As promised earlier this week, Valve has now released the first public beta for SteamOS, its Linux-based operating system designed for running PC games in a living room setting. The first version is available for download and while SteamOS 1.0 is an open source software product, it also contains Valve's proprietary Steam client and some third party drivers.
Valve has created an FAQ page that goes into more detail about SteamOS 1.0, which is based on the 7.1 version of the Debian Linux software. In addition to running Linux-based Steam games, it also contains a desktop UI that can run any other Linux applications. Here are the hardware requirements for the OS:
- Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
- 4GB or more memory
- 500GB or larger disk
- NVIDIA graphics card (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon)
- UEFI boot support
- USB port for installation
Valve makes it clear that this first version of SteamOS should only be used by people who are extremely comfortable with installing new operating systems on their PCs and is not for the causal user. That being said, anyone who is technically proficient can go ahead and create their own Steam Machines right now using this first version of the client.
Speaking of Steam Machines, Valve has also confirmed that it has shipped the 300 prototype units it has designed to its selected beta testers in the U.S. A number of third party PC makers will be releasing their own Steam Machines once SteamOS is ready for prime time, which should happen sometime in 2014.
Source: SteamOS web site | Image via Valve