Valve Publishes Packages For Their Linux Distribution
Written by Michael Larabel in Valve on 2 April 2013 at 01:06 AM EDT. 40 Comments
For Valve's forthcoming Linux-based Steam gaming console the first packages are starting to emerge within a package repository on the SteamPowered web-server.

Valve's "Steam Box" will likely be shipping with a customized version of Debian/Ubuntu Linux at its heart. I've already written some early details about their Linux-based hardware gaming console for the living room based upon details I've known of within this article since talking with Gabe Newell last year at Valve about their Linux plans. For months I have been saying that their software platform will likely be based upon Ubuntu, likely "Ubuntu Core" and obviously an LTS release.

Anyhow, it was tipped off to Phoronix there's now a "hometest" Debian APT repository that has been public the past few days on the SteamPowered.com server. This repository is different from what's found in the public/default "steam" package repository.

Their known repository just has contained the Steam and Steam Launcher packages for Debian/Ubuntu-based distributions. What's of interest within this new "hometest" repository. The repository notes that this is for "Steam packages and updates for Steam based on Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS."

Found within the package pool are experimental NVIDIA Linux graphics drivers, a Plymouth boot splash screen for Steam, and Valve wallpapers. There's also the Steam Linux client binary already offered to Linux gamers. A "steam-autoupdate" package is also present, which all it does is drop in a daily cron job of running the apt-get upgrade process in an automated manner.

That's about it for now. It's not too exciting but does continue to signal their plans for an Ubuntu/Debian base for their forthcoming hardware console. Expect more information in the coming months.

Whether Valve ends up releasing their software platform as a "Steam Linux" distribution in its own right remains to be seen, but you should be able to achieve much the same effect by simply installing Steam on Ubuntu Linux. Expect most of the Steam software experience on the console to just be self-contained within Steam's "Big Picture" mode while being an open stack underneath for those Linux enthusiasts wishing to do some tinkering.

About The Author
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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