Valve Software is expected to release SteamOS very soon, having mentioned earlier this week
in an official blog post that its ambitious Linux-based operating system would be made available for download on December 13 2013. Given that at the time of this post it's around 2:45pm in Seattle, Valve Time
anomalies notwithstanding that means those of us in Eastern Australia should find it online before dinner time today.
Assuming it's permitted, we'll do our best to get a local download mirror up here on AusGamers, but while we wait, let's talk about what we know about SteamOS. Despite it's potential significance to PC gaming we actually don't know a whole lot.
Since it's announcment
in late September, Valve has offered very little elaboration beyond the initial overview
that outlined its intentions to bring the open systems of PC gaming (sans Microsoft Windows) into the living room with a host of media features and a community-driven philosophy.
With SteamOS, “openness” means that the hardware industry can iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they’ve been able to. Content creators can connect directly to their customers. Users can alter or replace any part of the software or hardware they want. Gamers are empowered to join in the creation of the games they love. SteamOS will continue to evolve, but will remain an environment designed to foster these kinds of innovation.
Early media reports from press that have had an opportunity to preview a functioning Steam Machine have focused more on the prototype hardware and Steam Controller than functionality of the OS, even though it's the arguably the most important factor.
Marlimim over at SteamDB has compiled a pretty comprehensive list
of everything gleamed so far from comments made by Valve and bits and pieces found in beta versions of the Steam client. Valve itself has cautioned users that are not "intrepid Linux hackers" to hold off until later in 2014 to try it out, suggesting it will be very raw until the Linux community are able to start getting other common applications working on it. If you don't care if it's a bit rough around the edges, stay tuned for a download link as soon as we have it.
Update: SteamDB reports
that SteamOS has now been pushed to the official repository
. A 960MB installer can be downloaded here
(although it's currently experiencing connection issues, presumably to excessive demand): and it's based on Debian 7.1 Wheezy . A Github tracker has been established here
and a list of installed packages here
Update 2: An official FAQ is now online
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.
Update 3: AusGamers now has a local download mirror for SteamOS Installer v1.0 (Alchemist) (SteamOSInstaller.zip) right here
. Have at it folks.