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[3]: Comment by Kroc
by xfce_fanboy on Mon 16th Dec 2013 23:19 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Kroc"
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"Choosing Debian over Ubuntu avoids the additional bloat that Ubuntu has over Debian, and frees Valve from having to work with Canonical. I have a lot of respect for what Canonical's done to make Linux viable as a desktop OS, but Valve needs the freedom to unhitch its wagon from a for-profit company like Canonical when their goals don't coincide. No need for Unity in Steam OS, and Valve may see a future need to choose Wayland over Mir as the future display server.

Please, do not use Valve's choosing of Debian over Ubuntu to show your hatred towards Canonical.
Hatred towards Canonical? Please read the comment before criticizing! I happen to use both Ubuntu and Debian, and I love both distros for different applications. Debian is a leaner distro that can be tweaked to run well on my older PC's, while Ubuntu is a good out-of-the-box experience that needs very little tweaking as long as the PC is fairly recent.

Steam OS seems to be aiming for a "best of both worlds" approach. Valve wants Debian's performance and the freedom that comes from using a community-based distro, but they want to tweak it so it's easy to install and configure like Ubuntu.

Valve and Canonical are both great companies that have served the Linux community well. That doesn't mean they'll agree on every technical issue like desktop environments or display servers, because their target audiences are often different.

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