Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, 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.
While the Nvidia graphics cards were supported by default, Valve has recently patched SteamOS to officially support both Intel and AMD GPUs.
As usual, the SteamOS is built on two branches: a stable one and a beta (Alchemist) one. The changes get added on the beta channel at first, and after the developers perform more tests, the stable channel gets synced with it.
The SteamOS Beta has been recently updated, coming with newer packages: eglibc 2.17 backported from Debian Jessie, mesa 10.0.0.1 is now supported by default and Kernel 3.10 LTS is now used by default, the /etc/debian_version file has been upgraded to version 7.6. Also, The graphics compositor has been updated, removing some crash.