Stephenson's Rocket, a modified SteamOS installer that provides users with much better support for a wider array of hardware, has just received a new version and is now available for download.
Soon after SteamOS was released by Valve, the Linux community contributed to the project by launching a parallel version, which improved upon the official operating system in many ways. When the original OS reached the public for the first time it was a mess. Users couldn't install it from a DVD or USB and it was very limited as a basic OS.
This is when the Ye Olde SteamOSe project was born. Its developers implemented a vast array of new features and they even managed to get a few versions out the door. Valve soon realized that it was embarrassing to have a parallel distro doing the same thing, but better, and adopted all the changes Ye Olde SteamOSe brought to the table.
“SteamOS is now shipping, in beta form at least, and it's all cool and stuff. Stephenson's Rocket replaces the Ye Olde SteamOSe project by building back on Valve's installer with bug fixes and improvements - especially hardware support,” reads the official website for the project.
The developers of Stephenson's Rocket has explained what the advantages of the project are. For example, the new distro supports all the networking firmware a normal distro does, not only Realtek, it can resize NTFS partitions, has support for LVM and RAID, features open source drivers for old video cards, and best of all, the system lets users to update it.
The latest version of Stephenson's Rocket integrates quite a few interesting changes and improvements. It has been rebased against the Valve 2014-02-17 ISO combined with update level 93 packages from alchemist_beta, it has support for dmraid (software RAID and it has been tested on Intel only), it has support for ATI cards not supported by the proprietary fglrx driver, and the partman-target.udeb packages has been included.
The rhythm of updates for SteamOS has slowed down somewhat in the past couple of months, but that doesn't mean that the Linux community will stay on their hands an do nothing. The Stephenson's Rocket alternative will provide users with an alternative to SteamOS and from what it we can see so far, the new distro has a lot more features than the original.