In this tutorial, I will talk about installing steamos in virtualbox. The reason, I wanted to do this was to play around and see how they have put together a debian distribution. One thing, I noticed from my installation was, despite valve’s suggestion in their FAQ, I would not recommend executing ~/post_logon.sh after installation, because it removed dkms and necessary drivers, that were necessary to boot the OS. I guess, this step was the step to make steamos boot directly into big picture mode. In our case, you will have to select SteamOS from login manager and login into user account named steam to login to the big picture mode. If you want to run above script anyway, at least make a copy of the vdi file, after you have updated the steam client. File size is no more than 4G, if you have selected dynamically expanding disk in virtualbox. Also, as suggested by some posts, there was no need for me to remove nvidia binaries after installation.
Use any one of the following links (direct or torrent magnet) to download SteamOSInstaller.zip file. Make sure, to check the hash using subsequent links. In a typical linux distro you can use following command to check hash of a file.
$ md5sum SteamOSInstaller.zip
- iso link
Unzip the file (say you rename the directory to steamos), and create an iso.
$ genisoimage -o steamos-1.0-uefi-amd64.iso -r -J steamos/
One thing to note is, you might not be able to use above iso to boot using a flash drive to install steamos in your hardware. The resulting iso, works perfectly in virtualbox. If you need to create an iso to install steamos on your hardware, use this link instead.
Create a typical virtualbox entry with following information. This is minimum setting. More is always better.
OS Type: Linux Version Type: Debian (64 bit) Memory (RAM): Around 1822MB Disk Space: Around 10G Processor: 2 CPU Enable EFI (special OSes only): Checked Video Memory: 128MB Enable 3D Acceleration: Checked
Also make sure, virtualbox-guest-iso, virtualbox-host-dkms, virtualbox-host-modules are also installed. Attach the iso and complete the installation.
If after reboot the login screen gets stuck in EFI shell, use following command to start grub.
After inserting guest additions cd image, grub might be available in fs1. Therefore, make sure to run grubx64.efi using proper drive prefix.
After the installation is completed, boot into recovery mode and install virtualbox linux additions. For this, select “Insert Guest Additions CD image” from the virtualbox menu. Without this step, I was not able to get to the login window.
# mount /media/cdrom # cd /media/cdrom # sh ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
Now, you should be able to reboot and login into steamos.
There are two user accounts in steamos namely steam and desktop. The purpose of account named steam is to login into steam client and that of desktop is to perform initial administrative tasks, since this is the account that has administrative privileges.
If you want to use steamos as a proper debian installation, you need to add some repositories in /etc/apt/sources.list and run “apt-get update”. For that, use this link to generate the repository list.
If you select Main, Contrib, Non-free as sources, you should be able to install flash, sound mixer with following command.
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-nonfree qasmixer
Now, you can enable audio by turning on and increasing the slider on mixer and pcm on qasmixer.
In this tutorial, I listed steps on how I installed steamos into a virtualbox instance. I hope this was helpful. In future, I am sure the process is going to be a lot easier.