Valve announces SteamOS Linux distro

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Lawks. Didn’t expect that. Valve has just gone over and above what the rumour mill was suggesting by not announcing the much anticipated Steam Box console-PC, but instead going straight for the big one and unveiling its own operating system. SteamOS is a fully fledged Linux distro in its own right which, according to the official website, will be free to download for all.

I presume that given the relationship between Valve and Canonical since the very start of the Steam for Linux project, SteamOS will be some sort of spin on Ubuntu, but it looks like it’s been optimised purely for gaming. Again, a presumption, but this is likely to mean that it boots straight into Steam’s big screen mode.

The SteamOS site – which has all the information so far published – claims that Valve has been working with big name devs to get their titles on Linux. For games which aren’t ported over, you’ll be able to stream Windows games from another PC logged into your Steam account. That means if your Linux box is by the PC and your big games machine is upstairs, you can play all your games on both machines regardless of platform.

This is really big news. As the PC industry flails I predict it’ll be a matter of days before people start announcing dual booting laptops and PCs that run Windows and Steam in order to try and win some gamer cred. Valve’s been pushing this snowball for over a year now, and I think the slow, relentless and completely focussed way the company has done it will convince developers to start sticking to it fast. This is going to be big.

(Via OMG Ubuntu)

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.