Gaming Linux

Feel Like Living Dangerously? Then Try Out The New Valve Steam OS

Mark O'Neill 20-12-2013

Are you a reckless brave Linux user who wants to live dangerously during the holidays? If so, Valve, the company behind the Steam gaming marketplace, has just the experiment for you. The company has released their Linux-based gaming operating system for anyone with a spare hard-drive, an NVIDIA graphics card, and nerves of pure steel. Step forward Linux commandos!


The new SteamOS was designed for the specially-made hardware – the “Steam Machines” – which are now in the hands of 300 lucky people. Eventually the company wants everyone to have the operating system set up in their homes (the company says this should happen in 2014), but right now, the software is bleeding edge beta, and is only compatible with NVIDIA-powered computers with Linux installed (with Intel and AMD support on the way).

Feel Like Living Dangerously? Then Try Out The New Valve Steam OS steammachine

So if you are feeling like taking on a big challenge, you can download the necessary installation files here. PC World reports that SteamOS cannot install to a partition, so you need the whole hard drive for this. But only tackle this if you know what you are doing – and remember to back up your files before beginning! Backup & Restore Data And Files Easily With Back In Time [Linux] Read More Even Valve has warned that “unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out”. And note that a System Restore is also provided, which might be a good insurance policy.

Before you go through all the hassle though of setting this up, bear in mind that Linux gaming is still pretty limited, compared to Windows. SteamOS will eventually rely on streaming the games via your home network, but at the moment, you are confined to just Linux games.

Download: SteamOS


Source: Steam

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  1. Ben
    December 23, 2013 at 7:39 am

    When it is able to stream games from the home network I plan to use it to makeuseof (get it) some older laptops of mine. They are too old too play games anymore but should work fine for streaming games from my behemoth

  2. Steve
    December 23, 2013 at 4:50 am

    One more point to be aware of is it currently only supports games that run on Linux.

    • Aibek E
      December 25, 2013 at 1:27 pm

      thanks for heads up! I am on standby until it starts supporting Windows games

  3. Steve
    December 23, 2013 at 4:47 am

    It looks good and works. However it is a beta. I have it working with an ATI graphics card. Steam do warn you that it will wipe the hard drive. I had a spare one lying around. Make sure you disconnect all plugs from any hard drive you do not want erased before you do anything. Due to UEFI secure boot, getting it to boot straight up may not happen. If you don't know what you are doing then do not install Steam OS until it has matured to a stable OS.

  4. Music Rab
    December 21, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Its quite funny the number of people who are saying "but it wiped my hard drive without giving me any options". Yep, that's what is does straight from a USB boot.