The first pre-stable edition of what will become SteamOS 1.0 has been released. That is SteamOS 1.0 Beta.
But be warned, as this beta release is not like the releases of other Linux distributions. And that’s because unlike those other Linux distributions (yep, SteamOS is a Linux distribution), there is no ISO installation image that you can download and burn to a DVD.
No, SteamOS is not that advanced. According to the official news release:
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.
As an “early, first-look” release, instead of an ISO installation image, you get either a 960 MB or a 2.4 GB zip file that you transfer to a USB stick and use to build your own Steam Machine. Whether you are an experienced user or not, the instructions for building a DIY (do-it-yourself) Steam Machine are easy to follow. The zip file you download will involve a different set of instructions for building your Steam Machine.
So if you are up for some fun adventure, head on over here for the build instructions and access to the download links. I’ll be doing the same and will post screen shots as soon as I’m done.