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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) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .selppet.> 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].
  • Debian! (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @09:58PM (#45686339)

    The one distro to rule them all!

    • Re:Debian! (Score:4, Funny)

      by gagol (583737) on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:33PM (#45686509)
      Amen brother.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @11:10PM (#45686627)

      Although Debian is not one of my desktop distros (which are Gentoo and NixOS), I recognize that it has become the most reliable and best supported distro with the largest community and the most respected pedigree. It's also the most common base or parent for other distros like Ubuntu, so clearly it has the largest slice of the pie. And here's a little secret that is no secret: it just works.

      I use it occasionally on little ARM boards like the awesome BeagleBone Black, where you have to overwrite the pile of junk Angstrom distro that comes on the board out of the box. Debian is totally painless and just works in that role. If you need a replacement distro that you can depend on, Debian never disappoints.

      It's the "distro franca" of Linux, the GOTO choice for those who don't like pain.

    • Re:Debian! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by aaronb1138 (2035478) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @12:51AM (#45686951)
      Valve forked the graphics subsystem. Keep forking and letting everyone be their own little fiefdom of incompatibility Linux... That's the way to the desktop (set top?)
      • Re:Debian! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by jd (1658) <<moc.oohay> <ta> <kapimi>> on Saturday December 14, 2013 @01:54AM (#45687271) Homepage Journal

        For a console system, you need sprites, high-speed polygon placement, built-in shaders and deadline-based updates (it has to be damn smooth, if it's going to compete with the alternatives).

        What you do not need are windows (beyond picture-in-picture), client-server overheads (consoles aren't likely to be connected to X terminals in a different room, city or country, unless you're using a VERY big monitor), memory overheads from components never used in this context, or support for multiple users with one or more displays each on a single console.

        Now, I haven't inspected the code yet, so can't say how far they've gone. Nor do I know if anyone still works on KGI or GGI, although those would be far closer to console requirements than X.

        (Hey, I love X, I actually have made a lot of use of redirecting screens several hundred miles for diagnostic purposes, I think there is a lot of life in the system yet, but vanilla X is totally wrong for consoles and even modded X won't give the experience console addicts crave.)

        Besides, Valve isn't a desktop flavour. If you want a desktop flavour, one that wows desktop users (just as the desktop market starts dying horribly, it's anguished cry half-drowned in the blood and tabletness flowing forth like a monstrous, misshapen river) then you need to make one.

        • by gl4ss (559668) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @02:23AM (#45687389) Homepage Journal

          the games wouldn't be compiled against this new compositor, afaik. too much work in that. just opengl, but this is for the steam portion of it. I'm not so sure it makes any difference that they went this route vs. doing it in x and memory overhead is neglible from that anyways.

        • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday December 14, 2013 @03:27AM (#45687621) Homepage Journal

          For a console system, you need sprites, high-speed polygon placement, built-in shaders and deadline-based updates (it has to be damn smooth, if it's going to compete with the alternatives).

          Sure, you do need all of those things.

          What you do not need are windows (beyond picture-in-picture), client-server overheads (consoles aren't likely to be connected to X terminals in a different room, city or country, unless you're using a VERY big monitor), memory overheads from components never used in this context, or support for multiple users with one or more displays each on a single console.

          Memory is cheap now, and you definitely need support for windows for all kinds of features. You don't need the rest but it doesn't weigh much by modern standards.

      • 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.

      • by LordLimecat (1103839) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @05:40AM (#45687989)

        Pretty sure Valve has their own priorities, and (gasp) they probably arent the same as yours or Linus'.

        The good news is that their effort doesnt stop anyone elses efforts to the contrary.

      • by pev (2186) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @12:35PM (#45689393) Homepage

        Of course they forked, they wanted to spend their time and effort developing a product to ship instead of constantly justifying their own decisions to a project gatekeeper. Sounds fair to me, its their time... Democracy is great but dictatorships get things done MUCH faster...

      • by VirtualVirtuality (2895477) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @12:45PM (#45689441)

        Eh, forked the graphics subsystem? They are running X with a modified XCompmgr as compositor, the latter has been around for ages and was likely chosen because it runs on anything that can run X.

        There's no 'fiefdom of incompability' here.

    • by G3ckoG33k (647276) on Saturday December 14, 2013 @03:14AM (#45687583)

      Imagine if they had chosen Shuttleworth's os. Now they still support his os, but also many more, apart from itself.

      Hail Debian, the mothership.

  • TORRENTS! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stonebit (2776195) on Friday December 13, 2013 @09:59PM (#45686347)
    When will the clods learn... need to share something big to a lot of people? TORRENT!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:04PM (#45686373)

    Seeing as i cream my pants every time Valve announces something, it is now time for some new underwear.

    At least it isn't like the time I got an auto-reply to my job application at Valve. Sure, they didn't end up hiring me into their utopia, but if you ask me one shitty bed is a fair price to pay at heroin-like bliss.

  • by visualight (468005) on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:09PM (#45686399) Homepage

    UEFI boot support is in the list of HW requirements, which I've managed to avoid so far. There's no mention of TPM but maybe that's the reason?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 13, 2013 @10:52PM (#45686563)

    The Catalyst and Mesa drivers are present on the system, but SteamOS Beta 1 is being advertised as NVIDIA-only.

    http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTU0MzY

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