Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 6.15.25 PM

When SteamOS was released in early pre-alpha form by Valve, it wasn’t extremely easy to build and setup a custom Steam Machine — which left excited Steam users (that didn’t get one of Valve’s beta machines) distraught. Thankfully, with the power of the Internet and a bunch of dedicated yoohoos in the Steam and Linux forums, Steam Machines were being born day after day mere hours after the initial release.

And it just got way, way easier.

SteamOS is now available in the form of an easy to use, far more user-friendly ISO — no more custom grub configuration file creation needed, and certainly no more unpacking from Valve’s repository. It’s all thanks to the guys behind YeOldeSteamOS, which in itself is a radical accomplishment.

All you need is a built PC, a 2GB thumb drive or DVD, and an ethernet Internet connection.

How to Install SteamOS via ISO

  1. Download the official ISO from the Steam repository.
  2. Download and extract Win32 Disk Imager.
  3. Run Win32 Disk Imager.
  4. Select the .iso file you downloaded, and have it burned to a thumb drive or DVD by selecting it in the second pane.
  5. Turn on target PC, insert thumb drive or DVD, and restart.
  6. During restart, press proper key to select a bootable device (to boot from thumb drive or DVD), and select the one that applies to you. Usually this is F2 or F10.
  7. Use the automatic installation option when prompted, and follow prompts it mentions regarding when to remove your installation media.
  8. After installation is complete, log onto the resulting system (using the Gnome session) with the predefined “steam” account. The password is “steam”. Run steam, accept the EULA, and let it bootstrap. Logoff the steam account.
  9. Log on with the “desktop” account. The password is “desktop”.
  10. From a terminal window, run ~/ This will prompt for a password – enter “desktop”. This script will perform the post-install customizations, delete itself, then reboot into the recovery partition capture utility.
  11. Confirm “y” to continue and the recovery partition will be created. When it is finished, reboot into your freshly installed SteamOS.
  12. Select the reboot option if CloneZilla prompts you to after this process.

Let me know how it goes! I’ll update this later with steps about getting some of the most up-to-date updates for SteamOS, called alchemist_beta. Again, more on that later.