Valve porting Steam to Linux

Ubuntu version of Left 4 Dead 2 already functioning, more Valve titles planned for Linux compatibility.

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Valve wants Steam to pour forth onto Linux users, and the company is starting with Ubuntu and a work-in-progress Left 4 Dead 2 port. The developer's efforts to mesh the digital distribution platform (and an accompanying library of Valve titles) with the open-source operating system were outlined on a post on the new Valve Linux Blog.

Free operating system? More money for Steam sales.

The project, which began in 2011, aims to bring a fully featured version of Steam to work with a functioning Ubuntu build of Left 4 Dead 2. Valve's 11-person Linux team wants to make the game run as well on Ubuntu as it does on Windows and plans to begin accommodating other distributions of Linux.

Steam on Linux would add yet another platform to Steam's base, which already includes presences on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, Android, and iPhone.

Discussion

0 comments
Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

 I like to see the other non valve games being played on linux....oh wait that not going to happen.... have fun. >:)

MysticGenie
MysticGenie

It's good to see Valve bringing Steam to Linux. However, if Linux users think that Valve's move will spur a domino effect for other publishers to follow suit then they are in for a rude awakening.

vader501st
vader501st

Hard to find someone who's crazy enough to use Linux or Mac these days. Regardless, the more people get to play Valve games, the better.

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

This is Fantastic news!

 

Im a rather large Linux fan and am really excited : )

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

When ever i see news like this from valve (or anything valve really) it reminds me that there is still a beautiful hidden gem under the gray/brown, linear, DRM, DLC, cesspool that is modern gaming, and that gaming still has a future. 

Briantb_2008
Briantb_2008

Its not a bad idea the only bad thing that I've heard about Linux is the lack of support for it.

Ferdal3
Ferdal3

Probably using a base form of Linux on the Steam Box, so it probably wasn't too hard to port some headlining games over. But great news none the less, don't know why they didn't start doing this sooner.

ZeroX91
ZeroX91

Nice, now I have no reservations on switching from windows on my next update.

cheamo
cheamo

Best. Gaming. News. Ever.

 

Although Ubuntu has kind of started to suck lately (Unity bleh), but hopefully it won't be to distro-limited.

xcollector
xcollector

This is what Linux was always missing. Windows Games. Its possible that more people will try Linux if Valve fully supports it. They also have the benefit of having the whole platform to them selves right now. This will be interesting to see how it affects Windows.

No_DRM
No_DRM

Gaming is always something that's been somewhat missing from GNU/Linux.  But the idea of pushing proprietary software and DRM onto GNU/Linux users completely goes against the very ideas that has made it so successful.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

Glad to here that they're still working on getting Steam to Linux, not so glad that Left 4 Dead 2 is the first game they mention.... But beggars can't be choosers, so I'll take what I can get.

DarkSaber2k
DarkSaber2k

Maybe now Linux users will stop whinging.

division_9
division_9

 @vader501st  I can't defend Mac since I've never used it, but Linux is free and since most of the planet uses their computers for word documenting, internet browsing and Skype. The only crazies are the one's who think the owe Microsoft $80 every 3 years.

GGCrew_basic
GGCrew_basic

 @vader501st File me among the crazies - I have Ubuntu Linux installed on my MacBook and I use it every day!  It's been great for playing Linux versions some terrific games acquired through various Humble Bundle sales (eg Super Meat Boy, Bastion, Braid, Jamestown, Gratuitous Space Battles, etc...)  That said, I don't use it for any heavy 3D gaming - NVIDIA's Linux drivers are a shadow of their Windows drivers.

 

MysticGenie
MysticGenie

 @ZeroX91 Speak for yourself. Games are not the only thing that is tying me to Windows.

Tekcor
Tekcor

 @xcollector I'd expect zero. It's great to see Steam reaching to more platforms, but I don't expect it to offset the balance. Unless you enjoy reinstalling your operating system weekly, Linux really isn't most people's cup of tea.

xcollector
xcollector

 @No_DRM Linux is successful because its free. But that is also why its a failure as a desktop os. The linux community is very anal about proprietary software to the point where they won't even bundle free hardware drivers with their distros because its not open source.

 

Using generic open source video drivers instead of finely tuned closed source drivers from the manufacturer won't be good for the gaming scene. You won't get the full performance out of your hardware with generic drivers. And the pain of trying to install anything with dependencies that isn't already made to go in the official repositories will be the most likely reason window users run away.

 

We'll see what happens and if driver support improves with a big player making a push. This will certainly be interesting to see. Ubuntu is really trying to penetrate the desktop market.

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

 @DarkSaber2k Well SOOORRRY for us wanting to play games on an OS that doesn't crash as often as one you actually have to pay for....

cheamo
cheamo

 @Tekcor I have to reinstall Windows way more often than linux because it breaks so much :/

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

 @FallenOneX my Os has crash like maybe once, bitch please. Have fun playing only valve games. 

Dante200X
Dante200X

 @Hicks233 More like "Indeed! Great games and sales for everyone! Regardless of platform..."

Jebril
Jebril

 @Tekcor I don't expect everything fore free, not everyone shares Richard Stallman's belief's that uses Linux man. And Linux is growing, Ubuntu will be shipping on 5% of computers being sold next year, that's just one distro. I don't like Ubuntu too much but Linux as a whole has came a long way in the last couple of years.

Tekcor
Tekcor

 @cheamo You sure it's just not GRUB screwing up your boot loader? :P

 

I'm not trying to start a flame war. I've got computers running each OS here. Though I swear by Linux on servers, for the desktop, I've found it way too easy to ruin everything.

 

Desktop Linux is a hard OS to support. It's userbase is incredibly small, and the very few users it does have seem to expect everything for free. So I find this an odd move for Valve as a business. Still, I hope it works out.

markrb
markrb

 @Hicks233 I think the point that you are missing is that the large gaming companies don't care about your opinion because: gamers like the new distribution methods. Your opinion, which you are of course entitled to, is becoming an irrelevancy, since the gamers who spend the most money are those who like the features of a client like Steam.

 

That's capitalism, I'm afraid. Your view doesn't represent the "demand".

Dante200X
Dante200X

 @Hicks233 So basically you hate convenience, ok, whatever....

Patching: lol? I can't name a single game that would break any mods if you updated it. Not to mention you can, of course, turn off the auto-update for whatever you want. I'd SURE LOVE to find manual patches for every TF2 update.

 

DRM: CD keys are DRM too, why not do away with those as well? :/

 

Problems: Are you serious? Now you really sound like you're making things up. Origin and especially gfwl are the buggiest pieces of crap I've ever had to use. There's millions of people who can verify that. 9/10 PC gamers hate them both. The one who didn't agree with the rest got lucky l:)

You probably used them for 1 game and that's it or you'd honestly not compare their problems to steam's minor issues. No, really. Hell, gfwl has never been updated once. Steam HAS problems, but they're few and far between.

 

Why must I: Why must you NOT? Is it REALLY that big of a deal? That's what it comes down to. Always on, securROM, etc. - That junk is just that...junk. It's annoying and a hassle. Steam is, again, the lesser evil and not annoying what-so-ever. It's the main reason people accept it and wish games would be on steam. It's far better than the alternative that the publisher could take. It's not up to me if publishers put in some kind of DRM, but if they must put in something, steam is by far the easiest on the customer.

Again, there's no way consumers are just going to say "no...we wish for there to 0 protection on this game" and the publishers going "oh, okay! Great! No DRM at all for you guys!". It simply won't happen, especially on digital games...and they're even pushing for more copy protection on consoles. I'm sure next gen it'll be bad. So if steam is the "worst" they can do for us PC guys, it's better than the crap ubisoft is trying to pull.

 

Apathetic: PC gamers are better though. We don't automatically accept BS, it's why everybody isn't using much more harsh DRM right now.

 

Respect: Again, you won't change their minds though. As I said earlier, very mild DRM > no games....if that's the trade-off, fine. But in the same respect I'd never buy something using something similar to ubisoft's "always on" crap and I think twice (or even thrice) about buying a gfwl game. It's THAT bad.

 

Final: It works fine for me in 90% of the game I've used...anything with an online mode probably doesn't work, but most everything else is fine. Works pretty good. I don't know why people keep bringing it up. It's almost as if *GASP* they haven't even tried it before or something.

 

 

I think we're done here. You're a bit TOO hard-headed and sadly, nothing will change in drm. Like I said, it's steam is the worst they've got, it'll have to accept it. It's far better than what they could be doing (and have tried before).

Hicks233
Hicks233

@Dante200XSure gog sells harder to get titles. Though not that difficult to find if you check ebay or amazon. Usually with some time and effort you can also get them running yourself. Gog is offering convenience which is great if you can't be bothered to solve a problem yourself. In the cases where a fix isn't available then it's a valuable resource both as a customers resource and for preserving games for posterity.

 

All the things that you have listed I either don't need or already have ways of doing them. I have no *need* or *want* for steam. If I've got no use for its features then all that's left is the shop and the drm. Seeing as they both go together that's why it's a useless platform for me and simply a hinderance. Esspecially when I buy physical versions of titles where possible. Why on earth do I need an online client for an offline game?

 

The patching is a pain in the rear for me. I'll choose what patch version I want to use/if I want to roll back to an earlier version for compatability or mods. I'm perfectly capable of finding patches so once again it's of no use *to me* and more of a hinderance.

 

Drm is drm, I don't give a monkies how lenient it is seen to be. 

 

I've encountered steam, origin, tages, securom, gfwl and cd keys. While playing the games I've bought. Out of all of them I've only had trouble with steam. I think it's unfortunate that others have had problems with other drms where I haven't. Being told that steam has no problems (which happens more than you'd think) is just insulting.

 

"If I must have something i'd rather it be than than any of the other horrible methods to "protect" their games."

 

Why "must" you? Look at Ubisoft's "Always on" there was enough of a backlash of people saying "No" that it was essentially dropped for future titles. Act like a customer and you'll start to get what you the customer expect and are buying. Steam as a shop is a great idea. Supporting a drm just because you like the tagged on features is doing yourself an injustice as a customer. If there was a version of steam where you could buy a physical version and link it to the client if you wanted to then great - likewise if you wanted the game you bought to be free of any clients - whatever they be then you can just play the game you bought without having to go through unnecessary hoops. I see no reason as a paying customer to support drm in any form.

 

"Gamers" are a notoriously apathetic bunch, unless they're really pushed they'll roll over like a dog having its stomach tickled. Molify them enough with shinny features and they'll fold.

 

I'm not interested in being respected as a "gamer" I'm a paying customer that want's the product I buy to function with the least amount of hoops and tagged on crap to deal with. As has previously been the case prior to online drm. If it were an *optional* client for people to use I agree that for *them* it would be beneficial, that way those that want to use it can. For someone that just wants to play the game they bought it's an unnecessary layer that only the publisher and developer wants. I'm neither of those, I'm a customer. Not an easily molified one either.

 

As a final point. If Valve are doing the best they can how come they STILL haven't got offline mode functioning consistently? They manage to put social networking gumpf in. Why not the offline mode? It's been what? Eight years?

Dante200X
Dante200X

 @Hicks233 GoG sells old PC games you can't usually get anywhere else and you can't get running by yourself on newer hardware...think about that for a second please :\

 

As for steam being a hinderance: It's minor at best. I honestly don't care it takes an extra 20 seconds total to start up steam and then the game...or since steam isn't a huge resource hog, you could just have it already started up. I enjoy the simplicity of all it offers - screenshots, internet w/o alt-tabbing out of fullscreen, chat system, instant patching of games, etc. All it needs is FPS tracking like...say, x-fire and it'd be perfect.

 

It's NO BIG DEAL. It's very subtle DRM and it does not affect you in any negative way. Yes, every game is tied to your account, but that's the only real limit. I don't know WHAT your issue is with something so harmless. The only actual bad point is when some publishers think it'd be great to put ****ing securrom and/or gfwl (among others) when it's ALSO on steam. WTF? So pointless. -___-

 

But seriously, comparing steam to origin or even worse, GWFL shows you honestly don't have a clue and you've probably never used either service for more than a few minutes. If I have to take any form of DRM I'll be glad to take steam's version. If I must have something i'd rather it be than than any of the other horrible methods to "protect" their games.

 

You're very much in the minority to not accept steam these days. And it's simple why: It's gotten gamers' respect as being non-intrusive and as I said, it's become an asset to people. Valve respects gamers and they try their best to do what they can.

Hicks233
Hicks233

 @Dante200X

If drm is so vital then how come a drm free service like gog does well? You show your customers a little faith and with some luck you'll be rewarded in kind. As gog have been. Rather than take the cynical and self defeating approach that you're suggesting of ramming drm up the wazoo. Which then results in a title like Crysis 2 being pirated to hell and back.

 

Now if gog or other drm free releases didn't sell then perhaps you'd have a point. As it stands however you're just falling for the BOO! A PIRATE'S GOING TO GET YOU! mentality. That results in a self perpetuating cycle of drm and terrified publishers followed by more drm until there reaches a point where the customer says "enough!" notably with Ubisofts "Always on".

 

Steam may be an asset to *you* - for *me* I didn't need it fifteen years ago and I still don't need it. I don't *nned* a third party client to start an executable... you know - to start the game. It's just as much a hinderance as Origin or GFWL - no amount of crap science jokes or hats is going to change that. Yet because some publishers think a pirates going to crawl out their ass when they bend over and cough there's drm all over the place.

 

Make a good product, treat your customers well, price it fairly, without drm to challenge the crackers they've got nothing to test their skills against and less reason to package and distribute it.

 

The people that were going to pirate regardless will do so. By removing drm you've reduced the motivation.

 

Please feel free to respond. While we may take different views, it is still interesting to read them.

Dante200X
Dante200X

 @Hicks233 Too bad publishers and the rest of the world don't think like that. Instead they're afraid that the game will be pirated because it has 0 protection against it...and they have every right to think that way in this day and age with the internet.

 

So yes, drm is needed in some fashion. If it's as unintrusive as steam is, then sure, I'll take if that's the only way. 0 DRM is better than some, but NO GAMES is not better. Steam is an actual ASSET to gamers instead of hinderance like (lol) GFWL or origin, that's the difference.

You're very ignorant about how the industry (and even the world) works apparently.

 

Good day sir. I hope you one day learn a thing or two so you don't spread your ignorance around for no reason.

 

Please don't reply again expecting me to, I give up with you.

 

Hicks233
Hicks233

@Dante200X

Sad little world? I would describe it better as one where I see no reason to need superfluous drm software tagged onto titles when it could be ran without needing a nanny application to make sure I bought it and that I've lost the ability to use a program menu or a shortcut.

 

Worked fine for me on pre-Steam titles, works fine on post-Steam drm free titles.

 

So why exactly is a client like Steam or Origin needed?

 

Is it too difficult to use a start menu or a desktop shortcut?

 

If Steam/Origin functioned *just* as a store then it'd be fine. Having it act as a drm nanny however is unnecessary. Unless of course you need that nanny to make sure you behave yourself?

 

You don't need a nanny do you?

Hicks233
Hicks233

 @Dante200X So you're denying that steam is just a drm dressed up to appear more palatable?

Hicks233
Hicks233

 @MW2ismygame Ooh so because you can gush over valve that somehow makes drm all flowers and butterflies?

 

They're a company out to make a profit and generally started the roll of online drm. If you've no problem with that then you've no reason to complain about any other online drm.

 

If the best they can offer is sales then it's still polishing up a turd.

MW2ismygame
MW2ismygame

 @Hicks233yeah but valve is you know, not evil and treats its fanbase so well that it makes DRM look almost good. not to mention constant sales(that are better than any others)and great library of games to buy, so yeah...be quiet now 

Hicks233
Hicks233

 @Dante200X Because no other retailer has thought of discounting their stock to encourage purchases...

 

So there's the client in place, the titles would still need to be ported over to Linux just as before Steam.

 

So once again, drm acting as a client for everyone!

 

If the title was ported to Linux it'd be nice and you wouldn't need the third party, junk client. You know... as Linux versions used to be. But instead you get shafted with the client. And would the customer perchance like some Origin? Or perhaps last seasons less fashionable choice of Ubisoft "Always on"? It is naturally Linux compatible and does ever so flatter the figure.