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Valve Has Announced The SteamOS Built On Linux UPDATED
Posted , 23 September 2013 at 5:24 pm UTC / 20956 views
As we’ve been working on bringing Steam to the living room, we’ve come to the conclusion that the
environment best suited to delivering value to customers is an operating system built around Steam itself.
SteamOS combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen.
It will be available soon as a free stand-alone operating system for living room machines.

This is very interesting a true gaming orientated version of Linux for the living room, the OS is completely free and freely licensable for manufacturers enabling anyone to make a SteamBox (they already said they would do that previously).

What is interesting is that it notes it can stream games from your PC to your SteamOS box:
QuoteYou can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have - then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!
Note Linux isn't listed, the question is does Linux need this option? I don't think so since anything that works directly on the SteamOS should I hope work on desktop Linux.

The problem is though, this still doesn't give an incentive for bigger developers to publish for Linux/SteamOS since they will now say, "just stream it to a SteamBox", it just lines up another reason not to do a Linux version. Unless they really care about SteamOS+SteamBox itself, if it's popular and people start using it as an actual console, then they will need to start porting, so it remains to be seen how it will pan out for us all!

The next announcements will probably be:
  • 2) The first SteamBox from them directly
  • 3) A controller for SteamOS, possibly even with dedicated buttons for things like friends lists

I think for a SteamBox direct from them it would need to be partnered up with a big manufacturer to ensure it meets demand.

The big question for us is how well will they support the stand-alone Linux client after all this? They have put in a lot of work so far, will it continue? I really hope so they have done some great work so far, they do have different teams working on different things after-all so I hope it continues.

The next announcement is scheduled for two days time, so stay tuned on Wednesday to see if we're right on what they next two will be!

What are your thoughts? Could this be dangerous for the desktop Linux client?

UPDATE: So games targetting SteamOS will work on desktop Linux, looks like my fears for now can be laid to rest, AAA games here we come!
QuoteGot a response from Valve about games and the normal Linux distros:
My question:
I was wondering about the SteamOS and if games that work on it will also work on normal Linux distros (Ubuntu, Linux Mint, etc)?
And the response:
Yes.
Source

I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. A fan of anything techy, and not just Linux stuff.

You can follow my personal blog here.

Comments on this article are now closed.
Bumadar commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:32 pm UTC

ha

Bumadar on September 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm
- a box which is like the Vita TV, a small boxed (in this case on a linux based OS) which you hook up to our tv and it will stream your steam games to that, that would solve the issue of windows users losing all their games as you basicly still play on you pc no matter what it will be.

its sad for linux as a gaming platform, as you stated Liam it will not give an incentive to make linux games, but for valve its the only thing that makes sense as they can't afford to lose the windows users.

ha :) [quote=Bumadar on September 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm] - a box which is like the [url=http://kotaku.com/introducing-ps-vita-tv-1276599936]Vita TV[/url], a small boxed (in this case on a linux based OS) which you hook up to our tv and it will stream your steam games to that, that would solve the issue of windows users losing all their games as you basicly still play on you pc no matter what it will be. [/quote] its sad for linux as a gaming platform, as you stated Liam it will not give an incentive to make linux games, but for valve its the only thing that makes sense as they can't afford to lose the windows users.
0 Likes
Sabun commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:33 pm UTC

QuoteCould this be dangerous for the desktop Linux client?
To me it sounds like another Linux distro, except it's aiming for the desktop aggressively (like Ubuntu) and has financial backing from Valve. I'm actually pretty excited to try it out once it's downloadable.

[quote]Could this be dangerous for the desktop Linux client? [/quote] To me it sounds like another Linux distro, except it's aiming for the desktop aggressively (like Ubuntu) and has financial backing from Valve. I'm actually pretty excited to try it out once it's downloadable.
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Shmerl commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:34 pm UTC

QuoteYou can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too
I wonder how exactly, especially the Mac OSX games. Some emulation? Is Valve going to boost Wine project as well (especially 64 bit support and DirectX 11)?

I hope they'll make all the DRM optional there (especially one for media services who are the worst offenders). Not really interested in consoles personally, but this can improve interest for Linux gaming. I only hope it will boost general Linux gaming, and not "Steam Linux gaming" only.

[quote]You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too[/quote] I wonder how exactly, especially the Mac OSX games. Some emulation? Is Valve going to boost Wine project as well (especially 64 bit support and DirectX 11)? I hope they'll make all the DRM optional there (especially one for media services who are the worst offenders). Not really interested in consoles personally, but this can improve interest for Linux gaming. I only hope it will boost general Linux gaming, and not "Steam Linux gaming" only.
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liamdawe commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:34 pm UTC

Sabun
QuoteCould this be dangerous for the desktop Linux client?
To me it sounds like another Linux distro, except it's aiming for the desktop aggressively (like Ubuntu) and has financial backing from Valve. I'm actually pretty excited to try it out once it's downloadable.
If it's compatible with at least Ubuntu then I think Linux gaming will utterly explode next year.

[quote=Sabun][quote=Quote]Could this be dangerous for the desktop Linux client? [/quote] To me it sounds like another Linux distro, except it's aiming for the desktop aggressively (like Ubuntu) and has financial backing from Valve. I'm actually pretty excited to try it out once it's downloadable.[/quote] If it's compatible with at least Ubuntu then I think Linux gaming will utterly explode next year.
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abelthorne commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:35 pm UTC

I guess they'll continue to support the Linux desktop client, it would be odd and quite a waste of time to have released it in 2013 only to abandon it a year later. The SteamOS will probably be a minimal Ubuntu that launches Steam Linux in Big Picture, so the new functionalities would be added to Steam Linux, not to SteamOS specifically IMO.

Also, when you say "Note Linux isn't listed, the question is does Linux need this option? I don't think so since anything that works directly on the SteamOS should I hope work on desktop Linux.", I think it's answered in their "FAQ" under "All you favorite games" (sorry if it isn't the exact title, I'm seeing the announce in french). They say that hundreds of games already work natively on SteamOS. That's because they are on Steam Linux and the streaming from a Windows computer is mainly an alternative to (badly) integrating Wine in Steam.

I guess they'll continue to support the Linux desktop client, it would be odd and quite a waste of time to have released it in 2013 only to abandon it a year later. The SteamOS will probably be a minimal Ubuntu that launches Steam Linux in Big Picture, so the new functionalities would be added to Steam Linux, not to SteamOS specifically IMO. Also, when you say "Note Linux [b]isn't[/b] listed, the question is does Linux need this option? I don't think so since anything that works directly on the SteamOS [i]should[/i] I hope work on desktop Linux.", I think it's answered in their "FAQ" under "All you favorite games" (sorry if it isn't the exact title, I'm seeing the announce in french). They say that hundreds of games already work natively on SteamOS. That's because they are on Steam Linux and the streaming from a Windows computer is mainly an alternative to (badly) integrating Wine in Steam.
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Bumadar commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:35 pm UTC

Sabun
QuoteCould this be dangerous for the desktop Linux client?
To me it sounds like another Linux distro, except it's aiming for the desktop aggressively (like Ubuntu) and has financial backing from Valve. I'm actually pretty excited to try it out once it's downloadable.

no its not, its an OS based to stream from your PC to your TV

nm, I stand corrected, its both, stream and install those linux steam games on it, still not enough

[quote=Sabun][quote=Quote]Could this be dangerous for the desktop Linux client? [/quote] To me it sounds like another Linux distro, except it's aiming for the desktop aggressively (like Ubuntu) and has financial backing from Valve. I'm actually pretty excited to try it out once it's downloadable.[/quote] [s]no its not, its an OS based to stream from your PC to your TV[/s] nm, I stand corrected, its both, stream and install those linux steam games on it, still not enough
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Shmerl commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:36 pm UTC

liamdaweIf it's compatible with at least Ubuntu then I think Linux gaming will utterly explode next year.

I wonder what their plans long term are, in regards to Wayland vs Mir. For now it's going to be Xorg simply because there aren't any drivers for Wayland/Mir yet. But in the future they'll have to make a choice.

[quote=liamdawe]If it's compatible with at least Ubuntu then I think Linux gaming will utterly explode next year.[/quote] I wonder what their plans long term are, in regards to Wayland vs Mir. For now it's going to be Xorg simply because there aren't any drivers for Wayland/Mir yet. But in the future they'll have to make a choice.
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Anonymous commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:39 pm UTC

Shmerl
QuoteYou can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too
I wonder how exactly, especially the Mac OSX games. Some emulation? Is Valve going to boost Wine project as well (especially 64 bit support and Direct X11)?

I hope they'll make all the DRM optional there (especially one for media services who are the worst offenders). Not really interested in consoles personally, but this can improve interest for Linux gaming. I only hope it will boost general Linux gaming, and not "Steam Linux gaming" only.
Through streaming. The plan is that you'll have a PC on your TV that launches SteamOS (kind of a set top box). There, you can play your Linux games directly and if you have a Windows PC or a Mac you can also run Steam on them and stream your games to the SteamBox to play them on your TV rather than on your computer. There is no emulation, you won't install the Windows/MacOS games on your SteamBox, you'll have to use a computer on your local network to run them.

[quote=Shmerl][quote=Quote]You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too[/quote] I wonder how exactly, especially the Mac OSX games. Some emulation? Is Valve going to boost Wine project as well (especially 64 bit support and Direct X11)? I hope they'll make all the DRM optional there (especially one for media services who are the worst offenders). Not really interested in consoles personally, but this can improve interest for Linux gaming. I only hope it will boost general Linux gaming, and not "Steam Linux gaming" only.[/quote] Through streaming. The plan is that you'll have a PC on your TV that launches SteamOS (kind of a set top box). There, you can play your Linux games directly and if you have a Windows PC or a Mac you can also run Steam on them and stream your games to the SteamBox to play them on your TV rather than on your computer. There is no emulation, you won't install the Windows/MacOS games on your SteamBox, you'll have to use a computer on your local network to run them.
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Shmerl commented on 23 September 2013 at 5:41 pm UTC

AnonymousThere is no emulation, you won't install the Windows/MacOS games on your SteamBox, you'll have to use a computer on your local network to run them.
I see. The way they phrased it is kind of misleading. They had to add that other installation of Windows / Mac OSX is required for such cases.

I wonder though if they'll offer cloud streaming for example. I.e. their installations of Windows / Mac OSX on their virtual servers, and users's games "streamed" to the client. In theory this can work for some stuff, though performance probably can be an issue.

[quote=Anonymous]There is no emulation, you won't install the Windows/MacOS games on your SteamBox, you'll have to use a computer on your local network to run them.[/quote] I see. The way they phrased it is kind of misleading. They had to add that other installation of Windows / Mac OSX is required for such cases. I wonder though if they'll offer cloud streaming for example. I.e. their installations of Windows / Mac OSX on their virtual servers, and users's games "streamed" to the client. In theory this can work for some stuff, though performance probably can be an issue.
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