Learned Something Odd Yesterday

TL;DR- Setting up a flatpak of Steam on Manjaro while using Chrome Remote Desktop installs the flatpak with the CRD “gpu” as the default.

I am trying to set up a “Steam Deck”-esque experience for our basement TV as a sort of “arcade” for the kids and myself. I’m using Manjaro as the base, to try to stick to Arch. I’m aware of HoloISO, and have tried it out via VNC, but want to wait for a true SteamOS 3 release for production. [As an aside, it seems that the OS won’t release until after the DeckUI makes it way as a Big Picture Mode replacement]

For a few weeks now, I was thinking I would need a separate GPU for this venture. That would have my Windows VM using the 3070ti and something like the Radeon RX 6600XT for the arcade VM (using AMD to better align with Steam Deck optimizations, and general Linux compatibility). I came to the realization that, as a proof of concept, I am perfectly well served by simply toggling VMs on and off. My Windows VM doesn’t need to be on all the time, so I can leave it set to the arcade most of the time.

Having decided that, I spun up the VM with the default VNC drivers to bring up Chrome Remote Desktop. Using the Arch Users Repository, I got CRD all set up, and felt comfortable passing through the GPU on the VM. After doing so, I logged in via CRD and began installing Steam and some games.

Later that night, I went to test it out at my desk. Each game crashed due to missing DXVK abilities (e.g. “you don’t have DirectX 11!”). I confirmed that the GPU is recognized and drivers installed. I rebooted multiple times. Steam Big Picture chugs, and complains about lack of video memory. That’s impossible! I have a 3070ti!

Eventually I uninstall Steam and reinstall at the desk. I noticed that Add/Remove software triggers a build process, and it clicks for me. The build process clearly queries the current display driver and only builds for that driver. I had installed Steam to only work on CRD’s X window!

So now it works just fine. But I have realized that CRD on Manjaro is a completely different beast from CRD on Windows. So I’m not sure what the limits of my abilities are, but its clearly not the same as sitting at the desk. Much more to learn!






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