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Valve SteamOS set for launch on Friday

Valve SteamOS set for launch on Friday

Valve's SteamOS, a Linux-based gaming-centric platform for its Steam digital distribution service, is set to go live for free download tomorrow.

Valve's Linux-based gaming-centric operating system SteamOS will be with us by the weekend, as the company plans to get the first prototype Steam Machine boxes in front of beta testers tomorrow.

Following some acerbic comments aimed at Microsoft's Windows, starting with claims that making DirectX 10 a Vista-exclusive was a mistake and culminating in Windows 8 being dubbed a catastrophe, Valve founder Gabe Newell has set off to build his own operating system. Taking the open-source GNU/Linux as a base, SteamOS is designed to run on living-room centric small form factor gaming boxes - dubbed Steam Machines - with a copy of Steam for Linux running in Big Picture Mode.

The first prototype Steam Machines are already rolling off the production line, heading to 300 beta testers which - contrary to Valve's original plan - will be solely US-based. ''We’ve had to make the difficult decision to limit our beta to the U.S. only, because of regulatory hurdles.,' explained Valve's Greg Coomer in the announcement. 'This was not our original plan, and it means we can’t collect beta feedback from Steam customers world-wide, which is pretty unfortunate. All things considered, we’re sure it was the right decision, because the alternative was to delay the whole beta beyond the point when we’d be able to incorporate any feedback into the 2014 products.'

For international users - and those many thousands who have not been selected for the closed Steam Machine beta programme - there's some good news: SteamOS, as promised, is also heading for a release as a free download. 'SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships,' explained Coomer. 'It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs - but unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out.'

The company plans to begin shipping the prototype hardware to users tomorrow, and will post SteamOS as a free download at the same time. The software, however, is in the very early stages of development - meaning it's unlikely to usurp Windows, or even non-gaming-centric Linux distributions, as anyone's platform of choice just yet.

At the same time, manufacturer Digital Storm has teased a high-end Steam Machine which it will be unveiling at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January next year. Unlike previously-teased hardware from rivals, Digital Storm is aiming at the very highest end with a liquid-cooled design and the option of an Nvidia GeForce GTX Titan graphics card. While SteamOS will be included, the company has confirmed plans to release the hardware - pricing for which is expected to start around the $1,500 mark (around £918 excluding taxes) - as a dual-boot system with a bundled copy of Microsoft Windows.

41 Comments

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Corky42 12th December 2013, 11:01 Quote
I would be more interested to know if the release on Friday will have the streaming from a PC functionality built in, and what type of boxes OEM's come up with as a receiving unit.
Gareth Halfacree 12th December 2013, 11:03 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
I would be more interested to know if the release on Friday will have the streaming from a PC functionality built in, and what type of boxes OEM's come up with as a receiving unit.
To quote Coomer: 'stay tuned for the in-home streaming beta to begin soon, too!'
Phil Rhodes 12th December 2013, 13:04 Quote
Another Linux distro. Oh good, that'll help.
GuilleAcoustic 12th December 2013, 13:11 Quote
Cool. I was going to install a Linux on my machine to replace Windows ... this comes at the right time :D
keir 12th December 2013, 13:12 Quote
I'd like to see them updating the store pages, saying if games will work on it.
Gareth Halfacree 12th December 2013, 13:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by keir
I'd like to see them updating the store pages, saying if games will work on it.
They already do: if a game's page has a picture of a penguin on it, that means it's compatible with Linux and by extension SteamOS; if it's got a picture of an apple, it's OS X compatible; and if you see the old wibbly Windows logo it's compatible with Windows.
schmidtbag 12th December 2013, 16:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil Rhodes
Another Linux distro. Oh good, that'll help.

This isn't your average linux distro - it has commercial funding and isn't yet-another-linux-desktop-OS. There are at least 100 actively developed linux distros that you could remove today that have no use of being around, but Steam OS isn't one of them. Keep in mind that there's still a noteworthy percentage of linux distros that serve a specific purpose (like Steam OS) or have a very different approach to your run-of-the-mill desktop distros. So while there are too many distros out there, you could probably find at least 20 that should never go away.
AlienwareAndy 12th December 2013, 16:54 Quote
hmm going to need another hdd to install this to.
Shirty 12th December 2013, 17:03 Quote
I haven't been keeping up to date with this at all. By how much are the overheads of things like Windows and directX reduced when running a distro like this? How are the GPU drivers? Should I be genuinely interested in dual booting with something like this?
Corky42 12th December 2013, 17:50 Quote
Probably not this or even next year, my guess is it will take time for drivers to mature, features to get working and bugs to be worked out.
dyzophoria 13th December 2013, 00:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shirty
I haven't been keeping up to date with this at all. By how much are the overheads of things like Windows and directX reduced when running a distro like this? How are the GPU drivers? Should I be genuinely interested in dual booting with something like this?

Honestly it will still be a while til we see the difference, the graphics drivers need to mature more, if the xbox one and ps4 had equal hardware specifications, we could have a good idea though (from what I understand PS4 is running on bsd/unix)
SexyHyde 13th December 2013, 00:56 Quote
Eeeeeek! The safety is off. It starts right now. My guess would be we have about three years before it be starts to be viable for mainstream from this point. Exciting times though.

I used to think there are way too many Linux distro's also, but that is the great thing about Linux - You can build the OS that best suits your wants and needs. There are a staple of great solid versions and then versions tweaked or built for specific roles, these 'lesser' ones may never get mainstream attention but are there to serve the small group that need or want that particular flavour.
Gareth Halfacree 13th December 2013, 09:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
I used to think there are way too many Linux distro's also, but that is the great thing about Linux - You can build the OS that best suits your wants and needs. There are a staple of great solid versions and then versions tweaked or built for specific roles, these 'lesser' ones may never get mainstream attention but are there to serve the small group that need or want that particular flavour.
This. God, this. I've never understood the argument that says because there are umpty-hundred Linux and BSD distributions it therefore sucks. Since when was choice a bad thing? It's this flexibility - impossible with closed-source software - that has given us cheap and powerful routers, NAS boxes, Smart TVs, Android tablets and smartphones, firewalls, Steam Machines - hell, Apple's OS X and Sony's PS4 both run a modified BSD, so it even allows companies a shortcut to creating commercialised platforms of their own.

Here's the thing: the world of open source is, when things are going right, a meritocracy. The cream rises to the top. Ubuntu isn't perfect, but it's stable, well-supported and covers 99% of a user's needs - that's why it's the most popular distribution around. For those who don't like Unity, or who don't like Canonical for that matter, there's Linux Mint. For the speed-freaks there's Gentoo. Don't like having your hand held, and think you should have to work for your operating system? Arch. Bosh. Got an old 386 that you need to repurpose, god help you? Puppy Linux. Try sticking a still-supported copy of Windows on that, see how far you get. Need to run a lightweight OS on embedded hardware? Plenty of options there. Running a server farm? The chances that you're not running Linux, BSD or a similar POSIX-alike are slim indeed. Want a GUI that looks like Windows or OS X, is designed for ultra-fast performance on low-power hardware, is completely customisable, is designed for touch, is designed for the legally blind, is designed with the most whiz-bang special effects imaginable? Yeah, you're covered there, too.

There are Linux distributions for gamers, hackers, coders, managers, schools, students, babies, office workers, emerging nations, translators, researchers, police, forensic analysts, musicians, videographers, artists, traders, noobs, pros and everything in between. This is a good thing. If you're happy with your one-size-fits-all ecosystem, then good for you - although the number of people I've seen saying that Windows 8 is fine "once you install this third-party package to get your Start Menu back, and this third-party package to disable the Start Screen, and this third-party package to do something else" suggests that's probably not the case.

TL;DR: Choice is a good thing, and people should stop pretending otherwise - or, if you'd prefer, we could go back to the days of "any operating system you want, as long as it's Microsoft BASIC."
Star*Dagger 13th December 2013, 09:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Quote:
Originally Posted by SexyHyde
I used to think there are way too many Linux distro's also, but that is the great thing about Linux - You can build the OS that best suits your wants and needs. There are a staple of great solid versions and then versions tweaked or built for specific roles, these 'lesser' ones may never get mainstream attention but are there to serve the small group that need or want that particular flavour.
This. God, this. I've never understood the argument that says because there are umpty-hundred Linux and BSD distributions it therefore sucks. Since when was choice a bad thing? It's this flexibility - impossible with closed-source software - that has given us cheap and powerful routers, NAS boxes, Smart TVs, Android tablets and smartphones, firewalls, Steam Machines - hell, Apple's OS X and Sony's PS4 both run a modified BSD, so it even allows companies a shortcut to creating commercialised platforms of their own.

Here's the thing: the world of open source is, when things are going right, a meritocracy. The cream rises to the top. Ubuntu isn't perfect, but it's stable, well-supported and covers 99% of a user's needs - that's why it's the most popular distribution around. For those who don't like Unity, or who don't like Canonical for that matter, there's Linux Mint. For the speed-freaks there's Gentoo. Don't like having your hand held, and think you should have to work for your operating system? Arch. Bosh. Got an old 386 that you need to repurpose, god help you? Puppy Linux. Try sticking a still-supported copy of Windows on that, see how far you get. Need to run a lightweight OS on embedded hardware? Plenty of options there. Running a server farm? The chances that you're not running Linux, BSD or a similar POSIX-alike are slim indeed. Want a GUI that looks like Windows or OS X, is designed for ultra-fast performance on low-power hardware, is completely customisable, is designed for touch, is designed for the legally blind, is designed with the most whiz-bang special effects imaginable? Yeah, you're covered there, too.

There are Linux distributions for gamers, hackers, coders, managers, schools, students, babies, office workers, emerging nations, translators, researchers, police, forensic analysts, musicians, videographers, artists, traders, noobs, pros and everything in between. This is a good thing. If you're happy with your one-size-fits-all ecosystem, then good for you - although the number of people I've seen saying that Windows 8 is fine "once you install this third-party package to get your Start Menu back, and this third-party package to disable the Start Screen, and this third-party package to do something else" suggests that's probably not the case.

TL;DR: Choice is a good thing, and people should stop pretending otherwise - or, if you'd prefer, we could go back to the days of "any operating system you want, as long as it's Microsoft BASIC."

GH, these guys would complain if Amy Pond sat on their lap.
yodasarmpit 13th December 2013, 10:00 Quote
All we need is someone to setup an Xbox One to dual boot and we are onto a winner :)
Corky42 13th December 2013, 10:08 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
<snip>
TL;DR: Choice is a good thing, and people should stop pretending otherwise - or, if you'd prefer, we could go back to the days of "any operating system you want, as long as it's Microsoft BASIC."

While i agree with you that choice is a good thing, it can also be a bad thing.
To the novice with little knowledge it can be difficult to choose between product A, B or C as they don't know enough about the subject to make an informed choice, so will often not make a decision for fear of making the wrong one.

Sometimes people don't have the time or inclination to learn what makes one product better for them than another and just want someone to tell them whats best.
GuilleAcoustic 13th December 2013, 10:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
While i agree with you that choice is a good thing, it can also be a bad thing.
To the novice with little knowledge it can be difficult to choose between product A, B or C as they don't know enough about the subject to make an informed choice, so will often not make a decision for fear of making the wrong one.

Sometimes people don't have the time or inclination to learn what makes one product better for them than another and just want someone to tell them whats best.

There's huge chance that novices will end up using Ubuntu, as it is the first distro that appears when you google for "linux" ... and they will perfetly be fine with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Star*Dagger
GH, these guys would complain if Amy Pond sat on their lap.

I wouldn't complain :D
Gareth Halfacree 13th December 2013, 10:16 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
While i agree with you that choice is a good thing, it can also be a bad thing. To the novice with little knowledge it can be difficult to choose between product A, B or C as they don't know enough about the subject to make an informed choice, so will often not make a decision for fear of making the wrong one.
Not a problem with Linux. A novice will never have even heard of Gentoo or Arch. A real novice might not even know that there are different Linuxes. A complete novice has probably never even heard of Linux. A novice, you see, doesn't install his or her operating system; a novice uses whatever the box bought from PC World came running by default.

There's another aspect of open source software that distances it from closed-source, commercial stuff: market share doesn't really matter, beyond willy-waving. Yeah, Linux as a group has a single-percentage share of the desktop market (although a majority share in servers, overwhelming majority in supercomputing, and a big chunk of mobile and embedded) - but that doesn't matter. I use Linux; I will continue to use Linux whether it has a 0.001% or a 100% share of the desktop market. Unlike Windows or OS X, which relies on market share to generate cash, Linux started out as a project of hobbyists with no budget - and would survive quite nicely if Red Hat, SUSE, Canonical and all the others currently making a very nice living out of it went away tomorrow.

So, I'd disagree that choice is a problem: if you're knowledgeable enough to be considering replacing or augmenting your existing operating system with a Linux distribution, you likely know enough to at least have a stab at picking a distribution - or, like people do in the Software sub-forum of this very site, know who to ask for advice.

An alternative rebuttal: does the fact that there are a billion and one different motorised vehicles, from electric Smart cars to diesel-driven armoured personnel carriers, make it more or less likely that a novice will buy a car?
Corky42 13th December 2013, 10:33 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
An alternative rebuttal: does the fact that there are a billion and one different motorised vehicles, from electric Smart cars to diesel-driven armoured personnel carriers, make it more or less likely that a novice will buy a car?

Well you only have to look back at some of the awful cars people bought in the past to see how bad people are at making logical choices.
Maybe our interpretation of novice is different. I was thinking of the person who knows they don't want to use Windows, hears about this Linux thing only to find out there are so many different versions they just give up and say to them selves its not worth the effort to find out what version to use.

EDIT: isn't this one of the problems SteamOS and Machine are going to help address though, in that people buy the box and don't have to make the choice of what OS its running ?
Gareth Halfacree 13th December 2013, 10:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Well you only have to look back at some of the awful cars people bought in the past to see how bad people are at making logical choices.
I didn't ask if they'd make a good choice; I asked if it would make them give up on the idea of buying a car at all, because "it's not worth the effort to find out what [car] to use."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Maybe our interpretation of novice is different. I was thinking of the person who knows they don't want to use Windows, hears about this Linux thing only to find out there are so many different versions they just give up and say to them selves its not worth the effort to find out what version to use.
I can't say I've ever heard of that happening, but I'm willing to bet it has happened at least once. I can't see it being a big problem, however: searching for Linux on Google brings up, after Wikipedia, the result "Ubuntu: The world's most popular free OS." If I were a novice and I saw that, I'd figure "hey, a billion flies can't be wrong" and head for the download section. Searching for which Linux should I choose - an autocompleted entry, I note, meaning it's a common search term - brings up as its first hit this extremely useful post from Linux.org - if our theoretical novice didn't know enough to make a decision at the start, they will by the time they hit the end of the post. Even if they skim-read, there's a nice big "the most popular Linux distributions are" list near the bottom: just click one of those, hit 'download,' and you're done.

There's another thing you're missing about Linux which is unique to free, libre and open source software (FLOSS) in general: there's no risk factor. If I'm buying a car, I need to be sure I'm making the right decision: I'm about to drop £8,000 or more on a vehicle I'm keeping for the next few years at least, and if I decide I don't like it a week in - I bought the Smart Car, and suddenly realise it's entirely unsuitable for use in my land-based invasion plans 'cos it keeps getting stuck on the trenches - I'm shafted. With Linux, you don't have that problem 'cos it costs you nothing but time. Let's say I download Ubuntu, then decide Shuttleworth's a tit and abandon it for Linux Mint; a week later, I'm feeling bold so I try Arch. Whoops, that just terrified me so it's off to Puppy Linux, perhaps with a bit of Gentoo in a VM so I can flex my skills. Total monetary cost for picking up those five operating systems: zero.

I'm not saying choice won't scare anyone off; I'm merely saying I doubt it's as a big a problem as you're suggesting.
Corky42 13th December 2013, 11:29 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
I didn't ask if they'd make a good choice; I asked if it would make them give up on the idea of buying a car at all, because "it's not worth the effort to find out what [car] to use."
But people don't give up on buying a car, just as they don't give up on buying a PC, they just take the path of least resistance. I need to get from A to B, IDK what car to buy so i will buy the one im told is what i need. I need to browse the internet, do my accounts what does the guy at PC world recommend.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
<snip>I'm not saying choice won't scare anyone off; I'm merely saying I doubt it's as a big a problem as you're suggesting.
Sorry if it came across that i was saying its a big problem, im not. I'm merely saying to much choice can confuse people into actually making no choice, like what ever OS the box they just bought came with.
You only have to Google about too much choice for tons of information on why it can cause problems.
Gareth Halfacree 13th December 2013, 11:34 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
But people don't give up on buying a car, just as they don't give up on buying a PC, they just take the path of least resistance. I need to get from A to B, IDK what car to buy so i will buy the one im told is what i need. I need to browse the internet, do my accounts what does the guy at PC world recommend.
Wasn't that what I just said? :p

Remember what I've said in previous threads: I'm not a zealot that thinks everyone should switch to Linux. I don't spend my time evangelising or advertising. As far as I'm concerned, you should use whatever operating system lets you get the work done. Haven't got the time or the inclination to try a few Linux distributions to find the one that's right for you, but you're too scared to just go with the masses and use Ubuntu? Then stick with Windows. Nothing wrong with that. Windows has excellent software and hardware support, is frequently updated, looks pretty and handles 99% of anything anyone would want to do. So does OS X. If a user - novice or otherwise - is happy with either of those operating systems, there's absolutely no need for them to switch - and I'm certainly not going to suggest they do so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corky42
Sorry if it came across that i was saying its a big problem, im not. I'm merely saying to much choice can confuse people into actually making no choice, like what ever OS the box they just bought came with. You only have to Google about too much choice for tons of information on why it can cause problems.
You're acting like someone wanting to try Linux is immediately given an alphabetised list of every single distribution there ever was, with no supporting information, and left to make a decision. As I've shown above, they aren't.
Corky42 13th December 2013, 11:56 Quote
It doesn't have to be a massive list for people to give up, sometimes people just want it to work with no fuss. when flicking through "which linux should I choose on Google recommendations range from 3 to 10 and beyond, other OS's make the choice for the user or rather take the choice away from the user so its one less thing to worry about.
Assassin8or 13th December 2013, 18:31 Quote
Damn, my Linux/Ubuntu box currently has an R9 280X in it mining LTC and I won't have earned enough to pay for it until the end of the month :(

Steam OS is going to have to wait as my partner will spaz out if I put Steam OS on her PC :)

Hmm, now I think about it, I've got two machines either side of me, one with an HD6450 and one with an HD3850 256MB in it. The HD3850 is poorly supported in Linux with it just having LT driver support which is broken for SoL. The HD6450 is slow for games. Ah, but the partner's PC has an 8800GT and I have a slightly flakey spare too.

And I seem to have 6GB of DDR2 800 to go in with the DC processors. Time to hunt down a spare HDD and download the OS (going to have to be a USB install). :)
Corky42 13th December 2013, 18:40 Quote
I did post this in the SteamOS, Machine, Controller thread in gaming, but either no one cares or its not worthy of comment

It seems some more info on SteamOS have surfaced on the SteamDB, along with some shots of the interface.
http://steamdb.info/blog/34/
Assassin8or 14th December 2013, 14:47 Quote
Okay, so Steam OS requires UEFI, and I don't have a single motherboard that supports UEFI (Out of 8 motherboards not a single one is that new) :(
schmidtbag 14th December 2013, 16:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Assassin8or
Okay, so Steam OS requires UEFI, and I don't have a single motherboard that supports UEFI (Out of 8 motherboards not a single one is that new) :(

There are UEFI emulators. That's what you need to use if you want to install a retail version Mac OSX on a non-Apple PC.
Gareth Halfacree 14th December 2013, 17:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Assassin8or
Okay, so Steam OS requires UEFI, and I don't have a single motherboard that supports UEFI (Out of 8 motherboards not a single one is that new) :(
Install it in a virtual machine. That's what I'm doing right now: got it part-way through an automated install on VirtualBox, emulating a dual-processor system with 32MB graphics and 1GB of RAM on an EFI-equipped motherboard. As far as I'm aware, you can use VirtualBox's EFI mode without having an actual EFI environment on your motherboard. I think.
AlienwareAndy 14th December 2013, 17:32 Quote
So Nvidia only atm. Not off to the best of starts then.

Well that kinda rules me out on this one, though tbh if it's a Beta and so on I may just skip it until it's ready.
schmidtbag 14th December 2013, 17:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienwareAndy
So Nvidia only atm. Not off to the best of starts then.

Well that kinda rules me out on this one, though tbh if it's a Beta and so on I may just skip it until it's ready.

They do intend to have the catalyst drivers at some point, and you should be able to manually install them. Also, I heard it has (or at least supports) the open source radeon drivers. Depending on your GPU, the open source drivers might be good enough anyway. It seems to me the HD5000 series has the most feature support with reasonable performance, though older GPUs seems to perform better. If you've got any of the Southern Islands GPUs, either install Catalyst or wait it out.


@Gareth
Virtualbox might be ok for testing it out but even if the virtualbox GPU drivers work, you can't really do much. I think QEMU or Xen might be better for virtualization since those support GPU passthrough.
Gareth Halfacree 14th December 2013, 17:45 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Virtualbox might be ok for testing it out but even if the virtualbox GPU drivers work, you can't really do much. I think QEMU or Xen might be better for virtualization since those support GPU passthrough.
Oh, I'm not daft enough to be trying to play any games on it - I've got Steam for Linux installed directly in Ubuntu for that. I just want a poke at the UI. Which I may or may not get: my virtual machine is way below the minimum specs (1GB of RAM to 4GB recommended, 16GB hard drive to 500GB recommended, whatever the VirtualBox GPU pretends to be instead of an Nvidia GPU). So far, it seems to have worked: the OS went through the installation process fine and rebooted. Now it's spinning the hard disk, thrashing the CPU and sitting at a black screen. Whether that's 'cos it's doing something complicated, or 'cos it's trying to shove 500GB partitions at a 16GB drive I don't know - although we should be past that stage now, so gawd only knows what it's doing.
AlienwareAndy 14th December 2013, 17:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
They do intend to have the catalyst drivers at some point, and you should be able to manually install them. Also, I heard it has (or at least supports) the open source radeon drivers. Depending on your GPU, the open source drivers might be good enough anyway. It seems to me the HD5000 series has the most feature support with reasonable performance, though older GPUs seems to perform better. If you've got any of the Southern Islands GPUs, either install Catalyst or wait it out.


@Gareth
Virtualbox might be ok for testing it out but even if the virtualbox GPU drivers work, you can't really do much. I think QEMU or Xen might be better for virtualization since those support GPU passthrough.

Hmm OK thanks for that. Might have to dig out a hard drive to play with :)
Corky42 14th December 2013, 17:53 Quote
@Gareth, Probably wondering why you're being so cruel to it ;)
Although i am interested to see how it gets on with less ram and HDD size than recommended, i mean their recommended specs seem oddly high to me.
schmidtbag 14th December 2013, 17:53 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gareth Halfacree
Oh, I'm not daft enough to be trying to play any games on it - I've got Steam for Linux installed directly in Ubuntu for that. I just want a poke at the UI. Which I may or may not get: my virtual machine is way below the minimum specs (1GB of RAM to 4GB recommended, 16GB hard drive to 500GB recommended, whatever the VirtualBox GPU pretends to be instead of an Nvidia GPU). So far, it seems to have worked: the OS went through the installation process fine and rebooted. Now it's spinning the hard disk, thrashing the CPU and sitting at a black screen. Whether that's 'cos it's doing something complicated, or 'cos it's trying to shove 500GB partitions at a 16GB drive I don't know - although we should be past that stage now, so gawd only knows what it's doing.

Those recommended specs are there so Valve can quickly and easily dismiss people who have issues. Someone could say "my game isn't working!" and Valve is like "oh, you have 2GB of RAM? Sorry, can't help you". Not exactly a bad idea, because Valve probably don't have the time or patience to be dealing with people who have problems due to inadequate computers.

Your black screen is probably because of the lack of proper drivers. I heard the UI is gnome shell. That means if they don't have gnome fallback, you simply aren't going to get a working display. You could try logging into another TTY and check the xorg logs but I doubt there's anything you can do. Another option would be to install gnome fallback with vesa drivers.
Gareth Halfacree 14th December 2013, 17:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
Your black screen is probably because of the lack of proper drivers. I heard the UI is gnome shell. That means if they don't have gnome fallback, you simply aren't going to get a working display. You could try logging into another TTY and check the xorg logs but I doubt there's anything you can do. Another option would be to install gnome fallback.
No, that's not the problem. Remember, this ain't my first rodeo - I'm well acquainted with Debian Wheezy, Gnome Shell and everything else Valve's shoved into this thing. (As an aside: Debian? Interesting: the initial packages in the SteamOS repository were Ubuntu-based, while everything I'm seeing here is from Debian directly. Wonder what Canonical did to piss Gaben off?)

It's literally working on something. I'm watching it at 100% CPU and thrashing the hard drive right now - it wouldn't be doing that if X had simply pooed itself as a result of a lack of drivers, now, would it? Especially as I watched it install all the open source graphics drivers Wheezy has - and Wheezy works just fine in a VirtualBox instance.
Xlog 14th December 2013, 19:20 Quote
Instruction on how to get SteamOS working in Vbox: https://gist.github.com/voltagex/7955961
(you have to reconfigure xorg after instalation).
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag

@Gareth
Virtualbox might be ok for testing it out but even if the virtualbox GPU drivers work, you can't really do much. I think QEMU or Xen might be better for virtualization since those support GPU passthrough.

You would also need MB with IOMMU support (Intel support it only on server MB and while AMD supports it in their higher end chipsets, mb vendors usually don't bother to enable or test it)
Gareth Halfacree 14th December 2013, 21:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xlog
Instruction on how to get SteamOS working in Vbox: https://gist.github.com/voltagex/7955961
(you have to reconfigure xorg after instalation).
Ooh, handy! I ended up killing the virtual machine by powering it down, boosting the memory to 4GB, and rebooting. Whatever it was doing with the hard drive, interrupting it was a Bad Idea. I'll reinstall tomorrow and give the above a go, see how far I get. Cheers!
Assassin8or 16th December 2013, 18:09 Quote
Quote:

I was just about to post this as I'm just about to power this machine up. USB is sorted out.

Edit: Argh, for some reason 7-zip seems to have flaked out on the extraction process.
Assassin8or 16th December 2013, 22:51 Quote
Arrrgh, I can log on as the Steam user, however, I can't kick off the Steam process.

Edit: Okay, opened the terminal and executed:

~$ steam

Ctrl+Alt+T doesn't open the terminal, lack of keyboard shortcuts makes me sad :(

Edit 2: And now I try to log into steam with my username and password and I can't, it just doesn't recognise my password, and I can't tell what that is because, unlike Windows 8 you can't reveal the password. :|
RedFlames 17th December 2013, 16:20 Quote
Dunno if this is of any use to anyone wanting to try SteamOS out...
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