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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?