Steam for Linux Coming in 2012

Steam for Linux Coming in 2012

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Gabe Newell from Valve confirmed it via email.

Despite rumors the pioneering game company was working on a new console, and they still haven't finished Half-Life 3, Gabe Newell has become obsessed with getting his digital distribution tool working with the Linux kernel. Earlier this year, Newell brought out experts in the open source operating system begun by Linus Torvald to show off Left 4 Dead 2. Newell was excited for Linux, and even moved his desk at the Valve offices next to the team working on the native Linux Steam client. We will see the fruits of Valve's labors sooner rather than later, as a fan sent a simple email asking whether Steam would be on Linux by the end of the year.

Gabe Newell's one-word response was, "Yes."

There you have it. Steam on Linux in 2012. Now that's a platform I can get behind.

I haven't experimented with Linux myself, not having the chops (or the time) to get it working with my PC games. But if Linux can run Steam natively, I may just make the switch.

Then I will be a real hacker!*

*not really

Source: Phoronix

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My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

They said the same thing when Steam was launched on OSX.

Look where that is now.

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

Now now. It'll be Source games, and then all the games from previous Humble Indie Bundles.

HELL YEESSSSSSSSSS!!!!

And so begins the golden age of linux gaming, in time having to dual boot may become a thing of the past even if it is just for some Valve games for now :D

Although they say this year, that could mean anything in Valve time.

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

Almost all the Humble Bundles were Linux compatible, so Bastion, Amnesia, Super Meat Boy, Psychonauts, Cave Story etc will all be there as well.

There's a fair amount of games on Steam that are on Linux already, and this would only encourage more.

Looking forward to this extensively.

Yes. Steam pioneering the game move away from Microshit Windows. Since they don't care about PC gaming at all, they won't mind if we all migrate to other systems and stop using their soon to be useless OS.

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

In order to move a great distance, you must first take a single step.

This is fantastic; even if it is in 'Valve time'. I'm quite excited at the prospect of not having to run wine much longer! (Even though Google continues to be shift-y in their Linux support)

Z of the Na'vi:

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

They said the same thing when Steam was launched on OSX.

Look where that is now.

I don't have a mac so I am unaware how it's doing, good I presume?

Baresark:
Yes. Steam pioneering the game move away from Microshit Windows. Since they don't care about PC gaming at all, they won't mind if we all migrate to other systems and stop using their soon to be useless OS.

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

In order to move a great distance, you must first take a single step.

My fear is not a lack of launch titles, but a lack of growth thereafter.

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

I agree with you, there is only going to be a few source games and some indie games on the Linux platform. I doubt very much any non valve AAA games will appear on Linux for the simple reason its going to be a pig to support. Trying to get all the dependencies right for the all the distributions is going to be a nightmare on its own.

Besides it being removed from the PS3 I haven't heard much about Linux since Muhammad Ali's endorsement back at it's inception. Still I suppose no reputation is better than Vita's

Greg Tito:
Then I will be a real hacker!*

*not really

That's cute, an escapist employee pretending like he's one of the little people who has to worry about his avatar being replaced

tehbeard:
I don't have a mac so I am unaware how it's doing, good I presume?

Certainly. Several titles other than the obligatory Source games have been ported over to OSX. While it's not the size of the Windows library, it's substaintial enough to make any Mac a decent gaming platform, depending on what kind of games you want to play.

There's a large enough variety of games for Mac to make up for it.

There's over 250 Mac games available in the Steam catalogue. Most of these should be little work getting to Linux, plus many of them have already been released for Linux, just not through Steam (until now).

Now we just have to sit back and wait for devs, not just indie devs, to start making cross platform games so I can finally ditch Windblows....

Optimistic much?

Dryk:

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

Now now. It'll be Source games, and then all the games from previous Humble Indie Bundles.

Those are really the only games I have on steam so that works out for me. :)

So basically I can look up a tutorial to dual boot linux on my computer sometime later this year. I've always wanted to try linux out but I've honestly had no idea what it even is aside from an OS. Well I'll figure it out soon.

This is all part of Newell's personal vendetta against Microsoft, crushing its consumer base one alternative OS at a time. : D

Z of the Na'vi:

tehbeard:
My one concern is the catalogue that will be available. Yes it is nice to see steam expand to more platforms, especially if it means I don't have to reboot back into windows. But if it's just going to be a few source games, then what is the point?

They said the same thing when Steam was launched on OSX.

Look where that is now.

I am looking. And I see half of Valve's own library still unported, a bunch of indie games that were already on the Mac anyway, a small handful of AAA titles that all have horrible ports, a client that uses 10% of the CPU when it's idle among other things, a failure to provide proper support for Lion, and the fact that the people they had working on Mac stuff doesn't even work there anymore.

But I suppose this is all the fault of that eeeeeeeeevil Apple, and the Linux experience will be all sunshine and rainbows for all parties involved.

Steve the Pocket:
I am looking. And I see half of Valve's own library still unported, a bunch of indie games that were already on the Mac anyway, a small handful of AAA titles that all have horrible ports, a client that uses 10% of the CPU when it's idle among other things, a failure to provide proper support for Lion, and the fact that the people they had working on Mac stuff doesn't even work there anymore.

But I suppose this is all the fault of that eeeeeeeeevil Apple, and the Linux experience will be all sunshine and rainbows for all parties involved.

Not quite sure what you were trying to accomplish there, but whatever. Sorry to hear you've had a less-than perfect experience with OSX Steam. I've never had a problem with mine, but that's always the argument, isn't it? I think it's great that Valve bothered to bring Steam to Mac at all, at least providing some games for me to play when the need arises.

I don't need my entire Steam library to be Mac-compatible, because that's what my Windows partition in Bootcamp is for. Nor do I ask they run flawlessly at Ultra-High graphics either. As long as I can play the game, that's fine with me.

I wouldn't change a thing about Steam for Mac OSX.

Greg Tito:
Earlier this year, Newell brought out experts in the open source operating system begun by Linus Torvald to show off Left 4 Dead 2.

Torvalds, Mr. Tito.

Now you just need some more titles, but this will help the chicken and egg thing. Unity is working on a Linux version of their engine, which will help a lot.

One more step away from Microsoft, nothing to complain about, since video games only thing actually keeping me using Windows outside of work, not that I mind it most of the time, but if an employer ever ask me something to do with VBA (which is only used with Microsoft software), that require to write custom line, I run away screaming like a little girl. (only programming language, I ever had to do something on, that my brain completely fail to understand)

This is great. The more developers are encouraged to make good ports or work with more universal means provides people a greater freedom and convenience to use the OS they like. I mean, if you like Windows, that's fine, but myself and many other potential consumers in the gaming industry will forgo titles that are too much of a hassle to play on the OS of our choice. Yeah, dual booting and virtual boxes do exist (to varying capacities) but realistically, what am I going to reach for on a slow night, the game that I can play on the spur of the moment natively or at least with a couple of console commands in Wine, or the game that I have to shut down my entire computer, wait around for another OS and Skype and Hamachi and steam and all that stuff with to play, or get sub-par performance with in a virtual box? Not to mention, the obscene Windows OS prices.
Man, I hate using Windows.

I still won't believe it until we get a source other than Phoronix. The first time they claimed it, VALVE flat out denied it, the second time was some blurrycam footage that really didn't prove anything, and now we have an easily-shoppable gmail screenshot.

It's not that I don't want to believe, but this is big enough news that other sites would be confirming it, not just taking Phoronix's word.

P.S. Thanks

Covarr:
I still won't believe it until we get a source other than Phoronix. The first time they claimed it, VALVE flat out denied it, the second time was some blurrycam footage that really didn't prove anything, and now we have an easily-shoppable gmail screenshot.

It's not that I don't want to believe, but this is big enough news that other sites would be confirming it, not just taking Phoronix's word.

P.S. Thanks

Agreed. Had to get to the end of the thread to read it but glad someone else had the same thought. You don't even have to use photoshop to make one of these gmail screenshots, just modify the gmail source to show whatever email and message you want.

As cool as this would be, I think valve would have to say it somewhere reputable first for it to be real.

Covarr:
I still won't believe it until we get a source other than Phoronix. The first time they claimed it, VALVE flat out denied it, the second time was some blurrycam footage that really didn't prove anything, and now we have an easily-shoppable gmail screenshot.

It's not that I don't want to believe, but this is big enough news that other sites would be confirming it, not just taking Phoronix's word.

P.S. Thanks

I saw people saying this before on the last topic here too. I do agree that since they are known for saying this same thing before and it being outright denied this should be taken with a grain of salt. Though considering Valve has their emails open to people maybe someone else can send them an email asking about it.
http://www.valvesoftware.com/email.php

Now only if Linux graphics drivers weren't so slow and flaky. Right now, they are only a bit better than "it works".

80Maxwell08:
So basically I can look up a tutorial to dual boot linux on my computer sometime later this year. I've always wanted to try linux out but I've honestly had no idea what it even is aside from an OS. Well I'll figure it out soon.

Unless you're very comfortable with the fundamental components of an operating system and can name the major pieces (and know how to interface with them), I'd recommend staying out of Linux OSes.

They're great for programmers and other computer-savvy people, as there's almost no restrictions in place and you can do anything you want with them, provided you know how to do it.

The problem is that you can do anything with them. A single typo can break your entire OS (for example, the command "sudo rm -r /" will delete everything in the OS). If you don't know how to diagnose, test and solve file system or even possibly kernel-level problems, it's going to be more of a pain than its worth.

Agayek:

80Maxwell08:
So basically I can look up a tutorial to dual boot linux on my computer sometime later this year. I've always wanted to try linux out but I've honestly had no idea what it even is aside from an OS. Well I'll figure it out soon.

Unless you're very comfortable with the fundamental components of an operating system and can name the major pieces (and know how to interface with them), I'd recommend staying out of Linux OSes.

They're great for programmers and other computer-savvy people, as there's almost no restrictions in place and you can do anything you want with them, provided you know how to do it.

The problem is that you can do anything with them. A single typo can break your entire OS (for example, the command "sudo rm -r /" will delete everything in the OS). If you don't know how to diagnose, test and solve file system or even possibly kernel-level problems, it's going to be more of a pain than its worth.

Huh well then I think I'll just stick with Windows 7. Thanks for the heads up. Especialy on the deleting everything part.

80Maxwell08:

Agayek:

80Maxwell08:
So basically I can look up a tutorial to dual boot linux on my computer sometime later this year. I've always wanted to try linux out but I've honestly had no idea what it even is aside from an OS. Well I'll figure it out soon.

Unless you're very comfortable with the fundamental components of an operating system and can name the major pieces (and know how to interface with them), I'd recommend staying out of Linux OSes.

They're great for programmers and other computer-savvy people, as there's almost no restrictions in place and you can do anything you want with them, provided you know how to do it.

The problem is that you can do anything with them. A single typo can break your entire OS (for example, the command "sudo rm -r /" will delete everything in the OS). If you don't know how to diagnose, test and solve file system or even possibly kernel-level problems, it's going to be more of a pain than its worth.

Huh well then I think I'll just stick with Windows 7. Thanks for the heads up. Especialy on the deleting everything part.

Right, you have to be REALLY careful with Linux. It's soooper scary because you can just accidentally type out something that will make bad things happen to your computer! And there aren't any nice/friendly/easy distros, they all just plop you in front of a command line and wait for you to destroy everything on your computer! Abloogy woogy woo!

Now that the sarchasm's filled up a bit, I'd like to voice my support for what I see as basically a dream of Linux becoming (and being considered) a respectable gaming platform among people other than those who'll act like there's no game worth playing that isn't either available natively on Linux or playable "well enough" via wine. For that matter, I'd absolutely love to see Linux take the place of Windows as a gaming platform. Unfortunately, that doesn't seem likely to me.

For one thing, simplifying distribution to Linux users isn't going to pull lazy studios/devs away from their DirectCrap and whatever other Windows(/-only) crap they use. It's great that there are Mac ports available for some games, but I think there's a visible lack of effort in general to acknowledge platforms other than Windows. What are developers doing, lazily grabbing whatever shiny middleware is the flavor of whatever time period, just happening to latch onto software written by microserfs or people who don't realize that there are many great cross-platform libraries floating around? For that matter, do the developers themselves not realize this?

Further, practically every developer of any Humble Bundle game has managed to support Windows and Linux well enough (from my experience using both to play those games), yet larger studios can't be arsed? Why? Steam's had Mac support for a while and a quick run through some of the games in my library (other than Humble Bundle ones) isn't yielding a whole lot of Apple logos. This tells me that it's really not a distribution issue (in all cases, anyway): if it were, there would've been Mac versions of these games available for Steam to distribute. They weren't, though, because they were never made.

Why were they never made? The answer to this is what *really* needs to be dealt with to free gaming from Windows for good. Though I've had limited experience with game development, I've done a bit of it and wouldn't even be sure where to begin if I were to have to develop a platform-specific game. I can code a game and simply compile it for at least Linux and Windows (32-bit and 64-bit both, for Linux. I've less experience developing, building, etc. on Windows, so I can't say a whole lot about that end beyond that I've managed to make it work on multiple systems before) without much trouble aside from the initial learning stages/setup pains (mmm, editing Windows 7's PATH env var with the itty bitty box, libs scattered across the filesystem...). I don't see why that would become much more difficult. Support could be an issue (though probably upstream of the game devs as they're now writing platform-independent code, RIIIGHT?), but for now I think I'll just say "write decent freaking software to begin with and it won't be nearly as much trouble" to that (while completely ignoring the heaps of games that are constantly being puked up in half-assed bug-ridden form) while pointing out that it'll be an issue no matter what. What am I missing? Microsoft subsidies? Traditional laziness? Somebody threatening to kick developers' pets?

IgnisInCaelum:
Why were they never made? The answer to this is what *really* needs to be dealt with to free gaming from Windows for good. Though I've had limited experience with game development, I've done a bit of it and wouldn't even be sure where to begin if I were to have to develop a platform-specific game. I can code a game and simply compile it for at least Linux and Windows (32-bit and 64-bit both, for Linux. I've less experience developing, building, etc. on Windows, so I can't say a whole lot about that end beyond that I've managed to make it work on multiple systems before) without much trouble aside from the initial learning stages/setup pains (mmm, editing Windows 7's PATH env var with the itty bitty box, libs scattered across the filesystem...). I don't see why that would become much more difficult. Support could be an issue (though probably upstream of the game devs as they're now writing platform-independent code, RIIIGHT?), but for now I think I'll just say "write decent freaking software to begin with and it won't be nearly as much trouble" to that (while completely ignoring the heaps of games that are constantly being puked up in half-assed bug-ridden form) while pointing out that it'll be an issue no matter what. What am I missing? Microsoft subsidies? Traditional laziness? Somebody threatening to kick developers' pets?

The reason games aren't released for anything other than Windows comes down to a couple of things:

1) By far the most prominent game programming language is C++, which is very much platform dependent. It's not nearly as bad as C, but it's pretty damn close.

2) The Windows : Everything Else ratio is ridiculously lopsided. Roughly 80% of the PC market uses Windows, and most studios just aren't willing to pay for such a small increase in potential customers.

3) The vast majority of programmers out there simply can't "write decent software to begin with". For proof, see Sturgeon's Law.

Edit: Also, WRT your Linux thing at the beginning, which is true, it's also true that any distro of Linux is far, far easier to fuck something up than Windows and it can be incredibly complicated to fix relatively simple problems. It's my preferred OS tbh, but if you don't know the backend at all, it's easy to create problems and be unable to fix them.

Agayek:

IgnisInCaelum:
Why were they never made? The answer to this is what *really* needs to be dealt with to free gaming from Windows for good. Though I've had limited experience with game development, I've done a bit of it and wouldn't even be sure where to begin if I were to have to develop a platform-specific game. I can code a game and simply compile it for at least Linux and Windows (32-bit and 64-bit both, for Linux. I've less experience developing, building, etc. on Windows, so I can't say a whole lot about that end beyond that I've managed to make it work on multiple systems before) without much trouble aside from the initial learning stages/setup pains (mmm, editing Windows 7's PATH env var with the itty bitty box, libs scattered across the filesystem...). I don't see why that would become much more difficult. Support could be an issue (though probably upstream of the game devs as they're now writing platform-independent code, RIIIGHT?), but for now I think I'll just say "write decent freaking software to begin with and it won't be nearly as much trouble" to that (while completely ignoring the heaps of games that are constantly being puked up in half-assed bug-ridden form) while pointing out that it'll be an issue no matter what. What am I missing? Microsoft subsidies? Traditional laziness? Somebody threatening to kick developers' pets?

The reason games aren't released for anything other than Windows comes down to a couple of things:

1) By far the most prominent game programming language is C++, which is very much platform dependent. It's not nearly as bad as C, but it's pretty damn close.

2) The Windows : Everything Else ratio is ridiculously lopsided. Roughly 80% of the PC market uses Windows, and most studios just aren't willing to pay for such a small increase in potential customers.

3) The vast majority of programmers out there simply can't "write decent software to begin with". For proof, see Sturgeon's Law.

Edit: Also, WRT your Linux thing at the beginning, which is true, it's also true that any distro of Linux is far, far easier to fuck something up than Windows and it can be incredibly complicated to fix relatively simple problems. It's my preferred OS tbh, but if you don't know the backend at all, it's easy to create problems and be unable to fix them.

1) That post was based on my experience with C++, which is my primary/favorite language. It doesn't just magically bind a developer or a piece of software to a platform and there are libraries that abstract away any platform feature one may want in a cross-platform if not completely platform-independent (as in, literally no difference in code or in function between platforms) manner.

2) Okay, though I don't see that much to pay for beyond maybe hiring me to build the Linux binaries (;D) or providing support for platforms they may not have experience with (which I'll admit is a significant issue). Maybe I'm spoiled by practically everything compatible with my preciou^Wfavorite OS being cross-platform, but it just doesn't look like it's that big of a challenge to at least start from a foundation (engine, set of libraries, whatever) that doesn't limit you to just people who'll pay the Windows tax just to be able to play most new games. Maybe someone with experience working on larger projects could provide some enlightenment here.

3) *Sigh*. Fine, you win this one. Especially given some of the things I've seen coming from the hands of professional C++ developers (in the user sense, not the development-of-the-language sense), including some things I read between posting my post and reading yours. Ugh.

Edit response: Having had little experience with "friendlier" distros, I'd like to say that they don't put much effort into making it easy to trash one's system but cannot do so. You're probably right at least about Linux distros (in general, maybe in all cases?) being less forgiving than Windows, though. In this case, I'd like to call upon someone with *less* experience to chime in with relevant information. Preferably not a fanperson or someone who's just going to ramble about something completely anecdotal or such.

I'm not convinced that those points are enough to prevent a studio more interested in producing good games than in laziness, releasing *something* on time, money, etc. from producing said games in a less restricted manner. Insert lamentations on the state of game development here.

IgnisInCaelum:

I'm not convinced that those points are enough to prevent a studio more interested in producing good games than in laziness, releasing *something* on time, money, etc. from producing said games in a less restricted manner. Insert lamentations on the state of game development here.

Oh I completely agree. If a studio wanted to, they could easily pop out a Linux version of any game. They don't because they don't judge it worth the time investment, generally because of the reasons I listed. It's a fairly common (mis?)conception in the industry that Linux games aren't worth the time to produce because the userbase is so small and most of them aren't terribly interested in games in the first place.

As evidenced here, there's clearly people who want to play games on Linux. The question remains though, are there enough that will only play on Linux to offset the cost of porting it? License fees, dev time, etc all end up being extra cost, and if the statistics say they won't make more than that by releasing a Linux version, they're not gonna make a Linux version.

LOL!

Like you can do anything with Linux anyway...

Yeah, this will not catch on. You little whiners will just have to keep dual booting because there is no chance in hell devs will actually create games for such a sucky OS that no one actually uses.

Good news everyone, Half Life 2 Episode 3 is nearly ready!

Bad News everyone, we need to convert it to run on Linux, shouldn't be more than a couple of years...

/trollface

 

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