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SteamOS beta begins

12/15/13 8:00pm

Valve's SteamOS beta is now available for download.

The Linux-based operating system that focuses mainly on games is part of Valve's focus on living room computing and is featured in all Steam Machines. It is based from the Debian “wheezy” variant of Debian 7 distribution, and its current state – SteamOS 1.0 – is called “alchemist.” It supports only NVIDIA graphics cards at the moment, but future updates promise to make AMD and Intel cards compatible.

Installing the operating system will completely empty out a drive, according to Valve's FAQ page. It is installed using either an application called CloneZilla or through the Debian installer.

See below for a full list of requirements for the current version of SteamOS:

  • 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 said the company moved from supporting Ubuntu to supporting Debian to provide a fully customized product.

Building on top of the Debian core is the best way for Valve to deliver a fully custom SteamOS experience to our customers,” Valve wrote.

Valve SteamOS FAQ also reminds users that SteamOS will not run Windows-based applications and is not intended to replace Windows. The Linux savvy won't be deterred by this thanks to a little gem called Wine.

Those who wish to read the full FAQ can check it out here.

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