The first release of SteamOS will be available to download from tomorrow, December 13, Valve has announced.

However, the developer doesn't recommend that users try it out until next year unless they're already "an intrepid Linux hacker". The operating system will be available to download for free to individual users and via commercial OEMs.

SteamOS is a new operating system based on Linux that has been specifically designed for gaming.

Valve says that the operating system "combines the rock-solid architecture of Linux with a gaming experience built for the big screen" and claims that it will let "the hardware industry... iterate in the living room at a much faster pace than they've been able to" before.