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Alpha17x Dec 14, 2013 @ 8:44pm
Steam OS Installation Guide (UEFI Work-Around)
Steam OS Installation Guide (UEFI Work-Around)

YOU ASSUME ALL RISK FOR FOLLOWING THIS GUIDE. VALVE DOES NOT SUPPORT THIS GUIDE, VALVE DID NOT WRITE THIS GUIDE. THIS IS NOT GAURANTEED TO WORK.

There are easy install ISO's out there now made by other users. look for them and see if they work for you before you try this. This guide is a 'last resort because nothing else worked' kind of thing.

Credit: FrostyCoolSlug on Reddit
Kisa, Doc Holliday, SudoAptGetPlay, StevenRaith, darkkterror on the Steam Universe Group

Disclaimer: Remember this before you begin. Doing this will likely get SteamOS installed on the desired system, however the hard drive will be wiped in the process. These instructions do not take dual boot into account. These instructions assume you are getting set to do this using a Windows based PC.



Part1: Getting the USB stick ready.


Download Steam OS (Get the Custom Beta Installation)
http://store.steampowered.com/steamos/buildyourown

Make a folder on your computer and name it ‘SteamOS USB’ or whatever you want as long as you keep track of it.

Within the folder you’ve created, create a folder called ‘grub’ and ‘syslinux’
Unzip the contents of the steamos zip file into the root folder you created.
-Make sure you’re not using the sysrestore.zip file.

Download syslinux and unzip it into the syslinux folder
https://www.kernel.org/pub/linux/utils/boot/syslinux/syslinux-6.02.zip

Now go get the two grub packages provided to us by FrostyCoolSlug from reddit.

http://www.l4d3.org/grub-pc_1.99-27+deb7u1+steamos3+bsos1_amd64.deb

http://www.l4d3.org/grub-pc-bin_1.99-27+deb7u1+steamos3+bsos1_amd64.deb

Save these files into the grub folder of under your SteamOS USB folder.

Get a USB stick/key and make note of the drive letter that windows assigns to it.
As with FrostyCoolSlug’s original instructions; we’ll assume it’s d: but make sure you get it right.

Once you’ve got the USB stick in, right click on it in the computer window. Choose to format it. Use the Fat32 file system and set the allocation size to default if it’s not already. Once it’s finished go ahead and close the format dialogue. You’re ready to move to the next step.
Open command prompt as an administrator. Using the drive letter that windows assigned to your usbkey type the following, replacing the example drive letter with your own

d:\syslinux\win32\syslinux.exe --install --mbr --active d:

Make sure you’re using the correct drive letter or you will have a very bad time. If you get a message saying that it’s not a removable drive stop. Cancel, and double check. If you do this on your root drive you are screwed hard. After you’re done, go ahead and close command prompt.

Now, open up notepad and paste the following into it;

DEFAULT linux
TIMEOUT 50
LABEL linux
kernel install.amd/vmlinuz
append initrd=install.amd/gtk/initrd.gz preseed/file=/cdrom/default.preseed DEBCONF_DEBUG=developer desktop=steamos auto=true priority=critical video=vesa:ywrap,mtrr vga=788 – quiet

Go to file> save as. Name it syslinux.cfg and change the file type from txt to all. Save it into the root folder of your SteamOS USB folder. It should be in the same folder you unzipped the OS zip file into.

After all of the files have successfully copied to your usb stick in the computer dialogue screen (the one that shows your hard drives) and choose the eject option. After you get notice saying it’s safe, take your usb stick out. Your SteamOS USB stick is ready.



Part 2: Installing SteamOS

This could be smooth and easy for you, you could be pulling your hair out. Best of luck to you.

Turn on your target PC and enter the bios.
Make sure that the first boot device on the list is one or all of your usb ports if your computer has multiple usb boot options just put them all at the top of the list. You want to make sure the system boots from your SteamOS stick before it boots the hard drive.

Once you’ve got it set, put your USB stick in and do a ‘save settings and exit’ Your system will restart and should boot from the USB stick. The installer will start automatically, at this point the old contents of your hard drive are pretty much gone. The installer will eventually say that it failed to install GRUB. Don’t worry. FrostyCoolSlug has our backs.
After you see the screen stating that GRUB failed to install, do not hit continue. Press Ctrl+Alt+F2 . You’ll be in a command line interface
Press Enter once it comes up.

Type the following 4 command lines in order;

chroot /target /bin/bash
apt-get install grub-common grub2-common
dpkg -i /media/cdrom/grub/grub-pc-bin_1.99-27+deb7u1+steamos3+bsos1_amd64.deb
dpkg -i /media/cdrom/grub/grub-pc_1.99-27+deb7u1+steamos3+bsos1_amd64.deb

It is really easy to get these wrong. Go slow. Triple check for typos.
The dpkg commands will show a lot of text if they succeed or fail so check the top line after you enter each command. It will tell you if the command worked. If it did, move on to the next step.

You should see a blue screen asking you to make a selection just press enter. it will ask you you want to continue without installing GRUB. Say yes and don't worry, we're just going to do it from the UI.

Once you’ve successfully entered those four lines press Ctrl+Alt+F5 to get back to the OS Installer UI.

Press ‘Continue’ to try the grub install. It should work this time. It may give you a dialogue saying it’s about to install grub. If you get this just press continue on it.

If all goes well the rest of the OS should install. You’ll get a message that says the install was successful and to take your media (the USB stick) out so it doesn’t restart the install. Make sure you take your stick out at this point. If you do not, your hard drive will get wiped by the USB stick and you will have to start from the beginning of the install process. Pay attention to what is happening here.



Part 3: You will beg for death before the end!

So you’ve got the OS installed, but that doesn’t mean you have anything working. You’re in the home-stretch now!

When the OS loads for the first time you’ll be greeted with a login screen. It will have a picture of a PC with the name ‘steamos’ this is not the account name, it’s the name of your computer.

Click on ‘Default XSession’ and change it to ‘GNOME’ use ‘GNOME’, not gnome classic, not anything else. Just ‘GNOME’ in the user field type in ‘steam’ all in lower case and press continue/enter. It will then ask for a password. Enter ‘steam’ all lower case.
Congratulations you’re inside a linux desktop. This doesn’t look very fancy or Steam-ish. Don’t worry, you’re not done. Yep, you’ve got EVEN MORE to do!

Got to the activities menu on the top left. Then click on applications. Open the ‘Terminal’ Application.

Once the terminal window opens you’ll notice if you’ve never seen it before that it’s a command prompt. Type in ‘steam’ and press enter. A steam EULA should open. Agree to it, and press okay and next whenever you are prompted to do so. Once it’s done and off of your screen close the terminal. You are ready for yet another step.

At the top right of your screen where it says ‘steam’ click on it and choose the logout option. You’ll see a 60 second count down. Just tell it to logout now. There is another account we need to sign into. This time enter the username of ‘desktop’ and the password of ‘desktop’
Open the terminal window again. Enter the following command;

./post_logon.sh

Include the period at the front of the command. Steam will now create a recovery partition and remove the setup account and restart.

At this point you may fail to boot. If you do one of two things are going to happen. It will boot or it won’t. Restart your computer if you have to. If you see the same thing and it failed to boot again, you are SOL for the time being. If you see a loading bar on the bottom of the screen, cry tears of joy. You are F-ing done. It will take a minute or so to load and you will see what looks like Steam Big Picture Mode come up.


Congratulation, you did it. Drink a bottle of vodka and cry softly into your pillow.
All you have to do now is make a new, or log into an existing steam account. You can ask it to save your password to avoid having to enter it every time if you don’t share your computer with others. You can enable a desktop option in the settings if you need to do any back-end admin or configuration things.

You may not have sound. You’re on own for getting that working if it’s not.

All credit for this guide goes to the people mentioned at the beginning of it. I simply compiled it based on the help they provided to me from the thread on reddit and the Steam Universe discussion.




Last edited by Alpha17x; Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:41pm
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Showing 1-15 of 31 comments
borg_7_of_9 Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:27pm 
And I can say it works a treat... but note: if you are on older HD4xxx or below AMD cards you are sol.... Not sure what the cutoff if for Nvidia..
Last edited by borg_7_of_9; Dec 14, 2013 @ 9:28pm
omega552003 Dec 14, 2013 @ 10:37pm 
Originally posted by borg_7_of_9:
And I can say it works a treat... but note: if you are on older HD4xxx or below AMD cards you are sol.... Not sure what the cutoff if for Nvidia..

The Radeon 4X00 series and older are considered legacy hardware, The last drivers supporting these cards is Catalyst 13.1 Legacy and doesn't support anything newer than Ubuntu 12.04. Unfortunatly for AMD users, the Linux drivers are not as polished as the nVidia ones are.
'Airstrike' Ivanov Dec 14, 2013 @ 10:38pm 
I wasn't able to create the recovery partition. SteamOS ran fine without; but I am going to try this installation a second time over.
stray77™ Dec 15, 2013 @ 6:25pm 
will this guide work for someone who's installed steamOS but experiences the black screen after rebooting following creation of the recovery partion? (everything worked according to instructions up to that point). Its not a grub issue as tty2 is up and i can startx while the steamOS is a black screen. (P8Z77-V Pro, i7-3770k, 16gb, 1TB, GTX660Ti, 24" 1080p led via hdmi)
p.s. my machine has no issues (after tweaking the bios) booting the uefi usb with SteamOS.zip extracted to it.
Last edited by stray77™; Dec 15, 2013 @ 6:27pm
JUST MONIKA Dec 15, 2013 @ 6:32pm 
Originally posted by stray77™:
will this guide work for someone who's installed steamOS but experiences the black screen after rebooting following creation of the recovery partion? (everything worked according to instructions up to that point). Its not a grub issue as tty2 is up and i can startx while the steamOS is a black screen. (P8Z77-V Pro, i7-3770k, 16gb, 1TB, GTX660Ti, 24" 1080p led via hdmi)
p.s. my machine has no issues (after tweaking the bios) booting the uefi usb with SteamOS.zip extracted to it.

No, the referenced guide only helps those without UEFI BIOS boot the installer and installed system. It won't do a thing for you.
Alpha17x Dec 15, 2013 @ 7:30pm 
This guide will not help you Stray77.

I must ask however; How long have you waited on the black screen? I'm running steam OS non a non-UEFI laptop. It takes about two minutes to go from a black screen to steam loading up in big picture mode. After that it loads and runs smooth.
borg_7_of_9 Dec 16, 2013 @ 1:10am 
Originally posted by omega552003:
Originally posted by borg_7_of_9:
And I can say it works a treat... but note: if you are on older HD4xxx or below AMD cards you are sol.... Not sure what the cutoff if for Nvidia..

The Radeon 4X00 series and older are considered legacy hardware, The last drivers supporting these cards is Catalyst 13.1 Legacy and doesn't support anything newer than Ubuntu 12.04. Unfortunatly for AMD users, the Linux drivers are not as polished as the nVidia ones are.

I know this already! I'm sure the info is handy for others though..
But I know the fix works as I used it on my newer rig which also has AMD cards...
stray77™ Dec 16, 2013 @ 1:39am 
Originally posted by The President:
This guide will not help you Stray77.

I must ask however; How long have you waited on the black screen? I'm running steam OS non a non-UEFI laptop. It takes about two minutes to go from a black screen to steam loading up in big picture mode. After that it loads and runs smooth.

I've walked away and eaten dinner...
I've decided to add the debian repos to /etc/apt/sources.list and see if I can't get things going, apt-get is telling me their are missing dependencies and on my last install attempt I spotted 1 error (in red) scrolling by as well. I'm throwing debian 7.1 on another system (P5W-DH Deluxe, E6600@3Ghz, 4GB, 500GB, GTS250) to try this ->
http://steamcommunity.com/groups/steamuniverse/discussions/1/648814395815055799/
ddanjovi Dec 16, 2013 @ 7:27pm 
@ The President
i get this far
chroot /target /bin/bash
apt-get install grub-common grub2-common
dpkg -i /media/cdrom/grub/grub-pc-bin_1.99-27+deb7u1+steamos3+bsos1_amd64.deb
dpkg -i /media/cdrom/grub/grub-pc_1.99-27+deb7u1+steamos3+bsos1_amd64.deb

when i type the first line of code it says i cannot change directory :(
i have followed it as much as i can

also i was wondering is this command suppost to return anything?
d:\syslinux\win32\syslinux.exe --install --mbr --active d:
it looks like it does not return a result is that suppost to happen? the result just goes on a new line thats about it, btw i am pleased i have got steam os install screen to boot its progress :)

I am using windows xp as admin
Alpha17x Dec 16, 2013 @ 8:21pm 
the syslinux command line should just go to the next line. You get an error if you do it wrong and nothing if you do it right.

for the dpkg commands pay close attention to hyphens (-) versus underscores (_) it's easy to mix the two up, or do what I have the habbit of doing; which is just using hyphens.
As well, those -i lines are i as in india, not L or the number 1.

I've done this 6 times now (I tweak and wipe) so i know those lines are correct. I use the guide as reference for myself. and I re-do the usb key because I'm trying to find other ways of making it work.

ddanjovi Dec 16, 2013 @ 8:53pm 
@The president ty for your response i am still having trouble with the command line
chroot /target /bin/bash
chroot: can't change root directory to /target: No such file or directory
once again i am sorry to ask you, you seem to be the only hero for steam os :)
Alpha17x Dec 16, 2013 @ 10:20pm 
So you're at the part were grub failed to install, and you then pressed ctr+alt+f2 on your keyboard to get to the console. You pressed enter to activiate it. otherwise you can't type (or shouldn't be able to anyway, i wasn't)

and then you entered the chroot command?
I can't think of why it's not working for you. your formatting looks correct as well.

Here is thread from reddit:
http://www.reddit.com/r/SteamOS/comments/1su4t1/uefi_requirement_with_steamos/

scroll down to the first post by 'FrostyCoolSlug'.
ddanjovi Dec 17, 2013 @ 12:54am 
I found this the dude has made an iso so just burn to disk it seems much simpler to use but i do apriciate your help dude,
http://w3.reddit.com/r/SteamOS/comments/1sww9o/download_nonuefi_bootable_iso_with_manual/
FrostyCoolSlug Dec 17, 2013 @ 1:22am 
Originally posted by ddanjovi:
I found this the dude has made an iso so just burn to disk it seems much simpler to use but i do apriciate your help dude,
http://w3.reddit.com/r/SteamOS/comments/1sww9o/download_nonuefi_bootable_iso_with_manual/

Yeah, people have built ISOs which resolve the grub-pc[-bin] dependency issues as well as a few other issues, something I wasn't really focusing on doing when I came up with the original guide (my priority was getting something that worked most of the time out there as quickly as possible). If you're having problems with my guide, you'll probably have more success with the ISO. Good Luck!
stray77™ Dec 17, 2013 @ 3:07am 
just a little help for some...he has us running syslinux from the usb stick before we actually copy it there, as a result following exactly didn't work for me. For me, the command line to make the usb bootable with syslinux was...
C:\Windows\System32>C:\Users\User\Desktop\SteamOS\syslinux\bios\win32\syslinux.e
xe --install --mbr --active f:
So my SteamOS folder was on my desktop with syslinux-6.02.zip unzipped to it, the path to syslinux.exe was a little different (bios) and my usb drive was drive f:

To check if syslinux was successful, you can dir /a:h f: to show the hidden files created:
C:\Windows\System32>dir /a:h f:
Volume in drive F is STEAMOS
Volume Serial Number is 8844-53F1

Directory of F:\

12/17/2013 05:19 AM 67,072 ldlinux.sys
12/17/2013 05:19 AM 122,044 ldlinux.c32
2 File(s) 189,116 bytes
0 Dir(s) 6,913,601,536 bytes free

p.s. Thanks to The President, im downloading dota 2 on my steamos box now. (P5W-DH Deluxe, E6600@3Ghz, 4GB DDR2-800, GTS250, 500GB HD)...now to get the sound working. Oh and I know what I did wrong on my UEFI system now too, so double thanks.
Last edited by stray77™; Dec 17, 2013 @ 3:57am
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All Discussions > Steam OS > Topic Details
Date Posted: Dec 14, 2013 @ 8:44pm
Posts: 31