Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/179455/how-to-dual-boot-windows-and-steamos/
Valve’s SteamOS is a living-room gaming operating system based on desktop Linux. It’s currently in beta, but you can install it yourself on almost any computer thanks to Ye Olde SteamOSe, a modification of the SteamOS installer.
This is a nice guide.
But my question is... why?
What is the point of this SteamOS? And especially, what's the point of a Steam box?
SteamOS is going to be a big deal.
If you haven’t been keeping track, SteamOS is Valve’s attempt at creating a Linux-based PC gaming operating system. It’s designed to run on Steam Boxes, which are PCs for the living room. Steam Boxes (or “Steam Machines”) and SteamOS are designed to compete with traditional living room consoles like Xboxes, PlayStations, and Wiis. They bring a PC gaming experience to the living room.
SteamOS is based on Linux, so games that run on SteamOS will also run on Steam for Linux. SteamOS will be available to everyone for free, so you’ll be able to download yourself and install it on your existing hardware if you like. You can hack away at the system and modify the software, just as you can on a traditional Linux distribution.
This project is Valve’s attempt at dragging the PC gaming ecosystem away from Microsoft Windows, giving it a chance in the living room. Building up Linux will give the entire PC gaming industry an escape hatch if Microsoft locks down a future version of Windows completely and removes the desktop.
The great thing about SteamOS is that it's based on Linux, so you can tweak and customize your own steam box, rather than being locked into a specific vendor. As of CES there are at least 13 vendors making steam boxes, but you can actually build your own if you want.
For more, see our previous article:
What's the point of any video game console?
The whole point of SteamOS on a dedicated hardware device is that is'a console, not a PC. PC's have yet to be accepted as living room appliances, partly because Windows is not a 10 foot friendly OS, and partly because PC manufacturers have never bothered building a mainstream gaming-class PC in a case that works well in the home theater.
So when you ask "what's the point of SteamOS or Steam Box?", you should also ask "What's the point of a PS4? What's the point of an XBox One?" They're all just computers, after all.
(And FWIW... I plan on buying a Steam Box when they become available, but the first thing I'm going to do is wipe the hard drive and install Windows 8.1, which rawks on the TV.)
Actually from what we've seen so far, you'll be able to use the underlying Linux system on a Steam Box. No word on how that actually works yet.
Sorry, I could have been less flippant with my original comment. I didn't mean to come off aggressively like , "Why would anyone do this stupid thing?" I just don't understand what Steam is hoping to do here.
What I mean is, it seems like the Steam Box inhabits a strange No Man's Land between consoles and PCs. Maybe, in the end, it will turn out to be the best of both worlds, but right now it seems to me like the worst of both.
Consoles are nice in that they offer easy setup and common standards between all owners.
PCs are nice since they're customization and can be used for other things besides games (Consoles are adding more functionality now too).
PC gamers are likely/frequently/possibly building their own PCs already, to their own specifications and for cheaper.
Right now, you can hook your Windows PC to your living room TV and play PC games AND do all the things a PC normally does. I feel like the Steam Box is stripping away useful PC functionality without getting the end product "console-y" enough to be simple and non-geek friendly.
SteamOS is a weird thing to me since Steam just came out with Big Picture Mode which is intended to run Steam on your living room TV through a PC.
Is a Linux-based Steam OS going to be so great for playing games that it's worth losing all your familiar Windows Apps? Possibly Linux can be tweaked and configured to squeeze extra bits of horsepower out of your PC for game playing
I currently have my Windows 7 PC hooked up to my bigscreen. It's great. It's mainly for streaming shows via Netflix or Hulu. I hear I can do that with an Xbox or Playstation. Does that require an extra fee? I can look at gmail or browse youtube or whatever. OR I can install and play video games. Right now, I wouldn't trade all that for a Steam Box.
Maybe the intention is to try to grab typically console gamers and bring them into Steam's ecosystem. I can understand that move.
Maybe Steam OS will be great and awesome and I'll set up my PC to dual boot it, like the article suggests, for when I'm in the mood to play games. I can't see myself ever buying a Steam Box instead of a PC, though. But I guess we'll see how things turn out!
The Steam Controller, I can at least see what they were trying for. Who knows if it will turn out decent.
Here's an interview from Rock Paper Shotgun
Sounds like even Steam can't give a real answer why you would want a Steam Box.
Why are you planning on doing that?
I thought the point of the Steam Box that it's running the "game-oriented" Steam OS?
If you're going to run Windows, why are you buying a Steam Box?
To be honest, I completely agree with you. I think a special Steam OS is not going to be commercially successful. It only runs something like 10% of the games on Steam, and it runs none of the games I'm interested in.
I think the motivation for Steam OS comes directly out of Windows 8 and the walled garden Microsoft put up around the full screen interface. Much like on the iPad and iPhone, you can not sell Windows 8 programs outside of the app store. Anything that uses the full screen interface (aside from web browsers; that seems to be a special case) requires you to list it on Microsoft's store.
Naturally, the people at Valve see this as a direct challenge. Since the Microsoft store ships with Windows, it's natural for people to go there first to buy the things they want, rather than install a whole new tool to buy and install software.
So Valve's answer is to roll out a competing OS: and that's what SteamOS really is. It's an attempt to replace Windows at home with Linux, by way of the gaming community.
If Valve wants SteamOS to succeed, they've got a big task ahead of them: the most important thing is to port and/or WINE enable a large part of their library.
The sad part is that if Valve had designed the Steam Box strategy around Windows, it would be a no-brainer. Who wouldn't want a smaller, more powerful PC? Instead, they're trying to compete with Microsoft to put another desktop OS out there, and I just don't think it's going to succeed.
(Of course, I also thought the Chromebook was a bad idea, and look at how those are starting to multiply like rabbits.)
I've already said that I think the OS is a non-starter... I'm interested in the hardware. I like the idea of a small PC that blends in with my home theater components. My current HTPC is a mid-tower case that takes up too much space and uses a lot of energy. I'm more than happy to replace that with something 1/4 of the size.
I followed the instructions as described ... up to the point where I am able to created the first partition, but when I clicked on continue I am not the option to create the "SWAP" and the third "RECOVERY PARTITION". My leftover space of 70GB shows up as "UNUSABLE" - Ay ideas ?
This is on a laptop with Win 7.
Ok - I got beyond this one - I had too (4) many PRIMARY partitions and windows only allows for 4 PRIMARY partitions. Had to delete the OEM partition and the RECOVERY partition on my laptop and was able to get the partitions created. phew !!
Also a lot of snapshots are missing when I have to create the SWAP, RECOVERY and the HOME partitions !! Please add them.
I used the "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iiidu3jHWLQ&feature=youtu.be" YouTube video to complete the rest of teh installation
Ok - there is an ERROR in this article. The login name is NOT "steamos" ---- it is "steam" when you login.
Anyone tried this with a NVIDIA Optimus in notebooks?
Everything went well but on second boot no display anywhere (main screen, HDMI, VGA).
Will this automatically update when Steam releases an OS update? If I remember right I read that the OS will automatically update to new releases when available but since this is a "tweaked" version will it still update and if so without it harming any other OS's on the HD?
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