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SteamOS for the Steam Deck gets slimmed down to 10GB

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One thing that is a little concerning is how much storage the bottom edition of the Valve Steam Deck will have without plugging in a microSD card, seems we now have a better idea. Thanks to a developer posting on the MetaCouncil forum, there were shots shared from behind the scenes where Valve has been posting changelogs for those with Steam Deck devkits.

Considering the low-end Steam Deck is only 64GB, it's not exactly a lot of room, although we know games will load quickly from an expansion card it's still useful to know what you've got to work with. The post shows that Valve has put SteamOS on quite the diet sitting now at 10GB.

10GB still sounds pretty big, although that does mean the low-end Steam Deck should have around 50GB. Not much of course, especially considering the colossal size of some newer games but sure is better than the original 24GB. When you think that Windows 10 needs a minimum 20GB and Windows 11 needs 64GB - it's yet another reasons for people to stick with SteamOS out of the box.

Not only that, it appears that some Steam Deck hardware has a different brand of memory between Micron and Samsung, which might just be the difference between the original devkit hardware and the newer Design Validation units.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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39 comments
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Termy 16 Dec, 2021
Does anyone know what the hell they are including to make it that big? Even with several proton-versions preinstalled it shouldn't get up to 10GB, let alone 24.
Or are they maybe going in the silverblue-direction and include a bunch of redundant libraries?
Linas 16 Dec, 2021
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While 20G minimum for an installed Windows 10 system may be somewhat true-ish, in practical terms is complete nonsense. I had updates fail on Windows 10 because I only had 40G of free space. The thing needed at least 60G to successfully complete!

I am sure there will be people who will figure out how to cram Windows into Steam Deck, but that's not going to be standard practice, that I am sure of.
Arten 16 Dec, 2021
QuoteWindows 11 needs 64GB
Its minimal requirement, not real usage. Clean w11 has 21.1 GB.


But truth is, windows don't have preinstalled steam...
rustybroomhandle 16 Dec, 2021
I suspect the 10GB is not just the OS but also some pre-allocated space for OS images.
Linas 16 Dec, 2021
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Quoting: TermyDoes anyone know what the hell they are including to make it that big? Even with several proton-versions preinstalled it shouldn't get up to 10GB, let alone 24.
Was wondering the same. I have a system next to me right now that is running a pretty standard, albeit minimal GNOME desktop, and it is using 5G of disk space.
Liam Dawe 16 Dec, 2021
Quoting: Arten
QuoteWindows 11 needs 64GB
Its minimal requirement, not real usage. Clean w11 has 21.1 GB.


But truth is, windows don't have preinstalled steam...
Just like Windows 10, it will eat storage for breakfast for updates, that's the realistic number given by MSFT to ensure it runs properly.
Solitary 16 Dec, 2021
Quoting: TermyDoes anyone know what the hell they are including to make it that big? Even with several proton-versions preinstalled it shouldn't get up to 10GB, let alone 24.
Or are they maybe going in the silverblue-direction and include a bunch of redundant libraries?

Well, we actually already know they are going with the immutable filesystem and image based updates route like Silverblue with focus on Flatpaks for user applications. 10GB sounds reasonable if they actually provide entire desktop experience with apps ready to use. Who knows, the question is what/why was it 24GB big before and how they managed to save 14GB.
Hooly 16 Dec, 2021
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Quoting: rustybroomhandleI suspect the 10GB is not just the OS but also some pre-allocated space for OS images.
I think so too, they are probably using an A/B-model, which means that you have two installations of the OS at every time.

The actual OS size is probably somewhere around 3-4GB (Pop!_OS' Nvidia iso is 4.6GB) and reserving 5GB per image to account for future updates.

Or they use btrfs-subvolumes and allocate storage dynamically.


Last edited by Hooly on 16 December 2021 at 1:06 pm UTC
Eike 16 Dec, 2021
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Quoting: TermyDoes anyone know what the hell they are including to make it that big? Even with several proton-versions preinstalled it shouldn't get up to 10GB, let alone 24.
Or are they maybe going in the silverblue-direction and include a bunch of redundant libraries?

How much would you consider reasonable for a Linux desktop installation plus Steam and the Protons?
fenglengshun 16 Dec, 2021
Quoting: TermyDoes anyone know what the hell they are including to make it that big? Even with several proton-versions preinstalled it shouldn't get up to 10GB, let alone 24.
Or are they maybe going in the silverblue-direction and include a bunch of redundant libraries?
Well, they'll probably need to allocate for system update, and possibly some sort of "factory reset" in case someone broke their install. There's also their custom UI that they'll probably use.
Quoting: LinasWas wondering the same. I have a system next to me right now that is running a pretty standard, albeit minimal GNOME desktop, and it is using 5G of disk space.
Well, if you account for Wine, that'll add probably add 1GB. Account for factory reset and pre-allocated space for system image update as well... I think that's pretty reasonable?


Last edited by fenglengshun on 16 December 2021 at 1:42 pm UTC
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