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SteamOS / Steam Machines FAQ

SteamOS / Steam Machine FAQ


What is Steam OS?


SteamOS is our Linux-based operating system. The base system draws from Debian 8, code named Debian Jessie. Our work builds on top of the solid Debian core and optimizes it for a living room experience. Most of all, it’s an open Linux platform that gives you full control. You can take charge of your system and install the software and content that you want.

Which games can I play on SteamOS?


You can play any game that has SteamOS/Linux support. Here’s a list of games that support SteamOS/Linux.

How do I access the Linux desktop?


Login to your Steam account > Settings > Display interface > Enable access to the Linux desktop > Exit settings > Click the ON/OFF symbol in the top-right > Select ‘Switch the Desktop mode’

Where are game files stored on SteamOS?


The Steam installation folder is in /home/steam/.local/share/Steam/

“SteamOS is attempting to recover from a fatal error”


This error shows up if SteamOS fails to start the graphics driver and boot Steam. It can happen after a failed update, or if you have conflicting packages installed. The update installer should self-fix, but if you end up in a never-ending loop, try restoring from recovery and re-updating without cutting power. If all else fails, factory resetting your Steam Machine will fix the issue.

SteamOS fails to update


If an update repeatedly fails, try restoring from recovery and re-updating without cutting power. If this fails, factory resetting your Steam Machine will fix the issue.

Steam Machines

What is a Steam Machine?


A Steam Machine is a compact gaming computer that’s built for playing Steam games on SteamOS. Shop for Steam Machines on the Steam store, or learn to build your own.

Do Steam Machines use game discs?


No; just like a desktop computer, a Steam Machine downloads games from your Steam account (learn about Steam here) and installs them directly onto its hard drive. For this reason, you must have an internet connection to get the full gaming experience.

Do I need a Steam Controller to use a Steam Machine?


You can use any USB input device, including keyboard and mouse, various gamepads, Steam Controllers, etc. Keep in mind that each Steam game is different in its controller requirements – in other words, not all games on Steam can be played with a gamepad.

What if my Steam Machine breaks or needs replacement parts?


Hardware support for Steam Machines is provided by the manufacturer. If you own an Alienware Steam Machine, you can contact their support team here. If you have another brand of Steam Machine, search online for their support resources. If you’re lost, contact the seller for more information.

Can my Steam Machine run Windows or OS X?


Generally speaking, you can install any OS that you like onto a Steam Machine. Each brand of Steam Machine offers something different. Check with the manufacturer of your Steam Machine for instructions on how best to achieve your desired setup.

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