Steam Deck supports multi-boot for different operating systems
Valve’s next Steam Deck will be able to boot a variety of operating systems.
The company posted an FAQ for Steam Deck on Wednesday that answers some of the most common questions Valve has received about the PC gaming handheld. It was previously said that you will be able to install third-party operating systems on the Steam Deck. However, the FAQ expands the process a bit further and notes that the device will display a BIOS menu on boot capable of loading a different operating system.
“Multi-boot is supported: you can have multiple operating systems installed and choose which one to boot to. Users will have access to the BIOS menu, ”the FAQ states.
By default, Steam Deck will run Valve’s own SteamOS, based on the Linux operating system. But with the multi-boot option, you can choose to install and load Windows 10, Windows 11, or another Linux distribution.
Of course, you will need enough space on your device to do this. The Steam Deck will arrive in three models starting with 64 GB, 256 GB and 512 GB storage capacities. Fortunately, the product also comes with a built-in microSD card slot, from which you can boot an operating system, note the Valve FAQ.
Although Steam Deck runs Linux-based SteamOS, it can also run Windows games, thanks to a technology called Proton. As a result, Valve promises that the handheld will be able to run the entire Steam library, despite the lack of a built-in Windows operating system.
Still, Valve’s FAQ says the handheld will have some limitations. For example, the handheld can technically be connected to a PC virtual reality headset, but the hardware has not been optimized for virtual reality experiences. So you will likely get below average performance if you do.
If you’re hoping to add even more power to the Steam Deck by plugging in an external graphics card, there’s bad news: “No, external GPUs aren’t supported on Steam Deck,” the FAQ says.
The Steam Deck arrives in December for customers who have pre-ordered the device from the Steam Store. If you order one now, expect the handheld to arrive after Q2 2022 due to strong customer demand.
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