 Comments
VALVE --
Valve pushed out an updated Steam Linux client beta today that includes some useful changes for Linux gamers.

First up, there's better interaction between the Steam runtime and host distribution libraries. As said by the Steam release notes, the change "should let Steam work out of the box with open-source graphics drivers on modern distributions. If using an older distribution or running into problems, use STEAM_RUNTIME_PREFER_HOST_LIBRARIES=0 to revert to previous behavior."

The Steam Linux client update also now has close-to-tray behavior similar to other platforms, idle detection for switching automatically to away/snooze mode, a few fixes, updated Vulkan loader to enable Xlib support, and updated libxcb in the runtime to fix some DRI3-related crashes.

With the updated libxcb plus better interaction with the distribution's host libraries, this is an exciting update today particularly for those using the open-source Mesa/Gallium3D drivers.

Outside of Linux-specific work, this beta also has some Big Picture improvements, a variety of controller improvements, and a Steam overlay fix for Vulkan on AMD hardware.

More details on this update at SteamCommunity.com.
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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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