How to Install SteamOS

With the recent release of the beta version of SteamOS, Valve is throwing themselves into the operating system market. SteamOS is based on the Debian distro of Linux, and has been receiving a lot of press for being a great gaming platform. We decided to put together a guide for installing SteamOS, so that you can try it out for yourself.

Before you begin installing the new operating system on your machine, you have to make sure that you meet the minimum hardware requirements:

  •     Intel or AMD processor
  •     4GB of RAM or more
  •     a 500GB hard drive or larger
  •     Nvidia video card (Valve states AMD and Intel graphics support are coming soon)
  •     UEFI boot support
  •     a USB port for installation
  •     a 4GB flash drive or larger

* Don’t forget that installing SteamOS is like installing any other OS – it will reformat your hard drive and delete all of your data.

Preparing a Bootable Flash Drive with the SteamOS Installer
Note: The instructions below are for Windows 7

1. Because SteamOS is installed with a bootable flash drive, you will want to format your flash drive to FAT32. Right click on the USB drive in My Computer and select format, then change the file system from NTFS to FAT32 (if it isn’t already FAT32). Follow this by clicking format to wipe the flash drive.
2. Download the from <-- click it
3. Open the zip and extract all files to the freshly formatted flash drive. Remember to not open the flash drive to view its contents after the unzipping is complete since you won’t be able to boot from the key after that.

Installing Steam OS
1. After making the bootable flash drive, shutdown your system.
2. When you start your system, press F8, F10, or F12 to get to the Boot Menu and select the flash drive as your Boot Device.

3. Your machine will then boot into a black screen with the Steam logo. The screen will have three options: Automated Install, Expert Install and Rescue Mode. Select Automated Install (Note: This will reformat your entire hard drive and delete existing data.).

4. The installation will take about fifteen minutes. After the OS finishes installing you will be prompted to reboot your system and to remove the flash drive.
5. When the OS boots back up, you will have the choice of two options: SteamOS GNU/Linux with Linux 3.10-3-amd64 and SteamOS GNU Linux with Linux 3.10-3-amd64 (recovery mode). Make sure you select the first option.
6. You will see a login screen. Enter both username and password as “steam.”

7. You will now see a desktop GUI. Go to the top left corner of the OS and click on Activities, then click on the “Applications” tab, followed by “Terminal.”

8. When the Terminal opens, type in “steam” and hit enter to start installing Steam.
9. After the installation finishes, login to your steam account!

That relatively easy installation is all you need to do to have an OS dedicated to Steam and all the games you love