SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen. SteamOS is a fork (derivative) of Debian GNU/Linux. The first version (SteamOS 1.0) is called 'alchemist' and it is based on the Debian 'wheezy' (stable 7.1) distribution.

In-home Streaming

You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have - then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!

Music, TV, Movies

We’re working with many of the media services you know and love. Soon we will begin bringing them online, allowing you to access your favorite music and video with Steam and SteamOS.

Family Sharing

In the past, sharing Steam games with your family members was hard. Now you can share the games you love with the people you love. Family Sharing allows you to take turns playing one another’s games while earning your own Steam achievements and saving your individual game progress to the Steam cloud.

What's New in version 01.08.14:

We have just updated the alchemist release with the alchemistbeta contents. All the changes which were only in alchemistbeta are now released to everyone. Existing SteamOS installs should update themselves automatically.

Notably, Intel and AMD graphics are now supported. (Optimus solutions are still unsupported however)

Refreshed installation images are also available.

  • Fixed Steam controller firmware upgrade process
  • Updated AMD Catalyst driver to preview release 13.11 Beta 9.9
  • Fixed crashes on Intel graphics by merging Keith Packard's dri2-xlib branch
  • Fixed an fbcon kernel panic with Intel graphics
  • Fixed a problem where SteamOS session screenshots taken by the Valve bug reporter would be incorrect
  • Enabled full repaints in the GNOME compositor for reliable tear-free rendering
  • Removed startup and shutdown hooks from the pulseaudio package, fixing the transition to system-wide mode on upgrade
  • Updated firmware packages to match the Debian Jessie kernel
  • Updated Intel graphics stack to Mesa 10.0.1
  • Applied an Intel kernel fix to re-enable KMS support
  • Fixed a problem where Trine 2 could cause audio to stop working by restricting direct audio access to the sound server
  • Enabled audio from the desktop session; the default audio device is still hardcoded to discrete graphics HDMI audio for now
  • Enabled 3D passthrough in the VMWare driver
  • Fixed Steam controller firmware upgrade by adding USB auto-mounting
  • Added NTP time support
  • Added XDG directory helpers
  • Added text feedback when building kernel drivers during first boot

SteamOS 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


There are two official install methods for SteamOS, but you can also use a virtual machine. For that download VirtualBox or similar. Warning: The two official methods listed below will erase everything on your machine.

The easiest method is an image-based install using CloneZilla. You will need to create a SteamOS System Restore USB stick to perform this install. The image provided here requires at least a 1TB disk.

  1. Format a 4GB or larger USB stick with the FAT32 filesystem. Use "SYSRESTORE" as the partition name
  2. Unzip the contents of to this USB stick to create the System Restore USB stick
  3. Put the System Restore USB stick in your target machine. Boot your machine and tell the BIOS to boot off the stick. (usually something like F8, F11 or F12 will bring up the BIOS boot menu).
  4. Make sure you select the UEFI entry, it may look something like "UEFI: Patriot Memory PMAP"
  5. Select "Restore Entire Disk" from the GRUB menu.
  6. System Restore will proceed automatically. When it is complete it will shutdown and you can reboot into your freshly re-imaged SteamOS

The second method is based on the Debian Installer. It requires multiple configuration steps:

  1. Unzip the file to a blank, FAT32-formatted USB stick.
  2. Put the USB stick in your target machine. Boot your machine and tell the BIOS to boot off the stick. (usually something like F8, F11, or F12 will bring up the BIOS boot menu).
  3. Make sure you select the UEFI entry, it may look something like "UEFI: Patriot Memory PMAP"
  4. Pick "Automated Install" from the next menu.
  5. The rest of the installation is unattended and will repartition the drive and install SteamOS.
    1. After installation is complete, log onto the resulting system (using the Gnome session) with the predefined "steam" account. The password is "steam". Run steam, accept the EULA, and let it bootstrap. Logoff the steam account
  6. Log on with the "desktop" account. The password is "desktop"
  7. From a terminal window, run ~/ This will prompt for a password - enter "desktop". This script will perform the post-install customizations, delete itself, then reboot into the recovery partition capture utility.
  8. Confirm "y" to continue and the recovery partition will be created. When it is finished, reboot into your freshly installed SteamOS