Introducing Bazzite: A Distro for Linux Gaming
If you’re a Linux gamer looking for a distro tailored specifically for gaming, then Bazzite might be just what you need. Bazzite is a new Fedora-based distro that has been designed with gaming in mind, not only for Linux desktops but also for the increasingly popular Steam Deck.
Bazzite is based on the recently released Fedora 38 and uses Universal Blue, an OCI base image of Fedora. It comes with expanded hardware support, including Microsoft Surface device support, and preinstalled key drivers. Additionally, Fedora 39-based builds are available for testing, with the stable release expected next month.
Some of the highlights of Bazzite include:
- Preinstalled proprietary Nvidia drivers
- Support for hardware accelerated H264 decoding
- Waydroid implementation for running Android apps
- Support for Xbox controllers with the implementation of xone, xpadneo, and xpad-noone
I tested Bazzite on a virtual machine and found the installation experience to be similar to Fedora’s. However, the post-installation setup is where the differences become apparent. Bazzite uses the KDE Plasma 5.27 desktop environment by default, with a Steam Deck-like branding across the operating system. It offers separate ISOs for PCs and Steam Deck, including an NVIDIA-focused variant and a GNOME variant for those who prefer GNOME over KDE.
For setting up the distro for gaming, Bazzite provides the ‘Bazzite Portal’ app, which guides users through important configuration steps. Users also have the option to install Open Razer if needed. The setup includes the installation of ‘Bazzite Arch’, a custom Arch Linux OCI in Distrobox that allows gaming workloads to run seamlessly. After the setup, users have an OS that is ready for gaming.
Recently, Bazzite added two new preinstalled apps:
- Bazzite GNOME edition with a system monitor app
Bazzite offers additional configuration options, such as the use of the Nix Package Manager, starting Steam in Big Picture Mode at startup, and memory tuning options.
If you’ve been looking for a Fedora-based distro tailored for gaming, Bazzite is definitely worth a try.
If you’re interested in trying out Bazzite, you can download the latest release from its GitHub repository. For more information, you can also check out the early announcement blog post.
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