SteamOS beta available for download

By Julio Franco ¬∑ 27 replies
Dec 14, 2013
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  1. Valve has opened the flood gates if you're curious or brave enough to download and try the beta version of SteamOS which is making its public debut today. Some 300 lucky recipients were also slated to receive prototype hardware, including controllers,...

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    cliffordcooley likes this.
  2. Dimitriid

    Dimitriid TS Booster Posts: 37   +37

    Quite the steep hardware requirements, certainly not because of Debian but probably to support all the functions for the tv interface thingie.
  3. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Yeah it is interesting because Linux is meant to be run, in most cases other than preference, on older machines that cant handle Windows. Odd indeed.
  4. I would think these requirements are hardly steep at all considering the whole point of this OS is to run games. You aren't going to be playing Bioshock on a 386 even if it will run Linux.
    m4a4, Chazz and highlander84 like this.
  5. penn919

    penn919 TS Addict Posts: 220   +71

    I don't know about a 386, but I would imagine some people are more interested in the PC game streaming capabilities. You could, or at least should, be able to resurrect a 10 year old rig for that purpose.
  6. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,002   +1,322

    This is supposed to be, according to Valve, first and foremost a gaming OS, hence the required specs.

    Plus I suppose the specs are supposed to help support the sales of steam machines.
  7. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,002   +1,322

    I dont think youd be able to stream 1080p through a celeron very well. Alot of older CPUs/graphics cards from 10 years ago as you mention are hardly able to render 1080p.
  8. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +681

    How is SteamOS better than a Windows machine running Steam in Big Picture Mode?
  9. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,002   +1,322

    Its likely in the concept of an OS optimized for gaming (whatever those optimizations are) and in the fact that you dont constantly have windows using resources.
    Puiu likes this.
  10. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,673   +1,105

    According to Valve SteamOS will be FREE (unlike windows) and it will offer better performance in games that support linux.
  11. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +681

    Ah the good ol' Windows "bloat" defense. BRB, my computer is lagging from all this bloat...

    Meh. Free OS, but you still need to buy/build a computer to put in your living room, so basically your saving $100 on the OS to play Linux games that are not that great, and hardware support that still isn't there. Cool. Great selling point.

    This is why I asked. I knew their wasn't anything groundbreaking or innovative with this product. The Madcatz MOJO has more to offer than this.
  12. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,002   +1,322

    never once did I mention bloat. Bloat is completely different from the OS itself. Im saying that games would perform better when an OS dedicated to many different things isnt running in the background. Like, look at JCs post:
    Linux uses less resources. Therefore it is fairly more ideal to game on.

    Also, the point of SteamOS and boxes are to be a console alternative. So you can bet many more games will be ported/made for linux/steam OS now. I would agree that RIGHT NOW, steamOS and steam boxes are pointless, but the sheer fact that they exist now is motive for more games to be released for it.
  13. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,673   +1,105

    It's not like we know anything yet. Valve has been fairly silent about future games and features. All I can say for sure is the next gen Source engine will work well on it (when it's ready - Valve time). Building on OS optimized just for games isn't bad considering all the hate Microsoft is getting for it's slow DirectX API. After they finish the drivers for AMD and NVIDIA (AMD has a lot of work ahead) and maybe manage to port mantle for it, we'll see big improvements.
    If you can play a game at 1080p ~60FPS on it vs 30-40 FPS on windows then I say it's worth dual booting it.

    PS: steam has over 400 games that work on linux and many are amazing (new or old)
  14. Actually linux is slower than windows for old machines. I remember that Windows 95 ran perfectly on my 486, but I never managed to install Red Hat linux on that machine. It just hang during the installation. Maybe there is a way to rebuild the kernel and strip everything off, but if you have a 386, you're better off with DOS.
  15. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,002   +1,322

    So your basing your statement of fact off of your experience. How can you even say its "slower" when you didnt even get it installed.
  16. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,673   +1,105

    Those are the requirements they are forced to announce. All games on steam must work (at least 720p) or it will be just like what happened with Windows Vista when it just didn't work well on 1GB of RAM (MS got sued).
  17. Buy new hard disk drive, make dual-boot system... it's easy.

    DDR3 RAM pretty cheap these days... don't bother resurrecting your old machine, it will cause you more $$$
  18. penn919

    penn919 TS Addict Posts: 220   +71

    Not if you're going to use it just for streaming.
  19. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +681

    What do you mean by less resources then? You mean bloat.

    But why Linux though? Linux isn't going to do anything for gaming in the long run. It will show Linux can play games, and so what if it can? We already have Windows PC's that can play what Linux can, and some, so why would anyone want to buy another computer to do what they can already do with the hardware they already have, or can upgrade? Hardware that has more support at that.

    What would help everyone, would be a mass produced all-in-one (upgradeable?) modified Windows OS gaming machine with midrange retail/OEM hardware and a controller (kb and mouse optional). Kind of like a PC gaming starter kit.
  20. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,745   +3,710

    Why are you making this out to be something it is not. This is adding variety to the pot, not forcing everyone to purchase additional machines. Do you go out and buy several cars, just because they come in different colors?
  21. ikesmasher

    ikesmasher TS Evangelist Posts: 3,002   +1,322

    No. windows is by design more idio t proof and to make things idio t proof when computers require raw numbers to run you have to use more resources to make idio t proof GUIs and such. Bloat would be crap that no one wanted.
    Bloat=Windows automatically scanning for crap and automatically downloading crap and automatically moving crap
    Not bloat=windows and its basic functions in itself.

    Even when windows ISNT doing things I left under bloat, it uses more resources than linux in most cases. Windows focuses on everything anyone might want to do on a PC (including gaming) and a OS dedicated to gaming can focus all its resources to gaming.

    linux uses less resources and is much easier to modify to adapt to your needs. A linux OS for gaming as uncountably more implications than a windows app for gaming. When the OS itself is made for gaming you dont need to work your way around and through every bit of the OS to accomplish a goal like you need in an app. I don't really know my way around linux that much nor do I speak on behalf of valve, but these seem like reasonable assumptions to me.

    I would agree with you to some degree that at this point making a windows PC as you described would be more ideal. I guess what valve is trying to do is make the box feel less like something youd find on a PC and more on a console, bridging a gap or something. Idk. People these days tend to get turned off whenever they think of computers (in my town, people have some sort of dillusion that they are for work only, and dont realize the all-in-one uses of the PC) and dont really understand why people would game on them. By making it feel more like a console to a person who has yet to buy it, it might be more appealing. but your guess is as good as mine.
  22. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,673   +1,105

    PS: we already have mass produced Windows PCs ^_^ (upgradeable), but you won't find a legit "modified" gaming OS called Windows. MS won't allow it anytime soon.
    1. Windows is not free --> higher total costs.
    2. Windows was not made with games in mind. Valve can't change that, only MS can --> as you know they don't want to do that, they even admitted that they only focused on xbox when it came to games.
    3. Linux is a proven platform when it comes to games (from the playstation to mobile gaming -- all use a modified linux os). The only thing missing was a desktop version that had good drivers.
    4. Windows development is slow and has a bad track record when it comes to listening to the consumers.

    All I can say is that competition is good. If SteamOS can do for Windows what Firefox did for Internet Explorer then we can only stand to win (same with Mantle vs DirectX)
  23. 9Nails

    9Nails TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,215   +177

    1. Linux is difficult to support. Steam OS isn't mature. It's not even 1st generation yet. Steam OS also streams games from your Windows or Mac OS. So it's not entirely reliant on itself for gaming.

    2. Windows 8 ships with DirectX 11. That's as "made with games in mind" as it gets. But Microsoft is shutting down Games for Windows Live. So maybe MS is just focusing on console games. We'll call that a draw.

    3. Linux is indeed versatile. But even so it fails to capture much market space. What it comes down to is that developers aren't interested in releasing a solid desktop experience without compensation. Without compensation, the Linux market will continue to stagnate.

    4. Windows has a massive market of about 1.4 billion installations to consider. Development of this desktop OS will be slow, but it's necessary to keep the system stable. The MS Xbox division is the focus on game centric playing while Windows remains versatile but still agile enough to feature games.

    If anything Steam OS doesn't compete with Windows at all. It competes with console systems.
    hahahanoobs likes this.
  24. hahahanoobs

    hahahanoobs TS Evangelist Posts: 2,046   +681

    It's not adding anything.
  25. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,745   +3,710

    It is too early to make that statement. None of us know what the future of Steam OS will be. There is a desktop mode, so at this time I'm thinking Steam OS has more than just games in mind. And I would like to think, if successful this means Steam OS will be for more than just games.
    You may not be able to see an added benefit to Steam OS, but if successful Steam OS will add to the variety people have to choose from. Whether or not Steam OS is successful, only time will tell.
    9Nails likes this.

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