Valve improved X-Box gamepad driver for Fedora


I’ve added to the Steam package repository for Fedora an alternative kernel module for xpad, the X-Box gamepad driver. This variant contains patches created by Valve to improve the driver and its behaviour.

The module is available in both akmod (RPMFusion) and dkms package formats.

This made my 3rd party X-Box controller work without any issue in Steam games and in the Big Picture Mode interface!

I’ve added a note on Valve’s wiki and Steam forums regarding it, for installation and instructions just head to to the Steam repository page.

Updated repositories for Steam, Nvidia, HandBrake/MakeMKV, CDRtools

Another batch of updates to the repositories:

  • MakeMKV has finally been updated to version 1.8.7-2, which contains a small tweak as suggested in MakeMKV‘s forums to re-enable internal SSL support. This should solve all SCSI errors when decrypting BluRay discs on recent Fedora OpenSSL releases that do not ship all EC curves.
  • The HandBrake build with some of the bundled libraries removed in favour of system libraries (~50% of them) has been pushed as the supported build.
  • The nvidia-settings package now builds the external library that can be used to control the graphic cards through the NV-CONTROL extension. This library updates the old and obsolete one in Fedora based on drivers version 165.
  • The CDRtools suite has been updated to version 3.01a21.
  • The Steam package now produces an additional steam-noruntime subpackage that contains all the library requirements for running Steam without using the Steam Runtime. More details on the Steam repository page. This build has also been pushed to RPMFusion and will become the next update; so users which have the Steam package installed from the RPMFusion repositories will still have a Valve supported configuration with the Runtime enabled.

Steam runtime, disabling again

After re-enabling the Steam (ubuntu) runtime in package version, I’ve made some more tests with the runtime disabled on my systems.

The main driving factor for re-enabling the runtime was the introduction by Valve of the obsolete which has been replaced by library during the Fedora 18 release cycle.

I’ve now added back all libraries required for the client in the package prerequisites and disabled the runtime again. This time it has been disabled not through a profile script that is sourced at login time, but I’ve instead patched the main steam script in the package with a very simple patch:

--- steam.old/steam	2013-12-20 20:50:34.014610244 +0100
+++ steam/steam	2013-12-20 21:59:57.731725731 +0100
@@ -186,6 +186,17 @@
 # go to the install directory and run the client
+if [ ! -v STEAM_RUNTIME ]; then
+    if [ ! -h $LAUNCHSTEAMPLATFORM/ ]; then
+        ln -sf /usr/lib/ $LAUNCHSTEAMPLATFORM/
+    fi
+    rm -fr $LAUNCHSTEAMPLATFORM/steam-runtime
+    export STEAM_RUNTIME=0
 if [ "`command -v tee`" != "" ]; then
 	mkdir -p --mode=777 /tmp/dumps
 	exec "$LAUNCHSTEAMDIR/$STEAMBOOTSTRAP" "$@" 2>&1 | tee "/tmp/dumps/${USER}_stdout.txt"

This checks if the STEAM_RUNTIME environment variable has been set and takes action accordingly. In the case it has not been set (the default), the script creates a symlink to the system library in the Steam folder and deletes the unpacked Ubuntu runtime. On the contrary, if you want the Ubuntu runtime enabled, by launching Steam with STEAM_RUNTIME=1 steam it will simply unpack again the runtime and restore the normal behaviour by deleting the symlink.

By using Steam’s internal variables, this also works in the following cases:

  • You’ve moved your Steam installation folder
  • You have played with the runtime enabled and are going to disable and viceversa
  • Saves me a lot of emails if I’m issuing an update to the Steam package that enables / disables the runtime; without the need for logging your user out, it works out of the box even after an update and a rerun in the same desktop session

I would say that here the “keep it simple stupid” principle applies perfectly.

The size of the Steam client has now become a little thinner again on the system on where it is installed. For comparison, here is today’s difference in size for a Steam beta client installation that uses the runtime and one that doesn’t (the SteamApps folder is the folder where applications/games are installed):

$ cd Steam
$ du -hs --exclude=SteamApps
1.4G .
$ du -hs --exclude=SteamApps --exclude=steam-runtime
1.1G .

Again, if we could run the client forcing it to avoid downloading the runtime archives as well; then the client would weigh nearly 500 mb less:

$ du -hs --exclude=SteamApps --exclude=steam-runtime*

I’ve pushed this change only on the repository on this site, if it works fine and I see no objections I will push the change in RPMFusion’s repositories. The instructions in the repository page have been updated, including information on how to move your Steam installation around.

Any feedback is much appreciated!

Just in case you’re wondering, yes, I have a lot of games (~100), mostly bought off through the Humble Bundle bundles!


Re-enabling Steam Runtime in the Steam package

Due to some issues with libraries in an upcoming Steam client update, I’m forced to re-enable the Steam runtime (Ubuntu libraries) in Fedora’s Steam package. This means that all dependencies are no longer needed but the size of the Steam client can get ridiculously high on the system on where it is installed. For comparison, see the difference in size for an installation that uses the Steam runtime and one that doesn’t (the SteamApps folder is the folder where applications/games are installed):

$ du -hs --exclude=SteamApps
$ du -hs --exclude=SteamApps --exclude=steam-runtime

If we could run it without the Steam runtime enabled and also avoid downloading the runtime archives; then the client would weight nearly 500 mb less:

$ du -hs --exclude=SteamApps --exclude=steam-runtime*

Let’s hope that in the future Valve will not mandate the use of Ubuntu libraries for long and will standardize on a specific set of common libraries.

I’ve updated the repository page with updated instruction and pushed updated packages both to the repository and in RPMFusion. Starting from package steam- the Steam runtime is left at the default value (enabled).

Steam is now in RPMFusion!

steamThe Steam package is now available in the RPMFusion repositories. It is currently in the updates-testing repository, but it can be installed anyway directly if you have the RPMFusion repositories enabled.

The package is currently 32 bit only, but it can be installed easily also on a 64 bit system. In fact, I’m currently running nearly 70 games on my 64 bit system. For details on the package, look at my now-obsolete Steam repository page.

To perform the installation today, make sure to have both RPMFusion free and non free repositories enabled and perform the following command as root:

yum -y --enablerepo=rpmfusion-nonfree-updates-testing install steam

The Steam package has some profiles enabled to avoid using the Ubuntu Steam Runtime, which produces graphical artifacts and sound issues when run in Fedora. To avoid any problems, please log out and login again or reboot the system prior to using Steam for the first time!

Steam games require the S3 Texture compression library for running on Open Source drivers, and the package already takes care of installing it for you.

Steam under review in RPMFusion

The Steam package has been under review in RPMFusion for the latest 20 days:

It has now got a reviewer; so with a bit of hope the package could be finally merged into RPMFusion! At the moment, the package in my repository is exactly the same as the last one posted in the review.

Steam and Oculus Rift


I’ve just updated the Steam package to the latest release ( and in addition to the Steam controller support there are now udev rules for the Oculus Rift! This is the changelog content:

$ cat /usr/share/doc/steam- | head -5
steam ( precise; urgency=low
  * Update udev rules to support front panel and Oculus Rift
  * Demote jockey-common dependency to Recommends

And this is the content of the UDEV rules’ file:

$ cat /usr/lib/udev/rules.d/99-steam-controller-perms.rules
#USB devices
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="c251", ATTRS{idProduct}=="2202", MODE="0666"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="28de", ATTRS{idProduct}=="2202", MODE="0666"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="28de", ATTRS{idProduct}=="1101", MODE="0666"
SUBSYSTEM=="usb", ATTRS{idVendor}=="28de", ATTRS{idProduct}=="1051", MODE="0666"
# Oculus HID Sensor naming and permissioning
KERNEL=="hidraw*", SUBSYSTEM=="hidraw", ATTRS{idVendor}=="2833", MODE="0666"

Would you consider buying an Oculus if Steam games start to support it?

Steam on Fedora 20

steamI’ve updated the Steam repository with Fedora 20 packages and removed Fedora 17 bits from the SPEC files since it has now gone EOL.

Fedora 19 and up now have SDL 2 in the main repositories; though the Steam client it’s shipping it’s own library that cannot be deleted or it will get downloaded again upon the client startup.