Steam Deck by Valve: Portable Gaming Console That Runs Arch Linux

Valve is getting into the handheld gaming business - some of the latest AMD architecture power Steam Deck for top-notch AAA gaming action.

Valve has taken Linux seriously for years, and the Steam Deck is the company’s next big move. The company just announced the upcoming Steam Deck handheld gaming PC.

We think Steam Deck gives people another way to play the games they love on a high-performance device at a great price.

Gabe Newell, Valve founder

The device will sport a stunning SteamOS 3.0 operating system based on Arch Linux and fully use Proton’s ever-expanding support for Linux gaming. Proton is a compatibility layer for those unfamiliar, allowing Windows games to run on Linux-based operating systems.

The SteamOS 3.0 has been optimized for handheld and touchscreen gaming, while it will also have a desktop mode for those who want it.

Steam Deck Specs

Hardware-wise, the Steam Deck uses AMD’s Zen 2 CPU architecture up to 3.5 GHz boost and 8 GPU cores based on RDNA 2 GPU architecture. This means that the processor component is similar to AMD Ryzen 3000-series processors on desktop, while the GPU component matches the Radeon RX 6000-series graphics architecture.

Steam Deck, a handheld gaming console, is a 7-inch touchscreen device with 16GB of LPDDR5 memory and 64GB of eMMC storage. Another device variation will offer 256GB of NVMe SSD or 512 GB NVMe SSD. In addition, the console also supports a high-speed micro SD card slot.

Controls include standard buttons and trackpads with haptic feedback, but Steam Deck can do much more than play games. It is a portable PC that you can plug into a monitor or a TV and install apps and software.

In addition, you can use it to watch streaming videos and even install other game stores on it.

The Steam Deck will allow users to run whatever they want. If you’re going to wipe the whole device and replace the preinstalled SteamOS with another OS, it is possible.

The device will also have a dock with more ports like USB, wired networking, and enabling external displays.

Price & Availability

Steam Deck is available to reserve now in select regions and will begin shipping in December 2021. On the other hand, getting the new device may prove difficult due to Valve’s measures to deter resellers.

The Steam Deck price starts at $400 for a model with 64GB of eMMC memory, with prices increasing for NVMe models and extra features. The dock, however, will be sold separately. 

Bobby Borisov

Bobby Borisov

Bobby, an editor-in-chief at Linuxiac, is a Linux professional with over 20 years of experience. With a strong focus on Linux and open-source software, he has worked as a Senior Linux System Administrator, Software Developer, and DevOps Engineer for small and large multinational companies.

Think You're an Ubuntu Expert? Let's Find Out!

Put your knowledge to the test in our lightning-fast Ubuntu quiz!
Ten questions to challenge yourself to see if you're a Linux legend or just a penguin in the making.

1 / 10

Ubuntu is an ancient African word that means:

2 / 10

Who is the Ubuntu's founder?

3 / 10

What year was the first official Ubuntu release?

4 / 10

What does the Ubuntu logo symbolize?

5 / 10

What package format does Ubuntu use for installing software?

6 / 10

When are Ubuntu's LTS versions released?

7 / 10

What is Unity?

8 / 10

What are Ubuntu versions named after?

9 / 10

What's Ubuntu Core?

10 / 10

Which Ubuntu version is Snap introduced?

The average score is 68%