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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by twitterfire on Sat 14th Dec 2013 02:14 UTC
Member since:

They have a console, they have an OS, the only thing they are lacking are games. But that's just a minor issue.

I think game studious couldn't care less about SteamOS.

Reply Score: 1

Let me tell you why that's bullshit...
by Xenmen on Sat 14th Dec 2013 03:21 in reply to "Nice"
Xenmen Member since:

You seem to be forgetting Valve itself is a game studio...

and that they've already been building up a Linux game catalog...

The PS4 and xBone launched with ~20 titles each. SteamOS launches with all this:

There are plenty of reasons why other devs would listen to Valve and support this project, not the least of which being to escape the closed App Store model.

See, here's the thing you people aren't understanding... When you made a Windows program before, Microsoft couldn't prevent someone else from installing it. Same with Apple computers. That's changed now, and both Microsoft and Apple are using their muscle to rig new computers so that you've got OS lock-in, AND can only install applications from their app store.

When you develop for SteamOS, you're really developing for Linux, with some Steam API stuff on the side. Ditching SteamOS and making a generic Lunix binary and distributing it is trivial compared to working around a closed proprietary platform, like Windows 8 RT or Maverick.

You don't understand what SteamOS is about. It's not about SteamOS becoming a dominant OS, it's about enhancing Linux support by making Linux gaming accessible to more people with less effort, making a bigger potential market for hardware makers to give proper driver support, so that nobody besides Valve can block what gets onto Valve's game distribution platform, so Valve can make more money. As this happens, though, there's no way for Valve to prevent game developers from releasing on Linux, but outside of Valve's Steam platform. That's why developers are not afraid of lockin.

Reply Parent Score: 5

cdude Member since:

To the point. One addition: Linux is already the most used consumer OS via Android. Windows loses and continues to lose massive while the PC market continues to shrink rapid. Customers moved away already. There is no money to make in the Windows app store and alternate distribution-channels going to be locked out. Its all happening on Apple and Android. Apple uses OpenGL on Unix, Android uses OpenGL on Unix, Sony's Playstation uses OpenGL on Unix. Combine all that and compare with the shrinking propitary Microsoft-onkly market Windows.

Game publishers are where the customers are and will be and that's OpenGL/Unix, that's what Valve's SteamOS is on. Be sure that publishers will look at SteamOS while thinking Android+Apple+Steam, that's multiple times more customers and money to make then Windows, lets do it!

Edited 2013-12-14 11:08 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

xfce_fanboy Member since:

It seems like there are many reasons for Valve to get behind Linux, foremost of them being Gabe Newell's stated dislike for Windows 8.x, and his presumption that many gamers in his target audience feel the same way.

Valve's goal seems to be putting its games and gaming PC's in the hands of people who normally play console games, while expanding its base among PC gamers at the same time. With Steam OS (and Linux in general,) Valve can keep their hardware prices lower (no "Windows Tax") and avoids being captive to the whims of Microsoft.

Reply Parent Score: 4

icicle Member since:

Great comment Xenmen.

Half Life 3 + Oculus Rift anyone?

Reply Parent Score: 1

xeoron Member since:

Apple, by default only blocks Apps that are not digitally signed by the developer, so the source (App Store, Web, etc) the system will let you install and run. Gatekeeper can be disabled. The only down side is that you need need to pay someone for a signing key. Apple rolls this into their dev program and it $99 bucks a year, even for open-source/freeware apps. The fee is not per app, but per registered developer. I don't like the idea of having to pay for a signing key for my opensource projects, so I turn off Gatekeeper on my machine or other peoples who want my programs. Apple claims this is to help protect Macs, and to some degree it might, but it is not like there are background checks for the company or person signing up for the Dev program before they hand people signing keys nor do they prevent you from getting keys from other sources.

As for Microsoft, they are allowing you to install programs from other sources than their App Store without having toggle off a setting for non-RT versions of Windows.

I do like how Apple lets you buy 1 copy of app and can install it on all your Macs. While Microsoft makes you buy from their app store a new copy of a app for each Windows machine your Microsoft account is linked to, regardless if it is a free or paid app.

Edited 2013-12-15 14:59 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE: Nice
by Morty on Sat 14th Dec 2013 11:21 in reply to "Nice"
Morty Member since:

I think game studious couldn't care less about SteamOS.

But they do care about Steam, as it's a major distribution channel.

A fact not lost on them and Valve both, giving Valve both opportunity and power to convince the game studios to support SteamOS. Ranging from nicer financial deals for studios supporting SteamOS, to making games without SteamOS support "second class" titles promotion vise on Steam. For Minor studios it may even be a simple "no access to Steam without StemOS support" rule.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE: Nice
by Lennie on Sat 14th Dec 2013 13:52 in reply to "Nice"
Lennie Member since:

Actually, if you look it up, there are more users of Steam than XBox Live.

And I heared developers on Steam get a bigger cut.

Edited 2013-12-14 13:55 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Nice
by Vanders on Sat 14th Dec 2013 17:14 in reply to "Nice"
Vanders Member since:

I think game studious couldn't care less about SteamOS.

If only Valve knew some game developers. Hey, perhaps they could develop a game engine for other developers to use, and then develop a distribution platform for developers to sell their games on?

It's crazy but it might just work.

Reply Parent Score: 10

RE: Nice
by Vordreller on Sat 14th Dec 2013 18:52 in reply to "Nice"
Vordreller Member since:

That's so ignorant, it's not even funny.

Reply Parent Score: 1