More Trusty Excitement

I have another bit of exciting news on the Ubuntu 14.04 LTS front.

dota2One  of the things we’ve done is managed to port the Simple Direct Media layer (SDL) to the Mir display server.  For those of you fortunate enough to not have a clue what the means, SDL is a portability layer used by many games, including many available on Valve’s Steam platform.  The consequences of that work is that a whole slew of really good games are going to be available immediately on Unity8 when it finally hits the desktop.

Wait!  There’s more.  SDL autodetects the actual video layer.  That means you can install a game from Steam on Unity7 running on X11 today on Ubuntu 13.10, and when you log in to your Unity8 session running on top of Mir on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS, it will just work.  Isn’t that just the bee’s knees?

There’s still more.  The SDL layer isn’t just used for games.  It’s used for professional applications like remote desktop interfaces and various visualizers.  They will all just work on the Unity8 desktop running on Mir.  I’m really excited by this, and you should be too, because it just might mean next year will really be the year of the Linux desktop. Heh.  Humour me.

The screenshot here is the game DOTA2 running on Mir, taken by Brandon Schaefer. He’s the wizard who did most of the work of making the wonderful and widespread SDL library work on Mir in cooperation with Valve and the SDL maintainers.  I’m sure it was tough having to play games during work hours, but he made the valiant effort out of a sense of duty when asked.  Unfortunately, now he has to get back to work fixing high-DPI issues in Unity7.

The Mir back end will be released with libSDL 2.0.2 in the very near future.

Edit: Brandon also has a video capture.


10 thoughts on “More Trusty Excitement

  1. Pingback: SDL портировали на дисплейный сервер Mir и запустили на нём Dota 2 | TLinux

  2. Pingback: Игру Dota 2 запустили на Mir | TLinux

    • I don’t follow.

      Valve sells games, and having games run on more desktops means more sales. If a game runs on a Debian-based SteamOS and on Ubuntu phone, tablet, desktop, and TV, then Valve simply laughs all the way to the bank.

        • It doesn’t switch so much as heuristically autodiscover the display back end. This has always been a feature of SDL, but having multiple display back ends on a single platform is fairly new. An awful lot of projects hard code the assumption that Linux is synonymous with X11.

    • Them helping out Canonical on Mir doesn’t really have anything to do with their choice of Debian for their OS. Its a mutual interest to have good tools to use and its also a mutual interest for the games Valve makes and helps other game devs make since they started supporting linux to work on Ubuntu which is still one of the biggest if not the biggest linux distro. And also them choosing Debian also doesn’t mean they will be using Wayland either. Im sure Valve care about the performance and if Mir offers better, while being stable and giving what they need then they will use that.

  3. Pingback: Se anuncian nuevas novedades en cuanto a SDL y Mir | Libuntu

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