- Steam+distro of your choice using your preffered DE and steam as software mixes both worlds of gamers and DE users seemingly, but you opt for some performance loss since you run more services beside the fact that your distro might not implement all performance tweaks (target: computer users who want to play and work at same time while not being scared of sacrificing some performance)
- Steam+distro of your choice by using steam as DE like http://www.webupd8.org/2012/12/bette...ance-with.html. still mixes both worlds, but switching requires login/logout. good thing is that you gain some performance as your session is limiting services that would otherwise eat your cycles. even better thing here is that you retain all your services like network shares and such. and even better case is that you're still open to 1st approach since you can run same steam inside your working DE (target: computer users who separate their work and gaming, but want to use same machine for both worlds)
- SteamOS only becomes viable when you don't want DE and computer functions, but want to squeeze every bit of performance and get console like plug-n-play experience (target: console users who only intend to play on that machine)
- 4th one is actually dualbooting your distro and SteamOS which i think you already thought about it your self and don't like it
your suggested chroot approach is nothing but even larger footprint than any of these 4 since you would try running one complete solution on another complete solution. if you want to fit 15 tons in 10 ton truck, you can't to take 5 ton truck, load it, put it in that 10 ton truck and expect you can now still load 10 in it to transport 15 in one go. SteamOS won't solve your usage case, you should opt for one of other 3. but, if your interest only lies in seeing how it looks, install it in virtual machine which will take way less work
that is the beauty of open solutions. if the way it works doesn't suit you, find another way. that is also the main reason why SteamOS should never, ever have DE. all it would do would be take away one of possible usage cases since it would only replicate one that already exists. and i wouldn't say my world is black and white, i just know exactly which shade of gray i want same as you seem to do. i like things separated, you don't.
Also, some kernel changes from SteamOS may not be useful for non-gaming related tasks, so Ubuntu etc. might not be interested in those tweaks if there are any.
Regarding the hometest repository, yes that includes some SteamOS stuff but it has been known for half a year and it outdated.
The initial SteamOS might not be too impressive yet, I expect bigger bombs to drop in January, both at CES and, if publicly announced, during Steam Dev Days. Valve also added a talk to Steam Dev Days recently where they want to pressure all developers to go fully OpenGL-only, and Source Engine 2 will probably also not have DirectX support.
The machines are due to leave the factory on Friday!
yada.... yada.... yada.....
SteamOS will be made available when the prototype hardware ships. It will be downloadable by individual users and commercial OEMs. (But unless you’re an intrepid Linux hacker already, we’re going to recommend that you wait until later in 2014 to try it out.) We’ll post info soon about that. Oh, and stay tuned for the in-home streaming beta to begin soon, too!
I still dont agree (Valve have said to go stick SteamOS on old PC's, even), but I'm more than happy to agree to disagree =) SteamOS is certainly NOT a console. It is competing with them on the high-end, however. It's simply JAFLD'ing (just-another-fucking-linux-distro). It will also creep down the low-end eventually too, but that's probably not their market right now and will likely come naturally from hardware progression anyway (Intel's onboard video is becoming nothing short of useful for games for example!). A lot of us, despite the Steam-DRM and personal details tracking thing, are keen to see this happen 'for the much benefits of game lovings' on systems we can control and love and just get over and get shit done with already! Watch the market open up for apps otehr than games, particularly for things that are related to games at first.
if i tell you my history, you might understand better why SteamOS is true answer for some ppl like me. being avid linux fan from 94 and avid gamer i had 2 choices. use Windows all together (completely unacceptable) or dual boot to play and work. that time i decided to go with 3rd optionm console just to retain my pure linux work environment. and truthfully, i was really happy with my decision as PS just worked which was never true for gaming on windows and i never looked back... until PS3 came it all looked fine and dandy, but lack of support, constant extremely bad network lag, removing features... well, not a happy camper anymore. then comes Steam which runs on my favourite OS, i can run it any way i want... HELL, YEA!!!!!
i never, ever installed even solitaire or tetris on my work machines. while i have around 150 games for ps3 and 100 for ps2. and yes, i lose those in any case no matter which next-gen i decide to go with. but, jumping on steam wagon with pure steamos+steambox now enables me using OS of my choice (which was my original wish), retaining console feeling (i really started to like console and having work separated) and never lose my library again (pain that came with every next-gen is gone), not to mention my console somehow became free to use in different ways. my main gaming machine will be defacto stembox+steamos, but this time i might consider buying some notebook which can run games too since my library will be shared between console and my working OS.
as i noted in second answer there are 4 basic ways to implement whole "I play games on Steam+Linux". SteamOS+Steambox is just lowest denominator of those aimed at specific public like me. as far as old pc's... no, they never said that. proclaiming that would be a blatant lie. all you need is search any valve steamos article and you'll see what they really said. well, in short
- they won't restrict you where you install steam in any view (hw, software, distro), but that doesn't mean it will play everything with full settings
- they plan to set development gaming hardware margin for gaming companies to target. this one was always the terrible side of pc compared to console. if you develop for console you know exact hardware you need to target for everyone using it. for pc... not really. they always told about 3 spec categories (good=streaming only, better=can play games and serves as low machine standard for developers to rely on which is steambox, best=build it your self from rocket science parts). they also said they plan to incorporate hw checkups whether your system can play some gome or not.
- their box and their distro is nothing but set standard for what and how to base on when you want to make it work for your machine or your distro or for developer to have a stable test bed
to clarify you one more thing, otherwise you might be downright terrified right now if you look their "better" hw specs.
i7 and 970gtx? i mean how is that just better, but remember long cycle of console and speed pc hw goes obsolete. in 2 years any 30EUR graphic card will be just as fast. and in 2 years you'll having hard time even finding computer as slow as that no matter how low cost it is. it is a long play game where PC really benefits and linux even more
but, that doesn't make it as no 970gtx, no playing for you. it just means that you won't be able to play 1080p/60fps with stereoscopic 3d enabled.