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SteamOS and PlayOnLinux

Discussion in 'STEAM Powered Linux' started by booman, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I've read a few posts here and there...
    PlayOnLinux is able to run in SteamOS, but its harder to set up everything due to the desktop/window managers that aren't exactly easy to access.
    From what I've read, SteamOS starts in a Big Picture mode where you can do everything you want Steam related, including internet browsing, streaming music, watching movies etc.

    I wonder if there is going to be a community of people who purchase the Steam Machine but want to run some Windows games in PlayOnLinux/Wine?

    Maybe I should install SteamOS and try to do a guide on how to Setup PlayOnLinux?
  2. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    This must have come about during my absence... Has Steam gotten anywhere with their OS?
    Does it make more games available, new windows games?
  3. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    If I remember correctly, you can stop Big Picture mode in SteamOS to get a regular desktop, from which I assume you will be able to start other programs. I suspect the SteamOS package repositories do not include anything else than the strictly required software, so you may need to download PlayOnLinux from the official website. I don't know how much software is preinstalled on SteamOS, so in worst case scenario you may need to figure out what dependencies you also need for PlayOnLinux to run in SteamOS.

    Keep in mind that SteamOS can't be installed alongside another OS as it will format your hard drive during install. At least this was the case when I last read about it.

    Please do post your results if you do test it.

    @Daniel~
    SteamOS is still in public beta, and the selection of games will simply be all Linux games available on Steam. According to:

    http://store.steampowered.com/search/?term=&sort_by=_ASC&os=linux&page=1

    There seem to be well over 4000 games available.
  4. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I still hesitate to try SteamOS because Linux Mint does everything I need for computing and gaming.
    The only reason I wanted to try SteamOS is to do PlayOnLinux tutorials. But there doesn't seem to be a big demand for this.

    I wonder if you can install SteamOS first, then install another distro?
  5. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    If you install SteamOS first, then it should not be a problem to reduce the size of the SteamOS partition in a Live environment, and then install a second OS for dual booting.

    You can add non-steam games to the Steam library. Which basically means you can add PlayOnLinux shortcuts to launch from Steam. For SteamOS users, this might be interesting as it would let them launch all games directly from Steam.

    You know, if SteamOS runs in virtualbox, then I will have a look and see how this would work. I'd also be interested to see what software is available in the official repositories.
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  6. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Keep us up-to-date on your findings
    I wouldn't mind running SteamOS and doing some PlayOnLinux Guides
  7. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Thanks for the link Daerandin.
    From what I'm seeing at a glance...
    Steam is on it's way to creating a game box...bring your own box...":O}
  8. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Thats funny... SteamOS BYOB
  9. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    Instead of trying it in VBox, I decided to use my other laptop which I am not using currently. It is not a particularly powerful laptop. It got 4GB RAM, which is minimum requirements for SteamOS, an i3 cpu and 400GB hard drive. But it should be more than enough for the things I want to try.

    It is currently installing as I am posting this.

    If you want to try, Booman, then keep in mind that SteamOS requires a motherboard with UEFI, BIOS boot is not supported by SteamOS. The SteamOS installer is not an iso file, but a zip file. You will need a USB drive with mbr partition table (not gpt) and format it with fat32. Then copy the contents of the zip file over to the USB drive.
  10. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Im following your experiment with interest,,,As I have 90 gig SSD that I pretty much use to try different destro's.
    (without arousing any suspicions in mint about my loyalties) ":O}

    So I download a zip...
    ( Is it self opening , I suck at tar and all other forms of non self opening files...
    Place contents on a USB formatted With a
    " mbr partition table"

    Does this simply mean ?Make disk bootable" or is there more involved?
    Format USB to fat 32...

    (Am I the only one who wonders about Steams choices with USB install, Fat 32, formatting and using Zip rather than ISO?

    Oh well, if I seem to be pointed in the right direction...
    Where can I DL the zip if you please?
  11. Daerandin

    Daerandin Active Member

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    First of all, Installing SteamOS will erase all data on all connected hard drives as far as I know. There is no dual-boot option, not even any option to select partition scheme. So do not install it on a computer where you have data you don't want to lose. It will also require UEFI firmware, which most newer motherboards should have.

    SteamOS also created a recovery partition the first time you boot it up after installation. I do not know if it is safe to install a second OS later for dual booting, since it could be that SteamOS would take control of all partitions and hard drives if the recovery partition is updated.

    Official instructions and download is available from here:

    http://store.steampowered.com/steamos/buildyourown

    The zip is a regular zip file, you should be able to open and extract it with just about any archive program. Once the USB is ready, you can simply extract the archive to the USB drive.

    When you partition a storage device, you need to select what partition table to use. The two most commonly used are mbr and gpt. I think you can do this in gparted, you need to select to create new partition table. Then you need to select mbr. I have seen some programs label mbr as "ms-dos partition table", so look for that if mbr does not seem to be available. Personally I use fdisk/cfdisk and gdisk/cgdisk for partitioning, but those are only terminal programs without a graphical interface.

    You must also remember to make the new partition bootable. And then format it to FAT32.

    I was also surprised that they don't supply an iso file for this, but perhaps it makes it easier to make frequent modifications to the install medium when it is supplied in a zip file.

    Just ask if you get stuck. But do keep in mind, installing SteamOS will erase all data on your hard drives.

    I have had a little look around in the operating system. It is indeed made to only run in Steam Big Picture mode. Enabling the desktop from within Steam settings will also give you a warning that using the desktop is unsupported. This is probably just to keep Valve from having to provide support for computer newbies possibly breaking the Linux OS. All packages required for PlayOnLinux are also not present. I am considering enabling Debian8 repositories to get all the packages, or if I should just download them manually. If Aptitude or apt-get can list all packages that were not installed from repositories, then I can more easily track my own modifications to the operating system. So I will have to read up on those package managers before I decide.

    Personally I do not have the biggest interest in SteamOS. If you install Linux Steam on any Linux distribution, then enable Big Picture mode, you get the same experience. But I am interested in the possibility of integrating PoL shortcuts into the SteamOS interface, and I want to test that within SteamOS to ensure that things would work as intended.
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  12. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    I truly appreciate the time you've taken to lay this out for me..
    I run four other drives on my system besides my main drive...

    "I think I'm going to have to this over once again"

    (A wore-out and raggedy penguin if you can place that quote! ":O}

    I have a real bug about OS's that can't keep their code to themselves and assume that you naturally want them and only them! ":O}
    I had Ubuntu re-name all my drives (without asking) and was stuck with it until I decide it was time to re-do my main drive from scratch.
    All I wanted to do was take a quick look, everybody else
    (Most other destro's)
    let me peek without renaming everything thing Ubuntu this and Ubuntu that so that I end up having two UEFI listings for each drive as well as a original
    (compatibility boot).
    system listing of each drive.
    AFTER I had un-installed Ubuntu!!
    What Nerve! LOL

    So I guess I'll wait until we know a bit more about the way it plays with others.
    But you have given me a much better understanding as to why this seems to be going so slowly...
    Never ask a volunteer or a beta tester to fall on their swords for you...sums it up for me.":O}
  13. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    Since I have focused all of my time on Non Linux games in PlayOnLinux/Wine... SteamOS seems to NOT be an option for me and a lot of gamers coming from Windows. There is still a massive list of games that won't run in SteamOS without Wine.

    For me it comes down to Mint and ease-of-use. I spent the last 4 years learning Mint and I am absolutely satisfied with Cinnamon, Nemo, Package Installer, Driver Manager and many other elements. In fact I'm so happy with them I feel "disabled" without them in Ubuntu or Fedora.
    Mint has become my "Windows XP"
    I'm most familiar with it, love the themes and graphical user interface. I know how where to go to make changes I need and I can do it quickly. I know other distros can install and run Cinnamon but the way Mint bundles all of it from the installation makes it much much easier.

    If SteamOS can run PlayOnLinux/Wine with little hassle, then I'll consider it, but if it requires a bunch of setup, installation, libraries/packages and dependencies that are all unsupported... then I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.... yet.

    Maybe someone will make a fork of SteamOS and have all of this bundled with it. Like a SteamintOS :D
  14. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm alright then?
    It's not just me?
    I thought I was losing my mind!

    I kept trying to break this thing with Mint off!

    What if I have grown to narrow in my appreciation of Linux as a whole?

    Will Linux Terminal users still respect me when they find out
    "I just used ""Software Manager" to install it?
    Or
    Will they laugh at me when I confess

    "I don't remember how to install Nvidia drivers in Linux"

    Or if I breathlessly report in the Linux forums I put before all others:

    "Say have you heard Mint 17.3 just upgraded Device Manager again!"

    Will I look like I only love Mint for saving me from Linux?

    There I said it! AND It's true!!

    I love Mint for having saved me from Linux.

    For having saved me from a complexity that overwhelmed me and
    To be honest made me a bit of a permanent burden on my more gifted fellows.

    Mint now does for me pretty much everything I use to have to ask others with help with.
    I still need help of course!
    And thankfully I still get it.

    Free and open Sourse heard me crying in the wilderness
    and in my bedroom at night!
    For years I whined and cried!

    Then One Day I asked C.C to recommend a new destro as Fedora seemed to be getting worse rather than better for the unskilled.

    I cried my last when upon my first boot a window appeared to say:

    "We see you nave an Nvidia graphics card.
    Would you like to install Drivers for your card?"

    I couldn't believe it, I said sure!

    It didn't install my drivers. It produced a list of drivers from Nvidia that were"Suitable for my card"
    And then the bastards won my heart for ever by making a recommendation from the list, but leaving it up to me! A choice I could handle at last!! ":O}
  15. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I owe it all to you Daniel!
    If it wasn't for you trying Mint and playing some games, I never would have tried it myself.
    I would have been stuck with Ubuntu, which isn't that bad, but Mint is soo soooo soooo much better.
    I guess I would have eventually tried Mint and loved it, but you set the pace by trying it first

    Thank You

    By the way....
    I found an extremely easy way to Update your Nvidia drivers
  16. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah Boo that may be so...
    How some ever...
    When I started hitting road blocks in POL I had time to watch you buzz right by me a blazing a path, or at very lest refining the path to Mint Gaming...

    Why do you think I kept bugging you about trying Mint?
    Altruism?

    OH! Foolish child!

    I wanted to be able to hitch my wagon to your rising star! ":O}

    "Easy way to install Nvidia?"
    Easier than clicking on Device manger and saying yes? ":O}

    OK! I know where your coming from!
    After years and years struggling in one destro or another to get at lest SOME functionality for your card...
    If there is another easy way...
    Hell man! We want to know about it!! ":O}
  17. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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    I'm going to create a step-by-step guide with pictures.
    Its super easy because all you need to do is:
    • add PPA
    • Update Cache
    • Open Driver Manager
    • Select New Driver
    • Click Apply
    Thats it! All this time I've been waiting for Mint to provide a new driver for me and I could have let their Driver Manager install it for me. I don't know why it wasn't obvious, but no one explained that was how the Driver Manager worked. I always thought it would only pull drivers from Mint repositories, but now I know it pulls drivers from any PPA repository.
  18. booman

    booman Grand High Exalted Mystic Emperor of Linux Gaming Staff Member

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  19. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    Then home page is where I want to be! Thanks Booman, I'm always in the mood for improvement!
  20. Daniel~

    Daniel~ Chief BBS Administrator Staff Member

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    For those among us to lazy to follow links...
    I tried it, it didn't try me!
    Huge improvement in the selection of drivers offered to the user.
    Once Boo's simple instructions are carried out;
    you continue to use Driver manger as you did before, but a better, wiser, kinder Driver manger than we knew till now.

    Daniel ~ sobs quietly at his keyboard:
    "We love you Mint, We love you"

    Daniel ~re-reads his post and goes to check he hasn't made a mistake with his meds.":O}

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