Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 14th Dec 2013 00:14 UTC

As promised, Valve has released the first test release of SteamOS. From the FAQ:

SteamOS is a fork (derivative) of Debian GNU/Linux. The first version (SteamOS 1.0) is called 'alchemist' and it is based on the Debian 'wheezy' (stable 7.1) distribution.

The major changes made in SteamOS are:

  • Backported eglibc 2.17 from Debian testing
  • Added various third-party drivers and updated graphics stack (Intel and AMD graphics support still being worked on)
  • Updated kernel tracking the 3.10 longterm branch (currently 3.10.11)
  • Custom graphics compositor designed to provide a seamless transition between Steam, its games and the SteamOS system overlay
  • Configured to auto-update from the Valve SteamOS repositories

You need to have an NVIDIA card for it to work, since Intel and AMD graphics are currently not yet supported (work is underway).

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RE: Comment by Kroc
by pgeorgi on Sat 14th Dec 2013 10:22 UTC in reply to "Comment by Kroc"
Member since:

"All Steam applications execute using the Steam Runtime which is a fixed binary-compatibility layer for Linux applications. This enables any application to run on any Linux distribution that supports the Steam Runtime without recompiling.

They're using a shim-layer to sit Steam upon; likely necessary for sharing Windows/Linux compatibility with the same code base.
The explanation sounds like it's for Linux-Linux compatibility. That "shim" is probably just a set of "known good" libraries in given versions and configurations, no matter what the distribution itself is using.

ABI compatibility can be a pain at times.

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