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In the article, it says that SteamOS is based on Ubuntu. Is this true? And if so, does this mean that Steam's entire library will be available on Ubuntu? Sorry, slightly off-topic. Article Link

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... and yes, more detailed Steam OS Q's will be off-topic unless via Meta the community considers it on-topic – fossfreedom Oct 14 '13 at 10:03
SteamOS is based on Debian, and so is Ubuntu, which should make Ubuntu and SteamOS similar. – John Scott Jul 23 '14 at 15:32
up vote 8 down vote accepted

No, its based on Debian 7.1

See for more info.

You can browse the test repo at

It includes a steam-desktop metapackage as well as steam client and valve recovery partition

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There are two questions here:

Steam OS is Ubuntu-based (EDIT: this appeared to be the case at the time, now evidently the correct answer is that it is actually a new Debian-derivative). Therefore it is likely that most games ported to Steam OS will also be runnable on "stock" Ubuntu (although I imagine that post Steam OS Valve is less likely to be interested in supporting other Linux versions).

The entire library is very unlikely to be available on Linux (in my opinion - what follows is unsourced):

  • Major bits of middleware (eg, Unreal, PhysX, etc) will presumably be ported, and recent games that are built on them can presumably then be ported easily. New games using these will probably be available for Linux.

  • Some recent games using such middleware might be ported. Nonetheless, companies have relatively little incentive to add support for a new platform for something which is no longer a big seller and for which they already have your money.

  • There are fair number of games that are, for want of a better word, abandonware - the original developers have gone bust or the publisher has scattered them to the winds, and there is little or no chance of anyone digging up the original code and making a Linux port.

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Since Steam OS isn't released yet and there is no official information on what Linux distribution it will be based off, we are left speculating about it now.

Since Steam for Linux is currently officially supporting Ubuntu 12.04 and 12.10 that the future Steam OS will be something that is very similar to Ubuntu. Even when it won't be Ubuntu, porting the software to Ubuntu and its brethren will be easy.

You might find more information on the Steam on Linux community page.

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Original quote from

So, what is SteamOS Beta?

SteamOS Beta is an early, first-look public release of our Linux-based operating system. The base system draws from Debian 7, code named Debian Wheezy. Our work builds on top of the solid Debian core and optimizes it for a living room experience. Most of all, it is an open Linux platform that leaves you in full control. You can take charge of your system and install new software or content as you want.

But also they say:

Not running Linux yet?

Ubuntu is our favorite version of Linux.

So i really hope that they support both. And because Ubuntu is based on Debian too, i would guess they do.

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