Recently the news was released that a group of enthusiasts of Steam OS, released an unofficial version of the operating system Steam OS 3, which is characterized by being adapted for installation on normal computers.
And while Valve uses Steam OS 3 on Steam Deck game consoles and initially promised to prepare builds for regular hardware, but the release of official Steam OS 3 builds for non-Steam Deck devices was delayed.
That is why a group of enthusiasts they took the initiative into their own hands and, without waiting for Valve, independently adapted the available recovery images for Steam Deck for installation on conventional computers.
About Steam OS 3 (unofficial)
After the first boot, the user is offered a Steam Deck-specific initial setup interface (SteamOS OOBE, Out of Box Experience), through which you can set up a network connection and connect to your Steam account. Via the “Switch to desktop” menu in the “Power” section, you can launch the full KDE Plasma desktop.
In the proposed test version, the initial setup interface a basic Deck user interface is offered, just like him switch to KDE desktop mode with Steam theme, power consumption limit (TDP, thermal design power) and FPS settings, proactive caching of shaders, installation of packages from SteamDeck mirrors of pacman repositories, bluetooth. For systems with AMD GPUs, AMD FSR (FidelityFX Super Resolution) technology is supported to reduce image quality loss when scaling to high-resolution displays.
Packages supplied as part of the package have remained unchanged as far as possible. Differences from the original Steam OS 3 builds include the inclusion of additional applications, such as the VLC media player, Chromium, and the KWrite text editor. In addition to the regular Linux kernel package for Steam OS 3, an alternative Linux 5.16 kernel is offered from the Arch Linux repositories, which can be used in case of boot problems.
Currently, Full support is only provided for systems with AMD GPUs that support the Vulkan and VDPAU APIs. To work on systems with Intel GPUs, after the initial boot, you must revert to earlier versions of the Gamescope Composite Server and MESA drivers. For systems with NVIDIA GPUs, you should load the build with the nomodeset=1 flag, disable Steam Deck login (remove /etc/sddm.conf.d/autologin.conf), and install NVIDIA proprietary drivers .
Main features of SteamOS 3:
- It uses the base of the Arch Linux package.
- By default, the root FS is read-only.
- Atomic mechanism for installing updates: there are two disk partitions, one is active and the other is not, the new version of the system in the form of a prepared image is fully loaded on the inactive partition and marked as active. In case of failure, you can roll back to the previous version.
- A developer mode is provided, in which the root partition is put into writable mode and provides the ability to modify the system and install additional packages using the pacman package manager for Arch Linux.
- Support for Flatpak packages.
- The PipeWire media server is enabled.
- The chart stack is based on the latest version of Mesa.
To speed up the launch of games, the Gamescope composite server is used (previously known as steamcompmgr), which uses the Wayland protocol, which provides a virtual screen and can run on top of other desktop environments.
In addition to the specialized Steam interface, the main composition includes the KDE Plasma desktop for performing non-gaming related tasks. It is possible to quickly switch between the dedicated Steam interface and the KDE desktop.
Finally if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can consult the details, as well as the progress of the project In the following link.