“For some time, Gabe [Newell] has been interested in the possibility of moving Steam and the Source game engine to Linux,” said the Linux team within Valve, as part of a blog post revealing the news.
Valve is building upon the popular Ubuntu (specifically, version 12.04), and has already ported Left 4 Dead 2. Going forward, the plan is to optimize that version of Left 4 Dead 2 and have it running as fast as the Windows version, release a fully functional Steam client for Linux, and port more Valve games over to Linux.
“Our mission is to strengthen the gaming scene on Linux, both for players and developers,” said the team. “ [...] We are also investigating open source initiatives that could benefit the community and game developers.”
It sounds like early days for Steam, Valve and Linux, but it’s hard to argue this isn’t a great development for fans of open source. Valve said it will continue to update users on its newly established Linux blog.