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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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

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