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Valve Launches Limited Access Beta of Steam for Linux

Valve Software announced on Tuesday the launch of a limited access beta for its new Steam for Linux Beta client. This new Linux beta currently supports the free-to-play game Team Fortress 2, and approximately two dozen additional Steam titles that are playable on Linux-based systems including Trine 2, World of Goo, Serious Sam 3: BFE and more.

"This is a huge milestone in the development of PC gaming," said Gabe Newell, Valve President and co-founder. "Steam users have been asking us to support gaming on Linux. We're happy to bring rich forms of entertainment and our community of users to this open, customer-friendly platform."

According to Valve, the studio received over 60,000 responses to its recent request for participants in the Steam for Linux Beta within the first week. That said, the first round of participants has already been selected but fear not: the Linux client will become available to a widening group of users over the course of the beta.

"Subsequent participants will be chosen among survey respondents, and once the team has seen a solid level of stability and performance across a variety of systems, the Steam for Linux client will become available to all users of Steam," Valve said.

Currently the Steam for Linux Beta client is available for Ubuntu 12.04, and includes the Big Picture mode designed for a wide-screen HDTV and a gamepad. Frank Crockett, a member of the Steam for Linux team, said the team plans to support additional popular Linux distributions in the future. "We'll prioritize development for these based on user feedback," he said.

More details regarding Steam for Linux, including community discussion, beta participants' feedback, official announcements and syndicated news, can all be tracked on the new Steam for Linux Community Hub right here.

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  • Jerky_san
    All hail the rise of the penguin!!! Or Linux ^_^ whatever suits your fancy
    Reply
  • greghome
    Biggest challenge here is still the lack of DirectX, though OpenGL solves the Graphics API, you're still left without the audio part, which DirectX integrates along with Graphics API as well.
    Reply
  • volvavite
    greghomeBiggest challenge here is still the lack of DirectX, though OpenGL solves the Graphics API, you're still left without the audio part, which DirectX integrates along with Graphics API as well.Really? You do know Steam supports OpenAL, right?
    Reply
  • fenixkane
    greghomeBiggest challenge here is still the lack of DirectX, though OpenGL solves the Graphics API, you're still left without the audio part, which DirectX integrates along with Graphics API as well.
    We have OpenAL for audio, SDL for input and windowing.
    Reply
  • kartu
    For me games are the only reason to use Windows at home.
    I hope it will get somewhere with Valve pushing it. After all, they sell their engine to a number of game developer studios.
    Reply
  • phate
    greghomeBiggest challenge here is still the lack of DirectX, though OpenGL solves the Graphics API, you're still left without the audio part, which DirectX integrates along with Graphics API as well.
    Yes obviously that is a problem for... wait the article says 2 dozen games are already available. And how do all those Mac users play games? How do Android and iOS users play games without DirectX??

    Yes DirectX is a bit of a hurdle, but obviously not an overly onerous one.
    Reply
  • gogogadgetliver
    *Yawn* Don't want.

    Sorry Gabe but I just don't have my hate on for Windows 8 like you do. Grats to the Linux folks though. More games for gamers is always a good thing.
    Reply
  • wildkitten
    The major hurdle that will be present is the sheer number of distros for Linux. Game developers tried a few years ago porting popular titles to Linux and discovered that while they may work well on one distro, that was no guarantee they would work well with other distros. Support costs were so much that many of these games stopped being sold for Linux after a few months.

    The fact that they are releasing the client only for Ubuntu and may release Steam for other distros is a clear indicator that support among different distros is still an issue.
    Reply
  • volvavite
    wildkittenThe major hurdle that will be present is the sheer number of distros for Linux.Steam supports Ubuntu 12.04 LTS and 12.10 officially. However, users are free to install in on what ever flavor they want. Valve isn't blocking that.
    Since Ubuntu is the most used distro and the easiest to use and configure, I believe what you point out is a non-issue.
    The Linux community will figure out a way to run Stem wherever they want. For example, Arch Linux already repackaged it in record time: https://aur.archlinux.org/packages/steam/
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    If steam goes full linux support I see myself changing from win7 to Ubuntu :D
    Reply