Collabora Announces Bringing Virtual Reality to the Linux Desktop

Collabora xrdesktop

COLLABORATE announced today a new open source project that will allow graphical environments and window managers Linux enjoy virtual reality (VR). The project, called xrdesktop, is funded by Valve, a company famous, among other things, for being the owner of the Steam video game platform. xrdesktop is developed to integrate into existing graphical environments such as KDE / Plasma and GNOME, making them work in virtual reality runtimes.

According to Collabora, the project xrdesktop is designed to integrate directly into our graphical environment Favourite. This will eliminate the need to use a dedicated composer to run in VR. It also means that it will work without doing any special settings, but starting only in KDE / Plasma and GNOME. As for other graphical environments, Collabora only says that «xrdesktop is designed to integrate into any desktop«, Which suggests that it will soon be available, for example, in Xfce or MATE.

xrdesktop, the Collabora project that will bring VR to Linux

In fact, the company says that in their initial launch they have focused on 'the most popular Linux desktops«, And he is right: KDE / Plasma is available in many famous distributions, such as Debian or Kubuntu, while GNOME it is the graphical environment used by one of the most popular Linux distributions, Canonical's Ubuntu, as well as Debian, Fedora, and many other Linux operating systems.

xrdesktop works with a set of Glib-based libraries and an internal Vulkan renderer. The software is written entirely in C and it doesn't come with a standalone window manager, which means it can only be integrated into an existing one. TIt can also be used as a dedicated scene application and comes with an overlay mode to allow desktop windows to be overlaid on top of an existing virtual reality application.

Those interested in trying xrdesktop can download it from here!.

Related article:
The Khronos OpenXR: New API for VR and AR


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