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SteamOS (debian based linux bistro from Valve)

ElectricUniverse
  • 60 months ago

I have been thinking about trying SteamOS but I wanted to hear some thoughts on it. I mean I can always try it out and then switch if I don't like it. I don't know a lot about it but here are a few things I do know:

1) Valve is committed to SteamOS and from what I hear they are getting good vendor support (AMD, NVIDIA) because it's a big market 2) It is based on a fork of debian (wheezy I think) 3) It is free as-in no cost to you 4) Not completely free as-in freedom, I think there is some proprietary code still, like the Steam Client 5) Can be used as you would any other Desktop OS

Have you tried it out yet? Are you going to try it out instead of some other linux distro? What have you heard about it so far?

(Regarding the title of this post bistro = distro)

Comments

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

If you're going to use the PC for anything other than gaming, it would be better to stick a steam client onto a Debian install (or better yet, a Xubuntu install), but it's pretty great for turning a PC into a console. One of the things a lot of people overlook is how incredibly EASY SteamOS makes the linux experience for you - the install can be totally automated, the drivers update automatically, steam updates automatically, your controllers are updated automatically, your internet connection is easily configurable and mostly automatic as well, and honestly it's a very well put together experience.

Where it really falls down is if you do anything other than game on it. Even web browsing is a crappy experience on SteamOS; the steam browser is very bad in numerous ways that I won't go into here. Suffice it to say, though, that as a console there's nothing better.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

This is good to hear. Since I am definitely looking at this as a console replacement SteamOS may be just right. They can always fix the browser. I would not expect the browser to be a top priority right now with November launch of SteamMachines. The PS3 browser is terrible but sometimes it's fine for looking at a walkthrough, etc.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I would say about the same for the SteamOS browser.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I don't really need it, but I'd like to use the steam controller.

I feel like the steam link would be much more useful than a full steambox/media PC running steamOS.

I'll try it out, but I most likely won't keep it.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

I have heard of steam link but don't know much about it. Is it a separate box?

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

it's a $50 media streaming box that utilizes steam in home streaming to play games on a more powerful PC through your home network.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

I think I am going to give SteamOS a try. I intend to do just gaming on it. I also don't want another box. Is the steam controller release date the same as steam machines?

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Yes.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Will it be generally available for all to purchase or are they going to make it exclusive for steam machines? That would be a mistake to make it exclusive.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I want to try this too but due to the limited compatibility of titles, and the fact that it turns the PC in to a one-trick pony, I have a hard time choosing steamOS over just building a windows box that boots into steam big-screen mode. I realize it's pretty new and I'm sure that in a year or so it will become more viable.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

Limited compatibility of titles? Have you compared the number of titles available on SteamOS to the number of titles available for PS4?

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

No, because I've not considered buying a PS4 (probably for that reason!). I was just comparing Steam to SteamOS. I'm sure they will bridge the gap soon though.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

Well, anyone who should be considering the SteamOS would be making that comparison. And it wins by a looong shot. There are over 3000 titles available for SteamOS already.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

You make good points.

They don't have a year. Steam Machines are going to be running SteamOS. Steam Machines are releasing in November and SteamOS will be on them so SteamOS has be to pretty solid. The launch of Steam Machines is a pivotal point in the history of gaming.

I expect that they will want a lot of buzz for the launch and will probably announce some other releases then too. Like maybe HL3.

I may run a desktop linux in a VM inside SteamOS.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

A lot of the new steam machines made by OEMs will actually be running Windows 8 underneath a Steam Big Picture client.

Gaming on a VM is not advised. If you really need desktop linux on your SteamOS, just install Ubuntu, install Steam on it, set autostart to include Steam, set steam to start in Big Picture Mode, and BAM! full Linux desktop on your "SteamOS"

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I did not know that about Windows 8 on the Steam Machines. Maybe then Valve is having second thoughts or they are just being cautious and listening to their engineers. The engineers are telling them they need a little more time to really polish SteamOS.

About the VM, my idea is to run SteamOS as native OS and run desktop linux in a vm. So no gaming inside a vm only a desktop linux.

Maybe at E3 next week we learn a lot more about what's coming from Valve.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

I think it's less of Valve having "seconds thoughts" and more about OEMs getting impatient and needing to sell their stuff.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I am glad to hear this because I think it is important for SteamOS to be a success. Not just important to me but important to having real choices for all gamers. Consoles are beyond reach for a lot of gamers and the parents of gamers. The price for the OS can be significant and SteamOS costs nothing. It gives Valve more choices too in how they implement things. It is good all around. Although Valve do move slowly. But creating consumer products is not easy.

  • 60 months ago
  • 2 points

No, you don't understand - Valve doesn't make any of the steam machines. It licenses OEMs to do it for them. The fact that a lot of them are including Windows in their systems is a sign that the OEMs don't trust the SteamOS experience to have the right catalog of games yet. They know that all the meme-y AAA titles 14 year old kids want to play will be windows exclusives.

As to your VM idea, I'm sorry, but that's retarded. You would take a massive performance hit just to do the same thing that running native Ubuntu with Steam installed would do, and do it better. Plus, just to get the VM software installed on SteamOS you'd have to go to the "hidden" desktop and do a lot of the mods it would take to make it into a workable desktop OS anyway. Not a good idea.

  • 60 months ago
  • 0 points

No, you don't understand. I know Valve doesn't make the steam machines. The OEMs are hoping that license is like the goose's golden eggs. The OEMs will do what Valve tells them to do but valve aren't stupid. They know that SteamOS isn't ready for prime time. Valve has listened to all players. OEMs, valve engineers, marketing, etc., etc. The OEMs are not the lead dog in this race. Hardware does not sell itself. PCPP users all come here to build hardware systems to run software. The OEMs like Valve even if it's a tough relationship.

There's nothing retarded about running linux inside a vm. There's no performance hit for doing basics like web, email. If you have ram available it is fine. Installing a vm on SteamOS should not be difficult either but I don't know yet. It is linux so it should not be too hard.

Lots of people run linux in vm or windows in a vm on linux. Or linux in a vm on mac, etc., etc.

  • 60 months ago
  • 1 point

I agree with Eschaton, but check out several other "gaming-enhanced" distros, such as Ozon.

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