A new Beta Steam release is now available for download
The Beta version of SteamOS, a Debian-based distribution developed by Valve to be used in its hybrid PC / console, has just received an update and numerous packages.Valve has two builds for SteamOS. One is a stable version (sort of) and the other one is a Beta (Alchemist). The two versions are not all that different from one another, but the Valve developers are using the Beta release to test some of the new updates before they hit the stable branch.
According to the changelog, the NVIDIA driver has been updated to version 337.19, which is the latest Beta release and one of the most advanced versions. The Intel graphics driver has been updated to version Mesa 10.1.6+, the AMD graphics driver is now at version 14.10.1006 (the latest stable release available, the Steam package has been updated to the latest version, an apt security fix has been implemented, a new dpkg version has been implemented, and a new fonts-liberation packages has been added.
Also, a new release of the Iceweasel has been implemented in the operating system, the libav library has been updated to a newer version, an upstream security fix for nspr has been added, a new OpenSSL packages with lots of security fixes has been added, a new version of Samba has been implemented, the latest upstream version of tzdata has been implemented, and unnecessary 5 seconds delay on shutdown/reboot has been removed, and the latest vdpau-video packages is now used.
This is just the Beta version of SteamOS and not all of the packages included are stable. It will take a while until all these chages will be added to the Stable branch.
The system requirements for Steam OS haven't changed and have been pretty much the same since the beginning: an Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor, 4GB or more memory, a 250GB or larger disk, NVIDIA, Intel, or AMD graphics card, and a USB port or DVD drive for installation.
Check the official announcement for more details about this release. You can download SteamOS 120 Beta right now from Softpedia and take it for a spin.
SteamOS is not a regular Linux distribution and it's still far off from a day-to-day operating system. There are still a lot of things missing from it, and for now it's only usable as a gaming platform. It's possible that this will change in the future, but it will take a while.