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Native Steam on Linux client firming up

by Mark Tyson on 27 April 2012, 10:38

Tags: Valve, Linux

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Steam, the games focussed digital distribution and multiplayer online community, will soon be welcoming Linux users to the fold. Or so it seems; Valve, the company behind Steam, have issued no such statement. However Michael Larabel, of Linux enthusiast website Phoronix, is pretty sure of it after his visit to the Valve HQ in Washington. Phoronix, who broke the news about Steam development on Linux back in May 2010, were very happy with the confirmations and reassurances garnered in this new visit.

 

zombies

 

Of his interview with Gabe Newell, the Valve MD, Larabel said: “There has been developers working on the Linux support for sometime, but not until recently has Gabe Newell become personally involved with the Linux client work. In fact, his desk is currently in the current Valve Linux development camp!” Also it was his feeling that “Gabe's vision to support, embrace, and promote Linux are amazing, assuming they execute, which looks to be very high probability at this point.”

Concerning timescales Larabel didn’t manage to get any firm dates or target dates but said optimistically that “…their first Linux release, it is not too far out.”

Suggesting that Windows 8 on the horizon is providing a new impetus for Valve to develop Steam on Linux, Larabel said of Valve MD Gabe Newell “His level of Linux interest and commitment was incredible while his negativity for Windows 8 and the future of Microsoft was stunning.”


Steam running natively on Linux

Steam running natively on Linux, Left 4 Dead 2 being played

 

Luckily Mr Larabel got a few photos of PCs at the Valve HQ running Left 4 Dead 2 natively on Linux because he didn’t have any direct quotes in his article or a video interview with anyone at Valve. A very short video recorded at the visit has now been uploaded to YouTube, but as the most favourited comment says: “can’t see a shit!” The system in the photos and video was running Ubuntu 11.10 and AMD Catalyst Linux drivers.

So for folks looking for a boost in Linux gaming this is positive news even if it is all a bit vague. The interview didn’t do anything to firm up or dispel those Steam Box rumours either.



HEXUS Forums :: 32 Comments

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This is what I've been hoping for; a major game developer to support and promote development for Linux.

I hope CS:GO gets released with Linux support, that should encourage use of Linux considerably.
So he's now dissing the platform that made him? Way to go Gabe, now shut up and finish HL3 :)
Sweet. Been nice to finally get some decent Linux support. Personally not surprised at the Win8 hate. Its probably going to be somewhere between Bob, Vista and ME in popularity!
The only thing that has got me about this ‘news’ is that its been sensationalised in some places as ‘Valve ditching Windows’.

They're not going to do that as mentioned by Brasco because that is practically their whole market. One of Steam's biggest outlet for games is it's indie bundles and cheap games, mostly bought by casuals i would wager, not the sort of neckbeard (possibly in the know) gamer who would abandon Windows in favour of *nix because s/he ‘only uses Windows for games’.
Terbinator
The only thing that has got me about this ‘news’ is that its been sensationalised in some places as ‘Valve ditching Windows’.

They're not going to do that as mentioned by Brasco because that is practically their whole market. One of Steam's biggest outlet for games is it's indie bundles and cheap games, mostly bought by casuals i would wager, not the sort of neckbeard (possibly in the know) gamer who would abandon Windows in favour of *nix because s/he ‘only uses Windows for games’.
Like you I can't see Valve ditching Windows - even if Win8's final desktop does end up looking as appealing as a pile of cat sick.

While I'm pleased that there's the potential for Steam for Linux, problem is that until we start getting more than just Indy titles on it, then I can't really see it doing anything more than being a curiosity. I love the blue-sky idea that eventually I could ditch my Windows box (which is 80% used for gaming) in favour of a Linux based one. I've already moved all web, mail, eBanking, etc across to Linux, so being able to move more would be great - but I'm not going to do that until BF3(or 4?), CoD, Saints Row, etc are available.

Seeing as who was the source (Phoronix) I'm also kind of inclined to mark this “news” down as a bit “fan boy”. :(