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Developing chiaki4deck updates on Steam Deck

This is for contributors that want to make/test updates to the codebase without building a new flatpak each time.

Adding Dependencies

If you want to add new dependencies that aren't already included in the flatpak modules or SDK, then you will need to create a new flatpak build adding that module or install the module locally and it to your PATH. However, this would only be needed in rare circumstances.

Setup Environment

  1. Install flatpak and/or build a new one with any added dependencies following Building the Flatpak Yourself

    flatpak install --user -y

    Creating local flatpak builds

    If you want to create flatpak builds from local files, you can do this by changing the manifest sources from:

    - type: git
      branch: main


    - type: dir
      path: path-to-chiaki4deck-git
  2. Copy config file from chiaki4deck

    cp ~/.var/app/io.github.streetpea.Chiaki4deck/config/Chiaki/Chiaki.conf ~/.var/app/io.github.streetpea.Chiaki4deck-devel/config/Chiaki/Chiaki.conf 
  3. Install the SDK

    flatpak install org.kde.Sdk//6.7
  4. Install the Debug extensions for the SDK

    flatpak install org.kde.Sdk.Debug//6.7
  5. Install the Debug extension for the application build for debugging

    flatpak install io.github.streetpea.Chiaki4deck.Debug
  6. Clone the project onto your Steam Deck with:

    git clone --recurse-submodules
    git clone --recurse-submodules 
    gh repo clone streetpea/chiaki4deck

    What if I'm testing changes from my branch?

    Clone that branch or pull it into the git repo cloned above

Creating and Debugging Builds without New Flatpak Build

  1. Enter the development version of the flatpak with the chiaki4deck source code mounted with:

    flatpak run --command=bash --devel io.github.streetpea.Chiaki4deck-devel
  2. Create a build using cmake as per usual

    1. Change into the git directory for your cloned project
    2. Make a directory for your debug build

      mkdir Debug
    3. Change into debug directory

      cd Debug
    4. Create build files with cmake

      cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug ..
    5. Build chiaki4deck

    1. Change into the git directory you mounted
    2. Make a directory for your debug build

      mkdir Release
    3. Change into debug directory

      cd Release
    4. Create build files with cmake

      cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
    5. Build chiaki4deck

  3. Run build as usual from executables (using gdb for debugging Debug build)

    From Debug directory using gdb:

    gdb ./gui/chiaki

    From Release directory:


    Set vaapi to none

    When running chiaki from within the flatpak like this please set vaapi to none as otherwise the video won't work. This is fine since you are just running Chiaki like this for development tests only so worse performance isn't a big concern.

  4. Make edits to the source code to implement your changes

    Editing code on Steam Deck

    Personally, I use vscode which you can install as a flatpak from Discover. You can open your chiaki code directory using vscode from your Steam Deck desktop and save changes. Then, these changes which will be reflected in your flatpak (since you mounted the chiaki code directory to your flatpak in the steps above) when you do a new build in your flatpak environment. The process would be similar with other code editors installed on your Steam Deck.

  5. After making changes to the source code, simply rebuild with make as per usual

Debug Coredump From a flatpak

  1. Get process from coredump

    1. Run coredumpctl

    2. Get pid for your application from list

  2. Open gdb session for your flatpak with the given pid

    flatpak-coredumpctl -m given_pid flatpak_name
    Example given pid 4822 and flatpak name io.github.streetpea.Chiaki4deck-devel
    flatpak-coredumpctl -m 4822 io.github.streetpea.Chiaki4deck-devel
  3. Use gdb commands as per usual such as bt full

    For a comprehensive guide on gdb commands see Debugging with GDB

Last update: June 11, 2024
Created: January 5, 2023