Install SteamOS on Oracle VirtualBox 4.3.10

If you fancy trying out StemOS without the need to invest on expensive hardware’s, then this post would guide you on how to install SteamOS on a Virtual Machine using Oracle VirtualBox. I am testing this on VirtualBox version 4.3.10. The performance on a Virtual Machine cannot be compared to installing on an actual physical machine but using a VM would suffice for test purposes.

Heads Up: You must exercise patience if you are to successfully install SteamOS on VirtualBox 🙂

Step 1: Download latest VirtualBox and Install

[button link=”” style=”download” color=”primary”]Download VirtualBox Manager[/button]

Step 2: Download SteamOS ISO

– An ISO file had been made available for ease of installation

[button link=”” style=”download” color=”primary”]Download SteamOS ISO[/button]

Step 3: Create new Virtual Machine

– Create a New Virtual Machine and use recommended settings below

Type: Linux; Version: Debian (64bit)

Memory: 1024 (minimum)

Disk Size: 40GB or more


– Under new VM settings, click on System > Motherboard and enable ‘Enable EFI (special OSes only)’


– Under Display > Video, set Video Memory to max (128); check the box ‘Enable 3D Acceleration’


– Under Storage, click the disk icon and choose the downloaded ISO


– Set your Network to Bridged Adapter


Step 4: Install SteamOS

– Start the VM, choose Automated install and press Enter


– Wait until is completed. System will auto reboot


– Choose (recovery Mode) immediately and press Enter


– This should load into Linux terminal


Step 5: Remove NVIDIA Package

– Remove NVIDIA

# apt-get purge ".*nvidia.*"

– Regenerate a new configuration file

# dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg


Step 6: Install VirtualBox Guest Additions

– Click on Devices > Insert Guest Additions CD image. Then mount the CD-ROM, Install and Reboot VM

# mount /media/cdrom

# sh /media/cdrom/

# reboot


– System will reboot into GNU GRUB screen. Select the first option and Enter


– When SteamOS desktop appears, Steam Update would start immediately


– After the update, for some reasons, the Partclone ran. After this bit completes, restart the VM


Step 7: Final Config

Note: At first when the system rebooted, I changed the directory to ‘FS0:’ but noticed that when I list the directory, it was showing contents of the VirtualBox Guest Additions tool. So to fix this, I had to shutdown the VM, under settings I unmounted the CD then reboot again

– On reboot, you will be presented with this screen. At the console, first type ‘FS0:‘ as Fox, Sugar, Zero, colon

2.0 Shell:\> FS0:

– Then type ‘efi\steamos\grubx64.efi‘. Enter and wait for system to reboot


– If everything goes well, you should have your steam desktop with you. You can launch Steam by double-clicking on the Steam icon



For those whose screen might be showing blank as I experienced, you need to ensure that your machine meets the supported hardware requirements. In my case, I have an Intel graphics card which isn’t supported yet 🙁

SteamOS Hardware Requirement

  • Intel or AMD 64-bit capable processor
  • 4GB or more memory
  • 500GB or larger disk
  • NVIDIA graphics card (AMD and Intel graphics support coming soon)
  • UEFI boot support
  • USB port for installation

If you fancy loading to the desktop:

  • Press Ctrl+Alt+F1
  • From console screen, enter username as ‘desktop’ with no password
  • Next type ‘Startx’ to start the Desktop
  • If you want to go further, open a terminal and type ‘steam’ to load steam

I will acquire an Nvidia PCI graphics card and try this on a desktop machine and update this post

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