If you use a computer with Linux and want to have an experience similar to the Steam Deck gaming devices, there’s a way to do that now. Bazzite is a new option that lets you have the benefits of Steam Deck’s software on different types of devices.
You see the Steam Deck has something special called SteamOS which makes it easy to play computer games on a handheld device even if the device wasn’t originally meant for gaming. Now a new version of the software wants to make this gaming experience possible on a wider range of devices.
If you’re someone who wants to use the software from Valve’s Steam Deck on your regular computer, home theater PC (HTPC), or another handheld device, you can now install Bazzite. It’s a system based on Linux and it comes with all the features of SteamOS, plus some extra stuff.
Bazzite is built using Fedora 38 along with the main and Nvidia versions of something called uBlue. What this means is that Bazzite tries really hard to look and work just like the Steam Deck. It can even start up right away in a mode called Steam Big Picture and it can run games made for Windows using something called Proton which is like a compatibility tool on top of another thing called Arch Linux.
Because Bazzite keeps something called “GRUB installation” from Fedora, it can start in different operating systems like Windows. But it can’t do this with other types of Linux. Also, if you have a stronger computer like a regular desktop or another kind of portable computer, you can tell Bazzite to not use the features that are made to work well on the Steam Deck’s simpler hardware.
This could be good because then you get some of the nice things about the Steam Deck but your computer can be even faster. This might help devices like the Asus ROG Ally. A review by TechSpot said it was better at games than the Steam Deck but it had trouble with software because Windows 11 wasn’t made very well for small devices.
This could also be true for handheld devices from GPD or the upcoming Lenovo Legion Go. On the other hand, if you have a Steam Deck so you can put the Bazzite software on it to use some extra features. These include things like making the device use less power, changing how much the battery charges, making the screen work faster, and doing more things with the memory.
And there’s more good stuff with Bazzite. It comes with drivers (which are like special software) from Nvidia already inside it. It also has something called ROCm OpenCL/HIP runtime support which helps with graphics. If you want to use a wireless Xbox controller so Bazzite is ready for that too, thanks to something called Xpadneo drivers. It can also work with DisplayLink which is a way to connect more screens.
Bazzite can also change the buttons on your controller, update itself in a special way, go back to a previous version if something goes wrong, and have other cool features. There’s even a guide to help you if you’re new to all of this and you can add some extra apps if you want.
Even though setting up Bazzite can be a bit tricky, the things your computer needs to run it aren’t too demanding. You should have a CPU that’s at least 2 GHz and has four cores, 4 GB of memory, 20 GB of space to store stuff, a good graphics card that supports something called Vulkan 1.3, and a keyboard (if you’re putting it on a handheld).
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