Clear Linux OS is a desktop and server operating system optimized for computers with Intel processors — and since it’s developed by Intel, it’s not surprising that Intel-powered systems running Clear Linux score higher in benchmarks than those with just about any other GNU/Linux distribution. It also runs well on systems with AMD processors.
One thing Clear Linux hasn’t been great for though? Running apps that rely on proprietary, third-party repositories such Google’s Chrome web browser or Valve’s Steam game client.
But according to a report from Phoronix, that could change soon.
The article points to a recent discussion in the Clear Linux listserv — when asked about the progress for a “commercial channel for proprietary software,” Intel’s Arjan van de Ven responded that:
the 3rd party repo stuff is in the code, what we lack most of all is documentation and testing, so … lets call it early early beta but anyone can now make 3rd party repos in principle. I’m sure there’ll be some rough edges obviously as we mature the feature by using it
Support for popular (but not entirely open source) software like Steam, Chrome, or Spotify could make Clear Linux more of a viable desktop operating system for end users.
Theoretically you can already install some of those applications today by using Flatpak installers, which bundle apps and all their dependencies into a single package. But software installed by Flatpak can often take up more disk space than applications installed from a repository and they also often fail to match the native look and feel of an operating system or desktop environment.