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SteamOS Didn't Use Ubuntu Over Legal Issues

Gaming

Published on 07 January 2014 02:12 PM EST
Written by Michael Larabel in Gaming
102 Comments

Last month when SteamOS was publicly made available in beta form there were many surprised that Valve based their Linux distribution off Debian rather than Ubuntu, which they had been heavily promoting up to this point for Linux gaming. There was some speculation why Valve went with Debian, but Gabe Newell has now confirmed the reasoning for not basing their operating system off Ubuntu.

Some speculated Valve went with Debian over Ubuntu due to not having to deal with the Mir Display Server, Canonical wanting to be paid for using Ubuntu Core, Valve not liking the direction of Ubuntu, etc. According to Gabe at yesterday's press conference, the reasoning for going with Debian over Ubuntu was simply described as "legal issues", according to our German friends at Heise.de.

We also have earlier coverage on Phoronix from the Valve CES 2014 press conference in SteamOS Update Now Officially Supports Intel and Valve Already Has A Dozen Steam Machine Partners. More SteamOS graphics/gaming performance benchmarks are also coming on Phoronix as soon as I return to the United States in a few days.

About The Author
Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via and or contacted via .
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