While I was lurking in the community Discord, I found out that ChimeraOS – essentially the fans’ version of SteamOS 2.0, featuring much more up-to-date packages and some other goodies, while still retaining the console-like experience – had its’ third anniversary last Friday. I’m more or less going to paste what I said in that Discord:

“I had reviewed the distro over on Boiling Steam two years ago. I remember I installed it on a small, red cube-shaped PC I had at the time. It was a great experience. A far superior choice to SteamOS 2.0 as far as features and updated packages, while still maintaining a console-like experience.

As time goes on I know ChimeraOS is only going to get better, I’ve pointed out flaws in the distro in times past and the developers have been quick to fix them. For instance, I pointed out that you could only install the distro via Ethernet; well, now you don’t need to! Plus the Steam Buddy interface is freaking awesome.

I really like the devs too. They’re passionate about what they do, particularly @alkazar79 and @Ruineka. Love having conversations with them. Had an interview with the former a few months ago.

I could go on and on…I just hope Chimera will be the replacement for SteamOS 3.0, just like it was for 2.0. SteamOS 3.0 needs a serious upgrade.

So yeah, I guess the TL;DR is Chimera is a great choice to transform a PC into a console, it not only plays Steam games but also retro games as well (Melee head, as someone recently called me). So keep it up guys, really appreciate this project and what you do for it.”

As you can probably tell, I’m really passionate for this project, and I love where it’s going. ChimeraOS is definitely the way to go if you have an extra PC lying around and want to transform it into a living room console. It still uses the atrocious Big Picture Mode interface by default, but you can use the Steam Deck UI after a couple of tweaks.

Though the review is showing its’ age, it’s still worth giving a read (back at the time it was known as GamerOS). I heard that the next version, 34, will be out soon. I may very well take another look at the distro here on LGC…

Note that audio still doesn’t work on the Deck, but I’d love to see this distro be the eventual replacement for SteamOS 3, if Valve doesn’t update their operating system any time soon.

chimeraos on deck Image credit: ChimeraOS Twitter

I honestly kind of wonder what SteamOS 3 would have looked like if it weren’t for ChimeraOS. I wonder if they still would have went with Arch, use the immutable file system, etc. But know this, ChimeraOS dev team – you were the ones who laid the foundation and picked up Valve’s slack. Congrats on being around for three years; here’s hoping it sticks around much longer than that!

WARNING: LGC will be shutting down March 7, 2024. See this post for more details.