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Linux Noob's Question about steam.

Last response: in Linux/Free BSD
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November 4, 2010 12:36:51 AM

I am trying to learn about linux (ubuntu), do not use it yet, and have a quick question...

I was looking at what is compatible using wine recently, and I came across steam, which got a very good rating (platinum if I recall correctly).

Now, The only steam I am aware of is the game-downloading site (http://store.steampowered.com/).

My question is simple, Though I fear I already know the answer: What does the rating mean? Does it mean that any game you download via steam is compatible? (I doubt it) or that if you find a compatible game, and download it via steam, it will still work even though you used steam? (Unfortunately probably the answer, but it is good to dream)

Sorry for the [probably obvious] question. And sorry if it is an entirely different steam.

Thanks
-KC :) 
a b 5 Linux
November 4, 2010 2:04:58 AM

The rating will mean that the Steam Client itself is very compatible, and that there are virtually no issues involved with emulating it. The rating does not say anything about the games that you run through steam as far as I understand. You will need to look up whichever games you are interested in.
a b 5 Linux
November 4, 2010 9:21:20 AM

In my experience Platinum simply means it won't crash all the time. It is not a perfect experience. The context menu you get from clicking on the system tray icon has issues with the highlighted option not being the same as the one that the mouse cursor is hovering over (pay attention to what is highlighted only if you want to stop tearing your hair out) and there are numerous other small issues. I have also had other times where I'd have to have the cursor somewhere away from the steam client and eventually it would highlight the right button/link in the client window. There's some strange disconnect between where the cursor appears and where mouse events are actually triggered. The latter issue is rare though, but I've always had the former.

FWIW, only some games will be playable. The more popular and the older it is, the better it will run. Trying to run anything less than 1-2 years old well will be painful, and will probably require a lot of tweaking to have a chance of running half well. If gaming is essential, dual boot with Windows and save your hair.
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November 4, 2010 8:40:43 PM

Aw, too bad, even though that is what I was expecting. Now I know this is the linux section, but I didn't want to have to start a new post, so I am going to ask it here:

On the steam website, it has a mac version. Does this mean that the client will work, and you can only download mac compatible games, or that any game you download via steam will work? (So basically the same question, just with mac instead)

And, I will try to make it somewhat relevant: If steam can make a client for mac that makes all games on their website playable with mac, doesn't it mean that the same thing can be done with linux, and their might be some hope of easily gaming on linux in the future?

Thanks
-KC :) 
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2010 1:52:50 AM

I think the Mac client only runs Mac games since the Windows ones all use Windows executables which won't work on OSX. Valve could make a Linux client and they've been toying with the idea for years. It's just never materialised.
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2010 2:01:36 AM

randomizer said:
I think the Mac client only runs Mac games since the Windows ones all use Windows executables which won't work on OSX. Valve could make a Linux client and they've been toying with the idea for years. It's just never materialised.


I wish they would already :(  It would make a lot of people very happy.
November 5, 2010 11:32:56 PM

So, If they made a specific linux client, it would be able to run all games on their website?
If so, it definitely would make a lot of people (and me) happy.
a b 5 Linux
November 5, 2010 11:35:41 PM

No, the games would still need to be compiled as Linux binaries. If just the client needed changing then you would already be able to run standalone retail games on Linux. I would be 75% happy if just the client was on Linux though, because I use it more for the chat than I do games.
a b 5 Linux
November 6, 2010 12:32:36 AM

randomizer said:
No, the games would still need to be compiled as Linux binaries. If just the client needed changing then you would already be able to run standalone retail games on Linux. I would be 75% happy if just the client was on Linux though, because I use it more for the chat than I do games.


On top of that it may help motivate game makers to make Linux binaries. In theory at least ;) 
a b 5 Linux
November 6, 2010 8:12:42 PM

Just what more do you need other than nethack and Tux Racer? [/Sarcasm]
November 6, 2010 11:01:23 PM

Hmph. Guess I have to be stuck to windows on my desktop then, for now at least.
November 16, 2010 6:25:13 PM

dual boot - xp and ubuntu.... I got steam up and running on my ubuntu but its only good for using it as a chat client with my friends so I know when I should switch over to winblows and play with them.

Hoping for some new games to show up that are linux native so I don't have to switch over to xp so often.. There are a few games that work but its not nearly as many as I'd like.. and I want something that pushes my new machine visually not something 5 years old :-/
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