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Valve throws support behind Linux with Steam, ports
Valve throws support behind Linux with Steam, ports
July 17, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

July 17, 2012 | By Eric Caoili
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    12 comments
More: Console/PC, Business/Marketing



Valve will bring its digital distribution service Steam to a third PC platform, Linux, appeasing the operating system's relatively small but devoted userbase who've called for a native client for years.

The company formed a new team last year to investigate the possibility of bringing Steam to Linux, and now it has announced that the group is bringing a fully functional client to the platform, along with an optimized version of its first-person shooter Left 4 Dead 2 -- Valve intends to port more existing and upcoming titles to Linux, too.

Linux users have been able to run Steam before using Wine, but an official native client will not have the technical issues that can come with using emulation software, and could attract more users. With the release of the native client, developers will be able to target a new group of gamers not using Windows or Mac systems.

Valve says it's just started working on a version of Steam for Ubuntu, a popular variant of Linux that it believes has recognition with the general gaming and developer communities. Based on the reception of its Ubuntu edition, the company will look into supporting other Linux distributions in the future.

The new team says its Linux Steam client is already running on Ubuntu with all of the service's major features. Valve hopes to make Left 4 Dead 2, the first game it will put out for Ubuntu, perform as well under Linux as it does on Windows. The publisher has not announced a release date for either project.

Valve has launched a blog that will follow the Linux team's progress.


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Comments


E Zachary Knight
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Personally, I would have preferred Team Fortress 2 to have been the first game to come to Linux, but this Ubuntu user is pretty happy anyway.

Dustin Mellen
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Agreed. TF2 would seem like the obvious candidate. A F2P launch title to get people started on Steam for Linux.

Chuck Bartholomew
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I'm a little surprised by the choice of launch title as well, but in line with other recent Valve news, they probably solicited feedback from their Linux fans on what games they wanted most.

Michael Rooney
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It seems like if they ported Source to Linux they should just be able to port their entire lineup no?

edit: Maybe L4D2 was just the smallest amount of changes to the source engine required for stability on linux and it would have just been the first game ready anyway, even though they're technically porting the whole engine?

Alex Boccia
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Not too shabby

james sadler
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With Unity soon to have Linux support as well I see this as a huge boom for developers.

Evan Combs
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Now if we can just get big players on board with Linux (Autodesk, Adobe, etc.) I would switch over completely in a heart beat.

Doug Poston
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I'm not ready to give up my WinBox yet, but this is great news (for everybody except Apple and Microsoft ;)).

Groove Stomp
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AWERSOME!

"Valve will bring its digital distribution service Steam to a third PC platform, Linux, appeasing the operating system's relatively small but devoted userbase who've called for a native client for years."

There are a few inaccuracies in that sentence, but whatever. Steam on Ubuntu. Sweet deal!

Jonathan Ghazarian
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Great news as I'm about to install linux on a new machine.

Todd Boyd
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This only took them FOR F!@#ING E-VER.

Michael van Drempt
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"Linux users have been able to run Steam before using Wine, but an official native client will not have the technical issues that can come with using emulation software"

While the author is right that there are technical issues introduced by using Wine, could we just get one thing clear:

WINE Is Not an Emulator.

Seriously, that's what the acronym means.

But still, this is good news. Go Valve go!


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