Linux gamers owe a debt of gratitude to kernel developer Andy Lutomirski for his recent work getting 32-bit programs to run faster on a 64-bit kernel, said Greg Kroah-Hartman during the Linux kernel panel today at LinuxCon and CloudOpen North America.
“A lot of people thought, who cares? It turned out Valve cares,” Kroah-Hartman, a Linux kernel developer and Linux Foundation Fellow, said. All of their games are still 32-bit applications but Valve wanted them to run on the 64-bit architecture, he said.
“You just sped up all the gamers,” Kroah-Hartman said on stage to enthusiastic applause. “You made their machines run faster without realizing it. Thank you.”
“You're welcome,” said Lutomirski, a relative newcomer to kernel development.
Kroah-Hartman, who moderated the panel discussion, was joined on stage by Linux Creator Linus Torvalds as well as kernel developers Andrew Morton from Google, Shuah Khan from Samsung, and Lutomirski, a co-founder of AMA Capital Management. Their discussion covered a range of topics from the top challenges facing the kernel community, to the toughest bugs they've fixed and everything in between. Here are some of the highlights of the discussion, below. The full session will be available soon on the Linux Foundation YouTube channel.
It’s been tough to parse Alienware’s position on the Linux-based SteamOS. At E3 they told us that the Steam Machine will increase Linux gamers by “20, 30 fold, overnight”. But with the first Steam Machines delayed into 2015, they’ve upstaged their own Linux box with a Windows-based living room PC: the Alienware Alpha.
So who would win in a fight, Alienware? A living room PC running Windows, or the same PC running SteamOS?
“It depends on what you’re looking for; there’s advantages to both,” said Alienware general manager Frank Azor. “[With] the Linux version I do think you’re going to sacrifice a little bit of content.”
Valve just pushed down a big Steam client update that has a number of Linux improvements along with other general improvements.
Non-platform-specific changes for the Steam Linux client includes updates to the desktop user interface styles, a major updated to the embedded web browser, and various fixes. The embedded browser update betters the performance and reliability along with having other security and functionality updates. There's also an assortment of other Big Picture mode enhancements and fixes.