SteamOS And Steam Machines News

Hello Linux Geeksters. As a reminder, SteamOS has received support for Intel and AMD GPUs, while it has been initially released only with Nvidia compatibility.

Today, SteamOS has been updated yet again, receiving a bunch of improvements and fixes. To keep SteamOS up to date, you have to install the SteamOS Beta Repo:

$ sudo apt-get install steamos-beta-repo

For the full list of changes and enhancements brought by the latest SteamOS update, see the official announcement.

SteamOS And Steam Machines News

Recently, at CES 2014 Las Vegas, Valve has announced the first 12 partners that have created or intend to create Steam Machines, gaming consoles running on SteamOS. The list looks like this: Alienware, Falcon Northwest, iBuyPower, CyberPowerPC, Origin PC, Gigabyte, Materiel.net, Webhallen, Alternate, Next, Zotac, and Scan Computers.

iBuyPower is on the list of 12, but there are other manufacturers like Piixl or Digital Storm that announced Steam Machines and are not on the list, meaning that they did not partner up with Valve, but there isn’t any problem in using the SteamOS, since it is open-source.

Until now, Valve did not release any Steam Machine yet, but they had sent 300 units to some lucky testers, in order to receive feedback.

Valve is not interesting in creating their own Steam Machines too soon, according to what Gabe Newell has said at CES 2014:

“We’re going to continue to make that decision [about releasing our own Steam Machine] as we go along. We have plans to build more machines, but we also expect that users will be really happy with the range of offerings from these hardware manufacturers,”

Also, Valve’s first gaming development conference, called Steam Dev Days, is scheduled for the 15-16 January, when most probably, OpenGL, SteamOS and the Steam Machines will be the main topics.

The story so far:

For those who don’t know yet, Valve, now a member of The Linux Foundation, has initiated some ambitions projects: the SteamOS, a Linux operating system optimized for gaming, the Steam Machine, a gaming colsole that will run with SteamOS and the Steam Controller, a game controller specially designed for SteamOS and the Steam Machine. A demo video of the Steam Controller can be found here.

The first Beta version of SteamOS 1.0 (which has been released in November, 2013) is a customized Debian Wheezy system, running on Kernel 3.10.11, back-porting fresh Nvidia, Catalyst and Mesa binary drivers, uses SysVinit as the system’s default event manager, a personalized GNOME 3.4 as the default desktop environment for the Big Picture mode and Xcompmgr, a lightweight graphics compositor.

Hardware requirements:

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
  • 4GB or more memory
  • 500GB or larger disk
  • NVIDIA graphics card (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon)
  • UEFI boot support
  • USB port for installation

Also worth mentioning is that SteamOS will not provide the basic functions of a normal OS, since it won’t have a file manager or a image view aplication. However, it will most likely have support for streaming video services, like Netflix or Hulu Plus, since Valve has announced that the most popular and loved TV shows, music videos and other video media will be available via Steam and SteamOS.

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