Install ChimeraOS And Never Leave The Sofa

There are some projects that initially don’t seem to make sense, but actually turn out to have valid use cases. ChimeraOS appears to be one of those. The idea is that if you own a gaming PC, but it is not necessarily located where you want to be all the time (like in a gaming den or office for example) then ChimeraOS allows you to play games on it remotely via a local machine. That machine may be a media PC attached to your main TV, or perhaps a mobile device like a steam deck.

With support for AMD GPUs only, there is one issue with deployment — if you’re an Nvidia owner you’re out of luck — the premise is to be able to boot up into a gaming-friendly environment with minimal fuss. Hook up a controller and you’re good to go. Support is also there for a few mobile devices, specifically some Aokzoe, Aya Neo, and OneXPlayer devices as well as some preliminary support for the Asus ROG Ally not to mention the Steam Deck as we touched on earlier. From a software perspective, it obviously supports the Steam platform but also Epic Games, Good Old Games (GOG), and tentatively a mention of console platforms. Sadly the website doesn’t mention much detail on that last bit, but there are some tantalizing hints in the project’s Twitter/X/whatever feed. Reading the release notes, there are mentions of PCSX2 (Playstation 2) Super Game Boy and Atari platforms, so digging into the GitHub repo might be instructive, or you know, actually installing it and trying. This scribe doesn’t own an AMD GPU so that isn’t an option, but do drop us a line in the comments if you’ve tried it and how it works for you.

Many of us at Hackday are avid gamers, especially of the retro kind, which is why we really like these projects. Here’s a nice game controller you can print yourself. For self-builds, there’s nothing quite like the satisfaction of a DIY arcade machine, but what if you think outside the box?

7 thoughts on “Install ChimeraOS And Never Leave The Sofa

  1. I don’t get it. How is this better than just getting your Steam library properly set up on your Windows PC and using Steam’s built-in game stream function on the second one, or Moonlight, or Steam link…? Plus this says it requires an AMD card – who is this for?

  2. I don’t get it… it’s just a Linux distro (Arch by the looks of it) that runs on a few obscure (other than the Steam deck, which you could argue doesn’t need it) handheld machines and just launches Steam?

  3. I’m not very sure about the usefulness of this OS. With a Windows PC or a compatible Linux distribution (such as Ubuntu, Arch, SteamOS[Arch], …), it is already possible to install everything needed for remote gaming using Steam Link (regardless of the graphics card brand) or certain optimized streaming tools like Moonlight to stream to another PC, smartphone, TV box, or even purpose-built machines like the Logitech G Cloud.

    Steam even offers a game management feature for games that are not from its platform, allowing users to centralize their game library and launch them from the same place.

    For gamers who don’t want to go through the hassle of setting all this up, it might be better to buy a console. Moreover, this OS limits the machine’s possibilities to being used as a console, whereas a PC running Windows or Linux can do much more.

    In short, the target audience is very limited, especially if dual-boot is not available. However, I acknowledge that it is a good initiative and a commendable implementation effort. If we consider a powerful enough server, we could even imagine virtual machines or containers of this to organize LAN parties or offer “console” rentals for a specific period with minimal configuration.

    1. Most of the folks using ChimeraOS are either running it on handheld systems that resemble a Steam Deck, or cheap mini desktops running on the same AMD APUs and being used as console equivalents. For desktops in particular, the hardware can be very affordable; you can get something that performs equivalently to the Steam Deck for ~$300.

      It’s also a lot more “plug and play” for games than a lot of general purpose Linux distros — Proton can be a pain to set up from scratch, and it’s already built in to ChimeraOS in much the same way as SteamOS.

      So yeah, it’s got a very specific niche, but it fills that niche quite well.

  4. “The idea is that if you own a gaming PC, but it is not necessarily located where you want to be all the time (like in a gaming den or office for example) then ChimeraOS allows you to play games on it remotely via a local machine”

    I…don’t believe this is a correct description of what ChimeraOS does. It’s basically an equivalent to SteamOS that runs on more types of hardware. The games run on the ChimeraOS machine, not remotely on something else.

    The pictured device is an Aya Neo, which is an AMD-based, Steam Deck-type device that normally runs Windows; lots of folks are installing ChimeraOS on those to make them work more like Steam Decks. But again, the games run locally.

    There are plenty of solutions to remotely stream games from a machine in another room (Steam’s built-in streaming, Moonlight, Parsec, etc).

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