Gabe Newell Thinks Steam Can Help Mainstream Linux

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robert01:
sudo apt-get install steam-daemon && sudo apt-get install no-games

That is what is going to happen, I think it is a nice effort, but Steam isn't going to help Linux become 'mainstream'. Until driver developers (looking at AMD/NVIDIA) actually start giving fuck about the stuff they release for Linux nothing will change.

Which Valve smacking them with a gaming consumer base will probably do. At that point they will have hard numbers and might actually become interested in maintaining a product.

tomvw:

robert01:
sudo apt-get install steam-daemon && sudo apt-get install no-games

That is what is going to happen, I think it is a nice effort, but Steam isn't going to help Linux become 'mainstream'. Until driver developers (looking at AMD/NVIDIA) actually start giving fuck about the stuff they release for Linux nothing will change.

The problem with AMD/NVIDIA is that their own drivers are supplied in compiled binary format (ie closed source) and the open-source variants are WAY behind in terms of features and performance. It's really odd, considering NVIDIA contributes heavily to Android, since they make Tegra-chips for smartphones and tablets (granted that's ARM instead of x86, but still).

Anyway, Linus Torvalds puts it best:
http://www.theverge.com/2012/6/17/3092829/linus-torvalds-fuck-you-nvidia

As for Steam for Linux, it might help a bit, but I don't see it taking of unless someone implements DirectX on Linux. Almost all of the big name titles (id Software's games being the exception) use DirectX as API, and porting to OpenGL is easier said than done.
Either way, I'm at least intrigued to see what Valve are able to pull of. But until then I'll stick with my Windows machine.

I'm not one of those "hurr freedom" drones that seem to plague the Linux user base these days. I understand why a company would NOT want to release the source to their hardware, I get it. And that is the case with Linux, ok. BUt why are the drivers so fucking shitty, do people using the hardware in an Apple machine have the same problems? Didn't think so, isn't OSX *nix based? Sure is. They developers just don't want to support the platform so they release the bare bones and say there.

As for Direct X in Linux, good luck with the at, we all know who owns that, and I don't see it being on anything non-Microsoft ever.

Darknacht:

Greg Tito:
He's committed to open platforms because he knows it's the best way for innovative software to grow

Does anyone else find this statement funny? If you like open platforms so much Gabe then why is Steam so closed?

OT: The problem with making Linux mainstream is that its a pain to use. To make it mainstream the computer illiterate have to be able to use it and I know people who can barely manage not to mess up their Windows and MAC installs on a monthly basis.

Steam is closed because it is a service. I find it funny when people climb all over it for not being open. Even the 'great Stallman lord and leader of the freedom drones' says that services do not need to be open source, and that is what Steam is a service. Expecting a platform where money changes hands for a product to be open source is asking for disaster anyways and the concept itself is silly.

Sleekit:
there are consumer friendly versions of linux. its not like the average gamer wants a lot out an OS; literally my brother's only concerns are that his games work when he clicks on their icons, he can run firefox and use a decent media player. point being gamers who game spend most of their time inside the games (with using the internet being the other biggy).

if Valve pulls together good driver support there will be "lightweight" user friendly custom distros made up as de facto front ends for gaming. (maybe even a Steam themed one from Valve itself :o...and if they don't do that someone else will :P )

and once that happens and its seen a solid supported platform others may well jump onboard (maybe GOG ? :o )

There are no consumer friendly version of Linux. There are those that pretend to be (Ubuntu and its various forks), but at the end of the day they still have the same problem has every other Linux distro, it isn't Windows/OSX. A lot of the features that people take for granted on those operating systems, you don't get with Linux, and you probably never will. Hell even getting a decent office program is impossible because non exist. You are stuck with this Java based shit.

ravenshrike:

robert01:
sudo apt-get install steam-daemon && sudo apt-get install no-games

That is what is going to happen, I think it is a nice effort, but Steam isn't going to help Linux become 'mainstream'. Until driver developers (looking at AMD/NVIDIA) actually start giving fuck about the stuff they release for Linux nothing will change.

Which Valve smacking them with a gaming consumer base will probably do. At that point they will have hard numbers and might actually become interested in maintaining a product.

Here is the thing, the ONLY thing that this really does is it moves the Source engine over to Linux as well, which Valve is going to do, which I think is a great thing. But a lot of the games that it will carry already have Linux version, a lot of Indie games already have this, and Desura has been available for Linux for quite some time. Expecting this to make a great impact on Linux is a foolish idea, it won't happen. Even if they do get momentum you have to deal with the fact that you are stuck using OpenGL based engines for your games, and this leaves out any games that are exclusive to DirectX (see most AAA titles) from ever reaching that platform.

Elate:
Eh, I'll just skip Windows 8 like I did Vista, then microsoft will pick up the ball if valve manages to make Linux viable and bring it back with Windows 9.

For one, it's a tablet OS that's been ported to PCs. It was designed with tablets in mind, and that means that a lot of the multi-processing stuff that is vital for desktop PCs are stunted. It's not terrible per se, but it's definitely not as good as a pure desktop OS.

On top of all that, there's the classic Windows curse, in that they release one good OS, then an utterly crappy one, then another good one, etc. Windows 7 is a damn good OS, so 8 is guaranteed to suck donkey balls.

Edit: GAH! The new forum layout confuses me. Totally quoted the wrong guy.

Evil Smurf:
Sorry but what is wrong with windows 8? I mean I have a Mac which normally entitles me to "hipster elitism". But can anyone tell me why it will suck? does it crash heaps?, is it prone to viruses? is it too complicated? Do all the cool kids have Mac envy?

That's the one I meant.

But... but... then I'll need another hipster OS to install on my netbook!

I'll have to worry about malware again... o.o

I'm looking forward to it seeing as some friends ONLY communicate via Steam these days... >.<

If my game collection ran hassle-free on Linux, then I'd jump over to it in a heartbeat.

I support this motion.

CardinalPiggles:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!

*looks at his laptop which he installed Linux on a week ago* Errr.... I installed the OS, and well it runs no different than windows. Where's the difficulty? Only changes I made were installing Chrome and some games from the app store (programs all being free ofcourse). It had the net, music, movies (including the USB DVD drive that plays movies no issues) working right out of the box. Seriously Windows gives me more headachs to get all the software running after an install. So really it's easier than Windows.

Since Valve has been trying to tell us that they have no boss, no management, why do we care what the self proclaimed liar has to say now-a-days?

Why does anyone care/listen anymore?

Tons of people have tried (and failed) to get Linux to go mainstream. Even Google - Google, the company with basically all the things - only managed to get its own spin-off popular, and only after a lot of time and money. So I'm not exactly holding my breath for this to work.

Linux needs support on the hardware side - the vast majority of problems pinned on "usability" are actually hardware compatibility/interfacing issues.* If you do manage to get a hardware setup that behaves nicely with Linux, any decent home-user-oriented distribution will run and even install like a dream. If you don't, well, you're stuck for three hours browsing forums and talking on IRC channels trying to make your audio/video/printer/whathaveyou work.

If Valve can solve some of the hardware issues, either by putting pressure on hardware manufacturers or by just engineering good software, that'll be great. But the fact is that, after Dell dropped Ubuntu from its home PC lineup, there's been no major US hardware manufacturers that are willing to ship PCs with Linux. Most users wouldn't want to faff around installing the latest Windows on their home computer, so why would they bother doing the same for Linux?

Newell seems pretty committed to make this work, though. His statements about Windows 8 are a bit surprising - yeah, the "look, I'm your 360 dashboard" Metro interface looks pretty awful, but that doesn't seem to be the main thing he's worried about. OEMs leaving the market? Margins being "destroyed?" Jeez.

*The other problem is when people base their knowledge of Linux on that one time they tried Debian five years ago. Linux has a lot of variation on ease-of-use, both over time and between distributions.

Plazmatic:

Why are you talking about Mac and Linux like they are one and the same... snip.

If I'm not mistaken, both Mac OSX and Linux are unix based. To my knowledge Mac OSX is just a "beefed" up version of linux... just closed off and such. I could be wrong though.

If my games work on Linux I'll make the switch quite happily. Though I will probably just skip 8 like I skipped Vista and wait for the Windows 8: Functional edition before I start considering an upgrade.

For all us kiddies and technologically retarded people out there..... what is so bad about Windows and what is so great about Linux?

saintdane05:
Problem:

While Steam is available for Linux, how many GAMES on Steam are on Linux?

I have a similar problem with my Mac, where I look at a game on Steam that may be interesting, but then it shows that its Window's only.

There are tons of games on Linux actually; Freeware titles, usually built upon the SDL framework, but few, if any, anywhere near commercial polish or extensiveness.

I'd say the idea here is that the presence of Steam (or equivalent) in itself potentially creates the market.

Once there is an easy way to pubish, offloading the chore of distribution, payments, customer service and management to a second party, who also makes things convenient to the end users, at the other end; developers may find incentive to work a little extra on their little hobby project and make a buck or two on it, even if it's no more than affording them an extra weekend beer.
It certainly seems to have worked out that way with software for mobile devices.
As for Steam itself - its other greatest achievement, I'd say, is in how it (...along with market actors that have followed their example..) has extended the shelf-life of titles just about indefinitely.

Newell's true beef with Windows 8 would likely not be its GUI paradigm, but its having "its own" marketplace, which is all but integrated into it, like Apple's appstore for IOS, making it the "natural" place to go for all your purchases, in direct competition with Steam and instantly marginalising Valve's behemoth child.

Steam's main competition feature in the future may well be being ubiquitous and cross-platform.

Plazmatic:
Oh and you know why Mac's don't get as many viruses? Its because barely any one uses them. And if that changed, it would be incredibly easy to exploit the system.

That's rich, coming from a multiple times smaller Linux user base, but yeah. Even now OS X is pretty much swiss cheese security wise.
Used Linux over the years several times, but reverted back to Windows in the end. After a while it's not that much fun googling for one hour minimum hoping someone solved your specific problem, even more if it's not that common. Also, I hate rebooting just to play games.
They made the matter even worse with the new Unity UI, which is crap compared to the old Gnome.

Is this the same Gabe Newell who called the PS3 "a waste of everybody's time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There's nothing there that you're going to apply to anything else. You're not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they've created". 18 months later steam was on the PS3.

If the mere presence of steam is enough to make a gaming platform out something that wasn't before, why isn't the MAC competing with the PC for gaming?

I wouldn't exactly call Steam an "open platform". There are actually much more open platforms for game distribution.

As much as I feel this is a good first step I feel that it isn't worth it. In order, for example, me to switch to Linux Origin would also have to be compatible with it as well as all the games I own that aren't on steam.

Plus, in order for Linux to become more main stream all the developers need to come together and make everything compatible and easy to set up.

People say that all you have to do with Linux is install it and your done, but that's far from the bigger picture. If you have a less well known graphics card or sound driver you'll have to spend hours to get it working on Linux because companies don't give a shit and you have to find drivers made by the Linux community.

With regards to windows 8, I've tried the Public Beta and it's not that bad, I think the price tag explains it quite well. $40 for the XP, Vista and 7 digital upgrade.

Redlin5:
But... but... then I'll need another hipster OS to install on my netbook!

I'll have to worry about malware again... o.o

I'm looking forward to it seeing as some friends ONLY communicate via Steam these days... >.<

Meh, with the tons of variations throughout the Linux distros it might not even be that much of an issue ...

And ... Agreed. Even just the social client running natively would be a great step forward.

RicoADF:

CardinalPiggles:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!

*looks at his laptop which he installed Linux on a week ago* Errr.... I installed the OS, and well it runs no different than windows. Where's the difficulty? Only changes I made were installing Chrome and some games from the app store (programs all being free ofcourse). It had the net, music, movies (including the USB DVD drive that plays movies no issues) working right out of the box. Seriously Windows gives me more headachs to get all the software running after an install. So really it's easier than Windows.

Indeed. I didn't manage to get any video driver running on Windows 8. And I usually have to reinstall my entire PC every half a year thanks to fuck-ups throughout Windows. Linux on the other hand ... No issue whatsoever. No DirectX, of course, but other than that, it ran perfectly fine.

0p3rati0n:

Plazmatic:

Why are you talking about Mac and Linux like they are one and the same... snip.

If I'm not mistaken, both Mac OSX and Linux are unix based. To my knowledge Mac OSX is just a "beefed" up version of linux... just closed off and such. I could be wrong though.

As is Windows *cough cough*

As for Windows 8 ... As I said before: Windows syndrome, then there's the crappy UI, the fact that it doesn't even bloody shut down properly, its tablet focus ...

RicoADF:

CardinalPiggles:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!

*looks at his laptop which he installed Linux on a week ago* Errr.... I installed the OS, and well it runs no different than windows. Where's the difficulty? Only changes I made were installing Chrome and some games from the app store (programs all being free ofcourse). It had the net, music, movies (including the USB DVD drive that plays movies no issues) working right out of the box. Seriously Windows gives me more headachs to get all the software running after an install. So really it's easier than Windows.

Have you tried backing up your Steam library and playing some yet?

CardinalPiggles:
When it becomes as easy (I use that term lightly, seeing as I'm computer illiterate) to use Linux as it is to use Windows, I'll consider changing. Good luck on your little quest Gaben, I salute you!

Captcha - skynet is watching

Holy fuck, could it be? Linux is Skynet!

Try Ubuntu. Or SUSE.

This will never work at all. Linux is way too complicated to use and has a lot of outdated features.

However, I think Valve could make THEIR OWN OS. Its not like they don't have the money for it. Have the OS have the features and accessibility of Windows but also as open as Linux. Best of both worlds.

albino boo:
Is this the same Gabe Newell who called the PS3 "a waste of everybody's time. Investing in the Cell, investing in the SPE gives you no long-term benefits. There's nothing there that you're going to apply to anything else. You're not going to gain anything except a hatred of the architecture they've created". 18 months later steam was on the PS3.

If the mere presence of steam is enough to make a gaming platform out something that wasn't before, why isn't the MAC competing with the PC for gaming?

AND THIS.

Seriously, despite video games being the highest grossed market in the entertainment industry, even companies like Valve are not miracle workers.

Greg Tito:

"The big problem that is holding back Linux is games. People don't realize how critical games are in driving consumer purchasing behavior," said Newell.

"We want to make it as easy as possible for the 2,500 games on Steam to run on Linux as well."

Huh, he is 100% right. O.o At least in my case.

I already run Windows 7 and on it all open source stuff. Only thing that prevents me from switching OS is basically DX11.

If Valve can have tools for developers to convert from DX to and open graphics library of similar quality, then everything can start moving in the right direction ...

But it won't be easy to convince developers (or EA) that that would be a worthwhile investment. Not to mention I'm not sure Linux has a high quality graphics library at this point at all.

Plazmatic:
Why are you talking about Mac and Linux like they are one and the same, they aren't, basic Linux is not user friendly, even real Linux users will admit that. We aren't stupid, stop trying to plug in your pro Mac bile, and actually contribute to the thread, you hardly have the right to call your self an elitist for using an inferior platform, not because of the user friendly-ness or the pretty colors, but because of the platforms unwarranted price. Oh and you know why Mac's don't get as many viruses? Its because barely any one uses them. And if that changed, it would be incredibly easy to exploit the system.

Could you either:
a) leave this thread and let people discuss who actually know what they're talking about.
or:
b) stop flaming offensive crap and get your facts right before posting.

Some tips:
1. So because you say that it's not user-friendly, it really isn't? Who are you to tell him (and me) if it's user-friendly or not?
2. What are real Linux users for you? People who compile it themselves? Of course that's complicated. *facepalm*
3. You tell him to actually contribute to the thread, while not doing so yourself.
4. Yeah we get it. Macs are overpriced. That's right.
5. Macs profit from their low market share in that case. You're right there too. It's known that Windows has a better security than OSX. That's due to Microsoft having that problem with malware. Certain Linux distributions have even better security than both of them. Linux/OSX malware-rates will explode if one of them becomes "mainstream".

This here is for the majority of people in this thread:
Linux is NO Operating System!
It's a KERNEL!

A kernel has no such thing as "user-friendlyness".

@Plazmatic:
Now tell me:
What's a basic Linux for you? I'm curious...

Evil Smurf:
Also I am less likely to get a virus.

I love this line. Every time I hear it I get this urge to write a virus targeting OS X and OS X alone, but then I remember I don't know enough to write a functioning virus that could get past security systems, and I can't be bothered to teach myself either.

we are all happy with our windows 7 and no one really wants to make the jump to linux.

thing is this state is temporary and gabe sees it. MS will force its OS like it always does, through Direct X. want to run your new top tier games with d13? sorry have to upgrade to win 8 as we are no longer going to support 7.

and at that point we will already be bent over grabbing our ankles.

why is it bad?

well its specualtion at the moment but the big fears are around it being a closed platform from what i can tell.

1. only place to buy apps will be the MS store they will tax and restrict at will
2. could theoretically force everyone back to IE/windows live
3. Devs could be forced into using games for windows live.
4. MS will be able to force the sale of licences on developers this is the margin destruction he talks about.

windows monopoly on the PC market has never been a good thing, the way win 8 is being built is allowing MS a lot more control of how it gets used and youcan be sure the only people to benifit from that will be MS.

I hope valve can use thier power and they are in a position to make some strong allies to help
google must have a massive vested interest in seeing an open OS prosper(its possible youtube, i tunes and a whole host of services could be forced out and replaced by MS owned ones)

so i cross my fingers and hope that valve can do this, us having a viable choice in OS's can only be a good thing.

Techno Squidgy:

Evil Smurf:
Also I am less likely to get a virus.

I love this line. Every time I hear it I get this urge to write a virus targeting OS X and OS X alone, but then I remember I don't know enough to write a functioning virus that could get past security systems, and I can't be bothered to teach myself either.

Well, don't worry, others did so already. :)

Biggest issue with OS X that people often don't realize is that in their case, Open Source is a problem. They are generally running a FreeBSD UNIX kernel, but since Apple do not update the kernel as fast as they should, they often leave known and well documented exploits available to attackers.

Another example of this is the PSN security breach. They were causght out using old Linux based Apache web servers, again due to the fact they didn't patch them. So they had known exploits available to anyone with a bit of time on their hands.

Open Source can be a blessing for security, but also a curse.

Greg Tito:

I don't know if Newell is right about Windows 8 and how its concentration on a touch interface will suck or not. But I do know he's right about games influencing customers. The mere mention of Valve making games work on Linux made me consider installing it on my machine. Maybe gaming can make Linux mainstream.

Last I heard the touch interface was not the problem. It appears phone versions of Windows 8 are already walled off Apple-style, with users only able to download content through the Windows Store.

If Microsoft seriously considers expanding that policy to include the PC OS, then that'd be the unmitigated disaster Newell was talking about.

Linux has video driver issues. Thats a pretty big deal for AAA games. And the audio stuff is also fragmented but it isn't too awful to pack in an audio driver to use if the "system" driver isn't doing what you want.

But yeah this would be totally awesome. I have already gotten rid of Windows on my desktop computers, with native Steam on Linux I could get rid of it on my laptop as well, and relegate Windows to virtual machines.

For anyone who is gunshy about Linux please check out Mint: http://www.linuxmint.com/download.php It is really simple to try out from the cd if you want to play with it, and trivial to install alongside an existing OS.

I'm a Linux newb but I've set it up many times and have gotten pretty much everything I want working. If anyone needs help and isn't sure what to google for feel free to PM me.

It won't work out. Steam doesn't even have many games for the Mac, so why would anyone jump into Linux for the sake of a handful of games.

Sorry, but it's just another example of an OK idea being exagerated, leading to hipster trends like using Linux to make yourself appear smart. The escapist need more realists - people who wonder why the Linux stalwarts insist on insisting on Linux, as if it's even a serious option for an OS. I'd rather not remember the days of MS Dos, all that rigmarole was a necessity - Linux is not a necessity, it will never be widely utilised by gamers, never ever ever ever - and Steam will not change that substantially, in fact, the Humble Bundle does more for Mac and Linux game distribution than Steam will.

Personally, I'd rather see Steam target Android, for the sake of the budget tablets and PC's, and media players and homebrew projects... and that Ouya console thing as well. Surely there are more people ready to support Android gaming, than Linux gaming!.

If Steam gets games to run well on Linux, i'll be one of the first to switch. Its the only thing holding me back.

Problem, Newell: Video card drivers for Linux SUCK!
If they even exist..

So if Mr. Private Company Can do What He Wants doesn't beg NVIDIA and AMD to constantly put lots of cash in new, stable driver updates for their cards on Linux there won't be too much Linux gaming going on, I'm afraid.
And what about audio and gamepad drivers?

Only if you buy DX license and make it support win98-win7 games. Then sell them off steam that would work and I could easily play MechWarrior 2 titanium edition.

I don't know about anyone else in this thread, but I never really run into bad problems with linux, that I didn't create myself, since I am a really big nooby, but yet I am using Linuxdistributions as second OSs since ubuntu 6.06 (currently Linux Mint 13 with the Cinnamon Desktop) and I will happily whipe windows from my hdd alltogether if that works out.

The biggest problem I see with Linux, after the trope of "it's too complicated" (which it isn't since several years, just try it out before you complain),is that the companies see a low userbase for Linux, so they don't really care about making good drivers and the consumer sees driver issues and fears that his system might fail.

Let's all just hope that steam gets linux gaming over the critical mass, so that AMD and nvidia finally get the importance and create drivers that are actually worth two shits, Intel can do it already, afterall.

That's all very plausible and interesting but every time I see a recent picture of Gabe Newell I become more and more suspicious that he's slowly turning into a Matryoshka Doll.

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