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The reverse engineering has begun.

This is not only necessary because the linux support is missing, this is also necessary because the whole tracking camera, LED control and positional tracking algorithm is closed and will be linux specific when finally released. For the oculus rift to ever be usable on BSD, haiku, plan9 or even linux on arm, mips, sparc, etc. this is a necessary effort.

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My short experience with the DK2 on linux so far:

It's possible to use DK1 programs if they have the option to enable VR manually like JanusVR. It works, but it's not pretty.

Half Life 2 works, but I'm pretty sure what I activated with -vr was the DK1 setting too. steamvr doesn't seem to work yet.

There is rudimentary support without positional tracking for the DK2 in the Oculus SDK 0.3.2.

However there was a topic on the oculus from where they said the 0.3.2 bindings to the unity engine did not work on linux.

I'm not sure if the 0.3.2 SDK for Linux was actually working in the original release, but in jherico's fork it works.

In the Oculus SDK there is a Configuration utility that renders a very simple example scene. I have not found out how to save profiles yet. Apparently there should be a save button somewhere. I have to read more documentation. It doesn't seem to be easy to find. jherico has removed that utility for some reason, maybe doesn't want to ship binaries. I don't even know if the configuration utility is open source.

The Oculus SDK also contains literally the only application I could find that actually has DK2 support on linux: The tuscany demo. Heavy aliasing at edges ruins the impression a bit and anti aliasing doesn't seem to work, but at least it renders at the full resolution. The head tracking works, but is very jittery. Enabling/Disabling vsync doesn't do much, but disabling motion prediction makes it a little bit more smooth, I believe.

I have to investigate further and maybe try with the DK2 only without a second screen that runs at 60Hz.

To summarize: The software especially for linux is not good yet. The VR experience is pretty much as cool as I thought it would be even with obvious visual deficiencies.
I quickly get a little bit motion sick I think. It feels unpleasant to start walking/accelerating and not feeling the acceleration. Maybe it gets better when the head tracking gets smoother.

I wonder why nobody seems to use the rudimentary DK2 support in the 0.3.2 SDK for linux. I have looked around a bit, but nobody seems to put something together for now.

Waiting for the 0.4.3 SDK now... With  #janusvr  there will be immediately a lot of content to explore.

Meanwhile I got fed up a little bit and created an AUR package for the current SDK that compiles static and shared libraries for 32 and 64 bit:
But I have also not seen any demo that would link against the shared, which would allow switching to the patched version from jherico.

My DK2 should arrive on Monday, still no Linux SDK in sight

Why is this bad?

Example: JanusVR.

23 days ago the developer of JanusVR was already blocked by the lack of a linux SDK release:

8 days ago he "caved" and moved his development to windows:

JanusVR is quick to iterate. He has meanwhile released a dozen (!) windows-only releases.

Tl;dr: Oculus' lack of the promised cross platform support makes developers who are not on windows 1. wait for the release 2. after a while get bored with waiting and nothing to do. 3. Buy and switch to Windows. 4. Make windows-only software for a while

Then if the release maybe finally arrives 5. switch back to the development environment they actually want and 6. test all the work they have done for over a month for regressions on other platforms because they couldn't do continuous tests.

Or maybe they'll skip step 5 and 6 and keep making windows-only software, because with a 0.3.1 release with broken linux support and 0.4.0 and 0.4.1 without linux support Oculus has shown to not provide reliable support for linux. Who could blame them? I would be sick of trying to use something Oculus clearly doesn't care about not supporting too.

I don't know yet if there is anything I'll be able to do with my Oculus Rift DK2 without SDK support, but I suspect it'll be a paperweight for a while.

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#Oculus   #Rift  SDK 0.4.1 released. Still no #Linux  support for #DK2 , meaning only proprietary commercial operating systems are supported.

Some people say it "doesn't make sense to expend resources on Linux". Maybe. But then, they shouldn't have advertised to make a cross platform product. They could have advertised as a product for proprietary operating systems and I wouldn't say anything. But they didn't. They said, it's a product for windows, mac os X and linux, but they consistently and heavily disadvantage linux users.

Well, it's not like linux users aren't used to it. But it's still disappointing.

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On their kickstarter website Oculus advertised with this banner:

To me this looks like Windows, Mac OS X and Linux are on the same level.

It seems I was mistaken because not for the first time Oculus disadvantaged linux developers greatly. First with the SDK 0.3.1 release where linux support was just broken until an independent developer fixed it:

Now with the 0.4 release that is not even available for Mac OS X AND that adds features.

When John Carmack worked at iD software/Zenimax and described why they did not bother with linux releases anymore he said: 

> However, I don’t think that a good business case can be made for officially supporting Linux for mainstream games today, and Zenimax doesn’t have any policy of “unofficial binaries” like Id used to have. I have argued for their value (mostly in the context of experimental Windows features, but Linux would also benefit), but my forceful internal pushes have been for the continuation of Id Software’s open source code releases, which I feel have broader benefits than unsupported Linux binaries.


Well yea, the open source releases at the company he works at now are of some value because we can already see the same developer who once fixed 0.3.1 to work on the 0.4 release:

But very windows specific things like that "display driver" are probably not that easy to port and dumping all the work on independent third party developers just to achieve feature parity... Yea, this is one of the reasons linux is such a hard time and John Carmack shouldn't be that surprised that he can't make a business case for an operating system that gets disadvantaged by companies all the time.

I have not asked them yet, but I would guess that their answer would be that with the final 1.x release and the consumer version they'll surely have feature parity on all operating systems. But by then it will be too late and developers will have written a lot of windows- and mac os X -only software that they may or may not bother to port to linux and check whether they didn't use some subtle portability breakers.

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For myself, I did not buy the DK1, but I did order the DK2. I did order relatively late, so it did not arrive yet and I haven't heard anything about shipment either.

For my hardware, I basically only use a laptop for now. It has a so called AMD "Enduro" configuration with an intel Ivy Bridge GPU and a radeon HD 7970M and all display outputs are connected to the intel GPU.

I have read that there are problems to be expected with Optimus to get the intel GPU or optimus to render at 75 Hz or something like that:

So one of the first interesting things to see will be:

* Whether the Intel GPU can output the required resolution@75Hz
 * on linux
 * over HDMI (if not, I need to buy a displayport adapter and connect it to the displayport on my laptop)
* Whether dma-buf/PRIME is able to keep up with the rift and whether there will be tearing because of lacking proper vsync
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