Steam Machines suspend/resume feature pulled due to reliability problems

The Alienware Steam Machine. By some way the least ugly of those announced to date.

Valve have had to cut the suspend/resume feature from Steam Machines due to issues with reliability. The change comes in the wake of a discovery at Valve’s engineering department, which found the state of “hardware and software” support in the graphics stack on Linux meant the feature would not be reliable. 

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Valve engineer JohnV posted on GitHub in a response to a Steam Machine suspend/resume query, simply stating that the feature is no longer supported. He went on to add the details about the graphics stack issues and reliability concerns.

Ars Technica explains that the problem is down to how the Linux OS rediscovers devices after been awoken from a sleep state. Things like USB controllers become unresponsive, or lead to conflicts between multiple devices. The article points to a Slashdot comment that explains how the problem is difficult to solve. “The Linux device management system for input devices needs an overhaul; unfortunately, doing this crosses too many kingdom boundaries, and there are too many stakeholders involved to really get traction,” explains the post.

Suspend/resume is a main feature over in console land, with both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 supporting the feature, and so would be a solid selling point on the console-alike Steam Machine. Probably not enough to put many people off, but a shame to miss out on all the same.