Steam for Linux

Steam for Linux

The Situation Aug 22, 2013 @ 7:21pm
Steam on Samsung Chromebook running Ubuntu?
I've been trying for a couple hours now, with some super-duper intense Google-searching (really intense), and I haven't been able to get an exact answer. Whenever I start the installer, it appears to freeze up and I have to reboot to get it to work.
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Showing 1-15 of 57 comments
Unyieldingly Aug 22, 2013 @ 7:24pm 
is it the ARM one?
The Situation Aug 22, 2013 @ 7:34pm 
Yes, it is.
Unyieldingly Aug 22, 2013 @ 8:23pm 
Originally posted by Lorthremar:
Yes, it is.
Steam only works on X86 atm
The Situation Aug 22, 2013 @ 8:44pm 
Ah, okay. Thanks for your help. Is there any estimate on when Valve is going to make it work on ARM processors, or do they not have plans to?
blackout24 Aug 23, 2013 @ 1:21am 
Originally posted by Lorthremar:
Ah, okay. Thanks for your help. Is there any estimate on when Valve is going to make it work on ARM processors, or do they not have plans to?

The plan is never, since having Steam for ARM won't be enough. All the games would have to be ported to ARM aswell which makes zero sense, since it's so incredibly underpowered.
blackout24 Aug 24, 2013 @ 5:50am 
Originally posted by Spitzkrug:
yea, steam will never come to arm architecture.. but i don't know if with some x86 emulators you can install steam and games too (if yes, it's probably very very very very very slow)

Fixed that for you. ;)
Monarchco Aug 11, 2014 @ 2:16am 
You guys give such little credit to ARM....
I'm running a new Samsung Chromebook 2(The new Exonyx quad core - 8thread), that I've rooted and played around with.

It has more power than a standard line intel i3 I will vouch, however, the only issue is its ARM, and running *without* a fan. That means overheating is quite possible if run constantly.

On note, if used for Steam streaming, or simply using the community aspect of steam, it'd be great(and they've already developed steam for many mobile devices... and would only need a layout conversion from the current android steam app release for it to be chromebook ready).
Cybertao Aug 11, 2014 @ 4:38am 
Originally posted by BOSMonarchco:
On note, if used for Steam streaming...
I think they will eventually do that as a stepping stone towards being a cloud service.
gordan Aug 11, 2014 @ 4:52am 
Originally posted by BOSMonarchco:
You guys give such little credit to ARM....
I'm running a new Samsung Chromebook 2(The new Exonyx quad core - 8thread), that I've rooted and played around with.

It has more power than a standard line intel i3 I will vouch, however, the only issue is its ARM, and running *without* a fan. That means overheating is quite possible if run constantly.

On note, if used for Steam streaming, or simply using the community aspect of steam, it'd be great(and they've already developed steam for many mobile devices... and would only need a layout conversion from the current android steam app release for it to be chromebook ready).

So much wrong here.

The Chromebook 2 has 8 cores (full 8 cores, not 4 dual-threaded cores). It uses what is known as ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. There are 4 lower clocked low power cores, and another 4 higher clocked higher power cores. Early versions of this arrangement could only use one or the other set of 4 cores. Newer ones like the Chromebook 2 can use all 8 cores at the same time (4 faster ones and 4 slower ones - if you are running a heavily parallel load an extra 4 cores helps even if they aren't as fast).

There is no overheating issue whatsoever. I use the Mk1 Samsung Chromebooks for Linux distribution rebuilds. I also use Arndale OCTA boards which have the same 8-core arrangement. The Arndale OCTA doesn't even have a heatsink on it, let alone a fan - it is THAT low power.

The problem isn't ARM being underpowered - it's clearly not. The problem is also not that the games would need to be rebuild - for games that are already running on x86 Linux (e.g. L4D2, it should be a simple matter of recompiling a handful of binaries (executable and libraries). This is a relatively trivial job if you have the source code (I maintain an ARM port of a Linux distribution so I have a pretty good insight into what is required).

The problem is that there are very few ARM machines with discrete PCIe slots and there are no standard PCIe GPUs that have BIOS-es that are executable on ARM (and ARM doesn't use x86 BIOS standards). Also, all but one currently available ARM SoC (Tegra K1) only support OpenGL ES rather than full OpenGL, which means that games released with full OpenGL support in mind would have to be heavily modified to use the GLES rather than GL command set.

Once ARM machines with fully OpenGL capable GPUs become common I'm sure Steam on ARM Linux will happen. But that is still years away.
Last edited by gordan; Aug 11, 2014 @ 1:15pm
Lord Battlesheep Aug 11, 2014 @ 11:10am 
Originally posted by gordan:
Once ARM machines with fully OpenGL capable GPUs become common I'm sure Steam on ARM Linux will happen. But that is still years away.
1 arm core is not equal to 1 x86 core, gigaflops comparision tests are available. And a discrete GPU wants many gigaflops... Anyway, the games probably will not be ported any time soon, and without the games Steam is pretty much useless (unless if for streaming only).

I could offer OP to install Wine for ARM (to compile it, if there's no ready arm deb) and to run Win Steam and games on Wine. But it will be rather sad experience, i'm afraid, and wouldn't solve the problem with GPU, anyway...
Last edited by Lord Battlesheep; Aug 11, 2014 @ 11:14am
gordan Aug 11, 2014 @ 1:14pm 
Originally posted by Kranky K. Krackpot Sr.:
1 arm core is not equal to 1 x86 core, gigaflops comparision tests are available. And a discrete GPU wants many gigaflops...

Which x86 core vs. which ARM core? With code build using which compiler, and does said compiler knows how to leverage either CPUs SIMD properly (hint: the only compiler I have seen to date that does a half decent job of loop vectorization is Intel's ICC - and that's only available for x86).

And why would you think that a discrete GPU would require more CPU to saturate it than an integrated GPU? Look at the Tegra K1. It has an ARM core and an on-die GPU with 192 cores (roughly equivalent to a GTS450/Quadro 2000, only with a few years of extra silicon optimization on top).

Originally posted by Kranky K. Krackpot Sr.:
Anyway, the games probably will not be ported any time soon, and without the games Steam is pretty much useless (unless if for streaming only).

I could offer OP to install Wine for ARM (to compile it, if there's no ready arm deb) and to run Win Steam and games on Wine. But it will be rather sad experience, i'm afraid, and wouldn't solve the problem with GPU, anyway...

Running WINE on ARM will achieve precisely nothing because Windows apps for x86 won't run on it - because WINE Is Not an Emulator. It is a Windows API implementation. You would need something like QEMU to emulate x86 on ARM. DOSBox also emulates x86, and I can vouch for my old DOS games working just fine on my Chromebook in DOSBox.
Monarchco Aug 11, 2014 @ 1:27pm 
Originally posted by gordan:
Originally posted by BOSMonarchco:
You guys give such little credit to ARM....
I'm running a new Samsung Chromebook 2(The new Exonyx quad core - 8thread), that I've rooted and played around with.

It has more power than a standard line intel i3 I will vouch, however, the only issue is its ARM, and running *without* a fan. That means overheating is quite possible if run constantly.

On note, if used for Steam streaming, or simply using the community aspect of steam, it'd be great(and they've already developed steam for many mobile devices... and would only need a layout conversion from the current android steam app release for it to be chromebook ready).

So much wrong here.

The Chromebook 2 has 8 cores (full 8 cores, not 4 dual-threaded cores). It uses what is known as ARM's big.LITTLE architecture. There are 4 lower clocked low power cores, and another 4 higher clocked higher power cores. Early versions of this arrangement could only use one or the other set of 4 cores. Newer ones like the Chromebook 2 can use all 8 cores at the same time (4 faster ones and 4 slower ones - if you are running a heavily parallel load an extra 4 cores helps even if they aren't as fast).

There is no overheating issue whatsoever. I use the Mk1 Samsung Chromebooks for Linux distribution rebuilds. I also use Arndale OCTA boards which have the same 8-core arrangement. The Arndale OCTA doesn't even have a heatsink on it, let alone a fan - it is THAT low power.

The problem isn't ARM being underpowered - it's clearly not. The problem is also not that the games would need to be rebuild - for games that are already running on x86 Linux (e.g. L4D2, it should be a simple matter of recompiling a handful of binaries (executable and libraries). This is a relatively trivial job if you have the source code (I maintain an ARM port of a Linux distribution so I have a pretty good insight into what is required).

The problem is that there are very few ARM machines with discrete PCIe slots and there are no standard PCIe GPUs that have BIOS-es that are executable on ARM (and ARM doesn't use x86 BIOS standards). Also, all but one currently available ARM SoC (Tegra K1) only support OpenGL ES rather than full OpenGL, which means that games released with full OpenGL ES support in mind would have to be heavily modified to use the GLES rather than GL command set.

Once ARM machines with fully OpenGL capable GPUs become common I'm sure Steam on ARM Linux will happen. But that is still years away.


I had said 4, because unless you're on a site specifically for the Exynos 5 Octa 5800 core(or any of its other A15/A7 brothers), then the Samsung Chromebook 2 is listed as having 4 cores, and 8 threads(I'm not sure why, but this is how it's listed on Amazon, and Google.com/chromebooks)

And yes, with heavy loads there is overheating. I intentionally maxed all cores any way I could(video editing + recieving remote desktop stream same time), and the core reached ~70c after about 45 minutes, without plateuing and continueing to climb. At this point I put the chromebook to sleep, and it returned to a reasonable heat level after about 10-15 minutes.


If you put even the smallest fan on it though, the heat would likely no longer be a *possible* issue.

And quite honestly, pcie doesn't matter. (I know its crossing companies), but if AMD can find a way to put Mantle into integrated GPU's, there will be no need for a gpu, and the cpu would be able to play most games at least at minimum settings. (That is assuming Mantle evolves into what AMd claims it will, which alone would be remarkable.)

"for games that are already running on x86 Linux (e.g. L4D2, it should be a simple matter of recompiling a handful of binaries" - and this, look around, many games today are not that open. A lot of games are so hard-coded you have to rip out the entire engine to make 1 small change. Its an incredibly stupid way to design engines for the long-run, but its cheaper, and right now *everyone* is about cheaper(at least a majority of the AAA developers).
Lord Battlesheep Aug 11, 2014 @ 3:25pm 
Originally posted by gordan:
Originally posted by Kranky K. Krackpot Sr.:
1 arm core is not equal to 1 x86 core, gigaflops comparision tests are available. And a discrete GPU wants many gigaflops...

Which x86 core vs. which ARM core? With code build using which compiler, and does said compiler knows how to leverage either CPUs SIMD properly (hint: the only compiler I have seen to date that does a half decent job of loop vectorization is Intel's ICC - and that's only available for x86).

And why would you think that a discrete GPU would require more CPU to saturate it than an integrated GPU? Look at the Tegra K1. It has an ARM core and an on-die GPU with 192 cores (roughly equivalent to a GTS450/Quadro 2000, only with a few years of extra silicon optimization on top).

Originally posted by Kranky K. Krackpot Sr.:
Anyway, the games probably will not be ported any time soon, and without the games Steam is pretty much useless (unless if for streaming only).

I could offer OP to install Wine for ARM (to compile it, if there's no ready arm deb) and to run Win Steam and games on Wine. But it will be rather sad experience, i'm afraid, and wouldn't solve the problem with GPU, anyway...

Running WINE on ARM will achieve precisely nothing because Windows apps for x86 won't run on it - because WINE Is Not an Emulator. It is a Windows API implementation. You would need something like QEMU to emulate x86 on ARM. DOSBox also emulates x86, and I can vouch for my old DOS games working just fine on my Chromebook in DOSBox.
Say, 8 core Exynos vs 8 core AMD Vishera. Optimization not required.
Tegra K1 in tests looks more like an integrated Intel http://www.slashgear.com/nvidia-tegra-k1-out-performs-intel-haswell-in-early-benchmarks-13312939/ Pretty impressive for mobile devices, but rather sad for normal gaming.
Anyone can try to put a new GPU to an older CPU and to see what happens.
If Wine doesn't work this way -- pity to OP, he's pretty much stuck then...
gordan Aug 12, 2014 @ 12:36pm 
If you read that article properly, it says that the K1 doesn't beat the Core i7 (!) with a GeForce 740M - except 740M has double the number of shaders (384 vs. K1's 192) and the i7 is a monster CPU. The fact that with double the shaders and several times the CPU power budget the i7+740M combo didn't even manage to double the K1's score makes the K1 even more impressive.

As for overheating - 70C isn't overheating. 90C might be considered overheating. If it's going to hit that you should be able to establish it very, very quickly using something like cpuminer. That should hit the temperature plateau in a minute or so.
Last edited by gordan; Aug 12, 2014 @ 12:38pm
Monarchco Aug 12, 2014 @ 1:04pm 
Originally posted by gordan:
If you read that article properly, it says that the K1 doesn't beat the Core i7 (!) with a GeForce 740M - except 740M has double the number of shaders (384 vs. K1's 192) and the i7 is a monster CPU. The fact that with double the shaders and several times the CPU power budget the i7+740M combo didn't even manage to double the K1's score makes the K1 even more impressive.

As for overheating - 70C isn't overheating. 90C might be considered overheating. If it's going to hit that you should be able to establish it very, very quickly using something like cpuminer. That should hit the temperature plateau in a minute or so.


Thats just it, because of the lack of airflow(fan/vents), there is no plateu, at least not until the power breaks down the circuits(so something ~150c)

And as I said, it was continuing to increase heat. I simply preferred not push the shutoff point, which I am not aware of on ARM processors, but intel & AMD processors shut off around 82-90 celcius to prevent damage.

I'm simply saying 70c is *high* for 45 minutes of work. And where are you getting "temperature plateau in a minute or so?"

On my desktop it takes 60 minutes of false-loading all my cores to max to reach the plateau of 65.

cooler is better with computer hardware(so long as you're still above ambient to prevent condensation). And 70c+climbing is not a good thing. Now if you take an ARM core and put the smallest of fans on it, it'd probably be just fine. Just like how a LGA2001 i7X is best cooled across market with a Corsair H-100i, which will plateau the chip full load to all 6 cores at 42c.
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Date Posted: Aug 22, 2013 @ 7:21pm
Posts: 57