We've been hard at work to deliver on our promise of a new kind of living room entertainment environment - one that is accessible, powerful and open.
In making SteamOS available to you, we're excited to take the next major step towards that goal. But before you dive in, please take a few minutes to understand what SteamOS is and what it is not.
So, what is SteamOS?
SteamOS is a public release of our Linux-based operating system. The base system draws from Debian 8, code named Debian Jessie. Our work builds on top of the solid Debian core and optimizes it for a living room experience. Most of all, it is an open Linux platform that leaves you in full control. You can take charge of your system and install new software or content as you want.
So, what is it not?
We expect most SteamOS users to get SteamOS preinstalled on a Steam Machine. Although we have made SteamOS freely available for anybody to install, the installation experience is not intended for a non-technical user.
Most importantly, SteamOS only supports a certain set of hardware (you can read more in our FAQ). We will add support for newer hardware over time, but we have no plans to add more support for older hardware.
Users should not consider SteamOS as a replacement for their desktop operating system. SteamOS is being designed and optimized for the living room experience.
Is all of SteamOS open source software?
No. SteamOS ships with our Steam Client program, which is proprietary software, in addition to proprietary 3rd party drivers. In the SteamOS standard configuration, the Steam Client program serves as a user interface and provides connectivity to our Steam online services. That being said, you can still access the standard Linux desktop.
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.
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.