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Debian Operating Systems Software Games Linux

Valve Releases Debian-Based SteamOS Beta 211

Posted by timothy
from the actually-sounds-pretty-cool dept.
An anonymous reader writes that, as promised, "Valve has put out their first SteamOS Linux operating system beta. SteamOS 1.0 'Alchemist' Beta is forked from Debian Wheezy and features its own graphics compositor along with other changes. Right now SteamOS 1.0 is only compatible with NVIDIA graphics cards and uses NVIDIA's closed-source Linux driver. SteamOS can be downloaded from here, but the server seems to be offline under the pressure."
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Valve Releases Debian-Based SteamOS Beta

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  • Torrent (Score:5, Informative)

    by tepples (727027) <tepples AT gmail DOT com> on Friday December 13, 2013 @09:55PM (#45686317) Homepage Journal
    An alternate submission [slashdot.org] links to another article about the use of a Debian base system [muktware.com] as well as an unofficial torrent [steamdb.info].
  • Re:Why nVidia only? (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:19PM (#45686435)

    Probably because Nvidia was shamed into better supporting Linux before AMD? Because Nvidia has been working better with Valve on this project? Because the optimization for those AMD cards isn't done?

    Had you been paying attention, even in the slightest, in the past few months, you would have known what has been going on and what the plan is for SteamOS. Perhaps you should actually do some reading on it instead of just saying that Valve is "screwing a large group of people."

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:22PM (#45686459)

    Not required, supported. The list is supported hardware. I would assume standard BIOS is supported as well but they wanted to point out that newer UEFI only boards are also supported.

  • Re:Graphics Cards (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:43PM (#45686541)

    ATI/AMD sucks, never again

  • by fluffy99 (870997) on Friday December 13, 2013 @11:29PM (#45686707)

    Not required, supported. The list is supported hardware. I would assume standard BIOS is supported as well but they wanted to point out that newer UEFI only boards are also supported.

    Seems you got modded up, despite being WRONG. UEFI booting is required for the installer, which is why UEFI Support was listed as a hardware requirement in the FAQ you looked at. The requirement is also mentioned further down in the FAQ. Also reference:

    http://store.steampowered.com/steamos/buildyourown [steampowered.com].
    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648814395741989999/ [steamcommunity.com]
    http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2013/12/valve-releases-steamos-beta-early-build-your-own-system-requirements/ [arstechnica.com]

    One benefit to this is that people won't be trying to install this on an old piece of crap and then complaining it's slow.

  • by rahvin112 (446269) on Friday December 13, 2013 @11:33PM (#45686723)

    Son of a Bitch. They do say it's required in the FAQ. It appears they are using it to simplify the boot from USB installation process based on the FAQ. I'd imagine if your board supports booting from USB you are probably ok but they may have hardwired support for UEFI in the installer (such that it will only look for UEFI instances for installation media) so you won't know till you try.

    My bad for misleading you.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 14, 2013 @12:04AM (#45686835)

    What you describe is nothing new. It's something that smart people knew very well by 1994. Debian is indisputably the best Linux distribution around in every practical measure, and that has been the case for years now.

    It is the distro with the best packaging system. It is the distro with the best variety of packages. It is the distro with the best package maintainers. It is the distro with the best release practices. It is the distro with the best community. It is the distro with the best reliability. It is the distro with the best stability. It is the distro with the best cutting-edge version. It is the distro with the best experience in a huge range of usage scenarios.

    As far as general-purpose distros go, there's really no reason to even consider any of the others. In my opinion, they're all inferior to Debian in one or more ways. The sensible thing to do is to just use Debian, and get the best experience right away.

  • Re:Debian! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Microlith (54737) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @02:22AM (#45687379)

    I'll wager that this compositor is temporary until Debian ships Wayland and Nvidia has drivers that work with it. This thing is still running Xorg, just using a customized compositor.

  • Re:Torrent (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 14, 2013 @02:37AM (#45687445)
    Not really, no. Usually by the time Slashdot runs a story these days it's been on other, more popular sites for a week for more.
  • Re:Why nVidia only? (Score:5, Informative)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday December 14, 2013 @03:28AM (#45687631) Homepage Journal

    If Steambox succeeds it will have to be despite you god damned AMD buyers, as always.

    Oh, but haven't you heard? AMD are the good guys now because they occasionally trickle out some of the information you need to make a half-assed open source video driver which supports some of their older cards.

  • by deviated_prevert (1146403) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @05:17AM (#45687931) Journal

    They might get in trouble for shipping the proprietary Nvidia drivers if it is shipped together with the Linux kernel which is GPL.

    Bullcrap. The drivers have to compile a module. THE MODULE is not a part of the kernel, it is called by the kernel. OpenGL is the reason why the driver includes binary blobs in the modules that do not include source code, unfortunately OpenGL is not really open it is controlled by a trumped up consortium much the same as the MPGLA model. You cannot legally disclose the software api source but you can use it under license. The OpenGL is overseen by the hardware companies that design and make the chips, Microsoft has a hand in it and also releases hardware acceleration for chipsets within the Windows system files called DirectX.

    DirectX does not so much compete with OpenGL, rather it sleeps in the same bed. Nvidia has lately been given a rather frosty pist from Microsoft because they have had too much of a smooch session going on with Android and have also made inroads into peoples living rooms on other devices with tegra based graphics used in other devices with the Linux kernel.

    All the while the PC gaming market has been torpedoed by Microsoft with the release of an etch-a-sketch OS with lousy high end graphic support called Windows8. Because it is absolute shit for PC gaming, much the same as Vista and the early Win7 OS was.

    Nvidia and Valve seeing an opening with high end gaming, has started to experiment with the SteamOS project with a networked gaming system which will not be dependent upon Microsoft's software or OSes whatsoever. Whether or not this will fly is very problematic as the market for high end graphics cards is currently in the tank, so it is a shot in the dark. Seeing that the market for custom made gaming computers is limited and the hardware for them will only become more and more scarce and expensive.

    It has always been the case that gaming and advanced graphics, though supported under Linux rely upon the whim of the manufactures to actually work with proprietary libraries like the not so OpenGL. Same thing applies to using the advanced features in software like Google Earth, you can run it in emulation without hardware acceleration but it sucks unless you have the proprietary drivers installed in Linux. Here in the world of Linux we suck on the hind teats and are forced to accept the fact that not every piece of hardware is open source friendly or can be made that way. Same thing would happen if Steinberg's Asio audio API were ever to be ported to Linux, it would be a game changer in professional audio and Microsoft and Apple both know this and actively prevent it from happening. So for realtime audio, advanced graphics and other high end features Linux is very much a non starter because it has deliberately been prevented from coming to the table by the big players.

  • Re: Graphics Cards (Score:4, Informative)

    by Lennie (16154) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @09:13AM (#45688523) Homepage

    nVidia has already taken notice because they are one of the companies working with Valve: https://developer.nvidia.com/sites/default/files/akamai/gamedev/docs/Porting%20Source%20to%20Linux.pdf [nvidia.com]

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

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