Power User install

Jo Shields edited this page Jan 5, 2014 · 3 revisions
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What is Power User mode?

Power User mode is where we've put extra installer settings, outside the scope of Valve SteamOS.

For now, Power User mode is the same as Automatic, except:

  • It will ask you about partitioning
  • It will offer to allow dual-boot, if Windows is on another drive or partition
  • It will enable networking during installation, for easier debugging

Video walkthrough

See here on YouTube

Starting Power User installation:

Boot the installer. From the menu, pick "Power User"

Installer GRUB/ISOLINUX screen

Working with partman, the Debian Installer partitioner

The Debian Installer partition editor, partman, is not very user friendly. Please read this guide carefully.

First, you'll want to double-click "Manual" at the "automatic partitioning" screen.

partman-auto offering guided partitioning. Don't use it.

This will give you your current layout, on a white background. All partman functions are done by double-clicking lines in this white area - clicking "continue" doesn't help.

If you're dual-booting with another OS on EFI, then double-click the EFI system partition and make sure "Use as:" says "EFI boot parition" - double click it if not. If you're not dual-booting but on EFI, then create a new partition around 500MB big for EFI boot partition use. You do not need this on a BIOS system, or if dual-booting with a non-EFI OS installed in "legacy" mode on an EFI system.

EFI Boot Partition settings

If you're working with a totally blank hard disk (e.g. a second disk for SteamOS) then double-click the disk label to create an empty partition label, and click "yes"

Initializing a disk

Double click on a block of "EMPTY SPACE" and create a new partition for the base SteamOS. Valve uses 10GB here - you should use 3GB as an ABSOLUTE minimum.

Make sure "Use as" is "EXT4" and "Mount point" is "/". If you're wiping an existing OS but keeping the partitions, make sure "Format" is "yes".

Root filesystem setup

Now create a swap partition by making a new partition and setting "Use as" to "swap". Valve uses 10GB here - you really don't need more than a gig or two

Swap partition setup

If you want to make use of SteamOS's recovery functionality (recommended), you need a recovery partition. Create a partition with "Use as" as "EXT4" and "Mount point" manually set to "/boot/recovery". Valve uses 10GB here - you can probably get away with 3GB.

Manually setting a mount point

Finally, create an EXT4 partition with mount point /home. This is where all your game installs go, make it as big as possible.

When you're done, you should have something like:

A completed partition setup

Double click on "Finish", then confirm the partitioning on the next screen

Confirming changes to partition layout

When your install completes, you will be given 5 seconds every time you boot your Steam Machine to select an OS, with SteamOS as the default. Just pick Windows from the list to dual-boot Windows. If you did a manual partition setup but not dual-booting, you will have only 1 second on this screen.

Dual-booting from GRUB