How To – Workarounds for SteamOS beta System Requirements

Friday was one crazy day.  If you were lucky, and I mean lucky, you could get a solid download without disconnect from Steam’s new repository.  There were bitorrent links floating around, albeit with some inherent danger, making a hash check after the download very recommended.  But, as soon as you explored the SteamOS FAQ and subsequent “Build Your Own” page, it was apparent you were dead in the water without a UEFI Motherboard.

The easiest method I have seen so far, is the Debian Wheezy conversion (edit check out Ye Olde SteamOSe below!), in which you start with a simple Debian load, and change a few files.   I say easy, as it leaves little room for UEFI and partition errors, which most have issue with.

In the end, you will still get the experience if you install Steam as a client on a desktop such as Debian Wheezy or Ubuntu, and enable autostart and start in big picture mode as options.  Truly that is your easiest way to Steam rather than messing with SteamOS beta at the moment.

Ye Olde SteamOSe

Thanks a ton to directhex on Reddit, we have our first SteamOS spinoff!  This “distribution” removes the UEFI requirement, modifies the storage requirement to a sane number, and adds support for a number of things including AMD video cards, Virtual Box 3D acceleration, and DVD or USB bootable options for the media.  Enjoy!

Method 1: (easy) Ye Olde SteamOSe

Debian Wheezy Conversion

Method 1: (easy) Conversion of Debian to SteamOS

Running SteamOS on a Non UEFI Motherboard

So what do you do?

Well, if you are like me, and have a current “Steam Box” made out of old, but decent parts (mini-ITX, Nvidia 8800 GTX, AMD X2 Trinity 2.6 Ghz CPU), but no UEFI motherboard, you were wondering some things.  First, can I even install this?  Quick answer is “no,” but in search a bit, that seems to not be the case.

As you will find out, the “recommended” default installation is setup to use a 1 TB disk!  While that is not a hard thing for most to acquire, I had to use exiting parts, including a 500 GB 7200 RPM disk.  So, I could possibly use the “Custom Installation.”  But, as stated, I don’t have a UEFI motherboard.

The Workaround

Thankfully, warriors of the Internet prevailed, and I have seen at least one particular method arise to circumvent the UEFI requirement.  I will use this page as a landing stage for any potential methods I do find, as further clarification of requirements is investigated.  One of the most amusing and practical comments from the Steam Forums regarding this was, “Beta = danger; Linux = Danger :therefore: Linux Beta = danger x 2.”  With that in mind, please use caution.

Method 1 (hard): Grub and SysLinux

Method 2 (easy): Non-UEFI bootable ISO with manual partitioning!

Method 3 (hard): Non-UEFI bootable ISO manual commands

Method 4: (medium) Tricking the Debian Installer

Method 5 (medium) Non-UEFI Bootable ISO Video Tutorial


Running SteamOS on an AMD Video Card

The methods below are currently untested and are not suggested for use on a non AMD system.

Method 1 (medium): Running SteamOS on an AMD Video Card


Installing SteamOS from a Bootable DVD

Method 1 (medium): Creating a Bootable SteamOS DVD with xorriso


General Troubleshooting

No Audio With HDMI or On Board Audio

Getting a Black screen After Running the “” script

Setting The Default Audio Device


About professorkaos64

Posted on 20131215, in Featured articles, Games, Games for Linux and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. You may want to make an edit on the wording of “Running SteamOS on a Non AMD Video Card”. It would more appropriately be “Running SteamOS on an AMD Video Card”. Just a recommendation to avoid confusion.

  1. Pingback: News: SteamOS is LIVE! Go Check it Out! | The Linux Cauldron

  2. Pingback: SteamOS Workaround Added: Ye Olde SteamOS | The Linux Cauldron

  3. Pingback: Announcement – Several Updates for SteamOS Audio Issues | The Linux Cauldron

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s