Valve launches SteamVR support for Linux, opens the door for more SteamVR hardware

It's still in the early stages of development, but SteamVR is finally coming to Linux.

Nearly a year ago, Valve released SteamVR alongside HTC’s Vive, but without Linux and Mac OS X support as originally planned. Now, Valve is making up for at least one of those missed targets. The company just released a development build of SteamVR for Linux, and it's making Steam’s room-scale tracking system more accessible to hardware makers as well.

The SteamVR for Linux release is currently targeted at developers who can use the software to create VR experiences for Linux, including the Linux-based SteamOS. To get started developers, need the latest Steam Beta Client and a Vulkan-friendly beta driver from Nvidia or AMD—though using an AMD driver takes a little more doing than with Nvidia.

The story behind the story: Even though Valve’s Linux-based Steam Machines landed with a thud, Valve still has hopes for Linux as a gaming platform. More games are coming to the platform thanks to Valve’s Steam client for Linux, as well as growing interest in the Vulkan graphics API. Adding VR support to Linux is the next logical step for Valve, although there’s no telling how long it will take before SteamVR is ready for a 1.0 release on Linux.

Opening up SteamVR hardware, too

Valve also recently announced that it’s going to sell SteamVR Tracking base stations separately from the Vive headset later in 2017, presumably as part of a larger goal to make SteamVR available on more than just HTC's Vive. 

Related, Valve is also changing the accessibility of SteamVR tracking technology for hardware makers. In August 2016, Valve opened SteamVR tracking to companies royalty-free, but required them to attend a $3,000 training course. Now, Valve has waved that requirement and is making the training course materials available free of charge. 

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags HTC ViveSteamVR

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ian Paul

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?