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Bazzite: A Distro for Linux Gaming on Steam Deck and PCs

Gear up for gaming on Linux desktop or the Steam Deck. That sounds exciting!

Would you be interested in a distro that is tailored for Linux gaming?

If yes, then we have just the thing for you.

Bazzite is a new Fedora-based distro that has been tailor-made for gaming on Linux desktops, and even the increasingly popular, Steam Deck.

In this article, we will take a brief look at Bazzite, and see what it has to offer.

Bazzite: Overview ⭐

a screenshot of bazzite neofetch output

Based on the recently released Fedora 38, Bazzite is using Universal Blue, which is an OCI base image of Fedora. It features expanded hardware support like Microsoft Surface device support, and has key drivers preinstalled.

Fedora 39-based builds are also available for testing. You can keep an eye out for its stable release later next month.

Some of its highlights include:

  • Preinstalled proprietary Nvidia drivers
  • Support for hardware accelerated H264 decoding
  • Waydroid implementation, allowing for running Android apps
  • Support for Xbox controllers due to implementation of xone, xpadneo, and xpad-noone
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Initial Impressions 👨‍💻

I tested Bazzite out on a virtual machine to take a look at it, and the installation experience was quite similar to Fedora's. But, the post-install is where you see the differences.

Bazzite uses KDE Plasma 5.27 desktop environment by default, with a neat Steam Deck-like branding across the operating system.

It also offers separate ISOs for PCs and Steam Deck, including an NVIDIA-focused variant, and a GNOME variant if you do not like KDE.

For setting up the distro for gaming use, I used the 'Bazzite Portal' app that took me through some important configuration steps. You also get to install Open Razer if you need it here.

a screenshot of bazzite portal

It first set up 'Bazzite Arch', which is a custom Arch Linux OCI in Distrobox that allows the likes of Steam, Lutris, and others to run gaming workloads inside it.

a screenshot of bazzite portal setting up bazzite arch

After going through a few other config options, came the installation of applications, it showed different categories that contain the most popular apps for specific use cases.

a screenshot of bazzite portal application installer options

And, finally, after the setup, you have an OS all set for gaming 😲

a screenshot of bazzite running lutris and steam
Lutris and Steam running on Bazzite.

Recently, with an update, Bazzite has added two new preinstalled apps:

There are a few other config options that I skipped over.

Bazzite can make use of the Nix Package Manager, start Steam in Big Picture Mode at startup, has options for memory tuning and more.

It sounds like an interesting concept, and if you have been wanting something based on Fedora tweaked for gaming like Nobara, you can try it.

Suggested Read 📖

9 Best Linux Gaming Distributions in 2023
Wondering which Linux distro is best for gaming? We got a list of 9 gaming Linux OS for you here.

📥 Download Bazzite

If you like what Bazzite has to offer, you can grab the latest release from its GitHub repo.

For more info on Bazzite, you can also head over to its early announcement blog post.

💬 Share your thoughts on the project in the comments below.

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