Valve releases SteamOS beta, early build-your-own system requirements

As it announced earlier this week, Valve shipped its 300 Steam Machine prototypes to its randomly selected beta testers late today. That announcement was accompanied by the first public release of SteamOS, the currently-in-beta Linux-based operating system that will power Valve’s new gaming-PCs-turned-consoles.

Valve’s announcement post has given us a better idea of exactly what SteamOS includes: it’s based on Debian 7 (“Wheezy”), which Valve has “optimize[d]… for a living room experience.” It comes with the Gnome desktop environment pre-installed, and users are free to download and install other software to the OS as they see fit—while SteamOS is clearly being built with gaming in mind, there’s nothing to stop you from loading it up with productivity software and browsers and using it as a work PC, either.

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