Softpedia has stumbled across a Reddit member who has created a version of Valve's SteamOS platform without the UEFI requirement. The original version, launched last week, supports the new firmware interface, leaving those stuck with the old BIOS unable to use the new Linux-based game-focused operating system.
According to the Reddit listing, grub-efi was replaced by grub-pc to drop the UEFI dependency, and the apt-cdrom repository was rebuilt. The default.preseed file was edited to enable manual partitioning, and the final ISO image was created using grub-mkrescue with the original grub.cfg.
To download the unofficial UEFI-free version of SteamOS, head here. Remember, this version and the official build are in the early beta stage, so keep that in mind when installing and taking the software for a test drive. Inexperienced gamers are suggested to wait a while before downloading Valve's new platform.
PC World has provided its first impressions, reporting that SteamOS requires a Nvidia GPU; those offered by AMD and Intel are not supported at this time. SteamOS is also incapable of existing on a machine with Windows already installed, thus users must have a separate machine or a special drive for Valve's platform. Installation took around 20 minutes, according to the site.
For those who don't want to download a modified OS, there's a UEFI workaround here via Reddit, instructions for installing SteamOS on a virtual machine here, and a way to install Windows on a SteamOS-based machine here.
While you're here, take a look at our guide to building your own Steam Machine here. As previously indicated, you'll need a Nvidia GPU due to the current SteamOS limitations on that front. Other ingredients in our recipe for a home-built Steam Machine include the Azza Z case, an Intel "Haswell" processor like the Core i5-4670K and i7-4770K, the MSI Z87I-Gaming motherboard, and more.
I can see why people want to try on older hardware but the UEFI version is going to be the best since UEFI allows for much faster boot times and better security.
I really don't think this will replace most peoples main rigs but be an extension. I would use it for that purpose, have it as a HTPC and stream videos to it. Of course games will be limited but that's fine as I am a PC gamer mainly anyways.
Why would games be limited? You'll be able to stream ANY steam game from the main computer to the one with steam OS.
I use the tools that are readily available and stay away from sites that are known to be suspect. I do have an isolated machine that I can use for 'testing' if I think the warnings I get are overzealous, like the AVG warning I get for the patcher I use to get the Real solitaire and other games that were stolen without warning by the Win 8 upgrade to run.
Remember when MS started the campaign to impress us by not allowing our printer to work that we had been using for three years when XP came out? I like many others turned off or turned down the security settings so just what was the point. The computer shops loved all the calls they got, but people still got infected by fake virus warnings popups and sexy e-mail attachments both avoidable if AV software was installed.
The UEFI boot loader developed by Allievi overwrites the legitimate Windows 8 UEFI bootloader, bypassing security defences in the process.
"Our bootloader hooked the UEFI disk I/O routines and it intercepted the loading of the Windows 8 kernel, thus our bootkit tampered the kernel by disabling the security features used by Windows to prevent the loading of unsigned drivers,"
And now there are a few in the wild that do same thing including using forged/stolen certificates.
While UEFI may stop older rootkits it does not stop newer rootkits actually it is much easier to code for uefi in C than ASM.