Lilbits: Why the Steam Deck OS is based on Arch Linux, Google’s tensor chip has a Samsung Exynos CPU (probably) and runs on Windows 11 on Macs with M1 chips


A new version of Parallels virtualization software is here, promising that you can run Windows 11 on a Mac, whether you have a model with an Intel chip or Apple Silicon. There is evidence of the technology used in Google’s first smartphone processor, and at least one key component may not have been developed by Google at all: the Google Tensor chip appears to have a Samsung Exynos CPU. And a Valve representative explains why the upcoming Steam Deck handheld gaming computer will run a version of Steam OS based on Arch Linux rather than Debian.

Here is a recap of the latest tech news from across the Internet.

  • Because of this, Valve is switching from Debian to Arch for the Steam Deck Linux operating system [PC Gamer]
    Short version: faster updates. Longer Version: Valve’s Steam operating system was previously based on Debian Linux, an operating system known more for its stability than for quick updates. But the Steam Deck is a brand new piece of hardware that may require frequent software updates, possibly including kernel updates, in the months and years after it was first shipped. For Steam OS 3.0, Valve switched to Arch Linux, a more versatile operating system with a rolling update system.
  • Parallels Desktop 17 for Mac has improved performance, support for macOS Monteray and Windows 11 [Parallels]
    Chances are that most of the people who buy a Mac will want to use it primarily to run macOS applications. But when you have a few Windows-only apps that you need to run from time to time, there used to be a few options, including installing Windows in a virtual machine or using Apple’s Boot Camp feature to dual boot Windows and macOS on the same device. Boot Camp doesn’t work on Macs with Apple M1 processors, however, and that leaves virtualization tools like Parallels. So it’s nice to see Parallels updating its software to ensure compatibility with the next versions of macOS and Windows, both of which are slated to ship this fall.
  • OpenBSD on the framework laptop [joshua stein]
    A few notes on running OpenBSD on the Framework’s modular, repairable laptop: After debugging a few issues, @jcs got most of the hardware working (except for Bluetooth as OpenBSD doesn’t support BT at all).
  • MinCab is the smallest Raspberry Pi CM4 carrier board ever [CNX Software]
    The Minimal Carrier Board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module basically gives the small computer module a USB-C charging port and not much else (apart from a few GPIO signal pads).
  • And the 1-star ratings flow into the Google Chat [Droid Life]
    Google is prompting Hangouts users to switch to Chat via a splash screen in the Android app that tells them that Hangouts will be discontinued soon, so switch to Chat in Gmail now. Users are not happy with the move.
  • Google announces new USB-C titanium security key with NFC and stops selling Bluetooth models [9to5Google]
    Google’s new USB-C Titan Security Key is a multi-factor authentication tool with NFC support that allows you to tap your phone to access credentials. It doesn’t support bluetooth and Google is setting BT Titan Security Keys.
  • Google’s Tensor-Soc (Pixel 6) is Samsung’s Exynos-9855 []
    The Google Tensor processor for the Pixel 6 will have a custom SoC with Google’s AI technology, but a CPU developed by Samsung is also expected. The signs point to a faster chip than the one in the Samsung Galaxy S21, but likely slower than the S22.

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