The SteamOS beta is ready to download.
As promised, SteamOS is now locked and loaded for your downloading pleasure. Downloaders are encouraged to use a download manager, as there are reports of downloads dying randomly. Here are the links:
- SteamOS (zip 960 MB)
- Unofficial torrent
- Official FAQ
- GitHub issue tracker
- SteamOS EULA
- List of installed packages
According to the FAQ, SteamOS is a fork 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. Here are the system requirements:
- Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
- 4 GB or more memory
- 500 GB or larger disk
- Nvidia graphics card (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon)
- UEFI boot support
- USB port for installation
The FAQ also shows that users can get to the SteamOS desktop by enabling it in the Steam Settings menu. Select Settings (the gear icon in the top right) then select Interface and check the "Enable access to the Linux desktop" box. Now the Exit button will have an additional option, "Return to Desktop" that will switch to the SteamOS desktop.
"We will push out security fixes and critical bugfixes as soon as we are comfortable shipping them," reads the FAQ. "The beta update channel will receive regular fixes and improvements on a daily or weekly basis and every few months we will roll up these updates into the released channel. We are just starting to evaluate what the best process is and the release cadence might vary in the future."
Currently SteamOS is in beta, so those without Linux knowledge may want to wait until next year for a more polished version.
If you want to wait for the final hardware, we'll see it all in January at CES. So far we've seen two Steam Machines: