Valve releases Steam Linux beta details

Only 1,000 users will be invited to participate in Valve's private external beta for Steam on Linux; beta will take place in October.

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Valve's plans to bring Steam to Linux have advanced further this week, with the publisher announcing details of a private external beta to test the digital distribution platform on the open-source operating system.

According to a post by the Valve Linux team, the internal beta will be starting next week, and will be followed by a private external beta for 1,000 users sometime in October (no set date has been confirmed).

Valve said that the private external beta will include Steam, one Valve game, and support for Ubuntu 12.04 and above, but will not include Big Picture mode or additional Valve games.

The Valve Linux team will be using a sign-up page for the external beta, which will be detailed in a future post.

Valve announced its plans to port Steam to Linux in July this year, revealing that it was starting with Ubuntu and a work-in-progress Left 4 Dead 2 port.

The project, which began in 2011, aims to bring 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 on Ubuntu as well 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

130 comments
cheamo
cheamo

Great news if you ask me. Ubuntu is kind of a funny one to support as it sucks now. Linux Mint is probably the way to go, but I'm sure it'll work on both. I'd definitely like to get on this beta if I could, but it's a pretty small group. Even though I think Steam on Linux is a great idea, I definitely have to wonder how many games will actually be available for it.

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

Most distros are not that hard to install these days.  It is just like doing a clean install of Windows.  Boot to the CD and follow the on screen instructions and you are up and running in a couple of minutes.  Just make sure you do look up how to scan for the wireless settings you are using.

hellkazaONE
hellkazaONE

Also, for anyone interested in linux in general.. there is a learning curve, you do have to be a little tech savvy.. but google will be your best friend as a noob. 

Here's a list of some linux related websites (few of many) -http://www.ubuntu.com/

http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/windows-installer (allows you to install ubuntu as a windows application, does not touch your windows installation. If it's not working out, all you do is log into windows and uninstall it from control panel.)

http://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/

http://distrowatch.com/

http://www.system76.com

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1438E85AF384217E&feature=plcp  (linux action show, good watch for linux enthusiast.)http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desktop_environment (Information on different types of desktop environments that may be an educational read.)

http://www.youtube.com/user/nixiedoeslinux?feature=CAQQwRs%3D (more linux love youtubeness)

https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UsingTheTerminal (some info on command line use)Now, linux is not for everyone.. but given the rate it changes (normally for the better) and support from folks like Gabe.. things are bound to get easier for newcomers. If you're at all interested in the least, I highly recommend you indulge your curiosity.. Linux is free after all. (Just be open minded and ready to learn a few things, depending on your level of tech skills. Anyone that's into building their own PCs and tweaking settings should have an easier time adapting.)

End with a fun fact.. 60% of all servers are ran with a linux back end. Guessing the other large portion would mainly consist of BSD. Also, good luck to anyone who takes the plunge.  Side note: There's many Ubuntu based distros that use different desktop environments other than unity.. so if the standard setup is not to your liking.. explore!

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

The problem remains this:  Why would someone publish a game for Steam?  Sure Valve are doing this as a stunt.  So their games will be ported.  But take the case study of:  Linux fo Macs.  The coverage of (modern) OSX these days is now even slightly larger than Windows Vista 32bit so you'd think that it'd get loads of games?  Well no, it doesn't.  It gets a smattering of -some- titles, but highly restricted.  Why?  Because it doesn't pay to develop a game specifically for such a small crowd.  It takes so much extra effort and for what, maybe 10,000 sales at best?Windows PCs are ubiquitous and no matter which dev says what, that's not likely the change in a hurry.  Slow change is all that will occur, over time, slow progressions away or towards platforms.  Windows 7 64bit is the King OS right now and rightly so, because it's really good.So keeping in mind the lacklustre 3rd party interest in Mac OSX...now imagine the interest in Linux gamers...it just isn't there.

Jestersmiles
Jestersmiles

in valve time this will be ready by what ..2014? , and that just to play Valve games and maybe indie games. How long to get the Triple A games to run on Linux?  Maybe never , I stick with Win7 skip 8 and get the next windows after it.

 

Everybody know to always skip a windows. 

Sk8rlink
Sk8rlink

I've used Windows for most of my life for video games and always finding a program that suits my needs, I'm a graphic designer but truth is I'm not into OSX, and I don't feel like paying top dollar for overpriced hipster toys, but if Windows 8 is a closed OS, then I'm going to start working on my Linux skills right now, any tips or place to start?

maroon7
maroon7

i bet that valve game is half life 3, then eveyone gonna change to linux !

winner=us

looser=micro$oft

obsequies
obsequies

so if there was still other OS on the ps3 steam would officially run on it...

obsequies
obsequies

desura isn't that bad either..its basically a light weight steam

obsequies
obsequies

Unity3d 4 will have a linux exporter so expect many great indies for linux in steam these next few years

theKSMM
theKSMM

Having the Steam client on Linux is a good first step, but it is still just a first step.  Giving top-tier developers the tools they need to easily port their games to Linux is the bigger hurdle.  I wonder if Valve is actively creating any libraries that will assist with the porting effort.

 

Another hurdle is with the graphics card makers (e.g. nVidia and AMD) who refuse to put their Linux drivers on par with their Windows equivalents.  That's another reason to keep tweakers who try to squeeze every last frame per second out of their rigs on Windows.

 

Still, having Steam on Linux sends a strong signal to the rest of the industry that Linux is considered a viable gaming platform, both technically and commercially.

msfan1289
msfan1289

this is great news. ill love to see Steam and more games come to Linux

abcdefgabcdefgz
abcdefgabcdefgz

I dont know anything about windows 8 because I dont care but microsoft changes crap constantly that really was fine how it was.

sieg6529
sieg6529

Damn you Gaben, must you have all my money?

SolidTy
SolidTy

Beta test you guys, have fun. Make it good for the rest of us...

Ghost345
Ghost345

the only reason I use windows is because steam doesn't work well with my linux........well not for long hopefully

Slash_out
Slash_out

This should be a wake up call for microsoft.

I don't use Linux (yet) but I am glad Valve is doing this. Windows 8 is just too much bullshit.

onlinero
onlinero

 @cheamo Linux Mint IS Ubuntu, just with the Cinnamon Desktop Environment pre-installed. Oh, Flash and a couple of codecs also come in the package. Guess that makes a VERY big difference to you....

cheamo
cheamo

 @dannyatkinson Probably even easier than windows, since it is a lot less of a pain to install from a USB stick for many distros. You also don't have to deal with the horrible pain of having your wallet ripped away from you to pay for a key (unless you pirate).

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

 @hellkazaONE Great post.  All the noobs should take note.

I think that Linux will succeed when they design a distro that eliminates the need to ever use the command line.  I use Linux Mint and I have to say it is almost there.

yanalex981
yanalex981

 @andrew_ribbons It will take off once Windows stops catering to the desktop users, and start catering towards the "future of computing": tablet users... Windows 8 is a prime example...

dannyatkinson
dannyatkinson

 @andrew_ribbons Good argument but with a flaw.  When the Iphone started who thought it would have such a huge game library.

Nothing happens over night.  I do think Linux will successfully start getting triple A titles.  Will it be as big as Windows?  Only time will tell.

hellkazaONE
hellkazaONE

 @andrew_ribbons They're moving over to linux because they feel windows 8 is bad enough to drive some people into the arms of linux. It benefits everyone if this happens. Without windows hold on gaming, openGL will be the main API used for game making.. the reason this great is - Any device capable of gaming (technical specs) can run openGL. On the other hand, directx is held in the iron grip of microsoft. If openGL gets adopted, porting to multiple platforms should be easier. This includes windows itself, mac OSX, linux, and even some android type devices. (depending on the actual game, obviously nothing like crysis is going to run on a tablet.. even with openGL... for now at least. lol) If you could game on a free OS, why fight the change over? Think of building a gaming PC, cutting out the cost of an OS would greatly help some folks. Anyway, I'm all for this..

S0ulReav3r
S0ulReav3r

 @andrew_ribbons linux is open source meaning if valve allows it, many people  will help to port the games from windows to linux and alot of these people have basic programming skills as the platform is preferred by programers. there are also compatability layers like wine that can run most windwos software, so with a little tweaking i believe it would run like a charm. and about OSx I think there was a way to run most games too but i'm not very sure about it.

hellkazaONE
hellkazaONE

 @Sk8rlink Lots of google, get used to using the command line.. once you do some research it's not all too bad. I also think they'll make things even easier (ubuntu is pretty dang easy when it comes to linux) if they keep getting this support from folks like Gabe.

Lash540
Lash540

 @Sk8rlink Ubuntu 12.04 , go to your local library or just look for material online about the command line. Success.

Danny_KickAzz
Danny_KickAzz

 @maroon7 Lol dont jump to conclusion dude....Even if that was gonna be true...(Which wont) il probably just download Ubuntu in a VM or just duel boot it...or just get it for Xbox if they allow it. But even then there is honestly no real reasons for us Microsoft peeps to jump on the Linux boat. (But dont get me wrong i do respect the Linux Crowed, but my only draw back on them is that they always Super hostile to anything Microsoft even more then a Mac zealot)

Evilbunz
Evilbunz

 @Ghost345 yeah okay lets not joke ourselves.... that is not the only reason you use windows.

yanalex981
yanalex981

 @onlinero  @cheamo You're retarded. Mint is based on Ubuntu, It has a different desktop environment and software prepackaged. There's a difference between "based on", and "is". The difference between desktop environments might be tiny to you, but Ubuntu uses Unity and Gnome 3 while Mint uses a fork of Gnome 2. Different desktop environments will have different software prepackaged with the OS so that they work and look better with the desktop environment (Which is why you don't see KDE's default software on Gnome usually). This difference (Unity and Gnome 2) makes the difference between a bloated Ubuntu and a snappy Mint

hellkazaONE
hellkazaONE

 @dannyatkinson Yeah, if Gabe helps fuel this interest in linux desktop.. I'm sure Ubuntu and the other distros will take steps toward increasing the ease of use even further. So far there has not been a huge reason to hurry on it.. but this could be their chance to grab hold of some market share. It'd only make sense for them to make advancements in driver support and user friendliness. 

andrew_ribbons
andrew_ribbons

 @dannyatkinson

 @S0ulReav3r I see what you guys are saying but there's still a problem there.  The iPhone was the first of it's kind to market.  That's why it then went on to gain such huge market share.  The other Phone companies were just playing catchup (although now i'd argue have superceded the iPhone in numerous ways).Here, you're talking about a massive majority player vs a open-source project.  98% of people won't feel comfortable with Linux as it doesn't do half the stuff Windows does to "hold your hand".  Let's face it a lotta people leave Windows for Mac because "Windows is too advanced for a simpleton".  Now imagine those simpletons trying on Linux!  Not happening, it doesn't cater to them.  And "them" being a huge majority of the PC gaming market.Also arguements that "oh but loads of the open source people will port games to Linux".  By that then I presume "pirate"?  Can't see many AAA developers being happy with than, can you?  Having their game tampered with 3rd party and then distributed "free!".  Trouble is Linux is all well and good, but game developers have offices and need to pay bills.  Free game distribution =/= pay bills.

cheamo
cheamo

 @Lash540  @Sk8rlink Ubuntu used to be all I would touch, but it really is not very nice any more. Unity kind of ruined it. I've just switched all my computers to Linux Mint, and I would say it is a much better distro.

Vladka22
Vladka22

 @Evilbunz  @Ghost345 Well i use Linux and i love it. I just use Win 7 to play videogames. Hopefully i won't have to use Windows anymore when videogames runs good on my Linux distro. BTW i use openSuse

Ghost345
Ghost345

 @Evilbunz  well it's easy but there is no reason beyond steam for me to use it. Many things are compatible with windows. but the only thing I use this rig for specifically is gaming and web browsing. what else i there? I have wanted to move completely to linux but gave up when I couldn't play steam.

hellkazaONE
hellkazaONE

 @dannyatkinson Which i should note, is leaps and bounds ahead of what it used to be. I have most my family running various distros on their daily machines. At the moment no need to defrag, no need for virus protection... and they don't game. None of them are really tech savvy either. Someday the gaming aspect won't be a factor in 'why i don't use linux'. I personally dual-boot and that's obviously not optimal.

hellkazaONE
hellkazaONE

 @andrew_ribbons  @dannyatkinson  @S0ulReav3r No one said free games, just that developers with spare time may donate their time to help port games into a linux friendly version. That's how the community roles. Linux folks are willing to pay for games, just because we enjoy -plenty- of free software... does not mean we don't understand the overhead of games. Also, the game industry moves much faster so you need payed developers to keep up. I'd gladly pay for software (mostly games for me).. If i can have freedom through my OS. Linux is so modular it's not even funny.. and if you don't want something crammed down your throat.. there's normally something you can do about it. Microsoft does not offer this.. in fact with windows 8 they plan to lock you in even more. It makes perfect sense for a company like that to want to lock you in.. It makes it more comfy sticking with them over Mac, Linux, Android. They fear those names because they represent a threat to dang near a monopoly. They couldn't even let google have the tablet market for crying out loud.. because it opens our eyes to other options.

 

yanalex981
yanalex981

 @S0ulReav3r  @yanalex981  @andrew_ribbons That's not porting. It's a wrapper, and it works by translating Windows function calls to Linux functions. Porting is when you fix up the original source code for another platform, and compiling it again so that it produces binary executables that run on that platform

Danny_KickAzz
Danny_KickAzz

 @Ghost345  @Vladka22  @Evilbunz 

Or just have the Best Of Both Worlds and just stick with windows and Linux on one machine...No harm no fowl.. (BTW i like windows/MS and wouldn't switch over to linux But i do respect the crowed)

Ghost345
Ghost345

 @Vladka22  @Evilbunz ALSO in b4 hipster fukhead Linux or OSX arguments. I use Linux because it's free and all the software I have on windows is freeware or linux based. That's the deciding factor for me $$$

Ghost345
Ghost345

 @Vladka22  @Evilbunz  I started using ubuntu but right when I found out I couldn't emulate steam right on it I gave up. half of my comp is linux the other half is windows