You Can Download SteamOS, The Indie Game Platform, On December 13

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Valve's Linux-based software for videogame consoles is coming soon.

Valve, the online software distribution company, is shipping 300 prototype Steam Machines to beta testers on Friday. The lucky few hundred will receive both Steam's hardware and SteamOS, its Linux-based software for video games, for testing, as the company pushes to establish a new gaming platform.

SteamOS will be publicly available to individuals and hardware manufacturers when the prototype hardware ships, but the company suggests that unless you’re a game developer aiming to learn how it works, you should hold off on trying it out until later in 2014.