The growth of videogames in Linux has motivated the creation of distributions oriented to this sector, so we are going to take advantage of the occasion to present (or remind, depending on how you look at it) Chimera OSan operating system that at least in appearance competes with the SteamOS 3 present in the Steam Deck.
ChimeraOS is not a really new project, but was born as a result of the renaming of GamerOS, a system that we echoed a couple of years ago. Based on Arch Linux, it makes it easy to use Steam through good hardware support, pre-installs RetroArch, and includes Chimera (formerly Steam Buddy), a tool that allows you to install software from GOG, the Epic Games Store, and Flathub. Obviously, the presence of recent versions of the kernel, Mesa and the NVIDIA driver is a must in a product with these characteristics.
With its new name long established, ChimeraOS version 33 was recently released to revamp the software stack it provides. Here we meet Linux 5.17.9, Mesa 22.0.4, version 515.43.04 of the always controversial NVIDIA driverthe Chimera tool updated to version 0.14.6, steam-composer-plus 1.9.4, and RetroArch 1.10.3 (yes, emulators feature prominently around here, too).
In addition to updating software components and tools, there are also various fixes in ChimeraOS 33 to cover a bug that caused the session to be reverted to Big Picture Mode after upgrading to a recent version of the Steam client, games that were not Steam crashing on launch, overlay performance, frame rate limiter, night mode, brightness controls, some minor graphical glitches, and system version not displaying.
Those responsible warn that the user interface of the Steam Deck does not work on NVIDIA (why would it be). Besides, might need to clean applied customizations and rerun
chimera-session gamepadui in case you have manually switched to the new user interface in the previous version of the system or have custom environment variables defined.
ChimeraOS is one of many distributions that come to cover a very specific sector, more specifically one that has grown quite a bit in recent years. However, sometimes the excess supply leads to dispersion of efforts and on many occasions the specialized distributions derive from small projects that do not have a great human capital, so more than one may find that in the end it is better to pull the big ones traditional distributions.
All details about ChimeraOS 33 are available in the official announcement posted on its Steam group, while the system can be obtained from the corresponding section on the distribution’s website.