Stephenson's Rocket (formerly Ye Olde SteamOSe) is an open source Linux operating system based on the SteamOS distribution created by Valve. It has been engineered to support computers that still run a legacy BIOS (Basic Input/Output System).
Features at a glance
The distribution comes with a modified SteamOS installer, adding support for virtual machines, as well as older computers. In other words, with this project you will be able to run the SteamOS desktop on your old, BIOS powered computer or under a virtualization software, such as VirtualBox or VMWare.
In addition, this remix of the SteamOS Linux distribution supports dual boot, LVM (Logical Volume Management) and RAID Redundant Array of Independent Disks (RAID). It allows users to resize NTFS partitions, includes built-in support for many sound cards and wireless/wired networking cards.
Another interesting feature is the built-in support for older AMD/ATI Radeon graphics cards, by using open source video drivers. Furthermore, it includes all the necessary tools to help users update the distribution with all the latest stuff themselves.
Distributed as an installable-only DVD
The project is distributed a single, installable-only DVD ISO image that provides users with the ability to rescue an existing operating system, as well as to install the SteamOS distro, with or without RAID. Both expert and automatic (recommended) installation methods are available.
Features a standard GNOME desktop environment
We should also mention that the GNOME desktop environment is used by default after installation, and includes the Iceweasel web browser, Evince document viewer, Eye of GNOME image viewer, Nautilus file manager, and, of course, the Steam for Linux client, which will be automatically updated and started when the OS is booted for the first time.
Summing up, you should definitely download and use the Stephenson's Rocket Linux distribution if you want to install the SteamOS operating system on an older computer or laptop that uses BIOS and a video card that’s not supported by Valve’s edition.