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).
* All of the base operating system components are open source. The Steam client itself is proprietary, as are some proprietary third party drivers.
* It also provides a desktop mode which can run regular Linux applications. SteamOS makes use of the standard APT package manager for software updates; you can add third-party sources to your subscribed repositories to gain access to more applications.
Some people were already proclaiming that Valve will lock everything down and make it as difficult to customize the installations as regular consoles generally do. Well, this luckily proves them wrong.