SteamOS


Fzero

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Mar 9, 2010
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Who knows much about this?

http://store.steampowered.com/livingroom/SteamOS/

I'm not sure I understand it properly.

SteamOS is a new OS based on GNU/Linux, and will allow you to run your Windows games too.

I've just got into Steam, got a few games, but I chose to install Steam onto my Windows machine, as it had a greater library of games, that was the only reason.

Games like Strider and Trials Evolution, both only available on Windows platform.

Now I boot up my Steam, and I click into the Big Picture Mode, as that lets me use my control pad to navigate the menus and is built for using on the telly rather than a [in most cases] computer monitor or laptop screen.

This new coming SteamOS is also targeted for the large home screen telly.

On that page I linked above, it states:

Available soon in both SteamOS and the Steam client.
You can play all your Windows and Mac games on your SteamOS machine, too. Just turn on your existing computer and run Steam as you always have - then your SteamOS machine can stream those games over your home network straight to your TV!

So soon, I'll be able to have a PC with Linux, ideally Bodhi, running SteamOS installer, and still be able to play the games I have downloaded against my account which show as Windows only?

Don't really get this, or am I wrong here?

Also, where it mentions 'stream those games over your home network straight to your TV'. What is this meaning, currently the games are not streamed are they, I'm downloading the games to local path \Steam\SteamApps\common.

Is this some new streaming to smart TV if connected to your home network, or is it just meaning the same as Big Picture Mode, sending the game to your telly via HDMI?

I'm a bit confused, as Steam is all new to me. But I am thinking I should get this SteamOS when it's available and I'd probably have a dedicated PC or laptop for it
 

WizardStan

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SteamOS is a Linux based operating system that idealy has the Steam client built into it. As I understand it, the client is still entirely closed source which is unfortunate as I'll come to in a moment.

Now, for starters it is a Linux client so all their current Linux offerings will (should) just work. You boot your "TV PC" and it starts steam and there are all the games you've bought that have Linux equivalents.

What it is also bringing to the table is a streaming feature: if you have a Windows PC with Steam installed you can have your SteamOS connected to your TV streaming the audio and video from your Windows PC (which is able to run the games that down't have Linux modes) over the network.

Now where the unfortunate bit about the closed source comes in is that that includes their streaming: I had in mind of a cheap ARM machine (possibly even the Pandora or Pyra) that would use SteamOS to stream games from a networked Windows machine, but apparently that isn't possible. You can load the operating system, as it is entirely open source, but none of the Steam components.

Anywho, hope that helps answer your questions.
 

Fzero

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Yes it does thanks.

I'll keep my laptops Windows Steam client installation then, for those Windows-only games ... and get another machine to dedicate to SteamOS and make use of that new streaming feature.

I like the look of Steam so far, I'm hoping that SteamOS will be even nicer in that it'll seem more 'console-like' in how I boot it up and get straight into Steam gaming, rather than at moment having to boot up, get all that windows guff then having to launch Steam client.

I want it more like a console so just power up and away you go. I guess the OS will offer that
 

WizardStan

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From what I understand it is still dependent on the x86 binary blob, but getting closer. That is my vision as well, a cheap ARM device that just handles IO.
 

Fzero

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Hang on a minute... What's all this Steam-In-Home then...

Sounds great, I just the other week removed the Windows VM I had on my Mac, partitioned 100GB with Bootcamp and installed Windows on there just for Steam, to enjoy Big Picture mode.

It's good, but wasn't enough HDD allocation really, so I removed it, partitioned again but with 500GB this time, plenty space for games now :)

I have a wired 360 pad which I use on it, but I just yesterday ordered one of those wireless receivers for the wireless 360 pads, so I can use one of the wireless ones and kick back on my sofa while playing ... I also got a display port 3m cable to stretch from my Mac to my larger telly.

Now though, seems I can scrap that plan, forget about the long display port cable I have stretching across my front room, and take advantage of this instead.

I have a "lesser" PC which is already hooked up to my telly but is not powerful enough to run a lot of the games I have, which is why I partitioned Windows onto my Mac in the first place, as that's far better spec than my Windows PC.

Now I can essentially utilise the power of the Mac, and stream Steam over my WiFi to my lesser Windows PC which is sitting under my telly already... No long cable needed... High end games now playable :)

Sweet.

Will be trying this out later tonight for sure

edit:

Download once, play anywhere 
No need to wait for your game to download again when it’s already installed on one of your home computers.
So this means, I can install a lot of my games onto my lesser PC, as that has a 320GB drive with next to nothing installed on it, saving my Mac HDD a bit?

I guess so from that statement.

Looks like I didn't really need to re-partition my Mac to allocate more disc space then, could've kept 100GB allocated to the Windows partition and just used the 320GB from the other PC for saving the Steam games to
 
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WizardStan

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Now I can essentially utilise the power of the Mac
Only if the game plays on a Mac in the first place, and if that were the case you wouldn't have had to partition to Windows.This is a means for running Windows games on a powerful Windows machine and streaming them to less powerful computers which may not necessarily be running Windows.

So this means, I can install a lot of my games onto my lesser PC, as that has a 320GB drive with next to nothing installed on it, saving my Mac HDD a bit?
"Download once" means download onto the powerful machine that will actually be playing the game."play anywhere" means play on any of the networked devices that run SteamOS.

That's what I understand the statement to mean. I'm pretty sure you can't download it to one computer, have it run on a more powerful second computer, and stream play it on a third.
 
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Fzero

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Now I can essentially utilise the power of the Mac
Only if the game plays on a Mac in the first place, and if that were the case you wouldn't have had to partition to Windows.
This is a means for running Windows games on a powerful Windows machine and streaming them to less powerful computers which may not necessarily be running Windows.

So this means, I can install a lot of my games onto my lesser PC, as that has a 320GB drive with next to nothing installed on it, saving my Mac HDD a bit?
"Download once" means download onto the powerful machine that will actually be playing the game.
"play anywhere" means play on any of the networked devices that run SteamOS.


That's what I understand the statement to mean. I'm pretty sure you can't download it to one computer, have it run on a more powerful second computer, and stream play it on a third.
Most my games are Windows only, hence the partitioning, but the Windows partition of my Mac is still more powerful than my Windows HTPC [my 'lesser' machine]... that's what I meant.

Games which ran really poorly on my HTPC, like F1 2013 and Prototype, run perfectly on my Mac via the Bootcamp Windows partition, and are Windows versions of the games.

I'm not looking to stream play onto a 3rd machine. Just have the 2 machines, the Mac[bootcamp Windows partition] and the HTPC.

But, now you mention it, and I think about it, I guess it wouldn't be worth doing what I was considering... as the HTPC would be serving up the games I streamed from it I guess... So if I had, for example, F1 2013 installed onto the HTPC and then streamed that onto my Mac, the game would still run poorly on the Mac as essentially it's being started up/processed from the HTPC, which can't handle it.

Oh well nvm, I can't really make use of the storage disc space on my HTPC for storing the game installs, but being able to stream from my Mac[bootcamp Windows partition] to the HTPC hooked up to my telly will still be a very nice thing
 
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