Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/177947/8-things-the-alpha-release-tells-us-about-steamoss-linux-system/
SteamOS, Valve’s living room PC gaming operating system, is basically just a new Linux distribution. It’s based on Debian and provides easy access to a standard Linux desktop complete with a package manager.
All this time making the operating system would have been better used porting the games over to Linux. Just saying.
That's hardly in their control. Porting the games is the responsibility of the various developers, not Valve's.
But I do agree with what you're getting at. SteamOS just isn't a compelling option when the list of supported games are all basically indie titles. Not that it's a bad thing, ya gotta start somewhere. Personally, I won't be paying much attention until some bigger titles make the jump.
Steam OS starts from a better position than the current generation of non-backwards-compatible consoles at least though.
Given that Microsoft seems intent on ignoring their traditional gaming platform (read: PC) or even slowly killing it by urging software developers into a closed ecosystem, it seems likely that big PC gaming names will consider SteamOS for their new AAA titles too, giving the platform more traction, and maybe a cooperation of GoG and CrossOver will show up for the old titles.
I wonder how it will turn out in the long run though. DOS games will probably last forever, thanks to DOS emulators, but will our beloved games of today run on any platform 50 years hence? I have some hope for Android games there (Emulators again), little for iOS games. I am pretty unsure though about Modern UI games, modern Windows games and the mentioned Steam Runtime.
Every linux noob thinks Ubuntu is Linux. Ubuntu is a single distribution (distro for short), or build of Linux.
Why Debian and not Ubuntu? - Simple, Ubuntu is a fork, derived from Debian; And yes, Debian is more suited for this purpose.
Ubuntu is released with desktop GUIs and pre-installed packages, and is mainly geared for the end user desktop - this is not an ideal platform to build a new Linux distro such as SteamOS. Debian is a user-centric system, where a system can be built upon the base core.
Take a look at the distro timeline at Wikipedia and Linux Distribution article.
Sorry for the rant - but every time I see someone suggest Ubuntu over another distro, it looks like fanboism.
Yes, Ubuntu is a fork of Debian, however that doesnt make it any less suitable. Proof? There are 78 Linux distros are forked from Ubuntu itself. Ubuntu is a mature Linux OS and is more refined than Debian in many respects.
Im not sayin Ubuntu is better than other OSs, just saying your rant is just a rant with no factual basis.
I thought I gave you proof: Ubuntu comes pre-loaded with desktop GUIs and other user packages, such as office, web browser, etc. - All of which are not needed when building an OS from the base up.
Is Debian the best choice? Maybe? Maybe not? That is for time to decide.
I really don't want to participate in a "Which Linux distro is better?" thread, as this question doesn't apply here.
The real question is "Which distro is the best base?" If steam was to put real time and effort into it, compile their own kernel and code, I'd say LFS, however, it lacks a package/update management system. I can understand their decision to choose an established distro with package management system. (e.g. apt/synaptic/aptitude) Any number of distros can fill this bill, Arch, Gentoo, Cent, Debian, and so on, (provided they support the hardware on which they are being placed, and have no excessive/conflicting software.)
I am more interested to see the hardware optimization that Steam promised. Having a lightweight OS is a good start, but SteamOS wont really catch on until benchmarks show improvements not only on Windows and Macs, but other Linux distros as well. As far as developers porting their games to Linux/SteamOS, the only advantage is like posting 'First' in a forum topic if the OS succeeds, rather than the downside of putting time and resources into porting and the OS just turns out to be another generic Distro. That said, SteamOS is a good concept and I'm hoping it succeeds.
I disagree. While, yes, a solid port of Source Engine is a must-have, I think Valve is going the right direction here by creating a Linux build that's optimized for multimedia performance. One of the biggest problems in the Linux world is the lack of a singular direction; Linus himself is restricting his efforts to the kernel, and the hardware manufacturers tend to be less than forthcoming with Linux drivers or detailed specifications for their hardware.
Where I see the most value in the SteamOS project is in pushing Linux in to the mainstream: Valve knows full well that gamers drove the evolution of the PC industry for more than a decade; I think they're hoping that gamers will have the same effect on the Linux platform.
I don't agree here. If I can have an Open Source OS that provides gaming convenience close to or above a console, I'd happily accept a performance penalty even.
Ideally power users will be able to use Steam on customized systems and hardware (be it Steam OS or other distributions) profiting from increasing commercial support behind relevant Linux drivers and Linux ports of AAA games, while those of us who lack the time, will or knowledge for all the tweaking just buy a Steam Box, even if we don't get the same performance from the same hardware.
Personally I like tinkering but both for getting work done and relaxing with a game I want the system to be reliable above all else.
By the looks of it, Steam is removing the gaming plus of Windows, which'll automatically eradicate 95% the Windows licenses of of the geek population. Looks like it's working, which is pretty great news.
@wilsontp Making their own Linux distro isn't too good an idea. They should focus on making games better on existing distros. Maybe even release special patches for, say, Fedora and Ubuntu to make them work better with games. But making their own distro might eventually lead them to coax developers to "optimize" games for their own distro and discouraging other distros for gaming.
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