LWDW 284: Steamy Steam Deck

Steam announces a Linux powered handheld that can double as a desktop, PipeWire brings back volume controls for ALSA, Nvidia makes Blender less blinky on Wayland, and a $26 smartwatch that you might actually want.

Special thanks:
Alex (new patreon)



00:00 Intro
03:43 Linux tag on Twitch
06:13 Ubuntu 21.10 progress
09:08 Freeing the PineCone
13:58 Expressive Animator
17:38 A pure-Rust Tor implementation
21:33 Edge overtakes Firefox
28:58 A looks at Microsoft’s Linux distro
33:38 Gameboy remote play with Pi

Steamy Decks 


  • We are finally getting our Steam Machine!  Valve’s Steam Deck handheld portable gaming machine was just announced last week, and will bring Linux to the masses!
  • And you can bring your Steam Library with you, just by logging in to Steam.
  • No other portable game device allows for thousands of games out of the box.
  • And the new home screen looks nicer than the Big Picture mode we have on our current computers.
  • I got my reservation for the 256 GB NVMe Steam Deck!
  • Valve is performing magic:
    • “For Deck, we’re vastly improving Proton’s game compatibility and support for anti-cheat solutions by working directly with the vendors.”
  • And you can hook up a monitor, keyboard and mouse to your Steam Deck, because as Valve says, “Use your Deck as a PC.  Because it is one.”
  • And for those of us idiots who went out of our way to build ourselves our own SteamBox, are we getting the fancy new big picture mode?
  • Where can I download me some new SteamOS?
  • Steam Deck is a PC so you can install third party software and operating systems.
  • I haven’t had a handheld since my TurboExpress and this does nothing to change that.
  • Not to be confused with the Streamdeck.
  • This announcement wrecked a gang of potential Switch sales.
  • Going to make the hardware survey interesting, aint it.
  • It’s running Linux  with KDE. 
  • Using Proton (WINE) to play the Windows games. 
  • EAC is claimed to work. 
  • Quad channel RAM 16 GB
  • Zen 2 4c8t + 8 RDNA2 CU’s
  • 1280 x 800px (16:10 aspect ratio) 7”
  • 669 grams / 1.47 freedom units.
  • For those of you who bought it planning to slap Windows on it, you’re in for an adventure. 
  • No small amount of custom bits on this that will require drivers. 
  • Watch LGC 465 for a full rundown. 


Nvidia drivers


  • Blender fixes. 
  • Xwayland fixes. 
  • Nvidia Display Driver 470.57.02 is out with several important bug fixes for Linux.
  • Fixed a Doom Eternal bug which would enable G-SYNC.
  • Added support for the unicorn GPUs
  • You wanna talk about paper launches, the 3070Ti and 3080Ti pretty much fit the bill.




  • Having a 3060 running on ARM will enable a heck of a lot more than gaming when the price eventually comes down.
  • This is huge news, especially in the world of power efficient gaming and rendering.
  • Imagine being able to play AAA games on your Raspberry Pi! 


Sealed Pine


  • Comes with InfiniTime preloaded, which is based on FreeRT.
  • I ordered one 
  • Should be here in about 3 weeks, as usual.
  • $26 but you can’t crack it open. 
  • Well, you can, once. 
  • Can’t come up with a reason to buy one, I’ve tried. 
  • I am interested in the PPG Heart Rate Sensor.
  • And the Step Counting feature with Accelerometer.
  • Looks like they have plans for accessories, as there is a PineTime Accessories webpage, but nothing listed yet.


PipeWire 0.3.32


  • JACK can now use rtkit to manage real time priorities on threads.
  • Real-time priority is dropped when entering freewheel.
  • Volume controls are back for the ALSA plugin. 
  • Fixed the latency reporting issue with Ardour. 
  • Memory leaks, deadlocks, and other assorted crashes have been fixed. 
  • Everyone knows I’m a huge proponent of PipeWire but it’s not allowed in the studio for good reasons, yet. 


MOTU MKIII on Linux 


  • What started out as another “let’s take one for the team and see if it works” project ended up with a twist. 
  • I didn’t expect Tak to sort the clock recovery issue with MOTU and Digi interfaces halfway through the review. 
  • Traditionally with Firewire interfaces you load the FFADO drivers and hope for the best. 
  • Why? Because the ALSA drivers would output sound (sometimes) but would get up to all types of mischief when you attempted to record.  
  • Don’t get too excited just yet because you will have to wait for Kernel 5.14 or build the firewire stack yourself. 


Adobe Blends


  • Wow, this is huge news!  Guess who is joining the Blender Foundation’s Development Fund?
  • Adobe is!
  • They are joining as a corporate Gold member to directly support core Blender development.
  • And making sure that Blender’s integration with the Adobe Creative Cloud suite remains top notch.
  • Nothing like buying some good will.
  • Why bother having Creative Cloud on Linux when you can just buy yourself some good will.
  • It’s the same tactic Epic used by spending some pocket change on Lutris.

Slice of Pi

Sour Pi 


  • Check your yeast with a Pi.
  • It reports  CO2 levels, humidity, temperature, and precipitation height of the contents.
  • I joke but this is effectively a weather station for the inside of a yeast jar with an e-ink screen.


Pi Server


  • You make one of these out of an 8GB Pi4 and you have a very good “workstation” Pi.
  • My first thought:  OMG, how cute!  I love the enclosure.
  • The transparent side panels scream “We need rainbow vomit”!
  • And it is topped off with an RGB fan.
  • One and a half hours of battery life for the onboard UPS is great.

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