Steam Deck enthusiasts are booting SteamOS 3.0 up on random devices, but no toasters yet

Image of the Revolution InstaGLO R270 with Steam OS on the screen.
(Image credit: Revolution)

Steam Deck users will be pleased to hear that Valve has just released a new SteamOS image. Sadly it's not a full SteamOS 3 many of us have been waiting for, but that will be coming soon, says Valve. That doesn't mean the news isn't welcome, however, as the SteamOS image will give Steam Deck users plenty of recovery options, should something go wrong with their new, portable gaming device.

What's more, people are already trying it out on devices other than the Steam Deck as a way of coping with their lack thereof.

With the use of this SteamOS image, Steam Deck users running into boot issues, or those who've installed another operating system like Windows on the Steam Deck and want to revert back to Steam, now have several recovery options.

The 2.5GB image should be copied onto a 32GB USB flash drive or higher, with something akin to GNOME Disks, for Linux users, or Rufus if you're using Windows.

Once loaded onto the problem device, it'll give users the ability to "re-image" the Steam Deck, which is essentially a full factory reset; "clear local user data," so as to reformat any personal settings, stripping it of a specific user's data and games; "reinstall Steam OS," to clear the OS files while preserving your personal content and games; and it also has a granular "recovery tools" option that lets you make changes to the Steam Deck boot partition.

Recovery instructions can be found in the Steampowered FAQ if you're running into issues, and with the instructions comes a warning. Valve has made it clear that, for any tinkerers who might be looking to install it on other devices, it might not work so well... especially on your toaster.

SteamOS 3 proper will come out sometime after launch (and even then it may not work on your toaster).


"For all the tinkerers out there, please note that this system image is not quite SteamOS 3 yet. Depending on what you try to install it on (desktop, another handheld, refrigerator, toaster), it may not work properly.

"SteamOS 3 proper will come out sometime after launch (and even then it may not work on your toaster)."

Reddit users eagerly awaiting their Steam Deck delivery from Gabe, have already started jamming the recovery image onto other devices in anticipation. One user, Mattchew_X, managed to get it running on an old iMac with just a couple of lines of code.

Valve promises that Steam Deck production will "be in the hundreds of thousands" within a month, so users can rest assured they won't be relegated to playing Elden Ring on their refrigerator, as much as we'd love to see it.

Just in case, here's a list of Steam games you can play on your toaster.


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Katie Wickens
Hardware Writer

Screw sports, Katie would rather watch Intel, AMD and Nvidia go at it. Having been obsessed with computers and graphics for three long decades, she took Game Art and Design up to Masters level at uni, and has been rambling about games, tech and science—rather sarcastically—for four years since. She can be found admiring technological advancements, scrambling for scintillating Raspberry Pi projects, preaching cybersecurity awareness, sighing over semiconductors, and gawping at the latest GPU upgrades. Right now she's waiting patiently for her chance to upload her consciousness into the cloud.