I would really like to use the system for emulation and GZDoom (especially on the portable steam machine) but it's probably not possible on Steam-OS.

EDIT: I know that Steam-OS is linux, but it is a stripped-down version (no file management, no desktop and no media playback) and I'd rather use something more versatile.

EDIT: I'm an idiot. You can use the desktop and file management in SteamOS (darn you, Forbes for lying).

  • 1
    I do believe that steam OS is its own Linux Version
    – Judge2020
    Aug 23, 2015 at 14:55
  • Oops, just saw the answer below.
    – Judge2020
    Aug 23, 2015 at 14:55

2 Answers 2


The Steam Machines all run a custom version of Debian called SteamOS.

While usually you are jailed within the Big Picture mode, Valve does provide a method to escape to a full-on Linux desktop:

  1. Head over to the Settings menu:

  2. Select Interface and check Enable access to the Linux desktop:
    (source: howtogeek.com)

  3. Now, you can use the Exit command to quit to the desktop:
    (source: howtogeek.com)

From here you have access to all of available Linux, including a terminal and whatever apps you want to install. Do note, however, that you have left the safe-haven set up for you by Valve, and you are responsible for your own actions out here.

Images and steps sourced from HowToGeek


Actually, Steam-Os is running Linux(Debian linux)! The machine pre-installed Steam. Every time you boot up, the system automatically run Steam in Big Picture mode.

  • Yes, but Steam-OS is a stripped-down version of linux (no file management, no desktop and no media playback) and I'd rather use something more versatile.
    – doomer
    Aug 23, 2015 at 15:18
  • If that is the case, I think I would say you couldn't.
    – Angelo
    Aug 23, 2015 at 15:19
  • I don't see why not because Steam-OS is Debian-based. The problem is that there are no tutorials on it.
    – doomer
    Aug 23, 2015 at 15:24
  • No, I think It's almost impossible to edit a file whilst there is no file management application. If there is a button to open up the terminal, It gets better.
    – Angelo
    Aug 23, 2015 at 15:27
  • Some steam machines (Alienware Alpha for example) have USB ports and maybe it's possible to use an live USB with linux.
    – doomer
    Aug 23, 2015 at 15:30

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