Are you using SteamOS on your PC as primary OS?

I installed Steam OS on my Intel i5, 16 GB memory, 250 GB SSD, Nvidia GTX 970 gaming PC, and I've been using it for about a week now. I was wondering if anyone else has tried it on their main gaming rig? What were the good and bad points?

-Plays all the SteamOS compatible games (so far)

-Limited features that PC users would expect to be there
-Occasionally buggy: kicks from game and reboots unexpectedly
-Some buttons don't work with keyboard and mouse: unsure about Steam Controller (don't own one)
-I accidentally added several shortcuts to the Debian calculator in SteamOS, but removing the duplicates took forever as I had to navigate several menues to remove them one at a time! Then I found that the calculator does not work in the Steam OS interface.

I'll keep using SteamOS as long as Valve keeps refining it. I can do my PC tasks elsewhere.

In my opinnion, steam OS does not make much sense to me.
I mean you can simply install the steam app, on allmost any other OS,
And you basicly sorta kinda get the same thing.
But installing the steam app on any other operating system, Windows or Linux.
Basicly does not limmit your desktop experiance in anyway.



Install Linux + Steam = productivity + gaming.

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I completely agree. Console Gaming on the PC is just not right considering that the main reason one chooses PC over console is the higher degree of convenience (one spends a lot of time on the computer anyway), the more lenient DRM schemes (at least in regards to Steam and GOG), and the customizability of the system and its games.

I'd much rather build a PC for my living room that I install Windows and Steam on, along with an HTPC software and a few emulators.

The only way Valve is going to get people on the Steam Machine is if they adopt the practices that the console manufacturers have: make the Steam Machine MORE than a PC, not less.

Id consider putting steam OS on a dedicated build for games and stuff. But for my main desktop.. why? Your restricting your PC from general purpose to valve purpose. Thats not to say the steam OS cant be used for other stuff, just that other OS' may have better support for general computing.

So I run Fedora 23, with steam. I want steam OS.. press the button on my steam controller, or just use steam as normal.

If i was building a gaming box for someone that didnt want to fuss around and just wanted a living room type experience (like Kodi for media playback) id install steam OS more than likely for them.

Bit of a lengthy one but I put SteamOS on a dual boot recently. It wasn’t a total disaster just a headscratcher ..

firstly my experience was the exact same as yours down to the calculator shortcut lol

most keyboard shortcuts ( back space, escape in certain menus ) don’t work depending on where you are in the client. In fact I had to use the controller to exit menus even though the keyboard and mouse were plugged in, even the steam icon to main menu button didnt work i had to use the 360 controller home button !

Then there were typical learning curves which took some time and frustration to get things right, like the downloads menu and the downloads pause and que menu.

But worst of all as confirmed by Valve SteamOS doesnt support any higher resolution at the moment than 1080p .. that makes the UI blurry on a higher resolution screen.

Even in game the resolution menus don’t work so I couldn’t higher than 1080p on SteamOS , not a lot of people know that but valve are working to fix that in a beta update I believe and it will require a forced to 4k resolution command to be entered AFAIK so not for every day users ( which was kind of the point wasn’t it ? )

Other than that often vsync worked well but was not able to be defeated in menu's where by on the desktop client you can .. which helps for a lot of games that run smoother at really high FPS unlocked (not to mention thats higher refresh out of the window )

In the end a nice install of Ubuntu Gnome / Mint / Arch Linux with any number of possible alternatives:

Big picture on steam start with startup application being steam
Login option for Big Picture mode on Linux login menu
Manual launch using the desktop steam controller driver as a mouse
Hi-DPI selected on Linux desktop with game icons as launchers
Real deal steamOS installation as Login option ( yes thats possible )

I just lose so much of what I can do on my desktop.

Other than that .. The browser is TOO scaled in , like its 250% equivalent zoom and too much even for a 10foot interface. I can add Firefox / Opera to Big Picture as a launcher on Linux and it seamlessly ( and nicely animated ) full screens firefox back on the desktop to browse ( with script blocking, cookie blocking and all those addons and bookmarks etc.. ) until I close and then really smartly it goes back to Big picture and doesn’t get stuck on the desktop, which is pretty much better than SteamOS will ever be able to muster.

In many real tangible ways Big Picture is better than SteamOS Big Picture, which is just a way of making the migration to a Linux ecosystem easier for new users IMO.

Still I do think running Linux with Steam is better than Windows with Steam for a HTPC ( for me anyway ) because Linux is more akin to a console OS in that its processes sit quietly in the background, there is no firewall pop ups or virus checkers, malware stuff, endless menus and updates with auto reboots (like win 10 ) it can be built with a minimal install, boot in 2secs and sit there just letting Big Picture get on with what it wants to do in absolute silence using less than 250mb of RAM but still be a full desktop OS with all the stuff you need.

Im not sure valve would even endorse Debian SteamOS over someone with the ability to setup a Debian Linux+Steam Big Picture system with some custom controller button mappings for desktop navigation from the couch.

Ironically the more Dev's that make games for SteamOS the more those menus that take you from the UI to the desktop will be phased out.

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ohh I forgot to add for anyone who says you can add Firefox to SteamOS .. You can, but the UI doesn’t let any pop up menu work, so you cannot access any bookmarks and you cannot get into the preferences menu of firefox or opera hence you cannot control the privacy experience or login to accounts for sync. Its the same for any other application added.

So really imo, SteamOS is totally inferior for all but the most casual/non computer literate person to Big Picture + Linux desktop once you have controller mouse emulation selected for the desktop and Hi-DPI mode enabled which takes less time overall (install + setup ) than the entire install of SteamOS.

Id even go as far as to buy something nice like the Alienware Steam machine and put a Linux desktop + Steam on rather than just SteamOS.

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Thank you for sharing your experience. I am finding the exact same issues. I'm optimistic about Steam OS' future, and I'm looking forward to seeing where Valve goes with it.

Same. If they open up the door to a better application handling system. better resolution support, vsync toggles or profiles and other goodies that desktop users get then it would be not hard to turn it into a viable experience.

in the mean time il stick with my methods.