Valve released the first beta version of its Linux-based SteamOS over a month ago, but gave plenty of warnings that this first build was for the highly advanced PC owner and not for the timid. This week, the developer released a new version that gets it a bit closer to the normal PC user.
While the first version could only be installed on PCs that had UEFI as their boot option, this new ISO build now supports installing SteamOS on BIOS-based computers. That should help expand the use of the OS and give Valve some extra information on how the operating system runs on much older PCs.
In addition, the new SteamOS beta offers up custom partitions and dual-booting in "Expert Install" mode, along with a way to burn the software on a DVD in case users need a recovery media disc. Even with all of these new features, Valve says that this build has not been tested that much, especially with the dual-boot options. It states, " ... don't install it on any machine you are not prepared to lose."
Valve is working with 14 third party PC makers to release Steam Machine PCs with SteamOS installed later in 2014. One of them, Alienware, has already said its model will be out sometime in September.