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SteamOS. How is it, really?

TheLastBoss78
  • 74 months ago

Has anyone here used SteamOS yet? I'm curious about it. Is it worth it?

I imagine that with the currently limited Linux selection on Steam, it would be wise to dual-boot SteamOS and Windows until the Linux compatible library grows a bit. Is that reasonable?

What else can it do besides play games? Can it stream files from a home media server? Does it have a web browser?

How easy is it to manage system settings, files, etc?

Comments

  • 74 months ago
  • 2 points

I've used it, albeit on a very underpowered test system. I plan on upgrading it soon so that I can really let it shine.

To answer your questions:

The Linux library of games is larger than you think, especially if you're willing to take risks on titles you've never heard of before. There's a lot out there, and while there certainly are many duds, some of these games really are incredible. Some of my favorites right now are Legend of Dungeon, Teleglitch: Die More Edition, Metro: Last Light, Rust, Oil Rush, Expeditions: Conquistador, Natural Selection 2, and Planetary Annihilation. In addition, you are not limited to games on the Steam platform. It's actually fairly trivial to get to the underlying Debian desktop and install some of the fantastic games that have been available on Linux for some time now without the aid of Wine or Steam, such as Hedgewars, FreeCiv, Warsow, King Arthur's Gold (also on Steam), OpenArena, Cube2: Sauerbraten, and of course Minecraft.

That said, it is very reasonable to install Windows 7 alongside SteamOS. I would rather simply run all these games from Windows at that point, but hey, it's your prerogative. You may not have as much luck with versions of Windows older than 7, though, due to the way they use the hard drive they are installed on or the MBR, I can't remember which was the source of the problem (or if it's even been fixed by now!).

It's a full operating system once you set it up to get you to the Debian desktop. Even beforehand, in the Steam Big Picture interface, you have access to a ****** browser and media player.

If all you do is play games on it, you'll have a very easy time of it; the Steam Big Picture interface is very easy compared to most operating systems' configuration interfaces, mostly because it is much less configurable than most operating systems until you go to the Debian desktop. Once there, it's just as easy/difficult as any of your experiences with Linux have been. You may find it somewhat more difficult only because this is a pared-down version of Debian that doesn't have default access to all the software Linux normally does; you'll need to do a little configuration work first to fix that. Once you do, it's exactly the same.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd wait till it's out of beta, I use Linux and it's a much better OS than Windows but the games are still pretty buggy. I tried to play Metro Last Light on it and it kept crashing. Even Valve games have glitches.

As for SteamOS itself, I pretty much agree with what Eschaton said. But do you want to have to set up a desktop environment?

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

It wouldn't necessarily need a desktop, per se. Just a few abilities besides games, most notably media streaming. That way it'll double as a HTPC.

  • 74 months ago
  • 1 point

Adobe dropped Flash for Linux a year or two ago so many Flash-based streaming services won't work with the default browser. But it will work in Chrome for Linux because Google still supports it.

As of a few months ago you had to do that from the command line lol. It might be worth putting on SteamOS to tinker with but it's still very beta so it's plagued by usability issues that will be fixed when 1.0 is released. A lot of things outside of Big Picture mode just haven't been developed yet.

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